This comparative project about catholic women in Italy and in France during the Interwar period (1920-1939) will benefit from the EUI international perspective and structure. Having just completed a comparative study of two important mass organizations of conservative Catholic women in early 20th century France and Italy, namely the Ligue patriotique des Françaises and the Unione fra le donne cattoliche d’Italia, I would like to turn my attention to the vital question of the reconfiguration of French and Italian catholic women’s militancy during the twenties and the thirties. This new project is inspired by a recent discovery made in the archives of Pontifical archives and the Pope Pius XI funds (recently open to scholars) while completing the research for my doctoral thesis. By examining individual political trajectories in the context of collective political stances, this research allowed me to reflect more deeply on processes of politicization at a moment of broader democratization in French and Italian politics (1902-19 in Italy, 1902-33 in France). This post-doctoral project that will continue to follow the political trajectories of different kinds of militants over time, but broadening the scope so as to take into account center and center-left feminists as well as right-wing women in a comparative consideration of the vast re-shuffling of the political deck in the face of fascist and extreme right-wing challenges to democratic politics in the interwar period. Not only would the Marie Curie fellowship afford the time needed for such an ambitious study, it would also allow me to access specific publications held in the Biblioteca Nazionale di Firenze, and to encounter international specialists of European history based in the department of History and Civilization. Equally important, it will provide a pluridisciplinary perspective to this project.
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