Brian J Griffith

I write and teach courses on the political and cultural history of modern Europe, with a special emphasis on the history of Italian Fascism, food and beverage history, the history of (trans)nationalism, and Digital and Public History. My current research focuses on the history of industrial-scale winemaking and national identity in Mussolini's Italy (1922-1945), the history of transnational volunteerism during the Second Italo-Ethiopian War (1935-1936) and the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), and the history of neo-fascism in Italy between the 1950s and the 2010s. A graduate of University of California, Santa Barbara (Ph.D., 2020), I served as the inaugural Eugen and Jacqueline Weber Postdoctoral Scholar in Europe History at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) between 2020 and 2022, and am currently serving as a Visiting Instructor in Modern European History at UCLA and Scripps College.

What I Do

Research

My current research focuses on the intersections between Fascism, the circulation of commodities, and identity construction in interwar Italy and its immigrant colonies.

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Teaching

I teach courses on Modern Italian, European, and World History, 20th and 21st century fascisms, the history of food, beverages, and consumerism, and Digital and Public History.

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Media

In addition to my research and teaching, I frequently write history-focused opinion and analysis articles and give interviews with media outlets, independent journalists, and podcasts.

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Curriculum Vitae

Education

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
2012–2020

University of California, Santa Barbara

Department of History

Master of Arts (M.A.)
2009–2011

San Francisco State University

Department of History

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
2007–2009

Sonoma State University

Department of History

Employment

Visiting Instructor
2022–

Scripps College

Department of History

Visiting Instructor
2022–

University of California, Los Angeles

Department of History

Postdoctoral Scholar
2020–2022

University of California, Los Angeles

Department of History

Lecturer
2020; 2022

University of California, Santa Barbara

Department of History

Selected Fellowships and Grants

2022

“Ad-Hoc” Trinity College Research Grant in Modern Italian History

Cesare Barbieri Endowment
Trinity College

2020–2022

Eugen and Jacqueline Weber Postdoctoral Scholar in European History Fellowship

Department of History
University of California, Los Angeles

2018–2019

Fulbright Study/Research Grant

Institute of International Education
Sapienza Università di Roma

2015–2016

Council for European Studies Pre-Dissertation Research Fellowship

Council for European Studies
Columbia University

Selected Publications

Chapters

"'Propaganda for Our Italy': Ruth Williams Ricci, Women’s Mobilities, and Fascist Italy’s African Empire, 1935-1941"

In Andrea Germer and Jasmin Rückert, eds., Gendering Fascism: Organisations, Bodies, Representations (forthcoming with Brill)

"(Inter)National Spirits: Alcoholic Beverage Fashions in Mussolini’s Italy"

In David Inglis and Hang Kei Ho, eds., Drinks in Vogue: Understanding the Interplay Between Fashions and Beverages (forthcoming with Routledge)

Public

“Voyage to Fascism”

Hoover Digest No. 4 (October 2022): 211-229

Co-authored with Sarah A. Curtis and Jason Lahman, "Blogging in the Classroom: Using a Blog as a Supplemental Resource"

Perspectives on History: The Newsmagazine of the American Historical Association (April 1, 2012)

Download My Curriculum Vitae

To download an extended version of my Curriculum Vitae, featuring my full list of publications, conference and workshop presentations, fellowships, grants, and awards, and professional contributions, please click on the button provided below.

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Research

Wine and Identity in Interwar Italy

Wine and Identity in Interwar Italy

Article, Monograph
The Second Italo-Ethiopian War

The Second Italo-Ethiopian War

Archive, Article, Digital, Monograph, Volume
The Spanish Civil War

The Spanish Civil War

Digital, Volume
Neo-Fascism in Postwar Italy

Neo-Fascism in Postwar Italy

Archive, Digital

Teaching

Topics and Themes

European History

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Food History

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Digital History

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Public History

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Experience

Scripps College

Spring 2023

"Eating and Drinking in the Time of Totalitarianism"

Undergraduate Historiography Proseminar

Fall 2022

"Gender, Culture, and Authoritarianism in Interwar Europe"

Undergraduate Upper-Division Course

Fall 2022

"Histories of the Present: Crossroads"

Interdisciplinary Humanities

UC Los Angeles

Spring 2023

"A History of Italy: 1848-Present"

Undergraduate Upper-Division Course

Spring 2021 - Winter 2023

"Interwar Crisis: Europe, 1918-1939"

Undergraduate Upper-Division Course

Fall 2022

"Comparative Fascisms: 1920s-Present"

Undergraduate Historiography Proseminar

Summer 2022

"Europe After Hitler, 1945-Present"

Undergraduate Upper-Division Course

Fall 2021

"Eating and Drinking in the Time of Totalitarianism"

Undergraduate Historiography Proseminar

UC Santa Barbara

Summer 2018 - Summer 2022

"Interwar Crisis: Europe, 1918-1939"

Undergraduate Upper-Division Course

Spring 2020 - Summer 2022

"Food in World History"

Undergraduate Upper-Division Course

Spring 2020

"Theories and Practices of Digital History"

PhD-Level Historiography Seminar

Summer 2015

"Modern European Political and Cultural History, 1789–Present"

Undergraduate Upper-Division Course

Media

Presentations & Interviews

March 17, 2022

Uncorked History: Wine and Identity in Mussolini's Italy”

Uncorked History Podcast with Dr. Jamie L.H. Goodall and Kelly Therese Pollock

A podcast interview on my ongoing research on winemaking and identity construction in interwar Italy.

July 14, 2021

Wine Over Time: Fascist Italy”

Wine Over Time Podcast with Dr. Steven Marks and Julia Marks

A podcast interview on my ongoing research on winemaking and identity construction in interwar Italy.

December 1, 2020

"Wine, Beer, and the Politics of Identity in Fascist Italy"

UCLA Center for European and Russian Studies

A virtual talk on wine and beer marketing battles in Fascist Italy.

Opinions & Perspectives

February 24, 2022

"Failure to Respond to Putin’s Aggression Could Prove Catastrophic: How the League of Nations’ Weak Response to Italy’s Invasion of Ethiopia Helped Precipitate World War II"

The Washington Post

An OpEd on the comparisons between Benito Mussolini's conquest of Ethiopia (1935-1936) and Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine (2022-).

January 31, 2021

"The March on Washington"

UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy

An OpEd on the parallels between Trumpism and interwar European fascisms.

October 31, 2020

"How to Keep the Lights On in Democracies: An Open Letter of Concern by Scholars of Authoritarianism"

New Fascism Syllabus

A co-authored, open letter of concern by scholars of authoritarianism on the dangers of neo-authoritarianism to democracies in North America and beyond.

Community & Engagement

2021-2022

"Interwar Crisis Book Talks"

University of California, Los Angeles

A series of book talks held in conjunction with my course "Interwar Crisis: Europe, 1918-1939" at University of California, Los Angeles during the Spring 2021 and Spring 2022 quarters.

December 31, 2021

"How the Politics of Prosecco Explain What Took the Fizz Out of the Democrats"

The Guardian

An OpEd by Mark Blyth on the politics of prosecco in Italy, which mentions my research on winemaking under Benito Mussolini's dictatorship.

Contact Me

brianjgriffith [at] ucla.edu

Get in touch with me via email

Twitter Profile

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Academia.edu Profile

View my Academia.edu profile

ORCID Profile

View my ORCID profile

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