James Fortuna

MPhil, History (Cantab.), MPhil, Classics (Dub.), BA, History & English (West Virginia University)



Contact Details
Email: jf253@st-andrews.ac.uk

Thesis Title: Architectural Diplomacy, Cultural Heritage, and the Popular Reception of Fascist Participation in the International Expositions of 1933-42
Supervisor: Professor Riccardo Bavaj







My research interests lie in the cultural, social, and spatial history of twentieth-century Europe and the United States, with a particular focus on the classically-inflected architectural production of the interwar period and its relationship to the (re)construction of national identity. I am especially interested in instances of creative or ideological transfer between states and the spaces or places in which this might have occurred. I also explore the extent to which various interpretations of cultural heritage came to influence the reimagined built environments of Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, and the New Deal USA.

Through the generous support of the St Leonard’s College International Scholarship, my PhD dissertation will further develop these interests under the supervision of Prof. Riccardo Bavaj and the Institute for Transnational and Spatial History. In exploring the ways architectural form and urban design were deployed as tools of diplomacy at the several international exhibitions held between 1933-42, this project will recast the historical role played by the international expositions while investigating potential links between the ambassadorial, domestic, and even imperial elements of state-sponsored design throughout the interwar period. My study will focus heavily on the lived experience of the fairs in order to gauge the popular response to specific national pavilions.


“Neoclassical Form and the Construction of Power in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.” In Brill’s Companion to the Classics in Fascism and Nazi Ideology, edited by Kyriakos Demetriou and Helen Roche, 435-456. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2018.