Our Faculty

Violetta Ravagnoli

Associate Professor of History

Contact Information


Office Hours

Office: Administration Building, Room 356

Office hours: T/TH 3:00-5:00 p.m., and by appointment via zoom


Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo; M.S., Georgia Institute of Technology; B.A., University of Rome


I was born and raised in Rome, Italy, where I graduated with a B.A. in Asian Studies from the University of Rome "La Sapienza." I also hold an M.S. in International Affairs from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. degree in History from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

My research focuses on Asian History as well as Migrations and Diaspora. I coordinate the COF Minor in Migration Studies

My own personal diaspora started when I moved to Nanjing, China after graduating from College. In China I studied Mandarin and worked for two years before moving to Atlanta, GA. In the US, I have moved two more times as I am looking for "home." Boston might be it!

What I Love About Emmanuel:

I love the fact that I know all my students by name, that I am able to advise them closely and personally follow their progress. I love to see them grow into adults engaged and interested in the academic subjects and in the world around them. I love the fact that at Emmanuel the marvels of education are tangible.

Courses I Teach

  • HIST1101 Intro to Migration Studies
  • HIST1108 World History to 1500
  • HIST1109 Modern World History
  • HIST1111 East Asia History Survey
  • HIST2126 A History of Japan Since 1600
  • HIST2401 History of Modern China
  • HIST2701 Historical Research Methods
  • HIST3404 East Asian Migration and Diaspora
  • HIST3412 Immigrant Kitchens

