Department of History

Carl Ipsen

  • Professor, Department of History


  • B.A. at University of California, Berkeley, 1985
  • M.A. at University of California, Berkeley, 1987
  • M.A. at University of California, Berkeley, 1991
  • Ph.D. at University of California, Berkeley, 1992

Contact Information

Ballantine Hall, Rm. 727
(812) 855-8976


Carl IpsenI began my academic life as a historian of science interested in the social sciences and in particular demography. My dissertation work on population policy in Fascist Italy turned me into more of an historian of social policy and social problems. My second book on children’s issues in c.1900 Italy (abandonment, labor, delinquency, emigration) continues more or less in that vein. I have also done some work on emigration and ideas about emigration in that same period. I am a member of The Nineteenth Century Forum at Indiana University. Beyond the academy, I have worked as a consultant on the issues of contemporary child immigration and integration in Italy (an EU project) and on smoking in post-World War II Italy (for a law firm). My teaching has focused on nineteenth- and twentieth- century Europe and Italy (soon to include specific courses on the mafia and fascism), though I have also looked at the very long-term question of Europe’s place in the world and taught several times a course on world history since 1945. I grew up in Berkeley and have spent a number of years in Rome on various research trips and as a fellow of the American Academy in Rome.

Selected Awards

  • Indiana University President's Arts & Humanities Initiative Award
  • American Academy in Rome Fellow
  • American Philosophical Society Research Grant
  • American Historical Association Marraro Prize for the best book in Italian History
  • Fulbright Grant

Research Interests

  • Italy: Fascism, population, children

Courses Recently Taught

  • The Mafia and other Italian Mysteries
  • A History of Fascism
  • History of the World since 1945
  • The Cultures of Modern Europe
  • Modern Italy
  • A Global History of Europe
  • Nineteenth-Century Europe

Publication Highlights


Italy in the Age of Pinocchio. Children and Danger in the Liberal Era. New York: Palgrave, 2006.

Dictating Demography: The Problem of Population in Fascist Italy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1996. [translated in Italian as: Demografia totalitaria: Il problema della popolazione nell’Italia fascista. Bologna: Il Mulino, 1997.]


“A Greater Italy: The Italianization of Argentina,” in Anthony Grafton and Marc Rodriguez, eds., Migration in History, (Rochester, NY: The University of Rochester Press, 2006

“Under the Stats of Fascism: The Italian Population Projections of 1929-31.” Popolazione e storia (1/2002): 95-111. [Reprinted in Jochen Fleisccacker, Henk A,. De Gans and Thomas K. Burch, eds., Population Projections and Politics. Critical and Historical Essays on Early Twentieth Century Population Forecasting. Amsterdam, NETH.: Rozenberg, 2003.]

“Legal Infanticide: Foundling Mortality and its Measurement in Turn-of-the-Century Italy with Special Reference to the Casa dell‚Annunziata of Naples.” Popolazione e storia (numero unico/2000): 123-49.