Research Services Librarian Alexandra de Luise, liaison for Italian American Studies, presents highlights from the Italian American Studies Guide.
The month of October has been designated Italian American Heritage month. Although overlapping with Hispanic Heritage month, it was chosen in 1989 by presidential decree to overlap with Columbus Day on October 11th. For many, it is a time to reflect on Italian Americans’ many contributions and to enrich their understanding through lectures, readings and events. It is also a time to explore through publications and media outlets the changes and new attitudes felt in the field by this group as they touch on its history, sociology, art, culture and literature.
For a few years now, Italian American authors have been exploring new directions in their scholarship which can be best understood from watching a recent segment of Italics (Television for the Italian American Experience a monthly presentation co-produced in collaboration with the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute). In the video. Queens College Professor and the Dean of the John D. Calandra Institute Anthony Julian Tamburri, as well as Queens College Distinguished Professor of Italian American Studies Dr. Fred Gardaphé, are in conversation with Calandra’s Director of Academic and Cultural Programs, Dr. Joseph Sciorra, and York College Professor Dr. Donna Chirico. As leaders in their fields and from their broad and wide-reaching perspectives, they discuss what they see as a greater emphasis on transnationalism, gender, sexuality, whiteness and colonialism. Current day scholarship is leaning towards a better understanding of our past, to help explain our emigration, immigration and human experiences. Here are some books and media productions that bear this out:
Migrant Marketplaces by Elizabeth Zanoni
Call Number: GT2850 .Z36 2018ISBN: 9780252041655
Publication Date: 2018′ Elizabeth Zanoni provides a cutting-edge comparative look at Italian people and products on the move between 1880 and 1940. Concentrating on foodstuffs–a trade dominated by Italian entrepreneurs in New York and Buenos Aires–Zanoni reveals how consumption of these increasingly global imports affected consumer habits and identities and sparked changing and competing connections between gender, nationality, and ethnicity.’
Whom We Shall Welcome : Italian Americans and Immigration Reform, 1945-1965 by Battisti, Danielle
Call Number: onlineISBN: 0823286347
Publication Date: 2019 ‘Danielle Battisti looks at efforts by Italian American organizations to foster Italian immigration along with the lobbying efforts of Italian Americans to change the quota laws. While Italian Americans (and other white ethnics) had attained virtual political and social equality with many other groups of older-stock Americans by the end of the war, Italians continued to be classified as undesirable immigrants.”
The Divo and the Duce by Giorgio Bertellini
Call Number: onlineISBN: 9780520301368
Publication Date: 2019
‘Giorgio Bertellini’s work on Italian-born star Rodolfo Valentino and Italy’s dictator Benito Mussolini shows how their popularity, both political and erotic, largely depended on the efforts of public opinion managers, including publicists, journalists, and even ambassadors. Beyond the democratic celebrations of the Jazz Age, the promotion of their charismatic masculinity through spectacle and press coverage inaugurated the now-familiar convergence of popular celebrity and political authority. Co-winner of the Italian American Studies 2020 book award.’
Napoli/New York/Hollywood by Giuliana Muscio Call Number: OnlineISBN: 0823279405Publication Date: 2018-10-30‘Napoli/New York/Hollywood is an absorbing investigation of the significant impact that Italian immigrant actors, musicians, and directors–and the southern Italian stage traditions they embodied–have had on the history of Hollywood cinema and American media, from 1895 to the present day. Included are such well-known directors and actors as Francis Coppola and his sister Talia Shire, John Turturro, Nancy Savoca, James Gandolfini, David Chase, Joe Dante, and Annabella Sciorra.’
Featured Media and Websites
i-Italy ‘A guide to everything Italian in America.” A fascinating bilingual blog/magazine/website of information and video clips, the project of the John D Calandra Italian American Institute.
The Italian Americans. Well-known series shown on the Public Broadcasting System. With Stanley Tucci, narrator.; Ark Media (Firm) production company.; WETA-TV (Television station : Washington, D.C.) production company. 2014
- Episode 1. La Famiglia
- Episode 2 Becoming Americans 1910-1930
- Episode 3. Loyal Americans 1930-1945
- Episode 4. The American Dream 1945 – today
Italian American Studies Association (formerly American Italian Historical Assn.) Association devoted to the interdisciplinary study of the culture, history, literature, sociology, psychology, demography, folklore, and politics of Italians in America.
Italics, Television for the Italian American Experience. The Italian American magazine of CUNYTV, the online television program, produced by the John D Calandra Italian American Institute, hosted by Dr. Anthony Julian Tamburri, Dean of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute.