The Department of History offers faculty-led study abroad courses sponsored by the MU International Center. One popular course is professor Linda Reeder’s three-credit program, Italy: From Fascism to Liberation in Rome.
Italy: From Fascism to Liberation in Rome
In September 1922, Mussolini announced, "it is our intention to make Rome the city of our spirit, a city that is purged and disinfected of all the elements, that have corrupted it and dragged it into mire. We aim to make Rome the beating heart, the galvanizing spirit of the imperial Italy that we dream of." The significance of Rome in Mussolini’s vision of the new empire meant that Rome encapsulated the rise and fall of Italian Fascism and the horrors of war. Traces of the Fascist dictatorship, the fall of Mussolini and subsequent German invasion, deportations and resistance are still visible in city streets and neighborhoods.
This program explores the history of Fascism and German occupation in Italy through the city of Rome. Students learn how fascism remade Rome, about life under German occupation, the history of the Jewish community and wartime deportations, and the resistance. During the four-week session, the class engages in weekly discussions of primary and secondary source readings. The city itself however is our main primary source. Each week, we take walking tours of the neighborhoods of Rome seeking out the places that appear in the readings. The program includes tours of museums, war memorials and monuments. Students work on an online exhibit of the history of Rome between 1922 and 1945, inaugurated by the class of 2014. Please contact the faculty program director for more information and how to apply.