CfP: Labour and the Making of Italy from Cavour to Covid

Call for papers and panels, deadline 21 May 2021

Labour and the Making of Italy from Cavour to Covid

Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Modern Italy (ASMI)

3 – 4 December 2021

Italian Cultural Institute, London

Call for papers and panels

This year ASMI annual conference will explore meanings and transformations of work in modern and contemporary Italy, including labour’s shifting geographies, discourses and representations. The decline of the Fordist factory and the diminishing centrality of factories into people’s life and Italy’s national identity triggered in the 1980s and 1990s a temporary decline in the study of labour. However, growing interest in issues such as homeworking, the feminization of work, precarity and “non-lavoro”, cognitive work, new digital professions, transnational flows of labour migration have recently signalled a revival of the field with original and thought-provoking research being carried out in history, political science, sociology, cultural studies and anthropology. Taking stock of this innovative and increasingly interdisciplinary scholarship, the conference will examine the key role played by work in Italy’s political, economic, cultural and social developments since unification and will provide a space to further encourage dialogue on work-related themes across disciplinary boundaries.

We welcome proposals from scholars working in a variety of disciplines including history, literature, film, politics, anthropology, sociology and geography.

Panels might include, but are not limited to:

Rural, industrial, domestic and cognitive work (how have they evolved and changed?);
Transformations of the workplace;
Representations of labour in the media, art and literature;
Precarity and unemployment;
Gender and work;
Symbols, rituals, practices and identities at work;
Labour and conflict;
Workers and the nation, including wartime mobilization;
Labour migration, internal and from abroad;
The study of work from different disciplinary perspectives.
Documentaries and photography on work and labour conflicts.

The organizers welcome proposals for individual papers and for panels composed of 3 speakers. They reserve the right to break up and restructure proposed panels. 

The conference will focus on Italy. However, comparative and transnational papers/panels will be very welcome. Interdisciplinary papers/panels will also be very welcome.

Confirmed keynote speakers:
Prof. Maud Bracke (University of Glasgow)
Prof. Andrea Sangiovanni (University of Teramo)

Please send abstracts (in either English or Italian) of max. 250 words (per 20 minutes presentation) and a short biography to:

The closing date for receipt of abstracts is 21May 2021.

Presenting authors will be notified by the 16th of July if their abstract has been accepted, including the format of their presentation. Papers can be presented in either Italian or English. Covid permitting, the conference will be held at the Italian Cultural Institute. Should the circumstances not allow it, the conference will be held online.

Conference participants, whether delivering papers or not, will be expected to join ASMI and pay the conference fees, but reduced rates will be offered for PG students and the unwaged. 

Please feel free to contact us if you have any queries and requests for clarification (

We look forward to receiving your proposals.

Ilaria Favretto (Kingston University)
Nico Pizzolato (Middlesex University)

Attached document(s):