Important Note: This course is cross-listed with HIST 360 and SOC 360. This course was formerly HSIT 360.
This course will focus on the history of Italian immigration to the US and on the contribution of Italians to the formation of a collective American cultural identity. It will examine the history of Italian American immigration to the US and the experience and depiction of Italian identity (as well as its related themes of ethnic identity and cultural conflict) in American society, especially after the turn of the Twentieth century. Students will analyze the historical reasons of why Italians left their homeland and look at the conditions of their voyages and first arrival in the United States. The course will then go on to examine the conditions, treatment, and cultural experiences of the immigrants in their new home, and to consider which changes old-world traditions (familial, sexual, political, social) underwent.
The course focuses on an interdisciplinary historical-cultural analysis, taking into consideration primary and secondary historical writings, literature, art, and film in investigating the “Italian American Experience” from the earliest settlers to the contemporary experience.
By the end of this course, students will have:
- an understanding of the history and heritage of Italian emigration
- examined the conditions Italian immigrants experienced during their voyage and upon their arrival
- become aware of the contributions Italian immigrants made to the diverse cultural landscape in the USA, including artistic, political, and literary
- analyzed various narrative sources (literary and cinematic) dealing with Italian migratory experience
- investigated a wide variety of primary sources dealing with the Italian American experience and have learned how to evaluate those
- the ability to comment on artistic and literary representations of the Italian migratory experience
Jerre Mangione – Ben Morreale, La Storia: Five Centuries of the Italian American Experience, New York, Harper Perennial, 1992.
Thomas Reppetto American Mafia, New York, Henry Holt, 2004.
- Mario Puzo, The Fortunate Pilgrim
- Pietro di Donato, Christ in Concrete
- The Milk of Almonds: Italian American Women Writers on Food and Culture (selections)
- Emanuele Crialese, Nuovomondo (2006)
- Stanley Tucci and Campbell Scott, Big Night (1996)
- The Italian Americans
Selected works by Osvaldo Louis Guglielmi, Ralph Fasanella, Joseph Stella, Lewis Hine, Jacop Riis