Political Violence: From the Storming of the US Capitol to the March on Rome


Political Violence: From the Storming of the US Capitol to the March on Rome

Grainy back and white photograph from the 1920s of about thirty Italian men wearing Fascist uniforms and posing in front of and on top of a bus

Italian Fascist paramilitary squadristi, 1921

Both the far right and far left have used and continue to use political violence for the purpose of destabilization or actual overthrow of the state. What do the methods and modalities of these movements across time and location have in common? Answering this question is central to addressing current challenges to democracy occurring across the globe.

Through a series of presentations centering on twentieth- and twenty-first-century American and European politics—particularly the present day, the 1960s and 1970s, and the era of Fascism and Nazism—this conference explores, in reverse chronology, how political violence has been mobilized to justify political ends by analyzing a series of questions: How did violence relate to the goals of the movement, and how was it represented by the perpetrators and victims? How was it legitimized and rationalized as a tool and instrument of mobilization? What role did previous war, combat, and policing experience play in the violent political mobilization?

Delivering the keynote lectures are Nancy MacLean (Duke University) on February 10 and Alexander Hinton (Rutgers University, Newark) on February 11. The conference speakers include: Manuela Consonni (Hebrew University), Donna Murch (Rutgers University), Simon Martin (Trinity College Rome/British School at Rome), Ousmane Power-Greene (Clark University), Matthew Myers (British School at Rome), Luca Peretti (University of Warwick), John Foot (University of Bristol), Giulia Albanese (University of Padua), Amy King (University of Bristol), Gabriele Proglio (University of Gastronomic Sciences), Giorgia Bulli (University of Florence), Alessandro Saluppo (University of Padua), Andrea Mammone (La Sapienza), and Marla Stone (American Academy in Rome and Occidental College).

The presentations will be given in English.

This event, to be presented in person at the Academy as well as on Zoom, is free and open to the public.

Watch the Proceedings

The Academy has created a playlist on its YouTube channel that gathers video of most presentations from Political Violence.

Thursday, February 10


Mark Robbins, President and CEO, American Academy in Rome

Marla Stone, Andrew W. Mellon Humanities Professor, American Academy in Rome, and Professor of History, Occidental College

Panel 1 - Political Violence and the Contemporary Politics of Left and Right

Chair: Elena Past, Rome Prize Fellow in Modern Italian Studies, American Academy in Rome, and Professor, Department of Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Wayne State University

Giorgia Bulli, Assistant Professor, Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Florence
Mainstreaming or Legitimation of Political Violence? Examples from Italy and Germany

Andrea Mammone, La Sapienza University of Rome
Legitimizing Contemporary Right-Wing Nationalism

Donna Murch, Associate Professor of History, Department of History, Rutgers University
The March to Save America: Black Radicalism and the Specter of Racial Fascism

Coffee Break

Panel 2 - Political Violence and Anti-Colonial, Anti-Racist, and Anti-Globalist Struggle

Chair: Mary Jane Dempsey, Rome Prize Fellow in Modern Italian Studies, American Academy in Rome, and PhD Candidate, Department of Romance Languages, Cornell University

Luca Peretti, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Warwick
Thirdworldism, Anticolonialism, and Violence in 1960s Italian Cinema

Ousmane K. Power-Greene, Associate Professor, History Department and Africana Studies, Clark University,
“Stop Killer Cops! Death to the Klan!” Black Activists Fight Racism and Fascism in the 1970s

Gabriele Proglio, Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary History, University of Gastronomic Sciences, Pollenzo
Facing Violence through a Metaphor. The Genoa G8 Summit: From a Single History to Multiple Stories

Keynote Lecture I

Nancy MacLean, William H. Chafe Distinguished Professor of History and Public Policy, Duke University
The Pre-History—and Likely Sequels—of the January 6, 2021 Insurrection at the US Capitol

Followed by a reception.

Friday, February 11

Panel 3 - Political Violence: Far Right and Far Left in the 1970s

Chair: Eugenio Refini, National Endowment for the Humanities Rome Prize Fellow, American Academy in Rome, and Associate Professor, Department of Italian Studies, New York University

John Foot, Professor of Modern Italian History, Department of Italian, University of Bristol
How Historians Talk about Violence: Experience, Micro-Histories, and the Lived Experience

Amy King, Lecturer in Liberal Arts, School of Humanities, University of Bristol
The Politics of Sacrifice: Remembering the 1973 Rogo di Primavalle

Matthew Myers, Rome Fellow, British School at Rome
The Spectre of 1922: The Italian Communist Party, Working Class Politics, and the Movement of 1977


Panel 4 - Fascist Political Violence I

Chair: Maddalena Carli, University of Teramo

Simon Martin, Research Fellow, British School at Rome/Trinity College
Giovanni Berta: Political Violence and the Mobilization of a Martyr

Alessandro Saluppo, ERC Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Padua
“Killing and Laughing, Laughing and Killing”: Some Observations on the Nature of Fascist Violence, 1921–1925

Marla Stone, Andrew W. Mellon Humanities Professor, American Academy in Rome, and Professor of History, Occidental College
The Names and Faces of the Enemy as a Mobilization for Fascist Political Violence, 1919–1922

Coffee Break

Panel 5 - Fascist Political Violence II

Chair: Victoria Witkowski, European University Institute

Giulia Albanese, Associate Professor of Modern History, University of Padua
A Violent March on Rome

Manuela Consonni, Pela and Adam Starkopf Chair in Holocaust Studies, Associate Professor, Department of Romance Studies and Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry, Director of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Julius Evola’s Apolitia: Praxis for Political Violence

Victor Isaac Taranto, President’s Fellow at the Mandel School for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The Inheritance of Violence in Fascism’s Second Generation

Concluding Discussion

Keynote Lecture II

Alexander Hinton, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Director, Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights, Rutgers University
White Power and the Rising Threat of Violence in the US

Followed by a reception.


Space in the Villa Aurelia is limited, and seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you plan to attend an event with a group of over six guests or students, please inform events [at] aarome.org (events[at]aarome[dot]org) with at least 48 hours prior notice so that special arrangements can be made.

Guests will be asked to comply with Covid-19 safety protocols for events:

  • Access to the Academy requires the presentation of a valid photo ID and a Super Green Pass
  • FFP2 masks are required when indoors, and temperature will be checked before entry
  • Visitor contact information may be shared for contact tracing

Please contact events [at] aarome.org (events[at]aarome[dot]org) with any questions.

Backpacks and luggage with dimensions larger than 40 x 35 x 15 cm (16 x 14 x 6 in.) are not permitted on the property. There are no locker facilities available.

Giorno e ora

giovedì 10 febbraio 2022 14:00–19:30
venerdì 11 febbraio 2022 11:00–19:30

Villa Aurelia
Largo di Porta S. Pancrazio, 1
Roma, Italia