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Joshua Arthurs, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Teaching Fields


Research Interests

Dr. Arthurs is a cultural, intellectual and social historian of twentieth-century Italy and Europe. His research focuses on problems of commemoration, conflict, political culture and everyday life during the Fascist period. He also a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome.

His current project, Forty-Five Days: Experience, Emotion and Memory after Mussolini, explores everyday experiences during the immediate aftermath of the Fascist regime in 1943. In looking at this moment of upheaval and transition, he seeks to understand three overlapping problems: first, what the regime’s collapse revealed about the internal functioning and daily realities of life under a dictatorship; second, what conflicts and challenges confronted a society emerging from two decades of authoritarian rule; and third, how the dynamics of regime change have shaped subsequent memories and legacies. To this end, he is exploring case studies in retributive and ritual violence; revolutionary iconoclasm and damnatio memoriae; and denunciations and communal protest.

He is also co-editor, with Michael Ebner and Kate Ferris, of The Politics of Everyday Life in Fascist Italy: Outside the State? (Palgrave MacMillan, 2017). This volume draws its inspiration  from Alltagsgeschichte (the history of everyday life), exploring the extent and limits of Fascism’s “totalitarian” grasp and the ways in which ordinary Italians variously embraced, rejected, avoided or appropriated the regime’s aggressive overtures.

His first book, Excavating Modernity: The Roman Past in Fascist Italy (Cornell UP, 2012), looks at the intersection of ideology, history and archeology, and romanità under Mussolini’s regime. Across a series of case studies – in historical scholarship, urban archaeology and museum display – he explores the ways in which intellectuals approached the Eternal City as a blueprint for Fascist modernity, a source of dynamic values to be realized in the present, and a model for imperial conquest.

For more information on his research, please visit his homepage or his profile on

Courses Offered



The Politics of Everyday Life in Fascist Italy: Outside the State? (co-edited with Michael Ebner and Kate Ferris, Palgrave MacMillan, 2017).

Excavating Modernity: The Roman Past in Fascist Italy (Cornell University Press, 2012).

Journal Articles:

“Settling Accounts: Retribution, Emotion and Memory during the Fall of Mussolini.” Journal of Modern Italian Studies 20.5 (2015), 617-639.

”’Voleva essere Cesare, morì Vespasiano’: The Afterlives of Mussolini’s Rome.” Civiltà Romana. Rivista pluridisciplinare di studi su Roma antica e le sue interpretazioni 1 (2015), 283-302.

“The Excavatory Intervention: Archaeology and the Chronopolitics of Roman Antiquity in Fascist Italy.” Journal of Modern European History 13.1 (2015), 44-58.

“The Eternal Parasite: Anti-Romanism in Italian Politics and Culture since 1870.” Annali d’Italianistica Vol. 28, 2010: 117-136.

“Roma Sparita: Local Identity, Memory and Modernity in Fascist Rome”. Città e Storia Vol. 3, no.1-2, 2008: 189-200.

Chapters in Edited Volumes:

"Bathing in Eternal Rome: The Mostra Augustea della Romanità,” in The Classical Tradition and Fascist Ideology: A Companion, eds. Helen Roche and Kyriakos Demetriou (Brill, in press).

“Combattere ‘l’altro’ dopoguerra: conflitto sociale nel Mezzogiorno, 1943-1944,” in Oltre il 1945. Violenza, conflitto sociale, ordine pubblico nell’Europa del dopoguerra, eds. Camilla Poesio, Enrico Acciai, Guido Panvini and Toni Rovatti (Viella, 2017), 33-48.

“Memory,” in The Politics of Everyday Life in Fascist Italy: Outside the State?, 205-232.

“Introduction,” with Michael Ebner and Kate Ferris, in The Politics of Everyday Life in Fascist Italy: Outside the State?, 1-17.

“Il fascismo come ‘eredità’ nell’Italia contemporanea” in Andrea Mammone, Giuseppe Veltri and Nicola Tranfaglia, eds., Un paese normale? Saggi sull’Italia contemporanea. Baldini Castoldi Dalai, 2011: 209-232.

“Fascism as Heritage in Contemporary Italy,” in Andrea Mammone and Giuseppe Veltri, eds., Italy Today: The Sick Man of Europe. Routledge, 2010: 114-127.

“(Re)Presenting Roman History in Italy, 1911-1955,” in Claire Norton, ed., Nationalism, Historiography and the (Re)Construction of the Past. New Academia Press, 2007: 27-41.