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Demonstrations in front of the parliament, Ljubljana, March 23 1993. Photo: Tone Stojko. © Muzej za novejšo zgodovino Slovenije [National Museum of Contemporary History], collection Tone Stojko, inv. n. TS19932303_22.

Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Modern Italy

Italian Cultural Institute in London, 30 November – 1 December 2018


About the conference:

The conference explored the history, legacy and memory of the First World War in Italy from 1918 to 2018. As the War was one of the formative experiences of the modern Italian nation, the aim was to place the conflict in a longer chronological perspective and to highlight its lasting impact from a range of viewpoints. Drawing on recent innovations in the historiography, the conference shifted focus away from the battlefields towards hitherto neglected areas of study, including the experience of civilians and everyday life, the transition from war to peace, and the post-war climate and reconstruction. It shed light on how the memory of WWI shaped Italy’s national identity and served political ends during the Fascist period and after the Second World War. The intention was also to escape the confines of national historiography by placing Italy in comparative and transnational contexts. Thus, the centenary presents an opportunity to look with fresh eyes at the mark left by the War on the history, politics and society of Italy.


Keynote speakers:

Prof. Gunda Barth-Scalmani (University of Innsbruck)

Author of numerous works on Italian-Austrian relations and the experiences of women during WWI, including Ein Krieg – Zwei Schützengräben, Österreich – Italien und der Erste Weltkrieg in den Dolomiten 1915–1918 (Bozen 2005) and Militärische und zivile Kriegserfahrungen 1914–1918 (Innsbruck, 2010).

Dr. Marco Mondini (University of Padua/Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Trento)

Author of numerous bestselling books on Italy and WW1, including most recently Il Capo. La Grande Guerra del generale Luigi Cadorna (Il Mulino 2017) and La guerra italiana. Partire, raccontare, tornare 1914–18 (Il Mulino 2014).


Ana Cergol Paradiž, Petra Testen Koren, Trieste and Ljubljana – (Slovene) servants working possibilities before and after WW1

London, 1 December 2018

Paper’s Abstract:

After WW1, the status and the working possibilities for female servants changed substantially. The so called “servant problem” that emerged at the turn of the century, together with (post-) war financial difficulties, became even more evident. Moreover, many (servant) work migrations routes were redirected whereas others persisted. This also holds true for the North-Eastern Adriatic region, where the fall of the Habsburg Empire and the newly established border between Italy and Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia) had an impact on the lives of many ordinary people.

In the period of the Habsburg Empire, many Slovene servants from the Austrian Littoral and the Carniola Region migrated to Trieste and Ljubljana in search of employment. By taking into account newspaper articles and census sheets (1910, 1921) from the aforementioned towns, the paper attempts to establish if the demographic structure of servants changed after the war. Did the newly established borders redirect their work migration routes, and in which cases did the labour market function by its own rules? How did those who remained in Trieste respond to the processes of italianisation? How many people from the former Austrian Littoral could be found among the servants that in the twenties had already been working in Ljubljana? Did the number of Carniolan servants in Trieste/Ljubljana change after WW1? What do the sources tell us about the profiles of their employers? How did servants negotiate their citizenship?

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