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< All Fellows and Scholars

Dr. Paola Trevisan

Dr. Paola Trevisan
2015-2016 J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Fellow

"From Expelled Foreigners to ‘Dangerous’ Italians: Roma and Sinti Families in Italy under Fascism"

Professional Background

Dr. Paola Trevisan is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bolzano (Italy).  She received her PhD in cultural anthropology and gender studies from the University Jaume I in Castellón de la Plana (Spain). She possesses language skills in Italian, Spanish, French, and English. While in residence at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, Dr. Trevisan will work on her project, “From Expelled Foreigners to ‘Dangerous’ Italians: Roma and Sinti Families in Italy under Fascism”.

Dr. Trevisan has published a number of works in both Italian and English, including: “Le ricerche sull’internamento dei Sinti e dei Rom in Italia durante il regime fascista” [The Research on the Internment of Sinti and Roma in Italy during the Fascist Regime] in Culture della memoria del Novecento a confront [Cultures of Memory in the Twentieth Century to Confront] (Archivio Storico città di Bolzano, 2014); “The Internment of Italian Sinti in the Province of Modena during Fascism: from Ethnographic to Archival Research” in Romani Studies, December issue, Vol. 23 (2013); and “Sinti e circensi: storia di un legame invisibile” [Sinti and Circus: the Story of an Invisible Bond] in Alle radici dell’Europa: Mori, giudei e zingari nei Paesi del Mediterraneo occidentale [The Roots of Europe: Moors, Jews and Gypsies in the countries of the western Mediterranean], Vol.III (Firenze, 2011). Dr. Trevisan has also presented her work at a wealth of international conferences, such as “Gypsies in the Border Regions during Fascism: from Expelled Foreigners to Dangerous Italians” at the European Social Science History Conference on April 23-26, 2014, and “A Fascist Internment Camp for Italian Sinti in the Province of Modena: from Ethnographic to Archival Research” at the Annual Meeting of the Gypsy Lore Society on September 1-3, 2011.

Fellowship Research

For her J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Fellowship at the Mandel Center, Dr. Trevisan studied the persecution of Roma and Sinti under fascism in Italy, who were persecuted by the Italian government by using both “police confinement” and “internment” in concentration camps or in isolated localities. Incongruities in the documentation for Roma and Sinti families was the focus of Dr. Trevian’s research, through which she viewed the experiences of individual families with the local institutions that were in charge of enacting national decrees. She used this type of analysis to understand why and how Fascism persecuted “Gypsies” even without ad-hoc specific legislation.

Dr. Trevisan was in residence at the Mandel Center until August 31, 2016.