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Dr. Simona Tobia – University of Reading

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Dr. Simona Tobia

Photograph of S Tobia



I am a Lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages and European Studies where I teach on the core modules of the European Studies BA programmes, especially Modern European History, War Crimes in Europe and Modern Italian History.

As a researcher I have been involved in projects such as 'Languages at War: policies and practices of language contacts in conflict', and I participated in the Imperial War Museum's project War Story collecting nine oral history interviews with Royal Marine Commandos recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan. 

Areas of Interest

My research focuses primarily on the history of war and culture in the Twentieth Century, especially of the Second World War and of the Cold War.

Currently, I am interested in investigating humanity through the lens of war and conflict, and the current focus of my research is on the role of culture in interrogation and questioning, especially in the contexts of military, intelligence and prisoners of war interrogations, transitional justice interviews (especially in war crimes investigations and trials) and refugees and asylum seekers interviews. I use a range of methodologies: my current work has a particular emphasis on archival research (National Archives, London) and on oral testimony, both pre-recorded interviews, and my own newly performed interviews.

I am also interested in the history of culture and propaganda, and in their role in the Cold War; during my work on the United States Information Service (USIS) and Voice of America (VOA) I focused on American public diplomacy in Italy and I developed an interest in international broadcasting.

Research groups / Centres

Languages at War

Imperial War Museum


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Number of items: 21.









This list was generated on Sat May 25 13:59:30 2019 UTC.

H. Footitt and S. Tobia, War talk. The role of foreign languages in World War II, Palgrave-Macmillan, forthcoming.

Three invited book chapters: "Interrogating suspects", "Managing language resources pre-professionalization", and "Being an interpreter", in Lagnuages at War. The role of foreign languages in conflict situations, (book resulting from the AHRC funded project based at the University of Reading) - forthcoming.

"Questioning the Nazis: languages and effectiveness in British war crimes investigations and trials in Germany, 1945-1948", in Journal of War and Culture Studies, vol. 3, n 1, 2010, pp. 123-136

"Crime and judgement. Interpreters/Translators in British war crimes trials, 1945-1949", in The Translators Special Issue 'Translation and Violent Conflict', vol. 16, n 2, 2010, pp. 275-293

Guest-editor of Cold War History's Special issue 'Europe Amercianized? Popular Reception of Western Cold War Propaganda', vol. 11, n 1, Feb 2011, forthcoming, resulting from the workshop organised at the University of Reading on 27th November 2009.

'Advertising America: VOA and Italy', in Cold War History's special issue Europe Americanized? Popular Reception of Western Cold War Propaganda, vol. 11, n 1, Feb 2011, forthcoming

Book: Advertising America. The United States Information Service in Italy, 1945-1956, Milano, LED Edizioni Universitarie, 2009.

Invited book chapter "Mike: una 'voce dell' America' alla Rai", in Scarpellini E., Schnapp J. (ed.) Italiamerica, Milano, II Saggiatore, fothcoming, currently in press

Invited book chapter "VOA, the BBC and the RAI's Western Choice. British and American International Broadcasting in Italy, 1945-1957", in P. Major and L. Risso (ed.) War for teh Ether: Radio Propaganda in Cold War Europe, forthcoming

Invited essay "Mutamenti politico-istituzionali nella Venezia Giulia e a Treste tra Tito e gli americani ala luce delle nuove testimonianze documentarie da Washington 1944-1954", written with Dr R. Cairoli, as part of the project Rapporti economici e mutamenti istituzionali nell'Alto Adriatico in eta moderna e contemporanea. This will result in a book chapter published in the edited book Alto Adriatico, forthcoming - currently in press

Book chapter: "Panorama e Milano", in Milano anni Sessanta. Dagli esordi del centro-sinistra alla contestazione, Manduria Bari Roma, Piero Lacaita Editore, 2008.

"La verità e il benessere. L'USIS in Italia tra il 1945 e il 1956", article accepted for publication by the refereed Italian historical journal I sentieri della ricerca, edited by Angelo Del Boca. Forthcoming - February 2009.

"International Broadcasting, la guerra nell'etere. Voice of America e BBC World Service" in Problemi dell'informazione. Trimestrale di media e comunicazione, Il Mulino, n. 2, 2008, pp. 222-250.

"Note sulla diplomazia culturale Americana in Italia negli anni della guerra fredda", in Storiografia. Rivista annuale di storia, anno XI, n. 11, 2007, pp. 173-203.

Author of the literature section (160 pages) of the encyclopaedia Il Friuli about the Italian region of Friuli published in 2006 by Touring Club in cooperation with the newspapers Il Piccolo (Trieste's daily) and Il Messaggero Veneto (Udine's daily).

"In battaglia con la cinepresa" in Millenovecento, n. 17, Feb 2004.


Laurea (BA Hons) in Modern Languages, Universita degli Studi of Milan, Italy
PhD in Modern and Contemporary History, Universita degli Studi of Milan, Italy

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