Provenzano, Luca

Field: Modern Europe; Advisor: Moyn; Year: 2013

Luca Provenzano is a Ph.D. candidate in History at Columbia University. His dissertation, “Under the Paving Stones: Militant Protest and State Power in France and West Germany, 1968-1978,” traces the recent genealogy of contemporary manifestations of radicalism and police practices. Although the “the state” is ubiquitous in histories of student and worker militantism in the sixties and seventies, his dissertation is the first scholarly account to use extensive public archives alongside the traditional sources of social and political history to trace the recomposition of state power due to protest. The dissertation reconstitutes adversarial protest-confrontations and uncovers the distant roar of battle around the events: the power of the paving stone in the face of traditional police tactics; the furor of the impending police charge; the arresting, stifling consequences of “tear gas.” His work argues that militant protest subverted the architecture of the protest management state, circa 1968, and traces how politicians, functionaries, and police struggled to confront the novel forms of dissent —articulating new manifestations of the state in the seventies. His forthcoming article, “Beyond the Matraque: State Violence and Its Representation during the Parisian 1968 Events,” is slated for the September 2019 issue of the Journal of Modern History.

Luca was a 2018 recipient of a DAAD year-long fellowship, the 2017-2018 Columbia selection for the Columbia/Sciences Po Ph.D. exchange program, and a 2015 recipient of the Alliance Call for Doctoral Mobility. He has been a fellow at the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society since 2013. His academic interests include modern European political history; decolonization; radical ideologies; political violence; political and social thought; critical theories; and the history of the social sciences.


- B.A. in History from Reed College, 2011
- M.A./M.Phil. from Columbia University, 2015 and 2017


In addition to his dissertation research, Luca has taught post-war and 20th century Western European, central European, and Russian history. He was a co-organizer for the Columbia President’s Global Innovation Fund History Department grant in 2013 and served as a graduate student co-organizer and contributor to the Foucault 13/13 series stewarded by Bernard Harcourt and Jésus R. Velasco in 2015-2016.