Hanna is primarily interested in the relationships between architecture, nationalism and power. Her doctoral research, which was completed in 2013 under the supervision of Dr Frank Salmon, forms the basis for a book that will be published shortly by Ashgate under the title Nationhood and the Architecture of Death: Monumental Cemeteries of Nineteenth-Century Italy. Following a fellowship at the British School at Rome (2013-14), Hannah is currently a Lumley Junior Research Fellow (2014-17) at Magdalene College and is working on Marcello Piacentini (1881-1960), the most prominent architect of Mussolini’s Fascist regime.
The British Academy Small Research Grant will allow Hannah to explore an archive held at the Italian Ministry of Defence in Rome, which has previously been closed to researchers. That archive contains drawings, photographs and documents relating to a campaign of propaganda whereby, in the 1930s, Italy’s Fascist authorities exhumed hundreds of thousands of fallen soldiers of the Great War and reburied them in vast ossuaries. The project will focus on the ossuary of Redipuglia, which accommodates 100,000 corpses within a colossal staircase of white stone located close to Italy’s Slovenian border.