Mussolini’s Rome: Italian Fascism and the Politics of Knowledge

T. Corey Brennan (Classics)

This course examines Fascist appropriation and misappropriation of
Roman history, art, literature, architecture, and archaeology, especially in
the city of Rome, but throughout the Italian peninsula and the short-lived
Italian empire, with the focus on the years 1922-1943. The focus is especially
on Mussolini’s casting about in the past to shape his public image, first as
Julius Caesar but eventually as the 20th century’s answer to Augustus,
the founder of the Roman empire. The Fascist regime’s dual emphasis on
restoring ancient monuments and building new monumental complexes
will receive close attention. The class will utilize an array of sources to
understand the main developments in the era, including small media
and ephemera (postage stamps, coins, medallions, postcards, school
notebooks); contemporary newsreel footage (culled from the ca. 4,000
hours newly available on the Cinecittà Luce website); and unpublished
material from a newly-rediscovered archival collection in Rome. No
knowledge of Italian is required.

Course Number: 
01:090:101 section 03 index 07683