Moderns Abroad

Architecture, Cities and Italian Imperialism

By Mia Fuller

© 2010 – Routledge

274 pages | 91 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
New in Paperback: 9780415779852
pub: 2009-09-01
US Dollars$58.95
Hardback: 9780415194631
pub: 2006-09-27
US Dollars$135.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

This volume studies the architecture and urbanism of modern-era Italian colonialism (1869-1943) as it sought to build colonies in North and East Africa and the eastern Mediterranean. Mia Fuller follows, not only the design of the physical architecture, but also the development of colonial design theory, based on the assumptions made about the colonized, and also the application of modernist theory to both Italian architecture and that of its colonies.

Moderns Abroad is the first book to present an overview of Italian colonial architecture and city planning. In chronicling Italian architects' attempts to define a distinctly Italian colonial architecture that would set Italy apart from Britain and France, it provides a uniquely comparative study of Italian colonialism and architecture that will be of interest to specialists in modern architecture, colonial studies, and Italian studies alike.


'The book fills a quite obvious gap in scholarship on Italian colonialism for scholars of urban history and cultural studies.' - Urban History

‘a welcome contribution to the ever growing literature on the architectural history of former colonised territories…. Scholars interested in relating contexts, theories and practices of other colonial powers to the Italian case will find it as stimulating and thought-provoking read.’Fabrications

‘..the immense value of this book [is] as a comprehensive catalogue of Italian colonial construction, augmented by the author’s nuanced analysis of Italian politics, society, thought, and perception in the first half of the twentieth century.’Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians

‘This beautifully nuanced and finely illustrated work represents a major contribution to the scholarship of Italian colonial history; at the same time, its rich interdisciplinary framework offers a model of research practice of much broader import.’Modern Italy

'This book… offers the non-specialist in Italian architecture or colonial Africa an excellent introduction to these complex fields…, with a clearly articulated analytical method… and clear narration.' - Revue des mondes musulmans et de la Méditerranée (France)

"Moderns Abroad is a methodologically complex, richly illustrated and extremely well researched study". - European History Quarterly

Table of Contents

Part 1: Contexts 1. History: 1869 – 1943 2. Geographies 3. The Colonial Built Environment Untheorized, 1880s – 1920s Part 2: Theories 4. Modern Italian Architecture, 1910s – 1930s 5. Colonial Modern, 1920s – 1940s 6. Imperial Urbanism, 1936 – 1937 Part 3: Practices 7. The Italian Colonial City: Tripoli 8. Islands of Ethnicity: Planned Agricultural Settlements 9. The Imperial City: Addis Ababa. Epilogue

About the Author

Mia Fuller is Associate Professor in Italian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

About the Series


The Architext series brings together recent debates in social and cultural theory and the study and practice of architecture and urban design. Critical, comparative and interdisciplinary, the books in the series will, by theorizing architecture, bring the space of the built environment centrally into the social sciences and humanities, as well as bringing the theoretical insights of the latter into the discourse of architecture and urban design. Particular attention will be paid to issues of gender, race, sexuality and the body, to questions of identity and place, to cultural politics of representation and language, and to the global and postcolonial contexts in which these are addressed.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / History / General
ARCHITECTURE / Study & Teaching
HISTORY / Europe / Italy