A NETWORK OF SCHOLARS DEDICATED TO THE HISTORY OF RACISM AND ANTI-RACISM IN MODERN ITALY

Director

Professor of Contemporary History, University of Genoa

Francesco Cassata

(eugenics; racial science; scientific anti-racism)

I am Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Genoa (DAFIST). I have published on the history of eugenics and scientific racism in Italy, on the history of Lysenkoism in Italy, on the history of genetics and molecular biology. I am member of the History of Race and Eugenics Research Group (Oxford Brookes) and of the International Working Group on Lysenkoism (CUNY, New York). I am also member of the Board of Directors of the International Association for Comparative Fascist Studies (Comfas). I am editor-in-chief of the Annals of the Luigi Einaudi Foundation. An interdisciplinary Journal of Economics, History and Political Science.
Select publications: Science-Fiction? 7th Primo Levi Lecture (Einaudi, 2016); Eugenetica senza tabù. Usi e abusi di un concetto (Einaudi, 2015); L’Italia intelligente. Adriano Buzzati-Traverso e il Laboratorio internazionale di genetica e biofisica (Donzelli, 2013); Building the New Man. Eugenics, Racial science and Genetics in Twentieth Century Italy (Central European University Press, 2011); “La Difesa della razza”. Politica, ideologia e immagine del razzismo fascista (Einaudi, 2008).

Deputy Director

Associate Professor of Contemporary History, University of Genoa

Guri Schwarz

(antisemitism; memory politics; Holocaust memory and anti-racist mobilization)

I received a PhD in History from the Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa). Before joining the University of Genoa in 2017 I’ve held visiting or research fellowship in various institutions, including the Luigi Einaudi Foundation, the Deutsches Historisches Institut-Rome, the International Institute for Holocaust Research (Yad Vashem), UCL, and UCLA. I am one of the founding editors of the ejournal “Quest. Issues in Contemporary Jewish History” and have co-founded and co-edit the Routledge Studies in the Modern History of Italy series. I edited (or co-edited) five volumes and authored (or co-authored) four books, including After Mussolini: Jewish Life and Jewish Memories in Post-Fascist Italy, London-Portland (Or.), Vallentine Mitchell, 2012. My current research concerns Holocaust analogies and their employment for anti-racist mobilization.
Post-doctoral researcher, Royal Holloway, University of London, from January 2022

Samuel Agbamu

(classicism; fascism; colonialism; classics and antiracism)

I research the uses of Latin and classical antiquity in modern projects of colonialism and racism. I hold a PhD in Classics from King’s College London, with a thesis on modern Italian imperialism in Africa and its uses of the history of Roman imperialism in Africa, which I am turning into a book for Oxford University Press. I currently teach Latin and Classics at a sixth form college in Cambridge, and will be joining Royal Holloway, University of London as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in January 2022. My additional research interests include Black and Africana Classical Reception and anti-racism in Classics.
Assistant Professor of Contemporary History, University of Genoa

Enrica Asquer

(citizenship; anti-Jewish legislation; petitions; microanalysis; race & gender)

I am Assistant Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Genova. My main field of interest is the social and cultural history of Twentieth century Europe, with a focus on family, women’s and gender history, the history of consumption and, more recently, the history of citizenship and its connections with antisemitism. My current research project investigates the introduction of anti-Jewish legislation in Fascist Italy and Vichy France, focusing on how Jews petitioned the authorities in order to mitigate the effects of the racist measures and to benefit from some derogatory treatments. Recent publications: Rivendicare l’appartenenza. Suppliche e domande di deroga allo Statut des Juifs nella Francia di Vichy, “Quaderni storici”, 160, 1(2019), 225-258; Scrivere alla Demorazza. Le domande di discriminazione delle donne “di razza ebraica” e il conflitto sulla cittadinanza nell’Italia del 1938, “Italia contemporanea”, 287, 2018, 213-242 (open access).
PhD, University of Genoa

Andrea Avalli

(Racial ideologies in Fascist Italy; anti-racism and UNESCO)

I studied at the University of Genoa, from which I received my PhD in Contemporary History in 2020, in co-tutorship with the Université de Picardie “Jules Verne”. My doctoral research focused on the history of the Etruscan imagery in Italian Fascist culture, and namely in art, literature, archaeology, anthropology, linguistics, and racial theories. I am currently working towards the publication of my dissertation, “The Etruscan question in Fascist Italy”. My main research interests are the nationalist and racist uses of the ancient past, and the history of scientific racism and antiracism in 20th century Italian culture.
Research Affiliate, University of Genoa

