CLIA 2014

Cultura e Letteratura italo-americana
Italian/American Culture and Literature
Visiting Professors’ Course Calendar
October 2014
13-17 and 20-24 Sam Patti, Indipendent Scholar
27-31 Paul Giordano, University of Central Florida
November 2014
17-20 Peter Carravetta, Stony Brook University
24-28 Fred Gardaphé John D. Calandra Italian American Institute
(Queens College • The City University of New York)
December 2014
1-5 - Anthony J. Tamburri, John D. Calandra Italian American Institute
(Queens College • The City University of New York)
Sam Patti, Introduction to Italian American Studies from a historical perspective.
Paul Giordano, Joseph Tusiani: Gente Mia; La parola nuova.
Peter Carravetta, Precondizioni per l'esodo: 1861-1896
Anthony Julian Tamburri and Fred Gardaphé: The Italian/American Experience in Print and on
the Big Screen. Re-presentation and Pro-duction
This course offers a close look at the printed and celluloid works of some of the more
prominent names in twentieth- and twenty-first-century Italian-American literature and film.
These works will be examined from two complementary perspectives. On the one hand, we
will analyze the evolution of how Italians (read, Italian Americans) have been represented and
how they have represented themselves within these two media. Namely, how does the plethora
of stereotypes generated by the dominant culture compare to what the Italian Americans
themselves have and continue to produce in their literary and cinematic work. In examining this
historical component of the Italian in the United States, we will also analyze the technique,
“intention,” and narrative “responsibility” of the modern/contemporary writer/filmmaker.
Namely, “How, why, and for whom does one write (or, make films)?” And, if applicable, how
might they be situated within a contemporary literary or cinematic ars rhetorica.
While there were many Italian American newspapers in which appeared creative and
critical work by Italian American writers, so much of it was in Italian and mattered only to its
readers and certainly not to those who were studying Italian in the universities at the time. The
recent works of Francesco Durante (Italoamericana 2001) and Martino Marazzi (I misteri di
Little Italy 2001) captured this well, but it would not be until the children of Italian immigrants
came of age in the 1930s that an articulate voice of Italian Americana would be heard in the
mainstream media. Italian Americans, like many ethnic groups, have sought and established
their identity in images presented in literature, film and popular culture. What the larger society
finds, more often than not, stereotypical representations.
This course draws on a wealth of authentic expressions of the Italian ethnic experience in
the United States to explore varieties of the Italian-American experience from immigration to
ethnicity and beyond. Background lectures, discussions of readings in literature, history, and
sociology and films will be utilized to bring a full range of resources to this study. The course
will provide students with historical and theoretical backgrounds to become aware of the
experience of Italians in America and their contributions to American culture.
Course work will consist of in-class discussion of assigned readings and viewings based on
field notes taken during reading, processed in small groups and presented in class. Final
examination will be in the form of a 7-10 page researched essay based on course reading,
developed in consultation with the instructors through written proposal, and presented orally to
the class during the exam sessions. Grading will be based on class participation and
performance and on written and oral assignments.
From the Margin: Writings in Italian Americana, edited by Anthony Julian Tamburri, Paul
Giordano, Fred Gardaphé, West Lafayette, Purdue University Press, 2000.
La Storia: Five Centuries of the Italian American Experience, edited by Jerre Mangione and
Ben Morreale, Harper Perennial, 1993.
John Fante, Wait Until Spring, Bandini!, Black Sparrow, 1983.
Handouts provided via .pdf files
The Godfather (Coppola, 1972. 175 min.);
Mean Streets (Scorsese, 1973. 112 min.);
True Love (Savoca, 1989. 104 min.);
Nuovomondo (Crialese, 2006. 118 min.).
Full of Life (Quine, 1956. 91 min.);
Suggested Viewing
Mac (Turturro, 1992. 118 min.);
Big Night (Tucci, 1995. 107 min.);
Dinner Rush (Giraldi, 2000. 99 min.);
Pane Amaro (Norelli, 2009. 103 min.);
Union Square (Savoca, 2011. 80 min.).
“Shorts” (some to be viewed in class, time permitting)
Like a Prayer & Justify My Love (Madonna, 1989-90);
Lena’s Spaghetti (Greco, 1994 [23 min.]);
Nunzio’s Second Cousin (DeCerchio, 1994 [16 min.]);
Uncovering (Mariarosy Calleri, 1996 [13 min.]);
Tiramisu (Guercio, 2002 [16 min.]).
Recommended Criticism: Literature and Film
(you may want to consult in various parts; not to purchase)
• Giorgio Bertellini, Italy in Early American Cinema: Race, Landscape, and the Picturesque
(Indiana University Press, 2010); available on;
• Mary Jo Bona, By the Breath of Their Mouths: Narratives of Resistance in Italian America
(SUNY Press, 2011); available on;
• Jennifer Burns & Loredana Polizzi, Borderlines. Migrazioni e identità nel Novecento
(Iannone, 2003);
• Anna Camaiti Hostert & A. J. Tamburri, eds. Screening Ethnicity: Cinematographic
Representations of Italian Americans in the United States (Bordighera Press, 2002);
available on; also available in Italian, Scene italoamericane (Sossella, 2002);
• Carmine Chiellino, Parole erranti. Emigrazione, letteratura e interculturalità. Saggi 19952000 (Iannone, 2001);
• Luigi Fontanella, La parola transfuga. Scrittori italiani in America (Cadmo, 2003);
• Fred Gardaphé, Italian Signs, American Streets: The Evolution of Italian American Narrative
(Duke University Press, 1996); available on;
• , From Wiseguys to Wise Men: The Gangster and Italian American Masculinities (Routledge,
2006); available on;
• , Segni italiani, strade americane: l’evoluzione della letteratura italiana americana (Franco
Cesati Editore, 2012); available on;
• Martino Marazzi, A occhi aperti. Letteratura dell'emigrazione e mito Americano (Franco
Angeli, 2011);
• Giuliana Muscio, Piccole Italie grandi schermi. Scambi cinematografici tra Italia e Stati
Uniti 1895-1945 (Bulzoni, 2004);
• Giuliana Muscio & Giovanni Spagnoletti, a cura di, Quei bravi ragazzi. Il cinema
italoamericano contemporaneo (Marsilio, 2007);
• Emanuele Pettener, Nel nome del padre, del figlio, e dell'umorismo. I romanzi di John Fante
(Franco Cesati Editore, 2010);
• Anthony Julian Tamburri, Re-viewing Italian Americana: Generalities and Specificities on
Cinema (Bordighera Press, 2011); available on;
• , Italian/American Short Films and Music Videos: A Semiotic Reading (Purdue University
Press, 2002); available on;
• , A Semiotic of Ethnicity: In (Re)cognition of the Italian/American Writer (SUNY Press,
1998); available on; also available in Italian, Una semiotica dell’etnicità (Franco
Cesati Editore, 2010);
• Robert Viscusi, Buried Caesars and Other Secrets of Italian American Writing (SUNY Press,
2006); available on