Italian American Studies
This course will look at the writings of significant "Italian" voices from three areas of the Americas: Canada, The United States, and Argentina. While all prose writings, they different from each other in that some are fictional and others are quasi travelogues (Pariani, Il paese dei sogni perduti) or autobiographies (Blengino, Ommi! L'America). Some of the fictional writings may be based on family histories (Rimanelli, Una posizione sociale; Ricci, Vite dei santi), others are based to a certain degree on a tragic event such as the internment of Italians in the early 1940s (Scottoline, Il prezzo del silenzi), one of the United States' best kept secrets, and others still are fictions infused with the writer's italianità (Melfi, Riti di infertilità).
Along with the usual analysis of the technique, "intention," and narrative "responsibility" of the modern/contemporary writer, we shall also examine the historical and thematic analyses of these authors' works specifically from the lens of biculturalism and immigration. That said, the other questions such as "How, why, and for whom does one write?" or, when applicable, "How do they fit into the modernist vis-à-vis postmodernist discourse?" will take on new meaning. Further still, we shall also examine the different modes in which these writers express their italianità and how such difference maybe rooted in and influenced by the local various local cultures in which these writers work their craft.
Frank Paci, Scarpe italiane (2007 )
Giose Rimanelli, Una posizione sociale (1959; La stanza grande )
Vanni Blengino, Ommi! L'America (2007)
Laura Pariani, Il paese dei sogni perduti. Anni e storie argentine (2004)