Edoardo Barsotti

(Risorgimento; nationalism; race-thinking; antiracism; anthropology; ethnology)

I am a historian of nationalism and race-thinking in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Italy (Ph.D. Fordham University, 2019). Among my last publications stand: “At the Roots of Italian Identity: 'Race' and 'Nation' in the Italian Risorgimento, 1796-1870” (London: Routledge, 2021); “Race and Risorgimento: An unexplored chapter of Italian history” Journal of Modern Italian Studies 25, no. 3 (2020): 273-294); “‘V’ha bensì un’Italia e una stirpe italiana congiunta di sangue’: razza e genealogia nazionale nel Risorgimento italiano,” Rassegna Storica del Risorgimento 1, no. 1-2 (February 2021, forthcoming). I am currently working on the birth of an anti-racist discourse among Risorgimento's intellectuals.
Post-doc fellow at the University of Bologna

Simona Berhe

(African diaspora; citizenship; Italian colonialism; anti-racism movements)

I am a post-doc fellow at the University of Bologna, where I am currently working on the history of the African intellectual and political diaspora in Italy. My other research fields are: Italian colonial history, colonial citizenship, Eritrean cultural history (with a particular focus on music). Main publications on racism: «Forse che il nero aveva prima di oggi comandato a bianchi?»: gli internati italiani nell’Africa Orientale Tedesca (1915-1916)», in «Contemporanea», 1/2017; with O. De Napoli, Citizens and Subjects of the Italian Colonies: Legal Constructions and Social Practices, NY, Routledge, forthcoming.
Researcher, CNRS, Paris (France)

Luc Berlivet

(Scientific racism; genetics; heredity; eugenics; racial admixture; racial isolates)

I’m a senior research fellow at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), and a lecturer at EHESS, the School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences, in Paris. For a few years now I have been researching the problematization and successive reproblematization of the relationship between heredity and environment - nature vs. nurture - since the turn of the 20th Century. I’m interested in both the history of racism and the history of eugenics. Among my recent publications: “‘Chassez le naturel...' Les sciences sociales aux prises avec le déterminisme biologique”, Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales, 2018/2 (73e année), p. 443-473; A laboratory for Latin Eugenics: the Italian Committee for the Study of Population Problems and the International Circulation of Eugenic Knowledge (1920s-1940s), “História, Ciências, Saúde-Manguinhos”, 2016, vol. 23/suppl. 1, pp. 51-72.
PhD Student, University of Genoa

Elena Cadamuro

(visual culture; photography; colonialism; museum)

I am PhD student at the Department of Antiquities, Philosophy, History (DAFIST) at University of Genoa. My PhD research revolves around the visual culture concerning the African continent and its national communities in the Italian illustrated magazines (1950-1996). I have contributed to the exhibition “Ascari e Schiavoni. Il razzismo coloniale e Venezia” (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, 2017) and to the project “Postcolonial Italy. Mapping Colonial Heritage” (postcolonialitaly.com). I have recently published the article “Rappresentare, esibire, dominare. La fotografia coloniale nelle collezioni De Reali e Puccioni” (Italia contemporanea, 2020/294).
Assistant Professor of Contemporary History, Barnard College – Columbia University (US)

Angelo Matteo Caglioti

(Scientific racism; fascism; eugenics; colonialism; social theory; expertise)

I am Assistant Professor of History at Barnard College, Columbia University, where I teach modern European history, environmental history and history of science. My research focuses on Italian colonialism and the history of racial theories in Italian social theory, with particular interest in anthropology and eugenics in the nineteenth and twentieth century. My article “Race, Statistics and Italian Eugenics: Alfredo Niceforo's Trajectory from Lombroso to Fascism (1876-1960)” published in the European History Quarterly in 2017 traces the development of Italian scientific racism from its origin in nineteenth-century anthropology to the 1938 Manifesto of Racial Scientists. I am also interested in the relationship between race and environment.
MSCA Research Fellow, University of Genoa – Fordham University

Matteo Caponi

(Roman Catholicism; Anti-Black Racism; Black Question; White Supremacy; Interracialism; Christian Antiracism; Negritude; Decolonization; US Civil Rights Movement; John LaFarge, SJ (1880-1963)

