The author describes the relationship between migration and madness during the period of mass emigration of Italians overseas. She documents the outcomes of the psychophysical selection practices implemented on arrival. These procedures transformed the immigrant into a mental patient. The Author focuses her research on two asylums in Southern Italy - Nocera Inferiore and Catanzaro - studying articles of that period published in psychiatric or migration journals, as well as social and health historical records.
Keywords: Italian transatlantic migration, mental illness as a social pathology of migration, psychophysical selection