Publications & Presentations

  • Ravagnoli, Violetta, Book Chapter “Grace Chu: Chinese Cooking At The Crossroad of Ethnicization And Emplacement to appear in Gender and Food in Transnational East Asias: Towards a New Dialogue across Boundaries edited by Rhee, Nagayama, and Li (Rowman and Littlefield, October, 2021). 
  • Ravagnoli, Violetta, Book Chapter “Strega Nona: The Spell On Identities” in Immigrant Generations, Media Representations, and Audiences edited by Omotayo Banjo (Springer Nature, August 2021). 
  • Ravagnoli, Violetta, Book Review of Annabel Jackson. 2020. The Making of Macau’s Fusion Cuisine: From Family Table to World Stage, HK: Hong Kong University Press, in the Journal of Asian Studies, (Cambridge University Press, Spring 2021). 
  • Ravagnoli, Violetta, Book Chapter “Women in the Church: Local and Foreign, and Gender Relations. Japan” in The Palgrave Handbook of the Catholic Church in East Asia edited by Cindy Yik-yi Chu and Beatrice Leung, (Palgrave, 2021). 
  • Ravagnoli, Violetta, Book Review of God’s Little Daughters: Catholic Women in Nineteenth-Century Manchuria, by Ji Li. ChiMoKoJa - Histories of China, Mongolia, Korea and Japan, (Summer, 2018). 
  • Ravagnoli, Violetta, "Gulping and chomping beyond ethnic boundaries: A transnational history of New England" panel organized for the World History Association (WHA); "Food: a staple of identity among Chinese and Italian immigrants in Boston" paper presented at the World History Association (WHA) Conference in Boston, June 2017.
  • Ravagnoli, Violetta, Book Review of Reed Ueda. 2016. Crosscurrents: Atlantic and Pacific Migration in the Making ofa Global America, New York: NY, Oxford University Press, in the Journal ofAmerican Ethnic History, Summer 2017.
  • Ravagnoli, Violetta and John Sisinni, "Declaration of Identity: Survival and Resistance in Boston, 1880-1940s" presented at the New England Historical Association (NEHA) Conference in Salem, MA, April 22, 2017.
  • Ravagnoli, Violetta, "Translocal Lives: Identity and Mobility The Complexities of Asian Migrants' Realities." New England Association for Asian Studies. Boston College, January 2017.
  • Ravagnoli, Violetta, "Toward A Glocal Oral History of Chinese Migration to Rome" in Sagiyama, Ikuko and Valentina Pedone eds., Transcending Borders (Firenze: Firenze University Press, 2016).
  • Ravagnoli, Violetta,  "Toward a Glocal History of Chinese Migrations. Language, memory and ethnicity," presented at the Annual Conference of Asian Studies (AAS) in Seattle, Wash. April 2016.
  • Ravagnoli, Violetta, "Toward a Glocal Oral History," New York Conference of Asian Studies, Vassar College, October 2015.
  • Ravagnoli, Violetta, "Qingtian in Italy - Italy in Qingtian," poster displayed at the IRPET (Istituto Regionale Programmazione Economica Toscana - Regional Institute Economic Program Tuscany) Conference titled "Il ruolo economico della comunita' cinese nel ditretto pratese - The Economic Role of the Chinese Community in the Prato District," Prato, Italy, January 2014.
  • Ravagnoli, Violetta, "Qingtian in Italy - Italy in Qingtian," poster presented at the 6th Chinese in Prato and 4th Wenzhouese Diaspora Symposia, October 2013, Prato, Italy, October 2013.
  • Ravagnoli, Violetta, "Networks Without Borders: Qingtian in Europe and Europe in Qingtian," presented at the 5th Northeastern University Graduate History Conference, Boston, MA, March 2013.
  • Ravagnoli, Violetta, Review: Return Migration and Identity: A Global Phenomenon, A Hong Kong Case, By Nan M. Sussman. Journal of Asian Studies, November, 2012.
  • Ravagnoli, Violetta, Rome's "Unofficial" Chinatown," presented at the Asian Studies Association Annual Conference, Toronto, ON, March 2012.
  • Ravagnoli, Violetta, "Media Representations of Chinese Immigrants to Italy," presented at the Social Science History Association Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, November 2011.
  • Ravagnoli, Violetta, "Development of Identity. Chinese and the 'other' in Italy," presented at The New York Conference of Asian Studies, SUNY Buffalo, NY, September 2011.
  • Ravagnoli, Violetta, "Chinese Immigrants in Italy and the Uprising in Milan," presented at the Plesur Conference, Buffalo, NY, April 2011.
  • Ravagnoli, Violetta, Review: The Birth of a Republic: Francis Stafford's photographs of China's 1911 Revolution and Beyond, by Hanchao Lu; The Chinese Historical Review, Vol. 12, No. 2, Fall 2010.
  • Ravagnoli, Violetta, "Images of Overseas Chinese in Italy from the 1920s to the Present," presented at the New York Conference of Asian Studies, SUNY Brockport, NY, September 2010.
  • Ravagnoli, Violetta, "The Chinese View of World Order: The concept of Tianxia (All-Under-Heaven)," Fudan Journal of China Studies, Vol. 3, No. 2, June 2010.
  • Ravagnoli, Violetta, "The Chinese View of World Order: The concept of Tianxia (All-Under-Heaven) and the Western Worldview," also in Mandarin: "中国的世界秩序观:"天下"概念与西方的世界观, in Proc. of The Intl. Conf. on the Confucian Civilization and Traditional China's Foreign Relations at the Historical and Cultural College, Shandong University, (PRC) September 2007.
  • 2018 Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation Fellowship 
  • 2017 Davis Grant
  • 2013 MDRF Dissertation Grant
  • 2012 UB Graduate Excellence in Teaching Award
  • 2012 NYS GSEU Professional Development Award
  • 2011 SSHA Travel Award for Graduate students

Research Focus

I am interested in East Asian history and in its intertwining with the history of global migrations.

I am working on a manuscript that concerns the origins and development of the twentieth and twenty-first century migration of Chinese to Europe, Italy, Rome, and one neighborhood within Rome.

I have recently started working on a new project on Chinese and Italian immigration to Boston. The tentative title of the project is Chinese and Italians immigrants in 19th and 20th century Boston - a glocal approach.

My research is based on a combination of primary sources, oral history accounts, and ethnographic fieldwork in both sending and receiving communities.

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