Giuliana Chamedes

Position title: Associate Professor of History


Phone: 608.263.1826

Office: 4124 Mosse Humanities
Mailbox: 4027 Mosse Humanities
Curriculum Vitae (pdf)
Office Hours: TBA

Giuliana Chamedes headshot


I am a scholar of international and global history, with a focus on Europe. I investigate how European internationalist movements sought to grow their global reach, even as they remained ensconced within exclusionary understandings of social justice and solidarity. My work is centrally concerned with European imperialism and its legacies.

A Twentieth-Century Crusade: The Vatican’s Battle to Remake Christian Europe (Harvard University Press, 2019), explores how World War I led the central government of the Catholic Church to craft its own variety of internationalism, which was intended to rival both liberal and communist internationalism, and re-provincialize Europe in an era of anti-imperial activism. From 1918 up through the mid 1960s, the Vatican’s Catholic International made use of international law, public diplomacy, and new media to de-privatize religion and deepen ties between the Catholic Church and European imperial states. Drawing on new archival research conducted across Europe and North America, the project shows how the Vatican’s activities bolstered fascism and Christian Democracy and helped spawn a transnational anticommunist crusade decades before the launching of the Cold War. My most recent thinking on the topic is reflected in a review piece published in February of 2023 in the Times Literary Supplement.

Unpaid Debts: The European Left, North-South Dialogue, and the Fight for Economic Decolonization (contract under negotiation) analyzes the movement for global economic equality that followed the end of European political imperialism in the second half of the twentieth century. As decolonization remade continents, a network of activists from the Global North and South asked: What could redress the macroeconomic legacies of imperialism, and end the unequal distribution of wealth on a global scale? From the 1950s, these individuals—many of whom were active in socialist and social democratic movements–strove to impact trade and tariff policy, multinational corporate activity and labor law, and international monetary lending. They worked from countries like India, Mexico, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Jamaica, and from Tanzania, Angola, and Algeria. However, by the 1980s, the movement for economic decolonization was dead in the water. Making use of archival and printed primary sources and oral history interviews collected in three continents, nine countries, and seven different languages, my book is the first to investigate when, how, and why the movement for economic decolonization came together and fell apart between 1945 and 2008. It also takes an unflinching look at the role of European socialists in the story, providing a post-mortem on the limits of the European Left’s internationalism.

Decolonization and the Remaking of Europe (under contract with Princeton University Press), co-written with Udi Greenberg, argues that decolonization had an impact akin to the start of the Cold War or the collapse of Communism. The book traces the wide array of actors, from radical feminist and immigrant labor leaders to police officers, who came to define their own agendas in relation to imperial withdrawal. It shows how decolonization caused a retrenchment into exclusionary and racialized conceptions of what it means to be European; a retrenchment whose legacies are still with us today.

The history of the European radical right and the global history of anti-fascism are other enduring scholarly concerns. I’ve recently published on how a transnational group of anti-imperial anti-fascists responded to attempts to marginalize their work as anti-fascism changed shape and went mainstream in Europe and the United States, starting from the late 1940s.

My teaching interests include the history of imperialism and decolonization; internationalism; fascism and anti-fascism; and the history of human rights and political economics. My graduate courses help prepare our students for careers both in and out of academia.  I encourage my students and the public at large to embrace history as a discipline that offers critical insight into the past and that can help us imagine a more just future.

Within the historical community, I serve as a manuscript referee for several academic presses and journals, and on the UW Press Editorial Board. I am also on awards committees for the ACLS, the American Historical Association, and the European Science Foundation.

Within the broader community, I am involved in the Public Humanities initiative at the University’s Center for the Humanities, the Havens-Wright Center for Social Justice, and WORT community radio. I also regularly partner with Madison-area public high schools and community organizations in my teaching. I am a member of Local #233.


