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Title: History education and the school textbook in Fascist Italy : Fascist national identity and historiography in the 'Libro unico di Stato'
Author: Moon, Jun Young
ISNI:       0000 0004 8499 1840
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2016
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The Fascist government in Italy monopolised the textbook for primary schools in 1930. This act was the regime's bid to cultivate the Italiano nuovo and to transform Italy into a Fascist nation. By differentiating its education from the conventional contents and practices in Liberal Italy, the Fascist regime aimed at imbuing Italian children with a new national identity, which was expected to be a cornerstone of the Fascist Empire. History was regarded as one of the most crucial subjects for this goal and was high on the list of the regime's priorities when the state school textbook, the Libro unico di Stato, was written. This research is a study of the historiography in the Fascist state textbook. Despite the importance of history education and the school textbook in the project to Fascistise Italy, few studies are entirely devoted to analysing Mussolini regime's view of history in the Libro unico di Stato. This thesis attempts to redress this gap. By analysing the Libro unico's historical narrative - its messages, tropes, symbolism, thematic concerns, narrative strategies, languages, and periodization in all 9 volumes - this thesis demonstrates what ideological messages and values were taught by Fascist schools via history textbooks, how the textbook narrative transmitted Fascism's world view and its historical interpretation to pupils, and what the characteristic of the Fascist historiography in education was. In comparison, there are many studies about the Fascist presentation of history in visual culture (rituals, monuments, exhibitions, paintings, architecture and cinema) which illustrate that Fascism's use of history was not only a tool of propaganda but also an intricate combination of diverse motivations, existing ideas, well-established symbols, individual and governmental initiatives, conservative messages, and radically new styles and concepts. This thesis argues that the same is true in the narrative presentation of history. Through close reading of the Libro unico's historiography, this research proposes that Fascism's presentation of history in literary culture also reflected various ideological proclivities, widely used rhetoric, metaphor and languages, commonplace topics, manipulations for propaganda purposes, academic debates, legacies of liberal historiographies, and Fascism's own view of history. Ultimately, this thesis broadens our understanding of Fascism's use of history in the field of education and literary culture as part of its bonifca umana (human reclamation) project. The Libro unico di Stato is the medium that this study uses to investigate this subject.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available