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I teach and research in the field of modern European history, with a particular focus on Italy and Spain from the late nineteenth century to the mid twentieth century. My research interests lie specifically in questions of subjectivity, agency and the ‘lived experience’ of dictatorship; processes of cultural production and reception; and methodologies related to 'playing with scales' between different spatial units of analysis from the micro and individual scale through the local and the national to transnational and supra-national scales of analysis. To this end, I have researched and published in two key related areas:
1. Everyday life, subjectivity and agency in Fascist Italy. This was the subject of my first monograph, Everyday Life in Fascist Venice (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) and my recently published co-edited collection (with Josh Arthurs and Michael Ebner), The Politics of Everyday Life in Fascist Italy. Outside the State? (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). It’s also the inspiration for the AHRC Early Career Fellowship project I’m currently tying up, entitled ‘In vino veritas: Alcohol and its spaces in fascist Italy’. This project is interested in exploring the role of bars and other places where alcohol was consumed as spaces of continued (and changing) political sociability in fascist Italy, and of alcohol as a mediating agent between ‘ordinary’ individuals and regime authorities in the context of a dictatorship that had totalitarian pretensions, ruled with coercion and violence and sought to shut down pre-existing avenues for political expression and discussion. It also explores the changing and sometimes dissonant attitudes of the fascist regime towards alcohol consumption and how these intersected with official attitudes and popular practices relating to questions of gender, national identity, health and morality.
2. Transnational cultural production, exchange and reception. This was the subject of my second monograph, published in 2016, Imagining ‘America’ in Late Nineteenth Century Spain (London: Palgrave Macmillan).
In the near future, I intend to bring together these research interests with a project examining the lived experience of dictatorship in ‘Mediterranean Europe’, which will take in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece.
I came to the University of St Andrews in 2009, following a lectureship at the University of Durham and seven years of doctoral and postdoctoral work at University College London. Whilst completing my PhD, I also spent a year as a Marie Curie doctoral fellow at the Università Ca’Foscari in Venice.
I am a member of the School’s Institute for Transnational and Spatial History.
Offers the following honours course:
And the following Special Subject
I currently co-supervise PhD students working in the fields of 19th century Italian and Spanish history. I am happy to supervise students working on any aspect of the political, social and cultural history of Spain and Italy from the late 19th to mid 20th century.