Everyday Dictatorship


Dr Kate Ferris, Principal Investigator

I am a Reader in History in the School of History at the University of St Andrews. I joined the University in 2009, following a lectureship at the University of Durham, and seven years of doctoral and postdoctoral work at UCL. My research interests are in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Italian and Spanish history, with a particular focus on subjectivity, agency, and the ‘lived experience’ of dictatorship. I am author of Everyday Life in Fascist Venice, 1929-1940 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) and Imagining ‘America’ in Late Nineteenth Century Spain (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), and co-editor of The Politics of Everyday Life in Fascist Italy. Outside the State? (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). I am also interested in research methodologies related to ‘playing with scales’ between different spatial units of analysis from the micro and individual scale through the local and the national to transnational and supra-national scales of analysis. I am co-editor of a special issue of The International History Review entitled ‘Size Matters: Space and Scale in Transnational History’ (2011).

I am currently Principal Investigator of the five-year ERC-funded research project Dictatorship as Experience: a Comparative History of Everyday Life and the ‘Lived Experience’ of Dictatorship in Mediterranean Europe. Prior to this, I held an AHRC Early Career Fellowship for a project called In Vino Veritas: Alcohol and its Spaces in Fascist Italy. The purpose of this research was to explore the role of bars and other places where alcohol was consumed as spaces of continued (and changing) political sociability in Fascist Italy. It explored both the changing and sometimes dissonant attitudes of the Fascist regime towards alcohol consumption, and how alcohol served as a mediating agent between ‘ordinary’ individuals and regime authorities. I am co-editor of a special issue of Contemporary European History dealing with alcohol and its relationship to power, agency, identity, and practice (2019).

Dr Huw Halstead, Research Fellow (Greece)

My research focuses on conflict, displacement, memory, and public history, with a particular focus on the history of the Mediterranean world and former Ottoman territories. My book Greeks without Greece: Homelands, Belonging, and Memory amongst the Expatriated Greeks of Turkey (Routledge, 2019) combined oral history, archival research, and ethnographic fieldwork to explore the identities and memories of the displaced Greek communities of Istanbul and the island Imbros. I’ve also conducted research on return migration; the 1974 conflict on Cyprus; place and landscape in Thessaly; digital memory and transnational solidarities; and Holocaust education.

Before joining the School of History at the University of St Andrews, I was the Macmillan-Rodewald Postdoctoral Student at the British School at Athens, and an Associate Lecturer in the Department of History and the Institute for the Public Understanding of the Past, University of York. I have taught courses on public history, oral history, the Holocaust and genocide, Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, decolonisation, urban history, modern British history, and historical methodologies. I hold a PhD, an MA (by Research), and a BA in History from the University of York. More of my research can be found in the journals History & Anthropology, History & Memory, Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, and Modern Greek Studies.

Dr Grazia Sciacchitano, Research Fellow (Italy & Spain)

My research engages in a comparative and interdisciplinary approach to the study of twenty century Italy and Spain. I am interested in the understanding of how ideologies, policies and politics worked in praxis, investigating in particular their impact, and how they have been embodied and reshaped by people and societies (both urban and rural). I am also interested in the methodology of comparative history and in new perspectives and paradigms on the Mediterranean Europe, that are able to break down national boundaries and dichotomies such as modernity and backwardness, ‘central’ and ‘peripheral’ nation-states of Europe.

I obtained my PhD at the European University Institute in September 2018 with a dissertation entitled ‘The Damned of the South: rural landless labourers in Sicily and Andalusia, 1946 to the present.’ Through a comparison structured on different scales I investigated the socio-economic reforms that were implemented in Italy and Spain during the 1950s and 1960s and the direct effects that they had on the two territories and people who lived there. Indeed, my dissertation reveals the centrality of landless labourers in the shaping of Italian and Spanish history in the 1950s and 1960s, as it describes their passage from the traditional peasant economy to that of farming business based on labourers.

Joshua Hill, PhD Candidate (Spain)

I joined the Dictatorship as Experience project after completing a BA in History at Manchester Metropolitan University, and an MA in Contemporary History at the University of Birmingham. My previous research interests have been centred around gender and masculinity, and towards the end of my MA I became increasingly interested in the intersection of drugs and gender in modern societies. I hope to continue to engage with these themes as part of the Dictatorship as Experience project, alongside my PhD research on Late Francoist Spain.

Yannick Lengkeek, PhD Candidate (Portugal)

I completed an undergraduate degree in Rhetoric and History at the University of Tübingen, Germany and a Master’s degree in Colonial and Global History at Leiden University, the Netherlands. During my undergraduate studies, I worked as a student assistant and helped to develop a public history project on the history of the French occupation of Southwest Germany. I also published a series of articles in the local press and co-developed and organised a guided city tour to inform the larger public about this topic.

During my Master’s I focused on issues related to anticolonial nationalism, the history of social and political movements, and decolonisation in colonial Indonesia. My MA thesis used Dutch and Indonesian archives to investigate the impact of fascism on an influential nationalist party in late colonial Indonesia. A summary of my findings was published in Fascism: Journal of Comparative Fascist Studies, and my research was funded by the Leiden University Fund (LUF) and awarded the ‘National Master’s Thesis Prize for Asian Studies 2018’ by the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS).