Monday, November 15th, 2021 Material Culture Wars: Lessons from Italy

Monday, November 15, 20212:00PM - 4:00PMOnline Event, Online Event


More than seven decades after the collapse of Mussolini’s regime, the physical and iconographic traces of Italian Fascism – monuments, buildings, inscriptions, artworks – remain a lightning-rod of controversy. In this talk, historian Joshua Arthurs considers the central role played by Fascist material culture in contemporary debates over the future of Italian democracy and national identity, race and immigration, and memory and modernity. He also considers the implications of Italian debates for current memory politics in Canada and around the globe.

Joshua Arthurs is an Associate Professor in the Department of Historical and Cultural Studies at the University of Toronto-Scarborough, specializing in the cultural, social, and intellectual history of modern Italy and Europe. His interests include fascism and the far right; the politics of memory, monuments and museums; ideologies of race, empire, and the classical tradition; and everyday life in wartime and dictatorship. He is the author of Excavating Modernity: The Roman Past in Fascist Italy (Cornell University Press, 2012) and co-editor of Outside the State? The Politics of Everyday Life in Fascist Italy (Palgrave MacMillan, 2017). His current book project, Forty-Five Days: Emotion, Experience and Memory after Mussolini, under contract with Oxford University Press, examines popular responses to the collapse of the Fascist regime in 1943. He has also written extensively on the afterlives of Fascist monuments in contemporary Italy and contested heritage in a global context.


Joshua Arthurs
Associate Professor, Department of Historical and Cultural Studies, UTSC

Robert Austin
Professor, Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies

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