Preserving Memories of War Captivity: Legacy, Museums and Repositories


April 23, 2024, 2:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Banner image with title of event

First day, in person and on Zoom at CIMA

Second day, in person and on Zoom at Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò – NYU

This event is free and open to the public.


To follow this event from home on Zoom, please use this link:

Organizers: Elena Bellina, NYU; Giorgia Alù, University of Sydney

A two-day international conference where archivists, historians, and museum experts will explore their research endeavors. Delving into the intricate tapestry of WWII Italian captivity across Italy, the United Kingdom, the US, and Australia, this event will provide illuminating discussions on preservation, storytelling, and cataloging efforts. Experts will unveil their curated collections, pioneering scholarly projects, and share insights into the curation of special collections, museums, and institutions intertwined with the cultural and material legacies of Italian POWs.

This event is part of a series on “Memory, Memories, and Memorialization of WWII Italian Captivity”, organized by Elena Bellina and Giorgia Alù and co-sponsored by NYU Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, The University of Sydney, The John D. Calandra Institute for Italian American Institute (CUNY), and the Centre for Italian Modern Art in New York. The events aim to investigate how WWII Italian POWs have narrated their long captivity experiences, as well as how these narratives have been recollected and memorialized in Italy, America, Australia, Asia, and Africa.


ROUNDTABLE 1 – 2:00-4:00pm (EST-NYC)
Preserving Memories of Captivity and Their Legacy: Museums and Archives – Part One

MODERATOR: Nicola Lucchi, Executive Director, Center for Italian Modern Art

Alan R. Perry, Professor of Italian, Gettysburg College, Letterkenny’s Italian POW Trench Art: The Chapel and Bell Tower

Steve Mancini, Professor of Computer and Information Systems, Robert Morris University, On Filming Letterkenny

Summer O’Brian, Curator, Eden Camp Modern History Museum, UK, Collecting Material History of WW2 Captivity in the UK

Emanuele Di Muro, Archivist Archivio dell’Ufficio Storico dello Stato Maggiore dell’Esercito/ Italian Army Historical Office; University of Molise, Italy, Italian POWs in the Italian Army Military Records: The Case of General Guglielmo Nasi

Natalia Cangi, Director, National Diary Archive, Pieve Santo Stefano, Italy, Saverio Tutino’s Project on Collecting War Memories

Emilio Coccia, President, Zonderwater Block Ex POW Association, South Africa, The Italian POWs Legacy in South Africa: the Zonderwater Museum

ROUNTABLE 2 – 4:30-6:30pm (EST-NYC)
Preserving Memories of Captivity and Their Legacy: Digital Humanities Projects

MODERATOR: Yemane Demissié, Professor of Cinema, NYU

Giovanni Pietro Vitali, Associate Professor in Digital Humanities, Université de Versailles Saint Quentin; Associated Researcher, University of Oxford,
Ultime Lettere / Last Letters from the World Wars: Forming Italian Language, Identity and Memory in Texts of Conflict.

Daniel Hutchinson, Associate Professor of History and Chair of the History Department of Belmont Abbey College (NC), German POW Newspaper Archive

Stuart Lee, Reader in e-Learning and Digital Libraries; Faculty of English, University of Oxford, Their Finest Hour: Digital Crowdsourcing of WW2 Material

Adrian Vickers, Professor of Southeast Asian Studies, The University of Sydney
Opening the Multilingual Archive of Australia: OMAA

Light refreshments will be provided

ROUNDTABLE 3 – 7:00-9:00pm (EST-NYC)
Preserving Memories of Captivity and Their Legacy: Museums and Archives – Part Two

MODERATOR: Stefano Albertini, Director, Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, NYU


Joanne Tapiolas, Founder of Footprints of Italian Prisoners of War, Australia, A Community History Project

Elizabeth Triarico, Manager, Italian Historical Society, Co.As.It, Melbourne, Australia, Preserving and Sharing Stories of Italian Captivity in Australia

Elisa Longarato, Founder of Zonderwater Online Project, Italy, On the Zonderwater Block ex-POW Association

Stephanie Longo, Writer of Italian American Regional History, US, Letterkenny, Memories and Community

Alan Perry, Professor of Italian, Gettysburg College, US, Hereford’s Italian POW Material Culture: A Texan Capitello and St. Mary’s Beautification

Warren Stricker, Director of the Research Center, The Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas, US, Captivity and Community on the Texas Plains

Please note: the moderators of this event will be onsite at CIMA, while the speakers will be connecting via Zoom from different countries. We will project the speakers’ live presentations on CIMA’s large screen.

To follow this event on Zoom, please use this link: