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My Research

Doctoral thesis (2007-2010)

When I was studying in Bologna (Italy), as part of an exchange programme some years ago, it struck me that the memory of the events of 1977 was still very vital, even though Italian history books generally reduce the Seventies to terrorism. For example, forms of resistance used in student protests in 2005, e.g. the occupation of several university buildings in Bologna, strongly recall the methods used by the students of the 1977 student movement in their protests. One of the lecture rooms in the occupied Arts Department was even renamed after a student that got killed in Bologna on 11 March 1977, Francesco Lorusso (see image below, left). We may therefore speak of two conflicting memories; an official, public memory which focuses on the violent side of the so-called 'years of lead', on the one hand, and a more idealized image of the 'mythical' 1970s, which lives on particularly among younger generations. However, thanks to Facebook the older generation of 77-ers has, in more recent times, found new channels of reliving those 'good ol' days'.

My PhD research departs from the various commemorative events that took place in 2007, during the 30th anniversary of the protests of 1977: these provided important starting points for a more critical interpretation of the decade. The 30th anniversary was also the first occasion where official memory agents tried to claim a place in the public memory of 1977 in Bologna. This points in the direction of a growing desire to come to terms with this era, though this may be more difficult than it seems, considering also the re-activations of memories of protest and violence in the present, as for example during the G8 in Genoa in 2001, when Carlo Giuliani was killed under very similar circumstances...

Postdoctoral projects (2011-16)

Please click here for a description of my postdoctoral research projects.

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Francesco vive @ Andrea Hajek 2008