La svolta del 1931 negli atenei italiani: interpretazioni, prospettive, bilanci - The 1931 oath turning point in Italian universities: interpretations, perspectives, summary

  • Elisa Signori Università di Pavia


In January 1932 Balbino Giuliano, minister of Educazione nazionale, announced that only 12 Italian university professors had refused the oath imposed by the fascist government. Those professors rightly became paradigms of moral uprightness and antifascist coherence. However, areas of shadow remain on other ostracisms that before and after 1931 struck scholars and researchers ‒ often at the beginning of their academic career ‒, who were determined not to accept political blackmail. In other words, the oath of 1931 was certainly an exemplar strategy of enslavement of scholars in the context of fascist dictatorship, but it must be inserted in a long process of fascism, a work in progress that shaped academic communities, creating fields of tension where converged personal, ideological, scientific conflicts. During this process there were also other cases of refusal, less known, but very significant. Only new researches in university and institutional archives stressed with autobiographic memories can give back this evolution and can help us to measure and evaluate the Italian loss of intellectual energies, cultural and scientific creativity. These one expelled from the places of knowledge, grafted on elsewhere and gave fruit elsewhere.

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