Personal profile

Research interests

Research interests:

  • Fascism and neofascism
  • Transnational memory cultures
  • Commemoration and national identity
  • Oral history
  • Memory studies
  • Public history

Research overview: 

My research examines the role of secular martyrs in the construction of Italian identity. Martyrs have played a key role in the construction of Italian national identity, especially in the wake of national violence, making these stories crucial for our understanding of how the nation and its subjects understand their history and identity. 

My first monograph, The Politics of Sacrifice: Remembering Italy’s Rogo di Primavalle, was published by Palgrave in 2024 with a foreword by Professor Alessandro Portelli. It offers an original and comprehensive study of the memory of the Rogo di Primavalle, a fatal arson attack on the home of a far-right family on 16 April 1973. Perpetrated by members of the militant left group Potere Operaio, this was the first attack on a domestic space during Italy’s Years of Lead. Through analysis of media coverage, books, and social media; observation of commemoration ceremonies; visits to sites of memory; and oral history interviews conducted by the author, The Politics of Sacrifice argues that memory of the Rogo has been instrumentalised by neo-fascist groups over the past 50 years. Drawing on contemporary theoretical debates relating to public and private memories, I connect the construction of a narrative of sacrifice to challenges faced by the institutional far right from the time of the Movimento Sociale Italiano in the 1970s, Alleanza Nazionale in the mid-1990s, and Fratelli d’Italia today. With the far right on the rise in Italy and abroad, the book identifies the characteristics of remembering that define far-right memory culture and investigates the role of memory in building support for the far right over time.

I am also very interested in transnational memory cultures. My article 'The Battle for Influence: Memory of Transnational Martyrs in the U.S. Italian Diaspora Under Fascism' analyses commemoration of the Italian antifascist Giacomo Matteotti and the Blackshirts Giuseppe Carisi and Michele Ambrosoli, who were killed in New York, and proposes the concept of the transnational martyr. I argue that the transnational exchange evident in commemoration of both case studies added to the propagandistic power of the martyrological narrative of personal sacrifice by drawing meaning from geographical distance from Italy.

My PhD research examined secular martyrdom in 20th century Italy and into the present day. It used two case studies – the Primavalle Arson (1973), and the kidnap and assassination of Giacomo Matteotti (1924) – to examine the role of martyrdom in the construction of collective identity in Italy. I have published academic research on the memory of Matteotti, and co-authored a piece on the centenary of his assassination for Time magazine titled 'The Centennial of an Assassination in Italy Offers a Sober Warning for Today.'

PhD Supervision

I am currently co-supervising a PhD on popular consensus in Italy during the Fascist dictatorship. I welcome applications from candidates working on the far-right globally, political violence (and the ways it is remembered), and memory studies more broadly.



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