Ph.D., Columbia
M.Phil., Cambridge
B.A., Brown


Selected Publications

  • Book in progress:Decolonization and the Remaking of Europe, with Udi Greenberg (under contract with Princeton University Press)
  • Book in progress:Unpaid Debts: The European Left, North-South Dialogue, and the Fight for Economic Decolonization (contract under negotiation)
  • “Boundaries of Belonging: The Welfare State in the Wake of Decolonization,” with Matthew Sohm, Contemporary European History 32, 2 (May 2023): 1-3.
  • “How to Do Things with Words: Antifascism as a Differentially Mobilizing Ideology, from the Popular Front to the Black Power Movement,” Journal of the History of Ideas 84, 1 (January 2023): 127-155.
  • “Will Mario Draghi’s Center Hold?” Dissent Magazine (March 17 2021).
  • “Transnationalizing the Spanish Civil War,”Contemporary European History (July 2020): 261-263.
  • “The New International Economic Order, Utopian Realism, and the Recovery of an Alternative Vision for Global Governance,” Duke Global Working Paper (May 2019).
  • “New Histories of Internationalism,” Journal of World History 31, 4 (December 2020): 797-804.
  • “The New International Economic Order and the Recovery of an Alternative Vision for Global Governance,” Duke Global Working Paper (May 2019)
  • “Transatlantic Catholicism and the Making of the ‘Christian West,’” in The TransAtlantic Reconsidered, Susanne Lachenicht and Charlotte Lerg, eds. (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2018)
  • “Pius XII, Rights Talk and the Dawn of the Religious Cold War,” in Religion and Human Rights, Devin Pendas, ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming)
  • “The Vatican, Nazi-Fascism, and the Making of Transnational Anticommunism in the 1930s,” Journal of Contemporary History 51,2 (2016): 261-290.
  • “Introduction: Decolonization and Religion in the French Empire,” with Elizabeth Foster, French Politics, Culture, & Society 33, 2 (summer 2015): 1-12.
  • “The Catholic Origins of Economic Development after World War II,” French Politics, Culture, & Society 33, 2 (summer 2015): 55-75.
  • “Catholics, Antisemitism, and the Human Rights Swerve,” The Immanent Frame (June 2015)
  • “The Vatican and the Reshaping of the European International Order after World War I,” The Historical Journal, 56 (December 2013): 955-976.
  • “La Giac di Gedda di fronte alla crisi europea,'” in Luigi Gedda nella storia, Paolo Trionfini and Simon Ferrantin, eds. (Rome: Studium, 2013), pp. 325-336.
  • “Cardinal Pizzardo and the Internationalization of Catholic Action,” in Gouvernement pontifical sous Pie XI, Laura Pettinaroli, ed. (Rome: École française de Rome, 2012)
  • “Primo Tapia and the Mexican Agrarian Revolt,” with artist Christopher Cardinale, in Wobblies: A Graphic History of the Industrial Workers of the World, eds. Paul Buhle and Nicole Schulman (New York: Verso, 2005)

