Research Seminar: Il fascismo visto dagli altri

Reception and Self-representation of Italian Fascism from the March on Rome to the Fascist Empire
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To question how it was possible that Benito Mussolini came to power and maintained it for two decades, also means reconstructing the international political and cultural context in which this occurred. Despite Mussolini’s initial reluctance to stress the international significance of fascism, the latter became the object of interest and analysis far beyond national borders from the very beginning, when the ‘Fasci di combattimento’ (1919) were born on the backdrop of the Italian postwar crisis. Fascism thus was considered from the outset as a phenomenon of transnational interest, to which the diasporic character of the Italian nation also contributed.

If the literature on Italian fascism is endless, much remains to be said about its international reception. A hundred years after the March on Rome, this research seminar intends to address two main issues. Firstly, by focusing on different sources, it aims to explore how Mussolini and fascism were perceived in Europe and in North and South America in particular between the March on Rome and the creation of the Italian Empire. Secondly, it intends to compare the international imagery of fascism with A noi! (1923), the celebratory documentary created by the fascists themselves to mark the first anniversary of the March on Rome. By comparing how fascism was received at home and abroad, the research seminar ultimately aims to shed new light on the phenomenon of Italian totalitarianism and situates it in the complex global political and cultural context of the time.

Organisation: Dr. Maria Bonaria Urban (KNIR) in collaboration with Dr. Beatrice Falcucci (KNIR Fellow) and Archivio Storico Luce



14.15-14.20       Welcome and introduction, Maria Bonaria Urban, Director of Studies in History (KNIR)             


Panel 1 – The Reception of Fascism in North and South America

Moderator:  Marla Stone (American Academy Rome)

14.20-14.40       Federica Bertagna (University of Verona), The (Failed) March of Fascism on Argentina, 1922-1935

14.40-15.00       Matteo Pretelli (University of Naples ‘L’Orientale’), Loving Il Duce: Americans and Italian Fascism


Panel 2 – The Reception of Fascism in Europe

Moderator: Beatrice Falcucci (KNIR Fellow)

15.00-15.20       Andrea Mammone (Sapienza University of Rome), Fascism in France. A transnational history

15.20-15.40       Maria Bonaria Urban (KNIR), Italian Fascism through the Dutch gaze

15.40-16.00       Daniel Knegt (University of Amsterdam), Fascist Mythologies and Realities in Dutch media


16.00-16.30       Break


Panel 3 – A noi! The March on Rome on Screen

16.30-16.40       Patrizia Cacciani (Archivio Storico Luce), Introduction

16.40-17.10       Gianmarco Mancosu (School of Advanced Study, University of London), A noi! and beyond: mass-mediated fantasies and memories of the fascist foundational myth


Round table

Moderator: Beatrice Falcucci (KNIR Fellow)

17.10-18.00       Bertagna, Knegt, Mammone, Mancosu, Pretelli, Stone, Urban

18.00                  Conclusion & drinks



We would like to thank the director of the Archivio Storico Luce Enrico Bufalini, Patrizia Cacciani and Andrea Scappa of the Ufficio studi
for their kind permission to screen the film A noi!


Archivio Luce Logo Pos



© images from left to right:
1. 21299_VE 42074 (Baldin, Luigi, 2014 ©MIBACT). URL:
2. Foto from the article: Carmela MALTONE, «Scrivere contro. I giornali antifascisti italiani in Francia dal 1922 al 1943», Line@editoriale [En ligne], N° 005 – 2013, Varia, mis à jour le : 24/03/2017. URL :
3. Image from: Le regioni d’Italia: ai giovani italiani d’oltre confine, ospiti delle colonie estive del Fasci all’estero, al mare e ai monti della Patria questo documento della tradizione e della bellezza dell’Italia nostra. URL:
4. Fasci Italiani All’Estero (Italian Fascist Organisations Abroad) membership card, no 26757, Adelaide. URL: