In Search of the White International: Catholic-Communism Between the Wars

Tuesday 4 December 2012, 18.00-19.30

In Search of the White International: Catholic-Communism Between the Wars

This lecture proposes to explore the forms, language and content of the peasant protest in the Po Valley at the time of the First World War and of the Fascist regime. In particular, it will focus on the transnational biography of some of the organisers of the peasant (‘White’) Catholic unions in Italy, by following their path from the Italian plains to the European cities where they lived as anti-Fascist exiles. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the ‘death of ideologies’ historians have devoted more attention to the role of religion, both in the treatment of individual biography and in the study of political movements. While the understanding of politics in early 20th-century Europe has often been distorted by historiographical focus on the polarization between Communism and Fascism, this research aims at recapturing the complex political and cultural area that existed between them.

Claudia Baldoli (Newcastle University, BSR Balsdon Fellow)