Since my PhD in History (SNS, Pisa – Université Paris Ouest Nanterre-La Défense, 2010), I have specialized in the history of modern and contemporary Christianity, with particular emphasis on the intersections between Catholicism, nationalism, warfare, and racism. I am currently Marie Curie fellow at the University of Genova and visiting scholar at Fordham University in New York. My research project US-E AntiRacism – Catholicism and the “Negro Question”: Religion, Racism, and Antiracism in a Transnational Perspective (United States and Europe, 1934-1968) aims at writing a cultural history of ‘interracialist’ ideals and practices across church networks, in order to point out how an increasingly globalized focus on the Black Question has framed a new Catholic antiracist sensibility.
Indipendent Researcher, Center for American Studies, Rome

Annalisa Capristo

(Antisemitism/Racisms; Holocaust Studies; Minority rights; Anti-Semitic propaganda)

I’m head librarian at the Center for American Studies in Rome, Italy. My research focuses on anti-Semitic and racial laws in Fascist Italy, on which I have published several books and papers. In 2019, I co-edited a special issue of The Journal of Modern Italian Studies on the eightieth anniversary of the Racial Laws.
Complete CV and list of publications: https://independent.academia.edu/AnnalisaCapristo
Researcher CNR - Institute for Studies on Mediterranean Societies

Michele Colucci

(Migration; Labour policies; Anti-racist social movements)

I am a researcher at the National Research Council - Institute for Mediterranean Studies. I deal mainly with contemporary history, with particular attention to migration, labour and social policies. Recently, I have been studying the history of foreign immigration in Italy from 1945 to the present day. I am the scientific head of the CNR research unit “History of Mediterranean migrations in the contemporary age”. In 2019 I won the National Prize for Scientific Dissemination, Human Sciences section. Since 2014, I have been the editor of the Annual Reports on internal migration in Italy, together with Stefano Gallo.
PhD Student, University of Genoa

Grazia De Michele

(racism and antiracism; colonialism; post-colonialism; race and education; race and medicine)

I am a PhD student in History at the University of Genova (DAFIST). I obtained a PhD in Italian Studies from the University of Reading (UK) in 2012 with a dissertation on the history of anti-Southern racism and education in post-war Italy.
Among my publications are: “La storia dell'Africa e del colonialismo italiano nei manuali di storia in uso nelle scuole superiori” (I sentieri della ricerca, 2006); “'A beautiful moment of bravery and hard work': Italian colonialism in post-1945 history high school textbooks (Modern Italy, 2011); “'Un’inguaribile incapacità di reazione al nuovo ambiente di vita'. Bambini meridionali al Nord e classi differenziali negli anni ’50 e ’60” (Rivista Sperimentale di Freniatria, 2010).
Associate Professor of Contemporary History, University of Naples Federico II

Olindo De Napoli

(Racism; Fascism; Law; Colonialism; Colonial rule)

I am Associate Professor in Modern History at the Department of Social Sciences of the University of Naples Federico II. I have received fellowships by several academic institutions, including the Istituto Nazionale Ferruccio Parri and the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton). I am currently member of the board of the PhD Programme in Global History and Law, at the Scuola Superiore Meridionale. Among my publications, articles published in international journals on Italian colonialism and Jewish history and the book La prova della razza. Cultura giuridica e razzismo in Italia negli annia Trenta (Le Monnier 2009). Full publications on https://www.docenti.unina.it/olindo.denapoli
Assistant Professor of Contemporary History, University of Cagliari

Valeria Deplano

(Colonialism; Colonial legacies; Blackness; Whiteness; National identity)

My research interests concern Italian colonial culture and its legacies, and post-colonial migrations. Racism intertwines with these topics in several ways: while for the fascist period I studied the construction of an imaginary around the “otherness” of colonial subjects, for the post-45 period I dealt with the way a racist mindset influenced the relationship between the Republic and the first Africans present in Italy. At the moment, I am carrying out a research on African students in Italy, who are responsible for the elaboration of discourses on racism in post-colonial Europe. On these topics I wrote La madrepatria è una terra straniera (Le Monnier 2017), and Nation, ‘Race’, and Racisms in Twentieth-Century Italy, (edited with S. Patriarca, Special Issue, Modern Italy, 23 (4) 2018)
Associate Professor of History and Philosophy of Science, University Paris Diderot (SPHERE, IHSS)

Claude-Olivier Doron

(race and genetics; degeneration; conceptual history of race; race and politics)

