With Italy in their Baggage International Conference

Since the end of the 19th century, Italian emigration to the rest of the world has become one of the most important migratory movements in contemporary history. Twenty-six million Italians left the Peninsula during the hundred years between the 1860s and the 1960s. More recently, since the beginning of the 2000s, a new wave of more skilled migrants has emerged. In Italy itself, as well as in countries of destination, this migration has proved to be a rich source for historical researchers, and especially on the conditions in which migrants departed and were welcomed, as can be seen in the impressive two-volume Storia dell’emigrazione italiana (Bevilacqua, De Clementi, Franzina, 2002): Partenza and Arrivi. Furthermore, researchers have analysed successive Italian governments’ attitudes towards their overseas ‘colonies’ (Choate, 2008) and the socio-economic impact of emigration on regions of origin (Douki, 1996). Immigration has often been observed from a continental (notably between Europe and the Americas) and national perspective. This research has also highlighted forms of integration, sometimes through comparative studies covering New York and Buenos Aires (Baily, 1999), or Paris and New York (Rainhorn, 2005). Studies on Little Italies, in the Americas and elsewhere (Blanc-Chaléard, Bechelloni, Deschamps, Dreyfus, Vial 2007), have analysed the territorial and social dimensions and thus allowed us to extend our knowledge of ‘migratory chains’ (MacDonald 1964) with their dual localization. Research into Italian emigration has necessarily led to examining the interaction of local, regional and national perspectives (Franzina, 2014).