The University of Southampton
HistoryPart of Humanities

Dr Niamh Cullen 

Lecturer, EVA Representative

Dr Niamh Cullen's photo
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I am a historian of modern Italy. While my doctoral research examined the intellectual history of early fascist Italy, since then my work has been concerned with the social and cultural history of the post-1945 period. I focus in particular on the years of the ‘economic miracle’ (1957-63), in an effort to understand how ordinary lives can be shaped by such forces as migration, urbanisation and the rise of mass culture. My current project is a history of changing attitudes and experiences of love and marriage in Italy from 1945 to the 1970s, drawing on both gender history and the history of the emotions.

Before joining the department I was an Irish Research Council Marie Curie research fellow at University College Dublin where I also taught modern Italian and European history. I was also a visiting fellow at the University of Milan from 2011 to 2013.

My research and teaching interests are broadly in the history of modern Italy, the history of the emotions and gender history in the context of twentieth century Europe.





Research interests

I began my research career with a study of the antifascist intellectual Piero Gobetti and have since then been concerned with the social and cultural history of post-1945 Italy. However my research has always been concerned with responses to ‘modernity’ and socio-political change in twentieth century Italy.

My current research project ‘Love, Honour and Jealousy: Redefining marriage in Italy 1945-1974’, is a study of how love, courtship and marriage in Italy were redefined by urbanisation, migration and the rise of mass culture from the end of the Second World War until the 1974 divorce referendum. Drawing on diaries and memoirs as well as popular culture sources, my research examines how ordinary relationships and attitudes were transformed by the broader forces of social and economic change. I am also concerned with notions of honour (as connected to female sexuality), honour crime and forced marriage.

My broad interest is in the rapid transition from rural to urban and ‘modern’ society in post-war southern Europe. My future research is thus leading in two different but related directions, the first a history of honour crime in late twentieth century Italy and southern Europe. The second is the study of anthropologists and their encounter with post-war rural southern Europe, the ‘other’ at the margins of modern Europe.





Book Chapters

Working Paper

I am currently teaching the special subject ‘World War 2: Part 2’. I am interested in supervising work in modern Italian history, in gender history and the history of the emotions in twentieth century southern Europe.
Dr Niamh Cullen
Building 65 Faculty of Humanities University of Southampton Avenue Campus Highfield Southampton SO17 1BF United Kingdom

Room Number:65/1053

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