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International Conference: "Minorities in Armies: Ethnicity, Race, Alienage"

Minorities in Armies: Ethnicity, Race, Alienage

Tuesday 30th June 2015, 10.00 am - 5.30 pm

International Conference: "Minorities in Armies: Ethnicity, Race, Alienage"

University of Warwick, The Institute for Advanced Study, Seminar Room

Against the backdrop of a perceived national uniformity in the armed forces, in the Modern and Contemporary Age the military has been characterized by a sizeable presence of ethnic and racial minorities, as well as of aliens. The topic has been widely overlooked by scholarship; yet it seems necessary to investigate further an issue that could eventually lead to contesting the widespread perception of the military as an agent of cultural homogenisation and nationalisation. The conference will therefore seek to pose theoretical questions through papers by scholars who have studied specific cases, focusing in particular (but not exclusively) on WWII. 

Specifically, the one-day conference will be based on a morning and an afternoon session, each composed of three speakers and one respondent, followed by time dedicated to debate.

The first session will take into account experiences related to Italians or Italian ethnics in the Allied armed forces in WWII, or people of Italian descent enrolled in the Italian armed forces. The second will analyse the experience of ethnic and racial minorities in the British armed forces from WWII to recent times.

The conference is FREE and lunch is provided, but since numbers are limited registration is required. The deadline for registration is 20th June.




10:00-10:15 Registration

10:20-10:30 Introductory remarks.

Session 1 (10:30-1:30), "Italians and Ethnic Italians in the Italian and Allied Armed Forces".

Chair: TBA

10:30-10:50 Dr Joao Fabio Bertonha (State University of Maringá): The Legione Parini dei fasci all'estero: A transnational experience of Italian immigrants in the Ethiopian War (1935-1936).

10:50-11:10 Dr Matteo Pretelli (University of Warwick): Allied soldiers of Italian descent in WWII: An overview.

11:10-11:30 Dott. Francesco Fusi (University of Pisa): Allied soldiers of Italian descent in WWII: A Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis.

11:30-12:00 Coffee break.

12:00-12:15 Respondent: Prof Christopher Duggan (University of Reading).

12:15-1:30 Debate.

1:30-2:30 Lunch.

Session 2 (2:30-5:30), "Ethnic and Race Minorities in the UK Military".

Chair: TBA

2:30-2:50 Dr Wendy Ugolini (University of Edinburgh): Forgotten Ethnicities in the British Army: a British Italian Case Study.

2:50-3:10 Prof David Killingray (Goldsmiths University of London): Black voices on Britain’s Two World Wars.

3:10-3:30 Dr Simona Tobia (University of Reading): Loyalty and hatred: The role of enemy aliens in British HumInt in and after the Second World War.

3:30-4:00 Coffee break.

4:00-4:15 Respondent: Prof Bruce Collins (Sheffield Hallam University).

4:15-5:30 Debate.

7:00-8:30 Dinner.


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