Ruth Ben-Ghiat is Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University and a cultural critic who has been the recipient of Guggenheim, Fulbright, and other fellowships. She writes and speaks frequently on fascism, authoritarian rulers, Donald lTrump, and the politics of images. See The New Yorker and Haaretz features on her work, her essays on Trump for The Atlantic, her Slate History of Fascism podcast, and her CNN.com profile, with her widely circulated column on what to expect from an authoritarian President. Her most recent pieces address the “double game” President Trump plays with all things Jewish, including Holocaust memory, and why Trump’s admiration for Turkish President Erdogan is a danger sign for us.
What happens to societies when authoritarian governments take hold? How do those strongmen stay in power, and why do so many people stay loyal to them no matter what they say or do? Fascist Modernities (2001, trans. La cultura fascista, 2004) answers these questions, as does her award-winning study of Fascist war film propaganda, Italian Fascism’s Empire Cinema (Indiana, 2015). And how can they be resisted? Her Huffington Post piece addresses the lessons and legacies of the Italian anti-fascist resistance, Europe’s largest.
She’s a compelling speaker for both academic and general audiences, in English and Italian, and provides digital content curation and historical consulting for advertising, film, and media companies. See her CNN.com 2014 multi-media series on the 100th anniversary of World War One.
Ben-Ghiat has extensive experience in academic administration, with expertise in globalization, program building, and community outreach. She chaired the NYU Italian Studies Department from 2005 to 2013, guiding it to become one of the top such departments.
She sits on the Board of Directors of the World Policy Institute, and in 2013 received an Award for Outstanding Service for her work for the Scholar Rescue Fund of the Institute of International Education.
Follow her on Twitter @ruthbenghiat.