Modern Italy, European History, Imperialism, Black Europe, Race and National Identity


I earned a BA from UNC-Chapel Hill and an MA from the University of Chicago in Religious Studies before moving into a history PhD program at Columbia University. In my first book, Religion as Resistance: Negotiating Authority in Italian Libya (Oxford, 2018), I used the skills I learned in both disciplines to investigate how Catholic interests infused Italian colonialism in Muslim North Africa. This book is not only a history of Italian imperialism, however. It also provides a new interpretation of the political interests of Muslim elites in Libya who negotiated authority with Italian officials. 

My new book project, Black Italy, looks at the history of blackness as a racial category and lived experience in Italy since unification in the mid-19th century. This book amplifies the experiences of people from the African diaspora at various points in Italian history. But it also traces the historical trajectory of Italian concepts of racial hierarchies. Much like my first book, this project places Italy in a liminal relationship to Europe, asking questions about race and the making of national identities in the process.

Selected Publications

Courses Taught

  • HIST 2308: Black Europe
  • HIST 2319: The Mafia in Modern Italy
  • HIST 2806: Colonial North Africa in European History
  • HIST 2304: 20th Century Europe
  • HIST 0874: Confronting Empire