Scottish Studies Zoom Talk

The Italian community in inter-war Scotland.
The fascist project.

an online talk by Remigio Petrocelli

Saturday, June 11, 2022
11 a.m. (EDT Eastern Canada/USA) - 4 p.m. (UK)

This event has taken place. A recording of Remigio's talk can be seen via the following links:

Part 1 (Introduction):

Part 2 (Remigio's talk):

Part 3 (Q and A session):

Italian men and boys from Glasgow's local Fascio in the 1930s

Following up on the worldwide popularity of our series of last year's online Zoom Talks, we have been preparing a new schedule for the 2022-23 season with a variety of topics of interest to Scots worldwide and which will allow "attendees" to participate and to ask questions.

Today a rough estimate is that some 20,000 Scots are of Italian heritage and the magnificent contribution to Scottish society, economy and culture that they and their forbears have made should not be underestimated. But on Saturday, June 11th, in the second in this series of talks, we will be looking at a forgotten chapter in an otherwise impressive legacy — the unfortunate story of Scotland's Italian fascists.

The talk will be given by University of Dundee PhD candidate Remigio Petrocelli (pictured above) who will present a paper which draws on various Italian and British contemporary primary sources including consular documents, MI5 reports and press cuttings, which focus on Italian diaspora and fascist initiatives in Scotland. These ranged from direct political activism to the infiltration of recreational and cultural organizations. The activities carried out by Italian fascist branches in Scotland were part of the fascist regime's bigger project to forge a global Italian national identity, consolidate Italian communities' cohesion as well as to strengthen links between these communities and Italy. In addition, through Italian emigrants, the regime also tried to "export" its ideology and propaganda to the host society.

In detail, Remigio's paper looks at some of the social and political activities performed in Glasgow and Edinburgh to achieve these goals. Remigio will analyze the results of Italian community-building which eventually led to the constitution of the Casa d'Italia (House of Italy) which opened in May 1935 and which became the Italians' centre of gravity until June 1940, when Fascist Italy declared war on Britain. Finally, the attitude of the Scots toward these activities and the Italian community more generally will be explored. These topics are part of Remigio's wider PhD project which researches the efforts of Fascism in the Scottish context.

In 2014, Remigio completed his Undergraduate and Masters Degree at the Federico II University in Naples, Italy after which he studied English for one year in Melbourne, Australia. Since October 2018 he has been enrolled as Postgraduate Researcher at the University of Dundee, working on his PhD project: Italian Fascist clubs in interwar Scotland.

1930s Italian-Scots schoolchildren pictured here in their Fascist uniforms

To register for this event, kindly contact David Hunter by email at You will then be sent the appropriate Zoom login information. Please register no later than Friday, June 10th. This is a free event, but you are welcome to make a donation to our Scholarship Campaign.

You can donate, either online by clicking on the PayPal button above, or by mail using our donation form which you can access here. Your support will be greatly appreciated.

The Scottish Studies Foundation is a Canadian charitable organization (No.119253490 RR0001). For Canadian residents, a tax receipt will be issued for donations in excess of $10.