Memory of the Risorgimento in the South: New Challenges

KNIR Research Dialogues (KRD)
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Krd Mammone

© Andrea Mammone. Image of a book cover ‘Protesta del popolo delle Due Sicilie’ written by Luigi Settembrini (1813-1877)

Can historical revisionism influence a sense of collective belonging? The unification of Italy is actually one of the most problematic subjects. Some political movements from northern Italy even grew up in contraposition with the Italian state. However, only few observers are considering how the memory of the Risorgimento is developing in southern regions. There is, in fact, an ignored story made up of anti-unification narratives and ad hoc memories built for socio-political reasons. These peculiar interpretations are gaining some appeal, being part of a wider debate blaming the Risorgimento (and the central state) for the southern backwardness. My research will therefore trace some of these Italian ‘stories’ – the building of myths, their lacunae, the oblivions, a nostalgia for the House of Bourbon.

Andrea Mammone is a historian of Modern Europe at Royal Holloway, University of London, and former visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania and the European University Institute. He is the co-editor of Cambridge University Press’s journal Modern Italy. He has published extensively on post-war and recent European far-right parties, neo-fascism, nationalism, and on Italian society and history. Mammone has also written for The Guardian, HuffPost, Washington Post, The New York Times, and the CNN, among others.