ITAL 3056

Course description:

It is estimated that at least twenty-five million Italians have migrated to North and South America and to Northern Europe in the years between 1876 and 1976, fifty percent of whom before World War I. In the last 30 years of the XX century migrations from Italy have involved mostly highly educated middle class people –the so called "fuga di cervelli" (brain drain). In the meantime, Italy has become one of the most desirable migration destinations for Africans, South East Asians, Philippinos, Chinese, and Eastern Europeans. The course explores the different nature of all this migrations to and from Italy through literature, film, and documentaries, paying particular attention to the North-American experience.

The previous day’s film will be discussed at the beginning of each class; a short lecture on the new material will follow to give background material the historical, political, and cultural background. The remainder of class-time will be devoted to viewing the next film. Reading assignments are to be prepared by the students prior to class time.

Each novel has to have been read by the last class of each week.


Pietro Di Donato, Christ in Concrete, 1939
John Fante, Wait Until Spring Bandini, 1937
Amara Lakhous, Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio, 2008
Mangione and Morreale, La Storia. Five Centuries of the Italian American Experience, 1993

Course reader (photocopies) distributed at the meeting in the US

Course Requirements:

-three 5-page essays (due Thursday in class or Friday morning at the very latest)
-final exam