dr. Alessandra Bitumi

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I graduated in International and Diplomatic Studies from the University of Bologna (2007) and I hold a PhD in Modern European History (2011) from the University of Pavia (Italy).

Before moving to VUA, I have been Fulbright Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC; visiting scholar at the Centre for European and Mediterranean Studies of New York Unversity; post-doctoral fellow at the University of Bologna and at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris 3, and Teaching Fellow at the University of Edinburgh.


My doctoral research focused on cultural diplomacy and transatlantic relations in the 1970s. My expertise in the field has resulted in various articles, book chapters and historiographical essays published in leading international journals and edited volumes (see cv).
A revised version of my dissertation appeared as a book for the Italian publisher, Il Mulino of Bologna (2014): Un ponte sull’Atlantico. Il “Programma di visitatori” e la diplomazia pubblica della Comunità europea negli anni Settanta (A Bridge on the Atlantic. “The Visitors Program” and the EC Public Diplomacy in the 1970s).

After a research on the political significance of the Delors Commission within the framework of the Atlantic Community, I am currently working on two major research projects.

1) The United States, France and the “Transatlantic Cultural Divide”, 1981-1994. 

2) American Narratives of Europe. Atlanticism, anti-Europeanism and beyond (1979-1992)


Selected publications:

Research Monographs

- Atlantica. Relazioni euro-americane, 1945-2016, (Atlantica. Euro-American relations, 1945-2016), Carocci, Roma (under contract, publication foreseen in 2022)

- Un ponte sull’Atlantico. Il “Programma di visitatori” e la diplomazia pubblica della Comunità europea negli anni Settanta (A Bridge on the Atlantic. “The Visitors Program” and the EC Public Diplomacy in the 1970s), Il Mulino, 2014


Articles and Essays

In peer-review Journals:

- “For the Soul of Europe. Jacques Delors’s Narrative Battle against Reaganomics”, in “The History of the United States in Italy: Generations in Dialogue”, USAbroad. Journal of American History and Politics, vol. 3 No. 1S (2020): Special Issue, pp. 127-137

- “An Uplifting Tale of Europe. Jacques Delors and the contradictory quest for a European Social Model in the Age of Reagan”, Journal of Transatlantic Studies, June 2018, Volume 16, No. 3, pp. 203-221

- “Integrazione europea e relazioni transatlantiche, 1969-1975: alcune note sul dibattito storiografico” (European Integration and Transatlantic Relations, 1969-1975: Some notes on the historiographical debate), in Ricerche di Storia Politica, Il Mulino, No. 1/2014, pp. 41–54

- “Building bridges across the Atlantic: the European Union Visitors Program. A case study for Public Diplomacy and the transatlantic relationship in the Seventies”, International History Review, 2013, Vol. 35 (5): 925–942

In Collective Volumes:

 - “A spirited challenge to Reaganism: the European Social Model and its narrative”, in Joris van Eijnatten and Jaap Verheul (eds.), Constructing America, Defining Europe: Perceptions of the Transatlantic Others, 1900-2000, Leiden: Brill (forthcoming 2020)

- “Il Rispecchiamento: Europa e America nel XX secolo”, in Marc Lazar, Mariuccia Salvati and Loredana Sciolla (eds.), Enciclopedia italiana Treccani, Vol. III, « Culture e società », Treccani, Rome, 2019, pp. 617-625

 - “Rethinking the historiography of transatlantic relations in the Cold War years: The U.S., Europe and the process of European integration” in M. Vaudagna (ed.), Reinstating Europe in American History in a Global Context, Otto, Turin, 2015, pp. 71–95 (Winner of the TSA-CUP Book Prize, 2016)

 - “Le PVCE : les relations extérieures de la CE comme vecteur d’identité” (The ECVP: external relations of the European Community as a tool of identity building), in G. Laschi (ed.), The European Community and the World. A Historical Perspective, Peter Lang, Bruxelles, (2014), pp. 81 – 93

- “Transatlantic Relations beyond the Iron Curtain: Eastern Europe between the United States and the European Union”, in S. Bianchini (ed.), Self-determination and Sovereignty: from historical legacies to the EU external role, Longo Editore, Ravenna, 2013, pp. 233–250

Non-peer review Journals:

- “Europa e Stati Uniti. Le prospettive delle relazioni transatlantiche nell’era Biden-Harris”, Rivista Il Mulino, Numero 513 _ 01/2021, pp. 116-125

- “Governing a commodified culture in the 1980s. Jack Lang, the U.S. and the European exception”, in Storia e Futuro, Laboratorio, No. 44, June 2017

 - “Narrating Social Europe. The search for progress in the “Age of Delors”, Delors Institute, policy paper 185 http://www.institutdelors.eu/media/promouvoireuropesociale-bitumi-ijd-jan17.pdf?pdf=ok




At Vrije Universiteit, I teach International Relations from Below and Global Justice in the BA programme Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) .

In the past, I have taught at the University of Bologna; at the Dickinson College, the American University of Paris, the Institut d’études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) and at the University of Edinburgh.

I have lectured and run seminar courses (both
undergraduate and postgraduate) on post-1945 Contemporary History, International History, Cold War History, Transatlantic Relations that
I have designed or co-designed.

I have also run Pathways in Historical Methodologies and Skills; History
in Theory and History in Practice. 

I have also supervised several MA dissertations and research projects.  


2016 Jacques Delors Fellowship, Notre Europe, Paris 

2015-2016 Mairie de Paris Research Fellowship, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris 3

2011-2014, Post-doctoral Fellowship, Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Bologna   

2012-2014 Jean Monnet Teaching Module  (European Union Teaching and Research grant)                     

2012/2014 Marco Polo Fellowships (University of Bologna/EU, 7th framework program)

2012 Research Scholar Program Grant, European Union Center of Excellence, European Studies Center, University of Pittsburgh, USA                                                                          

2010-2011 Fulbright-Schuman Fellowship, History and Public Policy Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars       

2009 Eisenhower Research Grant, Eisenhower Presidential Library, Abilene (KS) 

2007-2011 Ph.D. Fellowship from the Italian Ministry of Education and Research                                          

Academic qualification

Modern History, PhD, University of Pavia

Award Date: 18 Feb 2011

International Relations, Master, Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna

Award Date: 30 Mar 2007

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  • International History; Transatlantic Relations; Cold War History; European Integration


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