Farewell to Nicola Tranfaglia, a life between history, journalism and politics

Farewell to Nicola Tranfaglia, a life between history, journalism and politics
Farewell to Nicola Tranfaglia, a life between history, journalism and politics

The historian died at 82 Nicola Tranfaglia. Born, raised and graduated in Naples, his academic career had taken off from Turin, thanks to a position as a researcher at the Luigi Einaudi Foundation and the role of assistant to Alessandro Galante Garrone, two stages that led him to become full professor of contemporary history and, later, dean of the Faculty of Literature and Philosophy of the University of Turin.

However, the life of Nicola Tranfaglia was characterized by two other great passions. The one for journalism, which led him to write on Repubblica and l’Espresso, to edit the book “The History of the Italian Press” with Valerio Castronovo and to direct the Master in Journalism in Turin. And that for politics, which saw him join the Party of Italian Communists in 2004 and become a deputy two years later.

“The eminent role he had both in the academic field and in the constant and fruitful relationship with the wider context of the historiographical, cultural and political debate of almost fifty years must certainly be recognized”, recalls the University of Turin. Who recalls: “He was the first to start a teaching of contemporary history in Turin at a time when the University was trying to open up to a renewed relationship with the surrounding society and to a more profitable sensitivity to the issues that emerged from the political and cultural crisis. of the late 1960s. He has nurtured his commitment to teaching, addressed over the years to thousands and thousands of students and a large number of pupils, with constant research “.

Tranfaglia, the university underlines, “devoted himself primarily to the study of fascism not only through contributions of national and international importance – suffice it to recall only the collection of essays” From the liberal state to the fascist regime “of 1973, a milestone of historiography on the subject -, but also knowing how to exert a constant stimulus to the advancement of research and debate; studies on anti-fascism with particular attention to the Rosselli brothers; those on republican Italy with a privileged look at the events of national politics , of the ruling classes, of the South and of the Mafia; and then the works on the history of the press and of the judiciary, in which he laid the foundations for largely unprecedented approaches in historiographical fields which were then destined to interesting developments “.

On behalf of the colleagues of the Department of Historical Studies, the Director of the Department remembers him Gianluca Cuniberti: “Nicola Tranfaglia left an important and lasting mark in the Turin university and in the Faculty of Literature and Philosophy: in the first place he assumed the responsibility of the Department of History at the time of his birth and then of the doctorate established in the context of contemporary disciplines . It was instrumental in setting up the first degree course specifically dedicated to historical studies. With the same active and innovative spirit, he held the position of principal for two mandates in the difficult phase of the reform of the courses of study, as well as that of deputy rector delegated in particular to the problems of teaching and, more recently, of director of the journalism master . Together with the intense research activity and commitment in society, these traits describe the absolute importance of Nicola Tranfaglia, of his lively and proactive presence in the life of the University of Turin understood as an essential part of the city and national reality “.

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