The disintegration the Habsburg Monarchy and the Italian occupation of the former Austrian Littoral marked a watershed in the Slovene-language schooling in the Littoral and its teaching staff. As early as in the period of the Italian military administration of the occupied area teachers of both genders saw the removal of several Slovene-language schools, loss of employment, police control, as well as obstruction of teaching and public activities. The rise of the Fascist Party and Mussolini’s rise to power, along with the occupied area being allocated to Italy, aggravated the position of Slovene teachers radically. Gentili’s reform, which had done away with all Slovene-language schools in the Julian March by 1928, saw to it that Slovene teachers were transferred to Italian schools on the Apennine Penninsula or removed entirely. Teachers who held the Italian citizenship were in most cases sent to Italian schools far away from the Julian March, while those without it were forced to relocate to Yugoslavia and accept teaching posts in remote areas and, consequently, take up unfavourable positions. The removal of the Slovene-language school system had a dramatic effect on politically active women teachers, particularly those teaching in private schools operated by the Cyril and Methodius School in Trieste, i.e. on promoters of Slovene women’s emancipatory movement at the turn of the 20th century. Based on the data gathered in Minka Pahor’s book and reports published in the newspaper Edinost and Učiteljski list, the paper will highlight the chronology of their transfers and extortions, as well as gender-based differences that occurred during their transfers or dismissals. Special attention will be paid to the first post-war period and the 1920s.


Marta Verginella is the principal investigator on the ERC Advanced Grant project EIRENE. She is a professor at the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, teaching European History of the 19th Century and Theory of History at the Department of History. She has published numerous monographs and articles on the subject of border studies, memory studies, oral history, and nineteenth-century history. She conducted pioneering work on social and cultural history of World War I and II, specifically on the history of women in Slovenia.

She is the author of Il confine degli altri (Roma 2008); Dolga pot pravic žensk. Pravna in politična zgodovina žensk na Slovenskem (Ljubljana 2013); La guerra di Bruno: l’identità di confine di un antieroe triestino e sloveno (Roma 2015); Terre e lasciti. Pratiche testamentarie nel contado triestino tra Otto e Novecento (Trieste 2016). She has edited two monograph issues of Qualestoria, addressing to the subject of border studies: La storia al confine e oltre il confine. Uno sguardo sulla storiografia slovena (XXXV, 1, 2007); Sconfinamenti storiografici e attraversamenti di confini (XLIV, 1, 2016). She has edited and authored studies published in the book entitled Slovenka. Prvi ženski časopis (1897–1902). This acclaimed monograph (English title Slovenka, The First Women’s Newspaper) was published in Slovenia (Ljubljana, 2017) and Italy (Trieste, 2019).