I am associate professor in history and philosophy of sciences at Université de Paris (SPHERE/IHSS). I’m working on a long term history of the concepts of “race” and on racism during the XVIIth-XIXth centuries. My work focuses on the articulation between discourses and practices dealing with race and degeneration in the 17-19th centuries (L’homme altéré. Races et dégénérescence, Champ Vallon, 2016), on the introduction of the concept of “race” in politics through French liberals and social reformers in the early 19th century (book in preparation, see Le moment libéral de la race, “Revue d’histoire moderne et contemporaine”, 2021) and on the more recent history of the concept of “race” in human population genetics in France. I participate in various programs dealing with the history of race and racism (Globalrace, Relrace and TranSocGen).
Associate Professor of Italian Studies, University of Reading (UK)

Federico Faloppa

(discourse; stereotypes; hate speech; ethnic slurs; history of the language; language and power relations)

I am Associate Professor in Italian Studies and Linguistics in the Department of Cultures and Languages at the University of Reading (UK). For twenty years I have been working on the construction of otherness through language, on language policy and migration, on the representation of minorities and migration phenomena in the media, on racism in language, on language and power relations, on hate speech. On these topics I have published extensively, and written several monographs, such as “Parole contro. La rappresentazione del diverso in italiano e nei dialetti” (2004), “Razzisti a parole (per tacer dei fatti)” (2011), “Sbiancare un etiope. La pelle cangiante di un tòpos antico” (2013), “Contro il razzismo. Quattro ragionamenti” (with Marco Aime, Guido Barbujani and Clelia Bartoli, 2016), and “#Odio. Manuale di resistenza alla violenza delle parole (2020)”. Since 2018, I have been working as a researcher on hate speech and language and discrimination for Amnesty International Italy. I am the coordinator of the "Rete nazionale per il contrasto ai discorsi e ai fenomeni d'odio", and a member of the "Committee of Experts for combating Hate Speech" of the Council of Europe, which is drafting the new recommendations on hate speech for the 47 state members of CoE.
Professor of History of Christianity and Religious Studies, University of Bologna

Cristiana Facchini

(catholic/christian antisemitism; religion and racism; orientalism; christian-jewish relations)

I am full professor of History of Christianity and Religious Studies at the University of Bologna. I am an historian specialized in early modern and modern religious history, with a focus on Christian-Jewish relations, history of Judaism and history of Christianity. I also extensively dealt with issues related to theory and methodology in the study of religion. I have held research fellowships at Oxford, Erfurt (where I am a Fellow at the Max Weber Kolleg), Cincinnati, Paris, Jerusalem, Hamburg and I have been visiting professor in Bielefeld (Germany), Haifa (Israel) and UVA (University of Virigina).
I am particularly interested in Christian/Catholic antisemitism and its historical relationship with other forms of racism. I have also explored how Judaism was racialized within the scholarly debate of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, with a particular focus on the role exerted by ideologies of Orientalism. At the same time, I also investigate how Jews both criticized, subverted, or accepted racialized and essentialized representations of their religion. I have published extensively on these themes in Italian and English (Infamanti dicerie. La prima autodifesa ebraica dall’accusa del sangue, Bologna, 2014; David Castelli. Ebraismo e scienze delle religioni tra Otto e Novecento, Morcelliana, Brescia 2005).
Professor of Italian, University of Cambridge (UK)

Robert Gordon

(Holocaust; memory culture in post-war Italy; intersectional memory; Primo Levi)

I am Serena Professor of Italian at the University of Cambridge (UK). I have worked on various research projects centred on the cultural knowledge and memory of the racial persecution under Fascism and of the Holocaust in post-war Italy (The Holocaust in Italian Culture, Stanford, 2012), with an interest also in its intersections with other forms of memory and the cultural legacies of other genocides (co-ed, Holocaust Intersections, Legenda, 2013; Holocaust Intersections in 21st-century Europe, Quest, 2016). I have also published extensively on the work of Primo Levi (Primo Levi’s Ordinary Virtues, Oxford, 2001; Outrageous Fortune. Luck and the Holocaust, Einaudi, 2010; ed, Auschwitz Report, 2015). I am a member of the advisory board of the Fossoli Foundation.
Associate Professor of Contemporary African History, University of Pavia

Antonio Maria Morone

(North Africa; colonialism; migration; memory)

I am Associate Professor in Contemporary African History at the Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Pavia. My research deals with colonial and postcolonial societies of North Africa and the Horn of Africa, especially Libya and Somalia. Main publications: La fine del colonialismo. Politica, società e memorie (a cura di), Le Monnier, Firenze, 2018; Racism: Meticci on the Eve of Colonial Downfall, in Simone Brioni and Shimelis Bonsa Gulema (Eds.), The Horn of Africa and Italy Colonial, Postcolonial and Transnational Cultural Encounters, Peter Lang, New York, 2018.
Professor of Contemporary History, Fordham University (US)

