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Mary S. Gibson
CUNY Research Foundation, John Jay College (New York, NY 10019-1007)
Prison Policy and the Construction of a New Political Order in Italy, 1860-1914

I am requesting funding to complete research for a book on Italian prisons from Unification in 1860 until World War I. This book will argue that prison policy was central to Italy's project of constructing a new liberal and secular national identity to distinguish itself from the absolutist monarchies that had dominated the peninsula before 1860. While the transition to incarceration as the dominant form of punishment in the modern world has been well documented for other European nations and the United States, it remains unstudied for Italy during its first fifty years as a new nation. My project intends not only to fill this gap but also to make gender central to current historiographical debates about the theory and practice of prisons. My book will address historians of Europe, women, and law as well as any humanist struggling with fundamental issues such as the relationship of legal reform to state building, punishment to citizenship, and gender to the law.

Project fields:
European History

Faculty Research Awards

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2009 – 5/31/2010