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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Manuela Di Franco


Sidney Sussex



Prof. Robert Gordon

About me:

I graduated cum laude in Political Science from the Università degli Studi Roma Tre, where I defended a thesis in history of political parties focused on women’s organisations in Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. I obtained my Master’s Degree cum laude in International Relations at the same university, defending a thesis in American History (‘Le trasfromazioni degli Stati Uniti e l’Italia Fascista. 1922 – 1939’). My Master's dissertation examined the main changes that occurred in American society during the interwar years, investigating how Fascist Italy viewed American media and culture. I specialised in history of Fascist Italy, and focussed on the conflicting images of modernity and the role of women within the totalitarian state.

My research:

The Popular Press and American Models in Fascist Italy.

My research investigates the influence of foreign models, particularly American models and culture, on the development of mass press in Fascist Italy.

Through the analysis of three popular magazines, Omnibus, Grazia, and L’Avventuroso published by Rizzoli, Mondadori, and Nerbini respectively, I am investigating the development of the Italian rotocalco, paying particular attention to the presence of foreign models.

I am conducting first-hand examination of periodicals published between 1934 and 1943 both in Italy and the United States, in order to assess the Americanisation of Italian culture during the Fascist era.

Conference papers:

‘Fascist Italy and the Ideal Woman: A View From Rotocalchi. The case of Grazia (1938-1943)’, paper presented at the Social History Society XL Anniversary Conference, University of Lancaster, UK, March 2016

‘American Culture and Italian Rotocalchi: Omnibus (1937-1939)’, paper presented at the ASMI Summer School, University of Reading, UK, June 2015