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Italian American Literature and Culture

Welcome to Professor Viglione's Course

The course discusses the most prominent authors and works of Italian-American Literature as they, by using the ethnic setting, are able to convey universal human concerns and themes. The discussion on Italian-American ethnic issues will also include some films such as,
• Nuovomondo
• Sacco and Vanzetti
​• Household Saints
• Big Night


This course will discuss the literary and cinematographic contributions that Italian Americans have made in the course of the 20th Century. It will explore the historical patterns that characterized the Great Migration of Italian citizens to the United States between the end of the 19th Century and World War II: students’ knowledge will be fostered by examining the migrants’ reasons for leaving the Italian country, and by analyzing different instances of the moments of departure, the journey, and the arrival at Ellis Island. Through the examination of selected readings, movies, images and documentaries, the course will then investigate the complexities of assimilation, questions of identity and ethnicity, definitions of manhood and womanhood, family responsibilities, crime, politics and labor.