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Michael R. Ebner

Michael R. Ebner

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531 Eggers Hall

Michael R. Ebner

Associate Professor, History Department

Highest degree earned

Ph.D., Columbia University, 2004


Michael Ebner is a historian of twentieth-century Italy and Europe with particular interests in fascism, authoritarianism and political violence. His current research examines the role of violence and atrocity within the Italian fascist imperial project, focusing on Mussolini’s ‘re-conquest’ of Libya during the 1920s and early 1930s.

He recently co-edited, with Josh Arthurs and Kate Ferris, "The Politics of Everyday Life in Fascist Italy: Outside the State?" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). The volume applies the Alltagsgeschichte (history of everyday life) approach to explore how ordinary Italians lived under fascism, challenging binary categories of conformity and opposition, acclaim and dissent, and victim and perpetrator. Ebner’s first book, "Ordinary Violence in Mussolini’s Italy" (Cambridge University Press, 2011), won the American Historical Association’s Helen and Howard R. Marraro Prize for the best book on Italian history.


History of modern Europe, Italy, Fascism and political violence

Research Grant Awards and Projects

NEH Summer Stipend (2017)

    American Historical Association’s Helen and Howard R. Marraro Prize for the best book on the history of Italy (2011). 

    Moynihan Award for Research and Teaching, Maxwell School of Syracuse University (2011)
    Meredith Teaching Recognition Award, Syracuse University (2011)

    Apply-Mosher Faculty Research Grant, Syracuse University, 2008 and 2011

    Pigott Faculty Research Grant, Syracuse University, 2010

    Visiting Fellow, Institute for the Study of Europe, Columbia University, May-August 2008

    NEH Summer Seminar Grant (participant), "Italian Fascism: History and Interpretations," American Academy in Rome, June/July 2005

    Graduate Fellow, Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, Columbia University, 2002-2004

    Whiting Fellow, Columbia University, 2001-2002

    Rome Prize in Post-Classical Humanistic/Modern Italian Studies, American Academy in Rome, 2000-2001

    Trinity College Barbieri Grant in Italian History, 2000-2001

    German Marshall Fund Research Support Grant, 2000

    Columbia University Dean's Summer Research Fellowship, summer 2000

    Council for European Studies Pre-Dissertation Fellowship, 1999  


     The Politics of Everyday Life in Fascist Italy (ed.), with Josh Arthurs and Kate Ferris (Palgrave MacMillan, 2017).

    “Coercion,” in The Politics of Everyday Life in Fascist Italy (ed.), with Josh Arthurs and Kate Ferris (Palgrave MacMillan, 2017).

    “Fascist Violence and the ‘Ethnic Reconstruction’ of Cyrenaica (Libya), 1922-34,” in Philp Dwyer and Lyndall Ryan, Violence, Colonialism, and Empire (Palgrave-Macmillan, forthcoming 2017)

    “‘This is the Violence of Which I Approve:’ A short history of the political violence that helped Mussolini attain power,” Slate, January 30, 2017.

      Ordinary Violence in Mussolini’s Italy (Cambridge University Press, 2011) 

      “Dalla repressione dell'antifascismo al controllo sociale. Il confino di polizia, 1926-1943” Storia e problemi contemporanei 43 (2006), 81-104.

      “The Political Police and Denunciation during Fascism: A Review of Recent Historical Literature,” Journal of Modern Italian Studies 11:2 (June 2006), 209-226.

      "Terror und Bevölkerung im italienischen Faschismus," in Beiträge zur Geschichte des Nationalsozialismus, vol. 21: Faschismus in Italien und Deutschland: Studien zu Transfer und Vergleich, (eds.) Sven Reichhardt and Armin Nolzen (Göttingen: Wallstein, 2005).

      "The Fascist Archipelago: Political Internment, Exile, and Everyday Life in Mussolini's Italy, 1926-43," (Columbia University: Ph.D. Dissertation).

      "The Persecution of Homosexual Men under Fascism 1926-1943," in Perry Willson (ed.), Gender, Family, and Sexuality: The Private Sphere in Italy 1860-1945 (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004).


      ‘Public Executions in Fascist Libya,’ Colgate University, March 22, 2019

      ‘Fascist Violence and the Making of Colonial Subjects in Cyrenaica, 1922-34,’ Università degli studi di Padova (Italy), April 11, 2018.  

        “Fascist Violence and the Ethnic Reconstruction of Cyrenaica (Libya), 1922-34” (conference paper). Violence, Colonialism and Empire in the Modern and Contemporary World, June 29 to July 1, 2015 (The British Academy, London).  

        "Violence, Repression, and Everyday Life in Fascist Italy” (conference paper). American Historical Association. January 4, 2014 (Washington, DC). Panel Organizer: “Everyday Life under Fascism: New Perspectives on Mussolini’s Italy”

        “Ordinary and Extraordinary Violence in Fascist Italy” (invited speaker), November 2012, University of Connecticut, Storrs

        “Totalitarian Fantasies in Libya: The Fascist ‘Pacification’ of Cyrenaica” (invited speaker), April 2012, Symposium on Cosmopolitan Mosaics of Modern Alexandria, Egypt, Syracuse University

        “Ordinary Totalitarianism in Fascist Italy” (invited presenter), April 2012, Workshop on “Everyday Totalitarianism,” Newhouse Center for the Humanities, Wellesley College

        “The Police, the Party, and Everyday Coercion in Fascist Italy,” at European Social Science History Conference, Lisbon, Portugal, February 26 – March 1, 2008.

        "Fascist Archipelagos: Domestic Coercion and Peripheral Violence" (invited speaker) at “From Africa to the Balkans: New Perspectives on Colonialism and Material Culture in Fascist Italy,” Columbia University, The Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America, October 16-17, 2008. 

        'Ordinary Vexations: Institutions of Coercion and Violence in Everyday Life under Fascism' September 2004, Conference on Imprisonment in Italian Culture, University of Connecticut

        'The Persecution of Homosexuals under Fascism, 1926-1943' November 2002, Association for the Study of Modern Italy, London

        'Confino di polizia: A Statistical Overview' March 2002, Barbieri Lecture Series, Trinity College

        'Deviance and Exile in Fascist Italy' January 2002, Institute of European Studies, University of California, Berkeley

        'La persecuzione dei testimoni di Geova sotto il Fascismo' April 2001, University of Rome, La Sapienza

        Previous Teaching Appointments

        Associate Professor, Department of History, Syracuse University, 2012-present

        Assistant Professor, Department of History, Syracuse University, 2005-2012