Invited Talks & Research Presentations

  • “Socialism, Barbarism, or Economic Liberalization,” Cornell University, October 2023
  • “From Nationalization to Privatization: Changing Repertoires of the Socialist Left,” Università Roma III, June 2023
  • “Dreams Differed: Global Inequality and the Failed Promise of the 1970s,” Kandersteg Seminar, New York University/Switzerland, April 2023
  • “(Dis)organized Labor and European Integration in the Wake of Decolonization,” Harvard University, November 2022
  • “Mobilizing against Multinationals: From the Right of Economic Sovereignty to the European Rescue of the Nation-State (Again),” Center for European and Mediterranean Studies, New York University, November 2022
  • “Revisiting Hegemony,” Columbia University, New York, May 2022
  • “Europe from the Margins,” Defining Global Europe. Ideas, Themes and Concepts, University of Trento, Italy, February 2022
  • “Keynote: What We Choose to Remember,” Pius XII (1939-1958) and the Low Countries. Two years after the opening of the Vatican Archives–First results, new insights, research perspectives, Academia Belgica and the Royal Dutch Institute, Rome, February 2022
  • “On Religious Freedom and Oppression,” The Past and Present of Christian Democracy, Budapest, September 2021
  • “The Pius XII papers,” War and Genocide, Construction and Change: The Global Pontificate of Pius XII, Rome, June 2021
  • “How to Do Things With Words: Antifascism as a Differentially Mobilizing Ideology,” American University in Paris, April 2021
  • “The Coup that Shook the World: Chile’s 9/11 and the Reinvention of the European Left,” Institute for Research in the Humanities, UW-Madison, April 2021
  • “A Twentieth-Century Crusade: The Vatican’s Battle to Remake Christian Europe,” Washington History Seminar, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC, February 2021
  • “Catholic Internationalism,” Oxford University, Seminar in Modern European History, November 2020
  • “A Transnational Crusade: The Vatican’s Battle against Liberalism and Communism” Free University of Berlin,  Berlin, June 2020
  • “A Twentieth-Century Crusade: The Vatican’s Battle to Remake Christian Europe,” Washington History Seminar, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC, March 2020
  • “A Twentieth-Century Crusade: The Vatican’s Battle to Remake Christian Europe,” University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, March 2020
  • “Fascism and Anti-Fascism,” Annenberg Seminar, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, October 2019
  • “Transnational Solidarities, Neo-Liberal Economics, and the Chicago Boys in Chile,” Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Santiago, August 2019
  • “Christian Conceptions of Global Order,” King’s College, London, June 2019
  • “Modernization Theory is Dead / Long Live Modernization Theory,” Global History and Catholicism conference, Notre Dame University, South Bend, IND, May 2019
  • “A Twentieth-Century Crusade: The Vatican’s Battle to Remake Christian Europe,” Center for the Humanities, University of Wisconsin at Madison, May 2019
  • “The Five-Star Movement, the Northern League, and the Historical Roots of Anti-Politics in Italy,” University of Wisconsin at Madison, Division of Continuing Studies, April 2019
  • “The New International Economic Order and the Recovery of an Alternative Vision for Global Governance,” Realism, Liberal Internationalism, History: Conceiving a New Research Agenda, Duke University, Center for International and Global Studies, Durham, NC, February 2019
  • “The Vatican Agenda after 1945,” Religion, Communism, and the Cold War, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, May 2018
  • “Catholic Internationalism after World War II: The Vatican’s Role in Early Postwar Nation-Building,” 25th International Conference of Europeanists, Chicago, IL, March 2018
  • “Catholic Internationalism,” The Study of Global Catholicism in the Modern Period workshop, Notre Dame, Indiana, February 2018
  •  “Democracy and Crisis,” The Crisis of Democracy and Global Interdependence: Aldo Moro’s vision and George L. Mosse’s Interpretations, New York University, November 2017
  •  “The Vatican’s Anticommunist Crusade,” American Historical Association annual conference, Denver, CO, January 2017
  • “The Pope vs. Wilson: How Catholic Internationalism Outlived the Wilsonian Moment,” United States Intellectual History Conference, Stanford University, October 2016
  • “Sacco and Vanzetti: What Can We Learn From Their Story?” UW-Madison, September 2016
  • “The Vatican, Nation-Building, and International Law,” Political Catholicism Conference, NYU,December 2015
  • “The Vatican, Religious Nationalism, and the Catholic International after World War I,” The Evolution of the Papacy: Modernity, Media, and Mission,” Northwestern University, October 2015
  • “Soft Power and the Vatican,” La Follette School of Public Affairs, UW-Madison, September 2015
  • “Ethno-Nationalism, Antisemitism, and Catholic Internationalism,” the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, August 2015
  • “Catholic Associational Life and State-Making,” Forms of Public Sociality conference, the University of Crete, May 2015
  • “Catholic Civil Society,” special lecture in Global Political Catholicism class, taught by Professor Charles Gallagher, Boston College, October 2014
  • “The Vatican and Catholic Internationalism,” University of British Columbia-Vancouver, February 2014
  • “The Catholic Church and ‘Christian States’ after 1919 and after 1945,” Theorizing Religion in Modern Europe conference, Harvard University, January 2014

Advisor To

Selected Awards

  • Yao Teaching Prize, Spring 2021
  • Vilas Associates Competition, September 2021-present
  • Mellon-Morgridge Award, University of Wisconsin, Madison, September 2020-present
  • Bloomenkranz Award, Center for European Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison, September 2020-present
  • Michael H. Hunt Prize for International History from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations for A Twentieth-Century Crusade 
  • Marraro Prize of the American Catholic Historical Association for A Twentieth-Century Crusade
  • IRH Resident Fellowship, University of Wisconsin, Madison, September-December 2019
  • Fall Research Competition, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education,University of Wisconsin, Madison, June 2019
  • DAAD and Center for German and European Studies Research Competition, University of Wisconsin, Madison, January 2019-December 2020
  • First Book Award, University of Wisconsin, Madison, May 2018
  • American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, September 2017-May 2018
  • Brittingham Fund Award for Seminar Series in History and Politics, January 2015; renewed 2016 and 2017
  • U.S. Holocaust Museum summer fellow for research workshop, August 2015

History Courses