Workshop: The Architectural Heritage of Fascist Italy from 1945 until Today

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This workshop aims to bring together scholars working in Italy, the Netherlands, and beyond to explore what happened to the architecture of Fascism from 1945 to the present day. The objective is two-fold: on the one hand, the workshop will shed new light on the architectural heritage of Fascism as an aspect that, until recently, was often ignored. On the other hand, it will capitalize upon a recent growth of interest in the afterlives of Fascist buildings and monuments. Interdisciplinary in scope, the workshop will unite historians, architectural historians, archaeologists, and urban anthropologists to explore the subject from different angles. The ultimate goal is to carve out new paths for research into architecture as a crucial legacy of the regime.


The workshop will include panels with invited speakers on the major architectural, planning, and archaeological projects of Mussolini’s regime, and on broader and theoretical approaches to urban heritage. At the same time, it will speak to global debates around difficult heritage and monuments associated with dictatorship, imperialism, and racism. There will be a keynote lecture in Italian open to the public with the aim to bridge academic research with wider discussions in Italian society.


Graduate students will also be invited to take part in the workshop and, in preparation, will participate in a guided tour of Fascist sites.



9:30-11:00      Historical perspectives

Chair: Maria Bonaria Urban (KNIR & University of Amsterdam)

Hannah Malone (KNIR & University of Groningen), “Introduction to the workshop: New directions in the study of Fascist architectural heritage”

Nick Carter (Australian Catholic University), “Beyond Rome: Brescia and the Difficult Heritage of Fascism”


11:00-11:30    Coffee break


11:30-13:00    Colonial perspectives

Chair: Carmen Belmonte (University of Roma Tre & Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History)

Selena Daly (University College London), “Dealing with the Material Legacies of Italian Fascist Colonialism in Post-Communist Tirana”

Beatrice Falcucci (KNIR & Università dell’Aquila), “Shrines and museums “per i caduti d’oltremare” in post-fascist Italy”

Victoria Witkowski (British School at Rome & European University Institute), “The Public Memor(ies) of Rodolfo Graziani”


14:00-15:30    Architectural perspectives

Chair: Antonello Alici (Università Politecnica delle Marche & British School at Rome)

Giorgio Lucaroni (Istituto Nazionale Ferruccio Parri), “Gli incompiuti. Architetture e architetti tra la Roma fascista e la Roma repubblicana”

Maria Grazia d’Amelio & Lorenzo Grieco (University of Rome, Tor Vergata), “Obliterated memory. Continuity of propaganda on monuments in 20th-century Italy”

Lucy M. Maulsby (Northeastern University), “‘The House of No-one:’ The legacy of fascist era architecture in postwar Italy” 


15:30-16:00    Coffee break


16:00-17:30    Memory perspectives

Chair: Marla Stone (American Academy in Rome & Occidental College)

Franco Baldasso (Bard College NY), “The Ruins of Fascism as a Cultural Heritage: Dismissing Historicist Paradigms in Early-Postwar Italy”

Andrea Martini (University of Verona), “A new (?) cult of the dead to live a second time. The re-emergence of Italian fascism after 1945”

Mia Fuller (University of California, Berkeley), “Fascism and Heritage: Demises and Revivals in the Pontine Marshes’ New Towns, 1945 to the Present”


17:30–19:00   Keynote lecture

Lucia Ceci (University of Rome, Tor Vergata), “La memoria dei luoghi del fascismo in Italia: primi bilanci e prospettive di ricerca”