Projects per year
- Transnational memory cultures
- Commemoration and national identity
- Fascism and neofascism
- Oral history
- Memory studies
- Public history
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.
I am currently writing my first monograph, provisionally titled Politics of Sacrifice: Remembering Italy’s 1973 Rogo di Primavalle, which considers the ways in which memory of the 1973 arson attack has been incorporated into neo-fascist identity from the Movimento Sociale Italiano to CasaPound. By demonstrating the relevance of this memory to contemporary neo-fascist identity, it addresses the narratives of persecution that have sustained neo-fascist identity in the face of a perceived failure to remember. I recently published part of this research in the journal Modern Italy.
I am also very interested in transnational memory cultures. My forthcoming 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. Using methodologies including oral history interviews, analysis of media discourse, observation of commemoration ceremonies, and by analysing the iconography and text on monuments, my thesis addressed the role of the secular martyr in the construction of collective identity.
I am also interested in memories of working life on the Bristol City Docks. I recently completed a public engagament project collecting these memories through oral history interviews. Outputs included a soundscape, website including archived images, a play performed at M Shed and a shadow puppet show in partnership with an Aardman animator and the Bristol Ferry Company.
King, A., 1 Feb 2020, In: Modern Italy.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article (Academic Journal) › peer-review
Italy’s secular martyrs: the construction, role and maintenance of secular martyrdom in Italy from the twentieth century to the present dayAuthor: King, A., 23 Jan 2019
Supervisor: Bull, A. (Supervisor) & Foot, J. (Supervisor)
Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis › Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)File