Ana Cergol Paradiž and Petra Testen Koren will participate at the Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Modern Italy, on 1 December 2018 at Italian Cultural Institute in London. They will present their paper at the conference titled The First World War in Italy and Beyond: History, Legacy and Memory (1918 -2018).

Trieste and Ljubljana – (Slovene) servants working possibilities before and after WW1

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?