Ramos, Lucas

Field: Modern Europe; Advisor: de Grazia & Robcis; Year: 2019

Lucas René Ramos (he/him/his) is a doctoral candidate in Modern European history who researches the sexual and religious life of Italy’s Republic. His work has explored French, British, and Italian gay and feminist social movements, as well as the political and legal ramifications of the Vatican and Christian Democracy in the guiding of Italy’s post-Fascist reconstruction. He is interested in queer and LGBTQIA+ history, the history of medicine and psychoanalysis, faith, sex education, and the welfare state.

Lucas’ dissertation, A Far More Severe Law: How Queer Life Unmade the Catholic Nation, Italy (1958-2000), tells the story of activists, politicians, and scientists who forged innovative ways to re-interpret Catholic doctrine and sexuality in the founding of Italy’s Republic. It shows how Italy's postwar regulation of normative and deviant sexuality worked with and against the broader Western sexual liberation movement. From debates over marital annulment’s jurisprudence to Catholic welfare in the time of AIDS, this dissertation argues that Italian civil life, rather than merely repress or tolerate, elaborated a more complicated relationship to non-normative sexual life.


Prior to Columbia, Lucas received his B.A. from Princeton University in History, with a focus on gender and sexuality in Puerto Rican, U.S., and Italian contexts. His work has been awarded fellowships from the Ford Foundation, as well as grants from the Mellon Mays Social Science Research Council. He has been sponsored by the University of Notre Dame’s “Rome Seminar” and the University of Rome at La Sapienza. He is grateful to present his work at the Northeast Modern Language Association (2022) and the European Social Science History Conference (2023). Lucas writes public-facing history and assists in Italian translation (see Heretical Aesthetics: Pier Paolo Pasolini on Painting, forthcoming 2023, Verso).

Beyond his research, Lucas has served as a former Graduate History Association president, Columbia University Sexual Violence Response Center intern, and Office of Academic Diversity and Initiative delegate.

Lucas welcomes future applicants interested in the History Department to write to him.