Areas of interest
I am a social and oral historian specializing in the social and cultural history of modern Italy, intercultural encounters in conflict zones, and occupation studies. I am particularly interested in the exploration of soldiers and civilians’ perceptions of war and in the understanding of how war and conflict affect people’s lives.
My interdisciplinary approach to the analysis of historical and cultural issues primarily focuses on the use of autobiographical sources in connection with official archival documentation, artworks, literature, films, music, and objects. I have published on both the Second World War Nazi and Allied occupations of Italy, on intercultural encounters in wartime as well as on other conflict-related subjects. My PhD thesis in Italian Studies, entitled ‘Encounters in Wartime Italy: British Soldiers and Italian Civilians, 1943-1944’, was an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) between the University of Reading and the Imperial War Museums (IWM).
My MA thesis was an oral history of Via Tasso, the HQ and prison of the Gestapo and the SD in Rome during the Second World War German occupation of the city. This was the first academic study to focus on this site and it was published as a monograph by Odradek Edizioni as Via Tasso. Quartier generale e carcere tedesco durante l’occupazione di Roma (2016).
My research interests include: twentieth-century social and cultural Italian history; social history of the Second World War; social history of war and life under totalitarian regimes; social history of military occupations; intercultural encounters in wartime; oral history; sensory history.
I taught undergraduate modules on the history of modern Italy and Italian cultural history (IT10MI), the transformation of the Italian society from 1968 to the present (IT3CCO/HS3CCO), and Nationalism and Regionalism in modern Europe (EU2UNR/HS2UNR).
I also worked as a Research Assistant on the project ‘Mapping the Translation of European Literature in the British Publishers and Printing Archive’, at the University of Reading.
- PhD in Italian Studies (University of Reading)
- MA in Modern and Contemporary History (Sapienza, Università di Roma)
- BA in History (Sapienza, Università di Roma)
- Royal Historical Society (RHS);
- Association for the Study of Modern Italy (ASMI);
- Oral History Society (OHS);
- Società Italiana per lo Studio della Storia Contemporanea (SISSCO);
- American Association for Italian Studies
- Occupation Studies Research Network
- IWM War and Conflict Subject Specialist Network
2016: Simonetti, F., Via Tasso. Quartier generale e carcere tedesco durante l’occupazione di Roma (Rome: Odradek) (332 pages). ISBN: 9788896487556.
journals and volumes
2020: Simonetti, F., ‘Shaping Each Other: British and
Italian Depictions of the Enemy (1935-1943)’, in Fascism and Anti-fascism in
Great Britain, ed. by T. Colacicco (Pisa: Pacini), pp. 221-241. ISBN:
2020: Simonetti, F., ‘Researching Testimonial Objects: The Postmemory of the Allied Occupation of Italy through the Imperial War Museum’s Collections’, Status Quaestionis. Language, Text, Culture (special issue): Narrating World War II. Transcultural Articulations of Postmemory in Literature and Other Media, 18, 171-188. ISSN: 2239-1983;
2020: Simonetti, F., ‘The Landings in Sicily: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Perception of a Wartime Encounter’, in Wars in History. Historical Documents and Actual Problems of Archaeography, Archivistics, Source Studies, Russian and World History of Modern and Recent Times (Moscow: Political Encyclopaedia Publisher), pp. 380-385;
2016: Simonetti, F., ‘From the Alps to the American Air Museum: Pont-Saint-Martin and the Memory of the Bombing Raid of 23 August 1944’, IWM Despatches, 23, 26-29. ISBN: 978-19-0489-747-7;
2012: Simonetti, F. et al., ‘La Colonna Traiana si racconta con HyperColumna’, Archeomatica, 3, 40-41.
2015: Simonetti, F. and Ricciardi, C. (eds.), Il ragazzo con i baffi. Lettere dalla Russia (Rome: IlMioLibro) (107 pages). ISBN: 9788891097477.