Dr Bianca Gaudenzi

CRA in Modern European History, Wolfson College
Research Fellow, GHI Rome and Zukunftskolleg, University of Konstanz

Bianca Gaudenzi is currently CRA in Modern European History at Wolfson College and Research Fellow at the German Historical Institute in Rome and the Zukunftskolleg, University of Konstanz. She was recently awarded a grant by the German Research Foundation (DFG) to fund her project on 'The restitution of looted cultural property in Austria, Italy and the Federal Republic of Germany, 1945-1998'.

Bianca Gaudenzi's current research focuses on the politics of restitution of cultural property looted during WWII in the three main post-fascist countries of Western Europe, namely Austria, Italy and the Federal Republic of Germany, from 1945 to 1998 (year of the signing of the "Washington Declaration on Nazi-confiscated Art").

She previously held the posts of Marie Curie-ZIF Fellow at the University of Konstanz, Junior Research Fellow at Newnham College and Royal Historical Society Centenary Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, London. Her research interests lie in the cultural and social history of 20th-century Germany, Italy and Austria, with a particular focus on the history of consumer culture and its political implications during the Fascist and Nazi regimes, post-fascist memory politics in Western Europe and the restitution of looted cultural heritage in the post-1945 period. Previous research projects covered the history of women's role and representation in Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy and the commercialisation of political symbols in interwar Europe.

Bianca is happy to supervise or advise B.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. students on different aspects of modern German, Italian and Austrian social and cultural history, including in particular the social and cultural history of Fascism and Nazism; the history of consumption; media history; the evolution of women's role and representation in 20th-century Europe; the history of the Italian Resistance; the politics of art and heritage in 20th-century Europe and the restitution of looted cultural property after the Second World War.

Modern European History since 1789

Fascism, Nazism and comparative fascist studies

Looted Art and Restitution in the Twentieth Century

Gender History

Media History

Marie Curie-ZIF Postdoctoral Fellow, Zukunftskolleg and Department of History and Sociology, University of Konstanz (2015-2017)

D. Cohen Junior Research Fellow in Modern European History, Newnham College (2011-2014)

Researcher for the Commission for Looted Art in Europe, London (2010-2011)

Royal Historical Society Centenary Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, London (2009-2010)

JWT Fellow at the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Marketing and Advertising History at Duke University, North Carolina (2009)


Tags & Themes


Wolfson College
Barton road
Cambridge CB3 9BB

German Historical Institute in Rome
Via Aurelia Antica, 391
00165 Rome


Key Publications

Monographs & Special Issues

  • B. Gaudenzi, Fascismi in vetrina. Pubblicità e modelli di consumo nel Ventennio e nel Terzo Reich [Selling Fascism. Advertising and consumer culture in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany(Rome: Viella, 2023) 
  • N. Fasce, E. Bini, B. Gaudenzi, Comprare per credere. La pubblicità in Italia dalla Belle Époque a oggi [Buy it to Believe it. Advertising in Italy from the belle époque to the present] (Rome: Carocci, 1st edition 2016, 5th print January 2023)
  • B. Gaudenzi, A. Swenson, M-A. E. Middelkoop (Guest Editors), The Restitution of Looted Art in the Twentieth Century: Transnational and Global Perspectives, Special Section of the Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 52, 3 (July 2017), pp. 491-667
  • B. Gaudenzi, L. Niemeyer (Guest Editors), Historicising the Restitution of Nazi-Looted Art, 1945 to the Present, Special Issue of the International Journal of Cultural Property 28, 3 (2021): 333-477


Articles in Class-A journals & book chapters

  • B. Gaudenzi and A. Swenson, ‘Looted Art and Restitution in the Twentieth Century: Towards a Global Perspective’ in Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 52, 3 (July 2017), pp. 491-518, doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0022009417692409
  • B. Gaudenzi, ‘The “Return of Beauty”? The Politics of Restitution of Nazi-looted Art in Italy, the Federal Republic of Germany and Austria, 1945-1998’, in European Review of History/Revue européenne d’histoire 28, 2 (2021): 323-346, doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/13507486.2021.1885350
  • B. Gaudenzi, L. Niemeyer, ‘Between material culture and “living-room art”: historicizing the restitution of fascist-looted art’, in International Journal of Cultural Property 28, 3 (2021): 333-341, doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0940739122000029
  • B. Gaudenzi, ‘Cultural Restitution and the “rediscovery” of the Holocaust in Italy, 1989-2003’, in Journal of Modern European History 21, 3 (2023) [pages tbc]
  • B. Gaudenzi (introduced and edited by), ‘Competing memories? The Holocaust and colonial atrocities in German history’ with contributions by David Blackbourn, Rita Chin, Gustavo Corni, Marie Muschalek & Sven Reichardt, Hannah Tzuberi, in Passato e Presente 118 (2023), pp. 18-52, doi: 10.3280/PASS2023-118002
  • B. Gaudenzi, ‘Crimes against Culture: From Plunder to Postwar Restitution politics’ in S. Gigliotti and H. Earl (eds.), The Wiley Companion to the Holocaust (London: John Wiley & Sons, 2020), pp. 191-208
  • ​​​​​B. Gaudenzi, ‘Tra autarchia e vita comoda. La politicizzazione della comunicazione commerciale nella Germania nazionalsocialista e nell’Italia fascista’ in S. Cavazza e F. Triola (eds.), Parole sovrane. Comunicazione politica e storia contemporanea in Italia e Germania (Bologna: Il Mulino 2017), pp. 135-156
  • B. Gaudenzi, ‘Dictators for Sale: The Commercialisation of the Duce and the Führer in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany’ in J. Rüger and N. Wachsmann (eds.), Rewriting German History. New perspectives on modern Germany (London: Palgrave Macmillan 2015), pp. 267-87
  • B. Gaudenzi, ‘Press advertising and fascist dictates: Showcasing the female consumer in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany’, Journalism Studies, Vol. 14, 5 (September 2003), pp. 663-80 [republished in S. Newman and M. Houlbrook (eds.), The Press and Popular Culture in interwar Europe, 1918-1939 (London: Routledge 2014), ‘Journalism Studies: Theory and Practice’ series, pp. 25-42]