Erica Moretti, assistant professor of Italian in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, was awarded a Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellowship to pursue a research project about postwar Italy.
Moretti’s project, “Reuniting Families: Humanitarianism, Vatican Internationalism, and the End of Empire (1943-1950),” examines the role of the Vatican in resettling underage national refugees after World War II, and specifically 30,000 children of Italian settlers throughout the Empire. Moretti’s research will analyze the temporary spaces the displaced children occupied and the intermediaries they interacted with.
The fellowship, aimed at teaching faculty at two-year community colleges, comes with a $40,000 stipend to be used between July 1, 2022, and December 31, 2023. It is funded by the Mellon Foundation and awarded by the American Council of Learned Societies, whose mission is to promote scholarship in the humanities and social sciences.
Moretti has also received two awards for her first book, The Best Weapon for Peace: Maria Montessori, Education and Children’s Rights, published last summer.
The book received the 2021 AAIS Book Prize in the category of First Book, given by the American Association for Italian Studies. Announcing the award at the annual meeting of the AAIS in Bologna, on June 1, the judges praised Moretti’s capacity to weave evidence from diverse disciplines throughout the narrative and rethink interpretations of transnational history of 20th-century Italy.
The book also received the ISCHE First Book Award, granted by the International Standing Conference for the History of Education.