Corban, Robert

Field: Modern Europe; Advisor: de Grazia

Robert Corban is a doctoral student in the Department of History at Columbia. A native of Tupelo, Mississippi, Robert received his Bachelor of Arts degrees in History and Sociology from the University of Mississippi in 2013. There he was awarded distinction for the honors thesis he wrote about Sicilian agriculture and the political economy of Italian unification.

Robert conducted research on similar topics in modern European history as a graduate student at Syracuse University, where he completed a Master of Arts degree in 2015. Supported by the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, he worked in several state, city and private archives around the Po Valley, reading and writing about the range of agricultural initiatives introduced by Benito Mussolini’s dictatorship in that particular region of the Italian peninsula.

Robert aims to develop a dissertation along these lines as he moves forward, with specific attention to the mechanization of Italian farming and the diffusion of agricultural expertise before, during and after the interwar period.