Mia Fuller

Gladyce Arata Terrill Distinguished Professor of Italian Studies, Department Chair 2020-24, Undergraduate Advisor 2020-23


  • 6315 Dwinelle

Mia Fuller is a cultural anthropologist and urban-architectural historian whose research concerns the interplays of physical space with political power. Combining fieldwork with archival and bibliographic research, she has published extensively on architecture and city planning in the Italian colonies, winning an International Planning History Society book prize for Moderns Abroad: Architecture, Cities, and Italian Imperialism.

She continues to write on Libya and the legacies of Italian colonialism there (for example: https://www.fairobserver.com/region/middle_east_north_africa/libyan-genocide-20-todays-conflict-light-colonial-past/). She has also written about how Eritrea capitalizes on the built environment Italians left behind (https://escholarship.org/uc/item/4mb1z7f8#main), and the historiography of Italian architecture and the arts under fascism (https://journal.eahn.org/articles/10.5334/ah.ch/). (You can find some of her other articles and short pieces as pdfs on Academia.edu.)

Fuller also writes on colonial processes and effects within Italy, both during the colonial era and after (for example: https://www.academia.edu/38259784/Italys_Internal_and_External_Colonies, in combination with questions of the endurance of memories of fascism, World War II, and Mussolini (as in this article: https://www.politika.io/fr/notice/equivocal-mussolinis). She is completing work on a book on the force (or lack of force) of old fascist symbols that still exist in Italy, especially in the Pontine Marshes area, where Mussolini’s largest land-reclamation project took place in the 1930s, entailing the construction of five new towns and fourteen villages, and the settlement of over 3,000 families. This is a long-term project involving intermittent ethnographic fieldwork – started in the late 1990s – as well as memory studies, the historical sociology of migration, oral history, and theories of monumentality and affect.

Fuller’s multi-disciplinary methods shape her teaching and graduate supervision as well. Her undergraduate courses are in Italian cultural history and anthropology, focusing, for instance, on Italy’s South through a detailed reading (in Italian) of Carlo Levi’s Cristo si è fermato a Eboli, or Mafia films (in English). With graduate students in Italian Studies and other fields, she works primarily on colonialism and postcolonialism, cultural anthropology and geography, Italian fascist and colonial history, Mediterranean Studies, Italy’s South, architectural history, and urban studies.

Fuller’s research has been supported by fellowships from the American Academy in Rome, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Fulbright Scholar Program, the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, and the National Science Foundation; she has received grants from the American Institute of Maghrib Studies, the American Philosophical Society, the Barbieri Research Fund, the École Française de Rome, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Université-Paris Est Créteil, and the Wolfsonian-Florida International University. Besides her position at Berkeley, in the U.S. she has taught at the University of Louisville, Rice University, and Stanford University. In Europe, she has taught at the Viadrina European University and been a scholar in residence the Istituto Svizzero di Roma.

For a complete bibliography of publications, click here.