Visualizing fascism might seem an easy endeavor. Most of us can easily conjure mental pictures of right-wing regimes. Uniformed men on the march, children performing in sports arenas, and the dictator in his uniformed splendor, all come up from a cursory Google search. This talk looks at the possibilities and perils of utilizing an image bank that replicates Fascism's leader/mass dynamic and its erasure of the individual, and suggests ways to use Fascism's propaganda archive to uncover small moments of resistance and ambivalence that too often go unexplored.
Ruth Ben-Ghiat is Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University, and is a political commentator and cultural critic who has used her historical knowledge of how authoritarian leaders seek to undermine democracy to predict what Trump would do once in office. Ben-Ghiat is teaching a Spring 2019 graduate course at the Annenberg School for Communication during her time as Visiting Scholar for the Center for Media at Risk.