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HUMSS - Pamela Ballinger

Prof. Dr. Pamela Ballinger

History of Human Rights
University of Michigan

Infrastructure as History and Method: Rethinking Italy’s Fascist Empire
When Nov 15, 2021
from 03:00 PM to 04:00 PM
Where Seminar room
Contact Name
Attendees Universitätsoffen / open to university members
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Infrastructure as History and Method: Rethinking Italy’s Fascist Empire


Fascist Italy famously used infrastructure to project power at home and overseas, making its New Towns and public works projects propaganda showcases for the regime. In my book project, Materializing Empire: Infrastructures of Fascist Empire, I take up unexamined material aspects of Italian empire, asking how we can go beyond conceptions that view fascist infrastructural power in stark instrumental or ideological terms. Recuperating this history entails, for example, understanding how infrastructural projects rested upon scientific legitimacy and expertise: institutional linkages (such as the Istituto Agricolo Coloniale Italiano); organizations of scientists (such as the Regio Comitato Talassagrafico); key political and intellectual figures (including Arnaldo Mussolini and Arrigo Serpieri, both committed to forest conservation); and agronomic and maritime interventions in the overseas possessions. No less critical were transport linkages moving personnel and materials between colonies and metropole.

Given that research for the project remains in process, the presentation will be organized around a series of questions and methodological and conceptual knots through which I am working during my fellowship at FRIAS.