Courses > 2014 Spring

Elective Courses

CINE 240 - Blood, Sweat & Pasta

ITAL 288
402 | TR 3-4:30pm | WILL 219

Popular culture frequently serves a bounteous spread of representations of Italian-Americans to an audience hungering for more. In this course we will explore historic events, social conditions, aesthetic trends, and political motivations behind the proliferation of ruthless gangsters, lovable buffoons, irresistible lovers, and claustrophobic families comprising the pantheon of Italian-Americans images of our shared American consciousness.  To understand the rise of these popular stereotypes, and, perhaps, to dismantle them we will read novels by authors such as Pascal D'Angelo (Son of Italy), John Fante (Ask the Dust); Mario Puzo (The Fortunate Pilgrim); Pietro di Donato (Christ in Concrete); Jerre Mangione (Mount Allegro); Helen Barolini (Umbertina), and Francine Prose (Household Saints).  We will also read Albert Innaurato’s comedic play (Gemini) and selected poetry of John Ciardi.  In addition to literary analysis, we will discuss representation of Italian-Americans in American cinema and television, and films such as The Godfather, Saturday Night Fever, Rocky, Moonstruck, My Cousin Vinny, Raging Bull, Big Night, and Radio Days, as well as episodes of television shows such as The Jersey Shore, Friends, The Golden Girls, The Sopranos, and Everybody Loves Raymond.