Completed or Ongoing Projects
Zapruder World is both an Open Access History journal and a global network of historians and political activists. The journal aspires to “transform the way we look at history, the way historical research is organized, and the way historical knowledge is transmitted from one generation to another.” In addition to my ongoing responsibilities as a Managing Editor, I oversaw the development of the journal’s WordPress-based CMS (Content Management System) website, and co-edited Volume 5, which examines “The Politics of Provisions in Global Perspective.”
The #NewFascismSyllabus is a crowd-sourced collection of writings on the history of fascist, populist, and authoritarian movements and governments during the 20th and 21st centuries. The syllabus is intended as an entryway into the scholarly literature for those seeking deeper insights into how past societies gravitated towards and experienced varieties of right-wing authoritarianism. In addition to managing the Syllabus’ website and social media accounts, I co-authored the group’s letter of concern regarding the growing threat of authoritarianism to democracies around the world in November, 2020.
This digital anthology is the public facing, student authored weblog of a modern European history course which I have taught at University of California, Santa Barbara and University of California, Los Angeles (2018-2021). The course, which shared the same name as this Open Access volume, explored the various political, economic, social, and cultural upheavals which took place in Europe between the two world wars, and asked its participants to consider the various parallels between developments during the 1920s and 1930s and today’s international community.
This digital resource is a keyword searchable Society for Italian Historical Studies (SIHS) sponsored research database consisting of some 2,500 digitized primary source materials pertaining to the history of Italy between the middle ages and the twenty-first century. In constructing the database, I gathered metadata and URLs from a wide range of mostly Open Access digital repositories, including the National Central Library and the websites of various university libraries throughout Italy. Moving forward, I intend to continue working with my team at the SIHS to continue curating this valuable research tool by adding additional resources and further developing its accompanying metadata infrastructure.
“Sorella fascista”: The Collected Writings of an American Fascist in Interwar Italy’s African Empire
This digital annotated sourcebook project is centered on the collected writings of a fascist sympathizer from New York City by the name of Ruth Williams Ricci. Having served both as a volunteer nurse in the Italian Red Cross and, later, as a freelance journalist during the Second Italo-Ethiopian War, Ricci set out to document what she believed to be Mussolini’s “civilizing expedition” in Ethiopia in order to convince her fellow Americans of Fascist Italy’s “right” to additional colonial territories in East Africa. Following a brief propaganda tour along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, Ricci set out once again for Fascist Italy’s African territories in 1938, driving herself from General Francisco Franco’s Spain, across North Africa, and to Eritrea and Ethiopia in a customized Dodge coupe. After receiving her long awaited FBI files, which I have requested via a Freedom of Information Act request, I intend to finish transcribing and editing her collected papers and publish them, along with an editor’s introduction, as an Open Access digital volume using The Alliance for Networking Visual Culture’s Scalar platform.
Between September 2018 and July 2019, I gathered over 50 full-sized posters from Rome’s walls and alleyways, principally from the city’s most notorious neo-fascist neighborhoods. In addition to the posters themselves, I also kept detailed notes on the dates, times, locations, and surrounding conditions from which I gathered them. I intend to use these resources in constructing an Omeka-based digital collections website featuring both hi-res photographs of the posters in question, as well as information on each of Rome’s neo-fascist groups, their organizational histories and, in some cases, connections to Benito Mussolini’s fascist dictatorship, as well as to one another.
Following my promotion to Associate Professor, I intend to build an interactive virtual model of the regime’s Exhibition of the Fascist Revolution using the open source 3D modelling and game engine software, Blender and Unity, respectively. Held between 1932 and 1934 in Rome’s Palace of Exhibitions, the Exhibition, in the words of historian Marla Stone, “recreated, through a mélange of art, documentation, relics and historical simulations, the years 1914 to 1922, as interpreted by fascism after ten years in power.” Featuring twenty-three rooms, ranging from the triumphant Room of the Leader to the solemn Chapel of Martyrs, the Exhibition was accompanied by a range of sonic and visual elements, all of which were intended to heighten the political and spiritual impacts of the ideologically-charged spaces through which the Exhibition’s estimated 2,800,000 visitors passed. Using archival source materials at the Central Archive of the State in Rome, I will develop a working virtual reality model of the exhibition which will include the soundscapes and visual stimuli featured in the original Exhibition.