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Silvana Patriarca

Silvana Patriarca

Professor of History
Office: Dealy Hall 625
Phone: 718-817-3937


1992: PhD, History, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

1986: MA, History, University of Texas at Austin

1981-82: Université de Liège (non-degree)

1980: Laurea in Lettere, Summa Cum Laude, Università di Torino

Research Interests

I specialize in the socio-cultural history of modern Italy.  My main research interests include nationalism, gender, race and the making of national identities, the political uses of emotions, and the production of modern types of knowledge.

After early research on the social history of industrialization and demographic change in the nineteenth and twentieth-centuries, I moved to the study of the production and politics of statistics in connection with the Risorgimento and the making of the Italian nation state in the nineteenth century. This became the subject of my first book, Numbers and Nationhood.  Italian nationalism and the gendered discourse of national character in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Italy were the subject of my second book, Italian Vices. I recently co-edited a collection of essay on the relationships between nationalism and culture in nineteenth-century Italy and am currently writing a book on the history of racism in post-1945 Italy. I have also undertaken a study of political emotions with a particular focus on the political uses of shame in nationalist discourse.

Publications (Books)

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).

Publications (Articles)

“Fear of Small Numbers: ‘Brown Babies’ in Postwar Italy,” in Contemporanea. Rivista dell' '800 e '900, December 2015.

“Gli italiani non sono razzisti”: costruzioni dell’italianità tra gli anni Cinquanta e il Sessantotto,” in Il colore della nazione, ed. Gaia Giuliani, Le Monnier, 2015.

“Relazioni pericolose: “razza” e nazione nel Risorgimento,” in La costruzione dello Stato-nazione in Italia, ed. A. Ricciardi, Rome, Viella, 2012.

“A Patriotic Emotion: Shame and the Risorgimento,” in The Risorgimento Revisited. Nationalism and Culture in Nineteenth-Century Italy, ed. Silvana Patriarca and Lucy Riall, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

“Unmaking the Nation? On the Uses and Abuses of Garibaldi in Contemporary Italy,” Modern Italy 15: 4 (2010).

“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).

Courses Taught

Mediterranean Europe Since 1800
European Fascisms, 1919-1945
Comparative Nationalisms
Nationalisms and Racisms in Modern Europe

Contemporary History
Understanding Historical Change: Modern Europe
Modern Italy
Italy in the Wider World
Italy Through Foreign Eyes
Nationalisms in the Modern World
Race and Nation in Modern Europe

Curriculum Vitae