BSR Online Lecture | 1921 e dintorni: World War I and its Veterans

MONDAY 28 JUNE, 18.00–19.30 CET


Angel Alcalde (Melbourne), Martina Salvante (Nottingham) and Vanda Wilcox

This event will take place via Zoom and requires advance registration. Please click here to reserve your place.

The critical role of the First World War in the rise of Mussolini’s political movement has long been the subject of debate. A watershed moment regarding Fascism’s political, economic, social origins and anthropological roots, Italian veterans constituted a significant part of the early Fascist squads. Most notable were the arditi who brought the experience and violence of the trenches to the streets of Italy in 1921, in addition to their black-shirted uniforms that were appropriated by the Fascist movement. This conversation, in English, will explore the role and memory of the War and its veterans in the explosion of violence that preceded Fascism’s rise to power. 

Angel Alcalde is Lecturer in History at the University of Melbourne. He holds a PhD from the European University Institute (Florence, Italy). He is a specialist in the social and cultural history of war, transnational history, and the history of fascism. His latest monograph, War Veterans and Fascism in Interwar Europe was published by Cambridge University Press in 2017. He also has published widely on the Spanish Civil War and the Franco regime. 

Martina Salvante is Assistant Professor in Twentieth-century European History at the University of Nottingham, after having been a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow at the University of Warwick. She specialises in the social and cultural history of Modern Italy and Europe with particular interest in topics like fascism, gender, sexuality, the First World War and disability. Her recent publications include her monograph La paternità nell’Italia fascista. Simboli, esperienze e norme, 1922-1943 (Roma: Viella, 2020) and the chapter Trauma in post-First World war Italy: Experiences, erasures and denials for the volume Gender and Trauma since 1900 edited by Paula A. Michaels and Christina Twomey and published by Bloomsbury in 2021. In 2020 she edited the special issue “Gender and Disability in the Two World Wars” for the Journal of Social History (53/3), which also includes her article “The Wounded Male Body: Masculinity and Disability in Wartime and Post-WWI Italy”.

Vanda Wilcox is the author of Morale and the Italian Army in the First World War (2016) and editor of Italy in the Era of the Great War (2018). She has taught at John Cabot University and Trinity College, Rome Campus, and most recently at NYU Paris. Her new book, The Italian Empire and the Great War is published by Oxford University Press in June 2021.