Mussolini’s National Project in Argentina
David Aliano, College of Mount Saint Vincent

During the 1920s and 1930s, Mussolini’s regime used propaganda to promote fascist Italian ideologies in Argentina. Although politically a failure, the attempt provoked a debate about national identity outside of the nation-state and the potential roles citizens living abroad could play in their country of origin. In this presentation, historian David Aliano, author of Mussolini’s National Project in Argentina (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2012), uses the experiences of Mussolini’s efforts in Argentina to demonstrate how national projects take on different meanings once they enter a contested public space. He details how both Italian Argentines and native Argentines reshaped Italy’s national discourse from abroad by enmeshing it with Argentina’s own national project. Aliano offers new perspectives on the politics of identity formation while showing the dynamic interplay between the Italian state and its emigrant communities.