Reaserch in progress

Andrea Martini, Democracies and fascisms (post 1945)

Andrea Martini obtained his PhD title in International Studies at University of Naples, L’Orientale in 2017 with a thesis that focused on the Italian transition from Fascism to democracy. He has been post-doc researcher for two years (January 2019-December 2020) at University of Padua, and has been visiting researcher at the Laboratoire de recherché historique Rhône-Alpes (LARHRA – LYON II), at King’s College, and, more recently, at the Centre d’Histoire of Sciences Po. He wrote the book Dopo Mussolini (Viella, Roma 2019) and several articles, such as Defeated? An Analysis of Fascist memoirist literature and its success, “Journal of Modern Italian Studies”, Vol. 25/3, 2020; Una nuova agibilità politica: il neofascismo italiano da una prospettiva comparata e transnazionale (1945-1951), “Storica”, n. 75, 2019 and Giustizia di transizione. Il processo al Battaglione Muti, “Contemporanea”, n. 2, 2017.

His current research project, which started in September 2021 and lasts twenty months, is financed by the Gerda Henkel Foundation and aims to cast new light on the fascist network that was able to reactivate itself after the end of WWII. It adopts both a transnational and comparative approach and it focuses on three different case studies, namely those of France, Italy and the UK. He is interested in post-war fascist history, in transitional justice and in gender history.



Ilaria De Seta, The American Diaries of Borgese (1935-1952)

The project falls within the studies on anti-fascist intellectual exile in America during the 1930s and 1940s, aiming to shed light on the collaboration among Italians, Europeans, and Americans, with a focus on Giuseppe Antonio Borgese (Polizzi Generosa 1882-Fiesole 1952). Borgese was in America from 1931 to 1952, engaging in political activities and establishing relationships with notable figures in the United States (Thomas and Elisabeth Mann) and in Italy (Benedetto Croce, Arnoldo and Alberto Mondadori). The project centers around his unpublished diaries (1935-1952), comprising ten handwritten notebooks, primarily in English, housed at the Humanities Library of the University of Florence, with plans for publication. The first five diaries (1928-1935) were published by Gonnelli in Florence under the direction of Maria Grazie Macconi in 2020. It all begins with a question, the answer to which will explain the reasons and help overcome Borgese’s long damnatio memoriae: why was he not considered an exile, part of the diaspora during the era of totalitarian Europe? To answer this question, one must step back and inquire why an established intellectual (though not openly anti-fascist) like Borgese was compelled to leave Italy. The reasons are somewhat clear but are still considered insufficient today to qualify as exile: he was not sent to confinement, not expelled from his country, and not forbidden from staying. However, the conditions in Italy became untenable for him starting from the memorandum drafted in 1928 by Gaudenzio Fantoli, the Rector of the Polytechnic of Milan, accusing Borgese of betrayal for his position in 1918 regarding the issue of eastern borders. The memorandum was followed by exclusions, intimidations, and violence. When Lauro De Bosis, a liberal anti-fascist teaching overseas since 1926, proposed that Borgese go as a Visiting Professor for a semester at the University of Berkeley, Borgese accepted. Objectives: 1) Transcription and translation into Italian of the ten handwritten notebooks containing Borgese’s unpublished American Diaries held at the Rare Books Room of the Humanities Library of the University of Florence, 2) Definition of the critical paratextual apparatus of the diaries, 3) Preparation of notes for the text, 4) Writing the introduction to the text, 5) Composing the author’s biographical note and critical bibliography.



Elisa Pareo, Italians and World War II in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais. Participations, Integrations, Returns, 1936-1948

Elisa Pareo is a Ph.D. candidate in Archaeological, Historical-Artistic, and Historical Sciences at the University of Verona, in co-tutorship with the Institut Français de Géopolitique at the University of Paris 8. During her research, she undertook an internship at the Institut de recherches historiques du Septentrion at the University of Lille. She graduated in History and Civilization at the University of Pisa with a Master dissertation titled “Today in France, Tomorrow in Italy! Urban Terrorism and the Pcd’I between Exile and Resistance.” She obtained a diploma in Archival Studies, Paleography, and Diplomatics at the School of the State Archive of Parma and collaborated with the Emilio Sereni Library and Archive. Her interests lie in the history of Resistance and the rural world, particularly in transnational anti-fascism and economic-political migration.

Her Ph.D. research, titled “Italians and World War II in Nord-Pas-de-Calais: Participations, Integrations, Returns,” proposes a socio-political study of the Italian community in the region between 1936 and 1948. The aim is to reflect on the impact of World War II on the participation in public life and political activities of a foreign community. The thesis seeks to contextualize the arrival of Italian migration in the region and describe its socio-professional profile. The main focus, however, is to study the attitudes of minorities involved in trade unions and politics. Key actors include the Italian Consulate in Lille, fascist associations, and anti-fascists associated with Italian groups or adhering to French leftist organizations. This analysis also considers French legislation regarding foreigners and its enforcement by public authorities, particularly during the German occupation.



Giovanni Brunetti, The pillars of the building. The Provincial Delegations of the High Commission for Sanctions against Fascism (1944-1948)

Giovanni Brunetti is a PhD student in Archaeological, Historical-Artistic and Historical Sciences at the University of Verona. She graduated in History and Civilization at the University of Pisa with a thesis entitled God does not pay on Saturday! The defascistization of the province of Livorno (1943-1947). He attended the two-year course of the Archival, Paleographic and Diplomatic School of the State Archives of Florence and actively collaborates with the State Archives of Livorno and the Historical Institute of the Resistance and Contemporary Society of the province of Livorno. His research topics range from the history of homosexuality in the contemporary age to that of the immediate post-war period, preferring a perspective capable of holding together local cases and a national point of view, aimed at bringing out discrepancies and continuity.

His doctoral project aims to study the provincial delegations of the High Commission for Sanctions against Fascism, the body set up in liberated Italy in the spring of 1944 to “de-fascistize” the entire Peninsula. In fact, while the political events that marked the gradual transition from the fascist to the democratic system are known thanks to various reconstructions, to date there is no research capable of giving us back how all this took place in the local context. The study of these institutions that were activated in every Italian province after the Liberation is able to quantify and qualify what happened in the periphery of the State, highlighting the attitudes of all the protagonists (political, institutional and social) called to deal with this problem.