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Staudenmaier, Nestor, and Bethel Receive MU Research Funding

  • Peter Staudenmaier was awarded a 2019 Summer Faculty Fellowship (SFF) of $5500 to work on his latest book project, Accomplices to Genocide: Racial Ideology and the Path to the Holocaust in Fascist Italy. Peter describes the project thusly: Although the Fascist regime was Nazi Germany’s main European ally, Italy is often viewed as an outlier in the history of the Holocaust, a place where Jews escaped annihilation because of Italian opposition to German genocidal policy. Recent research has challenged this image, giving renewed attention to Italian perpetrators and Italian traditions of antisemitism and racial animus. My project brings together three distinct strands of transnational scholarship on this controversial question: research on the history of Fascism and the development of Mussolini’s racial laws; research on the role of allied regimes in implementing increasingly radical measures against Jews; and scholarship on the complex relations between racial ideology and the execution of the Holocaust. Through detailed examination of Italian intellectuals and institutions, I aim to illuminate the steps by which Nazism’s ‘final solution’ was extended to Fascist Italy. My eventual goal is a book-length study centered on Italian “accomplices to genocide” and their interactions with German counterparts, as a contribution toward clearer historical understanding of the Holocaust.

Two history PhD students received $2000 grants from the Marquette University Center for Transnational Justice.

  • Ben Nestor received funding for his doctoral project on “Einsatzgruppe C in the District Galicia: Ideology, Situational Violence and Mass Murder,” which he’s writing under the mentorship of Dr. Peter Staudenmaier. Through its focus on actors and events in Ukraine during World War II, the project explores critically important questions as to what motivates the perpetrators of genocide. The project is particularly noteworthy for its proposed inquiry into the “mid-level bureaucracies and functionaries” that engage in mass killings. The grant will help Ben conduct archival research at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Advanced Center for Holocaust Studies in Washington D.C.
  • Patrick Bethel received funding for his doctoral project on the effects of contending conceptualizations of justice during Ireland’s Land War years, 1878-1882 (with Tim McMahon as dissertation director). The project explores the extent to which the Irish Republican Brotherhood’s rhetoric and actions were influenced by republican political movements espousing transnational ideals of egalitarianism and human rights, or affected by more indigenous concepts of justice rooted in understandings of extended kin group and community responsibility. The project offers potential insights into the historical Irish case as well as for ongoing deliberations over the meanings and paths to justice. Pat will use the grant to help fund archival research at the National Archives of Ireland, the National Library of Ireland, and the University College Dublin during May-June 2019.