Nicola Camilleri

German Historical Institute Washington (USA)
Università di Padova (Italy)

Italian colonialism in one family: two biographies

2023–2024: Fall and Spring

Nicola Camilleri is a modern historian focusing on the social and cultural history of Europe from a global and postcolonial perspective. He received his PhD in Modern History from the Freie Universität Berlin in 2017 and worked as postdoctoral researcher in the ERC project The Dark Side of the Belle Époque. Political Violence and Armed Associations in Europe before the First World War based at the University of Padua (2019–2022). He has been a fellow at several research institutions, including the German Historical Institutes in Washington DC, Paris and Warsaw, the Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory in Frankfurt and the Remarque Institute, NYU, in New York City. During his PhD, he carried out research in Eritrea and Tanzania as well as in Italy and Germany; moreover, he enjoyed positions as visiting scholar at the Hiob Ludolf Center for Ethiopian and Eritrean Studies of the University of Hamburg and as fellow at the Leibniz Institute for European History in Mainz.

Nicola’s first book deals with norms and practices of citizenship in the German and Italian colonial empires by closely looking at the colonies of Eritrea and German East Africa. The second book is an investigation of male sociability and civilian weapon culture in Imperial Germany and its colonies. His work has appeared among other venues in the Journal of Modern European History and Northeast African Studies. The article‚ “Citizens, Subjects, Enemies. Citizenship and First World War in the Italian Colonies” is forthcoming in European History Quarterly.

During his stay at the Italian Academy, Nicola will piece together the story of a family of former colonial subjects that allows new important insights in the history of Italian colonialism on the whole. The major aim of the project is to rethink and decentralize Italian history in a global sense.