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(This was previously listed with the title of “The ‘Women of the Villas’: Collaboration between Italian Partisans and the Office of Strategic Services during WWII”.)

Professor Catharine Sama will discuss the collaboration between Italian Partisans and the Office of Strategic Services during WWII.

Professor Catherine Sama is the head of the Italian program at the University of Rhode Island. She enjoys teaching a wide range of courses at URI, from Italian language & culture classes to advanced courses in Italian literature and film. Specific areas of focus include early modern Italian women writers; Italian dramatic cinema from Neorealism to the present; genocide in Italian literature & film. Her research projects are dedicated to bringing Italian women’s voices from the past into the present: whether for eighteenth-century writers and artists or partisans during World War II. Her research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Association for University Women.

Her new research project centers on the activities of Italian partigiane from the Veneto region who collaborated with the United States Office of Strategic Services to end nazi-fascist control of Italy. This talk will explore the actions, dilemmas, fears, and hopes of individual women and men involved in this fight, as seen through the primary sources Sama has collected thus far: interviews with the partisans and OSS agents; military documents now declassified, including radio messages transmitted from behind enemy lines; private letters and papers; and interviews with descendants on both Italian and American sides. Her goal is to create a limited series podcast in order to bring these stories to a broad audience.


Note: All lectures in the lecture series hosted by the Dante Society of Westerly are live events only and are not recorded. They are neither streamed online nor available afterwards as recordings.

Lectures are free and open to the public.

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