David I. Kertzer has been the Dupee University Professor of Social Science since coming to Brown in 1992. He is also professor of anthropology and Italian studies.
His books include Comrades and Christians: Religion and Political Struggle in Communist Italy (Cambridge University Press, 1980); Ritual, Politics, and Power (Yale University Press, 1988); Sacrificed for Honor: Italian Infant Abandonment and the Politics of Reproductive Control (Beacon Press, 1993); Politics and Symbols: The Italian Communist Party and the Fall of Communism (Yale University Press, 1996); The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara (Knopf, 1997) (finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction); The Popes Against the Jews: The Vatican's Role in the Rise of Modern Anti-Semitism (Knopf, 2001) (published in Italian, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Brazilian, Polish, Hungarian, and other editions); Prisoner of the Vatican (Houghton Mifflin, 2004); Amalia's Tale (Houghton Mifflin, 2008), and The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe (Random House, 2014) (Italian edition, Rizzoli; UK edition Oxford University Press).
In 2005 Kertzer was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is past president of the Social Science History Association and of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe, and served as provost of Brown University from 2006 to 2011.
The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe. New York: Random House, 2014. Italian edition Rizzoli; UK edition Oxford University Press; Romanian edition Editura Rao
Edgardo Mortara,” Enzyklopaedie juedischer Geschichte und Kultur, ed. By Dan Diner. Stuttgart: Metzler, 2014
“Pietro Tacchi Venturi, S.J., Mussolini, Pius XI, and the Jews.” Pp. 265-73 in The Tragic Couple: Encounters between Jews and Jesuits, ed. by Robert Maryks and James Bernauer. Leiden: Brill, 2014.
“Da Garibaldi a Berlusconi attraverso Mussolini.” In Questo diletto almo paese: profili dell’unità d’Italia, ed. by Ernesto Galli della Loggia. Bologna: Il Mulino, 2013.
"The United States, the Holy See, and Italy's racial laws," (with Alessandro Visani). Pp. 327-41 in Charles Gallagher, David Kertzer, and Alberto Melloni, eds., Pius XI and America. Berlin: Lit Verlag, 2012.
"Italy's Path to Very Low Fertility: The Adequacy of Economic and Second Demographic Transition Theories," (with Michael White, Laura Bernardi, and Giuseppe Gabrielli). European Journal of Population 25(1): 89-115, 2009.
"Social Anthropology and Social Science History." Social Science History 33:1:1-16 (2009).
"An imperfect contraceptive society: Fertility and contraception in Italy." (with Alessandra Gribaldo, and Maya Judd). Population and Development Review, 35(3): 551-584 (2009).
Amalia's Tale: A Peasant's Fight for Justice in 19th Century Italy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008. Italian edition Rizzoli (La Sfida di Amalia, 2010); Brazilian edition by Rocco (A Historia de Amalia, 2010).
“Population composition as an object of political struggle,” with Dominique Arel. Pp. 664-677 in Robert Goodin and Charles Tilly, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Contextual Political Analysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.
Anthropology 1910G: Senior Seminar: Politics and Symbols
It is impossible to understand politics without understanding the key role played by symbols, myth, and ritual. This seminar provides the theoretical background – drawing heavily on anthropology, but also on a variety of other fields – to examine how political actors manipulate symbols and devise and utilize myths and rituals to win support. Through such symbolic activities, political reality is created and political groups formed, whether aimed at defending the status quo or overthrowing it. We look at examples throughout the world and throughout history. Special attention is given to the 2014 political races in the U.S.
Italian Studies 1390 Modern Italy
An introduction to Italian society, culture, and politics, focusing on developments over the past two centuries. We pay particular attention to how a modern Italian national identity was created; the role played by the Catholic Church; changing gender and class relations; family life; conflicts between the North and the South; the development of fascism; and postwar political developments, including the influence of the Communist Party, and the rapid political changes of the past decade.
December 10, 2015
David I. Kertzer, professor of Italian studies and anthropology, comments on the similarities between Donald Trump and Benito Mussolini after the presidential candidate made remarks to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S. Both men have employed similar tools by trying to instill fear, scapegoating a broad category of people and offering themselves as the all-knowing leaders — the only hopes for delivering a nation from an evil enemy, Kertzer says.
November 11, 2015
David I. Kertzer, professor of social science, is quoted in an article about the changing racial definitions in the U.S. Census.
October 5, 2015
David Kertzer's recent book "The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe" has received the Helen and Howard R. Marraro Prize of the American Historical Association.
May 26, 2015
MSNBC Morning Joe
Watson Faculty Fellow David Kertzer participated in the Friday morning broadcast of MSNBC's Morning Joe.
April 29, 2015
Faculty Fellow David Kertzer comments on the execution of dictator Benito Mussolini, which happened 70 years ago this week.
April 24, 2015
Fresh Air, NPR
Faculty Fellow David Kertzer talks to Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air about his Pulitzer Prize winning book, "The Pope and Moussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe".
April 20, 2015
The New York Times
Watson Faculty Fellow David Kertzer was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for: Biography or Autobiography — “The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe."
May 23, 2015
9 a.m. Martinos Auditorium, Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, 154 Angell Street
Feb 26, 2014
A book panel with author David Kertzer.
5 p.m. Joukowsky Forum
Watson Book Panel