Silvana Patriarca

(ideas of national identity/character/race in modern Italy; racism and anti-racism in post-1945 Italy; Black Italy)

My main body of work has focused on the cultural construction of the nation in modern Italy, but recently I have become increasingly interested in the intersection between nation and race. I am currently investigating the intersection between nation and race in post-fascist and postcolonial Italy while also trying to understand the modalities of anti-racism in the culture of the 1960s and 1970s. My book on the racialization of the biracial children born in Italy at the end of the Second World War is due to be released by the end of 2021. An early article based on this project and entitled “Fear of Small Numbers: ‘Brown Babies’ in Postwar Italy” appeared in Contemporanea. Rivista di storia dell’ ‘800 e del ‘900 in 2015. In 2018 I also co-edited a special issue of the journal Modern Italy devoted to “Nation, ‘Race,’ and Racisms in Twentieth-Century Italy.”
Senior Lecturer in Modern European History, University of Winchester (UK)

Emiliano Perra

(Holocaust and Genocide memory; cultural history; public memory; films and television)

I am Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Winchester, UK. I am a cultural historian specialised in the memory and representation of the Holocaust, genocide, and political violence, with a particular focus on films and TV. My research focuses primarily on Italy, but I have also worked on France and Britain and am increasingly drawn to cross-cultural and transnational approaches. I am the author of the monograph Conflicts of Memory: The Reception of Holocaust Films and TV Programmes in Italy: 1945 to the Present (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2010) and have published in, among others, “Memory Studies”, “Holocaust and Genocide Studies”, “Quest: Issues in Contemporary Jewish History”, “Journal of Modern Jewish Studies”, “Journal of War and Culture Studies”, “La revue d’histoire de la Shoah”, “The Italianist”, and “Cinema e storia”. I am also co-Editor-in-Chief of the Open Access “Journal of Perpetrator Research” (https://jpr.winchesteruniversitypress.org/)
Professor of Postcolonial and World Literature, Newcastle University

Neelam Srivastava

(Italian colonialism; anticolonialism; Third-Worldism; aesthetics of resistance)

My current research focuses on Italian colonialism and conversely, the contributions of Italian
thought to postcolonial theory. My 2018 book, Italian Colonialism and Resistances to
Empire, 1930-1970, provides a cultural history of Italian colonialism in terms of its impact on
twentieth-century ideas of empire and anti-colonialism. In October 1935, Mussolini’s army
attacked Ethiopia, defying the League of Nations and other European imperial powers. The
book explores the widespread political and literary responses to the invasion, especially how
Pan-Africanism highlighted the racist ideologies at the heart of Italian expansionism in
Africa. I am also interested in the often overlooked racist and colonialist residues of European
Marxism, highlighting the need to decolonize leftist discourse by retrieving the impact of
Third-Worldist and Global South theories on discourses of resistance within metropolitan
locations such as Italy, Britain, and France.
Professor of Museology and History of Collecting, University of Padua

Giuliana Tomasella

(Visual cultures of racism and anti-racism; colonialism and post-colonialism)

I teach Museology and History of Collecting, and History of Art Criticism at the University of Padua. I am currently the President of the Museums Center of the University of Padua. My studies have focused on the revision of the concept of modernity carried out by artists and critics in the aftermath of the First World War and on the relationships between art and politics during the Fascist period. Recently, my research is focalizing on the problem of the image of the Black in European art during the colonial period. On this topic I directed the Project “Representing otherness. Exhibitions and art trade during the colonial period in Italy”. Recent outcomes of these studies have been G. Tomasella, Esporre l’Italia coloniale. Interpretazioni dell’alterità (2017) and G. Tomasella ed. Il confronto con l'alterità tra Ottocento e Novecento. Aspetti critici e proposte visive (2020).
Associate Professor of History of Contemporary Art, University of Genoa

Paola Valenti

(Contemporary Art; Postcolonialism; Memory; Identity; Ethnicity)

I am Associate Professor of Contemporary Art History at the University of Genoa, where I teach Methodologies for the Study of Contemporary Art, History of Contemporary Sculpture and Contemporary Architecture. My main areas of interest include late 20th and 21st-century visual art; the intersection of art, architecture and public space; memory and identity in colonial and postcolonial history. I am the author of essays on black artists in postcolonial Britain, with a focus on the work of John Akomfrah and the Black Audio Film Collective.

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Centre on the History of Racism and Antiracism in Modern Italy

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