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“War of Waves”. European Radio Propaganda in the Arab World: the Experience of Radio Bari (1934-43)

Final Report Summary - WOW: RADIO BARI (“War of Waves”. European Radio Propaganda in the Arab World: the Experience of Radio Bari (1934-43))

In the 18 months of implementation of my project, I have enhanced my methodological and theoretical skills; I have worked on the historiography that I needed as a background for my research topic; and I have collected a vast quantity sources for my research.

In terms of methodology, given the high degree of complementary aspects and intersections between my research topic and the areas of research covered by the Department of History of the EUI participating, I had the opportunity to add scientific competences to my scholarly expertise on several topics, ranging from global and transnational history, to comparative history, to gender studies. In fact, I actively participated in seminars, workshops and conferences that were organised at the EUI. More specifically, I have attended four Seminars: (1) Decolonization in Modern History; (2) New Topics and Methods for International History in a Globalised World; (3) Global History: Themes and Approaches; (4) On Sources: History in the Archives. In particular, I have co-taught the seminar On Sources, supervising the PhD students who were presenting their projects concerning XX century issues, and I have run two classes within the first two seminars on topics concerning my own research project. This has been an extremely useful activity, because I had the opportunity to improve my teaching skills and develop new syllabi and methodologies. At the same time, this activity also helped me improve my project, by developing a stronger theoretical framework in terms of transnational and global history.
Apart from these seminars, I had other opportunity to benefit from transfer of knowledge by participating in several extremely vibrant and qualified workshops and conferences. For example, in December 2012 I was one of the invited participants in the conference “Transformative Occupations in the Twentieth Century Middle East” (http://www.eui.eu/SeminarsAndEvents/Index.aspx?eventid=83796); in March 2013 I was discussant in a Conference titled “From the League of Nations to the United Nations: New Approached to the International Institutions” (http://www.eui.eu/Documents/MWP/Conferences/20122013/LeagueofNationsConfProgr.pdf); in December 2013 I was discussant in a seminar concerning titled “The Fascists and the Jews of Italy. Mussolini's Race Laws, 1938-1943”, which was given by Professor Michael Livingstone (http://www.eui.eu/SeminarsAndEvents/Index.aspx?eventid=95882).

Another major progress concerns the literature review. In particular, thanks to the facilities of the EUI Library, and suggestions by my supervisor (Prof. Dirk Moses) and several other professors based at the EUI, I have focused on enriching my knowledge on the following issues: the conceptual framework of radio propaganda in totalitarian states in the 1930s and specifically the Italian case; the Italian and European foreign policy towards the Mediterranean and the Arab world in the interwar periods; the “war of waves” during the years of the WWII; the contents of Radio Bari programs in terms of anti-Semitism, Orientalism, transnationalism, colonialism and gender.

The main progress is related to the amount of sources of my research that I have been able to identify. In fact, I have carried out three missions abroad (in France, UK and Israel) and four missions within Italy in order to work in several Archives. In particular, I was in Paris, Aix-en-Provence, London, Oxford, Reading, Jerusalem, Rome. In Paris I was at the Centre des Archives Diplomatiques (La Corneuve) where I consulted documents concerning the French propaganda in the Arab world and the French perception of the Italian propaganda, and at the Bibliothèque de Documentation Internationale Contemporaine (Nanterre), where I had access to the entire transcription of the Radio Bari news (1939-43) done by the BBC. In Aix-en-Provence, I visited the Archives Nationales d’Outre-Mer, where I found documents concerning the Italian propaganda in North Africa. In the UK, I went to the British National Archives (Kew Gardens, London) and the BBC Archives (Reading), where I had access to the files concerning the way in which the British diplomats in the Arab World perceived Radio Bari and its impact on the Arab public opinion. In Israel, I collected documents located in the Israeli State Archives concerning the Italian propaganda in British Palestine and in the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, as to post-1943 Radio Bari transmissions. In Rome, I worked a lot in the Historical Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the Central State Archives, where I consulted a vast quantity of documents from the Ministry of Cultural propaganda (MinCulPop) and the Italian diplomatic delegation all over the Middle East (from Morocco to Syria, to Iran).

In terms of significant results, I have presented outcomes of my research in three major occasions: I delivered two papers at the annual Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Conference in 2012 (http://www.mesa.arizona.edu/pdf/2012-preliminary-program.pdf) and in 2013 (https://mymesa.arizona.edu/meeting_program_list.php?list=1) and I have given a seminar in February 2013 at the EUI, in the framework of the Research Colloquia (http://www.eui.eu/SeminarsandEvents/Index.aspx?eventid=88413).

The main effort in terms of publication has been drafting a book proposal, which I have submitted to Carocci, one of the leading Italian Publishing Houses dealing with Contemporary History. Carocci has accepted to publish my book, and the agreement is to submit my manuscript by the end of 2014, in order to publish it by the SPring of 2015. I have started writing the book, and I have already written four chapters (out of six).

In terms of other publications, during this year and half, I have revised a book that I had written with a colleague of mine and that had been submitted before I started my Marie Curie. The book was published in April 2013 by the Italian Publishing House Viella (http://www.viella.it/libro/777) and was presented in several occasions, including the Annual Italian Fiera del Libro (Book Fair) in Torino in May 2014.

I have co-edited a monographic number of a peer-reviewed on-line journal on “Travels to the Holy Land ” (http://www.quest-cdecjournal.it) where I have co-written the Introduction, and I have written one article (http://www.quest-cdecjournal.it/focus.php?id=343). The number was published in December 2013.

I have published two articles in peer-reviewed journals:
- in December 2012, in «QualeStoria» (http://www.irsml.eu/qualestoria/numeri-qualestoria/478-conflitto-arabo-israeliano)
- in June 2013, in «The International Spectator» (http://www.iai.it/content.asp?langid=1&contentid=928).

I have published two articles in non peer-reviewed journals:
- in September 2013, in «Allegoria» (http://www.allegoriaonline.it/index.php/component/content/article/85-67/647-la-controversa-ricezione-di-said-in-israele.html)
- in February 2014, in «Il Ponte» (http://www.ilponterivista.com/rivista/tag/arturo-marzano/).

Finally, I have published an article concerning the Israeli perception of the "Arab Springs" in an edited book, which was published in October 2013.