Wednesday27Mar 2024

Ferrucci Institute - Windows to Italy Series

"A Place in the Sun: Jews and the Italian Empire" a talk by Dr. Shira Klein

Wednesday, March 27, 2024 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. PST
2024-03-27 19:00 2024-03-27 20:30 America/Los_Angeles Ferrucci Institute - Windows to Italy Series Go to event listing for more details: LL 205 Henley Reading Room Dr. Federico Pacchioni

Free to attend

LL 205

Henley Reading Room

General Public

Everyone is welcome to attend

Between the 1890s and 1930s, Italian Jews embraced the colonization of Africa. As staunch nationalists, they reveled at Italy’s expansion. As Jews, they believed the empire would help their brethren, namely, the thousands of indigenous Jews living in Libya and Ethiopia. Yet the very opposite happened: Italians, like other European colonizers, proved oppressive towards their colonized populations, including Libyan and Ethiopian Jews. Italian Jews adopted their country’s outlook towards colonized populations and increasingly regarded Jews in Africa as racial inferiors, denying their ability to self-govern even while trying to help them navigate the stormy seas of empire. Moreover, Italian Jews unwittingly contributed to their own downfall, since they partook in the very racism that would fuel Fascism’s anti-Jewish campaign from 1938 to 1945. What does it reveal about how Jews, a minority themselves, related to the oppression of other minorities?

Guest Speaker: Dr. Shira Klein

Shira Klein, Ph.D. is associate professor of History at Chapman University, specializing in Italian Jewish history. Her book Italy’s Jews from Emancipation to Fascism (Cambridge University Press), selected as finalist for the 2018 National Jewish Book Award, uncovers the Italian Jewish experience from the late nineteenth century to the Holocaust and postwar years. Her next book project examines Italian Jews’ role in Italy’s African empire, with a focus on Libya and Ethiopia. Klein has received support from multiple sources, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Barbieri Foundation for Modern Italy, and the USC Shoah Foundation. Additionally, Shira researches historical disinformation on Wikipedia, and has overseen Wikipedia editing by 147 students who have added a total of 58,000 words to Wikipedia articles, including on Italian history. At Chapman, Dr. Klein teaches Jewish history, modern Europe – including Italy, and migration history.

By clicking the Windows to Italy button on the right, more information about the series is available.

The Doy and Dee Henley Reading Room is located on the 2nd floor of the Leatherby Libraries. Please view the Interactive Campus Map by clicking the button to the right. Within the map, click on the "Buildings" option and scroll to the "Leatherby Libraries."



You can contact the event organizer, Dr. Federico Pacchioni at

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