McGuire, Valerie

Lecturer of Italian and Comparative Literature

University of St Andrews, School of Modern Languages, United Kingdom


United States

Max Weber alumnus

Department of History and Civilization

Cohort(s): 2013/2014

Ph.D. Institution

New York University, United States


I completed my PhD in the Department of Italian Studies at New York University in April, 2013 with the dissertation, ‘Fascism’s Mediterranean Empire: Occupation and Governance in the Dodecanese Islands (1912-43)’.

Drawing on post-colonial theory, my thesis is an interdisciplinary study of the project for Italian expansion in the eastern Mediterranean in what was a formerly Ottoman territory that today is part of national Greece. In the first part of the thesis I explore how representations of expansion in the region were important for the construction of Italian national identity and for fantasies of Fascist dominance in the Mediterranean. I examine travel literature as well as myriad documents related to the development of a tourism economy on the large islands of Rhodes and Kos. In the second part of the thesis, I examine Fascist colonial governance of the Dodecanese Islands. I focus on the development of unique citizenship policy as a means to partially integrate ‘white’ colonial subjects of the Mediterranean into the Italian Metropole. I then further investigate how fears of proximity eventually engendered the need to introduce policies of race and to police mixed unions and marriages.

I will use the Max Weber Fellowship to transform my dissertation into a book that includes new material on relations between Italians and Dodecanese subjects, collected in the academic year 2012-2013 with the support of a Fulbright fellowship for Greece.

My research interests broadly centre on post-colonial theory and its implications for understanding modern Italian culture. I have extensive experience teaching Italian culture courses to undergraduates at New York University, including courses on Italian literature, cinema and Italy’s relationship to the wider Mediterranean.
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