A working seminar has held in Rome on May 25th, at the Library of Senate of the Italian Republic. The seminar, with the title ‘La Storia come Storia del Lavoro’ (‘History as Labour History’) was meant to discuss the main issues at the root of the SISLav project, briefly illustrated by Luca Baldissara introducing the morning session. The contributions addressed the state of the art in the italian Labour studies, (Stefano Musso, who set out a framework for the beginning of the 21st century ); the development of the global Labour history and its potential for the italian researches (Christian G. De Vito); the history of the “working class movement” concept in the italian tradition (Michele Nani); the changing perpectives on the distant basis of the Industrial revolution, and the need to reset its periodization (Giovanni Favero), the relationship between labour history, working class movement, trades unions history, and politics in XXth century Italy (Jorge Torre Santos). On the whole, both the contributions and the debate focused on the widespread necessity to strenghten the links among the different approaches to Labour History (Pietro Causarano), and to extend backwards the cronological boundaries of what is considered “labour”, in order not only to include late modern periods but also to reconsider the legacy of medioval corporative tradition (Angela Groppi). Suggestions have been made to take into account the connections with other disciplinary fields, such as economic history (Simone Selva).
The afternoon session was meant to explore some of the “open” questions in current researches related to Labour history in a broad perspective. The key role of labour has been examined with relation to the building of the corporative State during the Fascist regime and the corporatist practices before and after its establishment (Laura Cerasi), and with regard to the making of the civil and constitutional laws during the XXth century (Irene Stolzi). The working class movement and the trades unions was instrumental in the establishment of the Italian Republic after WWII, and its part has still to be examined (Lorenzo Bertucelli), and such is for the controversial and thwarted transition from the Fascist regime to democracy after 1945 (Michela Ponzani). Finally, the relationships between migration and labour has been analysed, with a focus on the birth of a modern social security system in the 20th century Italy (Stefano Gallo).
The day before the seminar, in Rome, some members of the steering committee had gathered to discuss about the Statute, the first plenary meeting for the official foundation of the Society, the website, and other formal activities. In particular, the Steering Meeting urged that the Statute will underline the main aims of the society, stressing about the importance to disseminate the labour history studies in every possible form, inside and outside the academic environment. The meeting for the formal foundation of the Society has been scheduled to be held in Milan between the second part of September and the first part of October, at the venues of the Camera del Lavoro.