Blood, Sweat and Pasta: Italian-Americans in Literature and Film

Elective Courses

CINE 240 - Blood, Sweat and Pasta: Italian-Americans in Literature and Film

ITAL 288
401 |Frank Pellicone |TR 3-4:30pm

American popular culture frequently serves up the public often unflattering representations of Italian-Americans to an audience often hungering for something more substantial. In this course we will explore various social conditions, aesthetic trends, and political motivations behind the proliferation of ruthless gangsters, lovable buffoons, and claustrophobic families comprising the pantheon of Italian-Americans images pervading our shared consciousness. To understand the rise of these popular stereotypes, and, perhaps, to dismantle them we will read novels by authors such as Cesare Pavese (The Moon and the Bonfire), Mario Puzo (The Fortunate Pilgrim), Pietro di Dinato (Christ in Concrete), Helen Barolini (Umbertina), Frank Lentricchia (The Edge of Night), and playwrights Tennessee Williams (The Rose Tattoo) Albert Innaurato (Gemini). We will also read critical essays and selections from authors such as Camille Paglia, Gay Talese, Fred Gardaphe, Mary Ann De Marco, and Don DeLillo. In addition to literary analysis, we will discuss representation of Italian-Americans in American cinema and television, and films such as The GodfatherSaturday Night FeverRockyMoonstruckTrue Romance, My Cousin Vinny, and Marty, and episodes of television shows such as The Golden GirlsCheersThe Sopranos, and Everyone Loves Raymond.

last updated 06/23/2014 - 10:11am

Cinema Studies Program
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