The Odd Couple
Italy and Japan in WWII
The alliance between Axis Powers during World War II brought together an unexpected coalition between Italy and Japan. Reversing decades of racist assumptions, orientalist views and diverging politics, this partnership sought to cross boundaries in order to cast the two countries as similar and united by common goals. Was this just an illusion created by war propaganda? Or did the encounter between these two countries in fact generate, at times, a sense of mutual understanding and intercultural penetration? Dr Monserrati will respond to these questions based on his research of the rich personal papers of Arundel Del Re, an Italian expatriate in Japan who later settled in Australia, and other archival sources.
Dr Monserrati is Visiting Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at Williams College, Massachusetts, USA. His Fellowship research will inform his book Searching for Japan in Contemporary Italy.
Dr Michele Monserrati is a National Library of Australia Fellow Supported by the Harold S. Williams Trust for Research in Japan Studies.