Fleeing dictatorship: socialism, sexuality and the history of science in the life of Aldo Mieli.
History Workshop Journal, 72(1) pp. 30–51.
This article examines the life and activities of the Italian intellectual Aldo Mieli (1879-1950) as examples of the impact on intellectual agendas of interference by the authorities. Mieli is nowadays known as one of the founders of the history of science as an autonomous discipline and as a pioneer of gay rights. For most of his life he managed to further his activities related to the history of science. The political career that he started as a young man, however, was cut short because the Italian Socialist Party could not accept his homosexuality. His first exile (to France in 1928), and his leaving of one of the two journals he had founded, Rassegna di studi sessuali (which hosted discussions on all aspects of sexuality), in the hands of people close to the Fascist regime have been generally seen as Mieli’s free choice. But his private correspondence reveals that his hatred and fear of the regime left him with no option. In particular, the regime did not tolerate any opposition to its demographic policy and its own view of eugenics. As a consequence Rassegna was brought into line and Mieli pushed aside. The Fascist regime thus covertly closed down a prominent forum for discussion of sexuality and homosexuality.
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||Arts > Philosophy
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