I specialize in the history of modern Italy with an emphasis on socio-cultural approaches and a research interest in the making of modern ideologies and types of knowledge. I have written in particular on issues related to the history of industrialization and socio-demographic change in the nineteenth and twentieth-centuries, the politics and epistemology of statistics in connection with the making of the modern nation state, the production of social categories, gender, nationalism and the construction of national identities in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I am currently exploring the interaction between ideas of nation and “race” and working on a book on the history of racism in post-1945 Italy. I have also undertaken a study of political emotions in modern Italy with a particular focus on the political uses of shame.
The Risorgimento Revisited. Nationalism and Culture in Nineteenth-Century Italy, co-edited with L. Riall (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2012)
Italian Vices. Nation and Character from the Risorgimento to the Republic (Cambridge University Press, 2010); Ital. transl.: Italianità. La costruzione del carattere nazionale (Laterza, 2010)
Numbers and Nationhood: Writings Statistics in Nineteenth-Century Italy (Cambridge University Press, 1996); Ital. transl. Costruire la nazione. La statistica e il Risorgimento (Istat, 2011).
“Relazioni pericolose: “razza” e nazione nel Risorgimento,” in La costruzione dello Stato-nazione in Italia, ed. A. Ricciardi, forthcoming, Rome, Viella, 2012.
“Il sesso delle nazioni: genere e passioni nella storiografia del nazionalismo,” Contemporanea. Rivista di storia dell’800 e ‘900, 10 (2007)
“Indolence and Regeneration. Tropes and Tensions of Risorgimento Patriotism,” The American Historical Review, 110: 2 (2005)
“National Identity or National Character? New Vocabularies and Old Paradigms,” in Making and Remaking Italy. The Cultivation of National Identity Around the Risorgimento, ed. A. R. Ascoli and K. von Henneberg (Berg, 2001)
“Italian Neo-Patriotism: Debating National Identity in the 1990s,” Modern Italy 6:1 (2001)
“Essayists and Journalists, c. 1850-1914,” in A History of Women’s Writing in Italy, ed. L. Panizza and S. Wood (Cambridge University Press, 2000)
“How Many Italies? Representing the South in Official Statistics,” in Italy’s “Southern Question”: Orientalism in One Country, ed. J. Schneider (Berg, 1998)
“Gender Trouble: Women and the Making of Italy’s ‘Active Population,’ 1861-1936,” Journal of Modern Italian Studies 4 (1998)