Annual Marie G. Ringrose Graduate Lecture: Autobiography and Nation Building

The year 1948 saw the largest number of autobiographies published in the 20th century in Italy. The same year a new constitution was approved and became the foundation of a new democratic Italy nourished by the myth of the resistance to fascism. Former fascists had to find a way to demonstrate their eligibility to being politically engaged citizens in this new republic. They used autobiography to prove their Agostinian conversion to democracy, establishing a powerful political tool that is still strategically used in order to foster political careers. In Italy, it contributed to creating a narrative that would also sustain the new political structure and a new idea of an inclusive nation grounded in democracy.