Political History PhD Network | Workshop 2019 Florence | Programme

Identities and Politics throughout History

5th Workshop for PhD Candidates in Political History (second session)

17-18 October 2019
Sala del Torrino, Villa Salviati, Florence

Contact: Laura Borgese – email:  laura.borgese@eui.eu


  • Carlos Antolín Rejón (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
  • Ignacio García de Paso García (EUI)
  • Stefano Poggi (EUI)
  • Alessandra Vigo (Università di Padova)


Identities are powerful drives in human history. They build the understanding of the world of all human actors, and inevitably affect their actions. Both collective and individual identities are – now as ever – key features of all political activities. The creation and the control of identities are at the heart of all power relations, and as such they have been deeply investigated by human sciences. Indeed, political historians encounter the performative power of identities in most of their research. Nevertheless, they rarely find spaces to debate on identity issues and the tools needed to understand them. The main goal of the Florentine session of the 5th Workshop of the Political History PhD Network is to provide such space.

Since the cultural turn, the constructivist stance has been crucial in historiography. The seminal works of Benedict Anderson and Eric Hobsbawm have questioned ethnical and national identities, while E.P. Thompson with his The making of the English working class has inaugurated the investigation on the construction of class identities. In the meantime, gender studies have shown the cultural nature of gender identities. More recently, studies on personal identification have revealed the close relation between political power and the control of personal identities. In any case, it remains clear that it is not possible to conduct research on political history without questioning the identities used by both the historical actors and the historical observers as ourselves. 


Thursday, 17 October 

9:00-10:00             Registration and Welcome coffee

10:00-10:15            Welcome by Stefano Poggi and Ignacio Garcìa de Paso

Session 1: Reconfiguring Identities


McCann, Irish clerical communities in Paris and Rome 1770-1830

Braga, “Procura-se viúva de bons costumes”: Women widowhood, identity and property over the Plaquevent, from sexual politics to identity politics in France (1930-1970)

12:15-13:30           Lunch, Canteen

Session 2:              Militant Identities


Castillo, We, who produce, work and pay. The political radicalisation of the propertied classes in Spain and Portugal (1870-1915)

Albornoz, Fascism and Nationalism: The Transnational Construction of a Right-wing Militant in Argentina 50-60

Salo, Weekly newspaper create Italy new right wing identity 1950-1953

Priorielli, The nation in the construction of fascist and Falangist identity?

15:30-16:00          Coffee break, Cloister

16:00-17:00          Keynote speech, Jenny HESTERMANN – Title TBA

19:45                     Dinner

Friday, 18 October

Session 3: Identities and National Building


Avalli, Constructing Italian racial identity: the Etruscan question 20-30

Casales, Reframing Whiteness. The Symbolic Imaginary of Miscegenation in Fascist Italy

Darksen, Disability, Nation-Building and Indigenous Identity in Postcolonial Greenland 1981

Priorielli, Title tba

11:00-11:30            Coffee break, Cloister

Session 4: Diplomacy and Identities


Ciappi, Think tanks, Atlantism, and the construction of Western World identity

Ponte e Sousa, Portuguese foreign policy and change in national identity: Europe and the transition to democracy

Ennas, Ottoman Diplomats characterising Italian populations during the Risorgimento (1848-1870)

Slingerland, Professional and political collective identities show their limitations when patients’ personal identity breaks the gridlock flying European heart patients to the US

13:30-15:00           Lunch

15:00-16:15           Keynote speech by Lucy Riall

16:15-17:00           Concluding Session: The Future of the Political History PhD Network

17:00                     Cocktail