Andrea Martini, Democracies and Fascism (post 1945)


Andrea Martini received his PhD in International Studies from the University of Naples “L’Orientale” in 2017 with a thesis focused on the Italian transition from fascism to democracy. He was a post-doctoral researcher for two years (January 2019-December 2020) at the University of Padua, and was a 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 has written the book After Mussolini (Viella, Rome 2019) and several articles, such as Sconfitti? An analysis of fascist memoir literature and its success, “Journal of Modern Italian Studies”, Vol. 25/3, 2020; A New Political Agility: Italian Neo-Fascism from a Comparative and Transnational Perspective (1945-1951), “Storica”, n. 75, 2019 and Transitional Justice. The trial of the Muti Battalion, “Contemporanea”, n. 2, 2017.


Her current research project, which began in September 2021 and will last twenty months, is funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation and aims to shed new light on the fascist network that was able to reactivate itself after the end of the Second World War. It takes both a transnational and comparative approach and focuses on three different case studies, namely those from France, Italy and the United Kingdom. She is interested in post-war fascist history, transitional justice and gender history.




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


The project is part of the studies on the anti-fascist intellectual exile in America in the thirties and forties, it aims to shed light on the collaboration of Italians, Europeans and Americans, focusing on Giuseppe Antonio Borgese (Polizzi Generosa 1882-Fiesole 1952), in America from 1931 to 1952, on political activities and on relations with some figures of particular interest in the United States (Thomas and Elisabeth Mann) and in Italy (Benedetto Croce,  Arnoldo and Alberto Mondadori), in the light of his unpublished Diaries (1935-1952), ten handwritten notebooks, written mainly in English, kept at the Humanistic Library of the University of Florence, which is being published for which it is being prepared. The first five (1928-1935) were published by Gonnelli in Florence under the care of Maria Grazie Macconi in 2020. It all starts with a question, the answer to which will explain the reasons and lead to overcoming Borgese’s long damnatio memoriae: why was he not considered an exile, part of the diaspora at the time of totalitarian Europe? To answer this question, we need to take a step back and ask ourselves why an established (and not openly anti-fascist) intellectual like Borgese was pushed to leave Italy. The reasons are in some ways very clear, but at the same time still considered not sufficient to speak of exile: he was not sent into exile, he was not expelled from his country, he was not prevented from staying there. But conditions in Italy had become unlivable for him since the memorial drawn up in 1928 by Gaudenzio Fantoli, Rector of the Polytechnic of Milan, who accused him of treason for the position he had taken back in 1918 on the question of the eastern borders. The memorial was followed by exclusion, intimidation and violence. When Lauro De Bosis, an anti-fascist liberal who had been teaching overseas since 1926, offered him a semester as a visiting professor 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 kept in the Sala Rari of the Humanistic Library of the University of Florence, 2) definition of the critical paratextual apparatus of the diaries, 3) preparation of the notes to the text, 4) drafting of the introduction to the text, 5) drafting of the author’s biographical note and critical bibliography.




Elisa Pareo, The Italians and the Second World War in Nord-Pas-de-Calais. Participations, integrations and returns


Elisa Pareo is a PhD student in Archaeological, Historical-Artistic and Historical Sciences at the University of Verona, in co-tutorship with the Institut Français de Géopolitique of the University of Paris 8. In the course of her research, she did an internship at the Institut de recherches historiques du Septentrion of the University of Lille. She graduated in History and Civilization at the University of Pisa with a thesis entitled Today in France, tomorrow in Italy! Urban terrorism and the PCI between exile and the Resistance. She obtained a diploma in Archival, Palaeographic and Diplomatic Studies at the School of the State Archives of Parma and collaborated with the Emilio Sereni Library-Archive. She is interested in the history of the Resistance and the peasant world, but above all in transnational anti-fascism and economic-political migration.


The doctoral research, entitled The Italians and the Second World War in Nord-Pas-de-Calais. Participations, Integrations, Returns offers a socio-political study of the Italian community in the region between 1936 and 1948. The aim of the thesis is to reflect on the impact of the World War on the participation in public life and political activity of a foreign community. Firstly, we aim to contextualize the arrival of Italian migration in the region and to describe its socio-professional profile. However, the main issue is to study the attitude of minorities acting at the trade union and political levels. The actors involved will therefore be the Italian Consulate in Lille, fascist associations and anti-fascists, associated in Italian groups or adherents of French left-wing organizations; without forgetting the French legislation against foreigners and its application by the 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.