ITAL-4394 Ital Amer Lang/Lit/Film 

Course Description

Between 1880 and 1930 several millions Italians left their country of origin to migrate to the United States. The experience of migration and of settling into a new land has marked the life of generations of Italian Americans. However, the history of this exodus, the struggles of the peoples that participated in it and the culture that they generated has only recently received the attention that it deserves both in Italy and in the United States. The main objective of this course is to fill this gap by offering students a glimpse into the Italian American experience. The course will provide the opportunity to acquire general information on Italian migration to the United States, but also to reflect on and discuss salient aspects of the history, literature, cinema and language of Italian Americans. The first part of the course will be focused on the history of Italian American migration. In the second part, students will read Christ in Concrete by Pietro Di Donato and discuss some important literary works that depict the early years of the migratory movement and the clash between different generations. Then we will talk about language among Italian Americans. Students will become acquainted with the evolution of Italian dialects in the United States and with the trajectory of Italian as a second and foreign language in the country. The last part of the course will center on media and cinema. Students will watch four movies by Italian American directors and they will reflect on and discuss how Italian Americans are portrayed in movies and television series such as the Sopranos. Central to these readings and discussions will be the question of Italian American identity and how perceptions about it have evolved both in Italy and in the United States. This course counts for the fulfillment of the social science requirement