English 342:  Italian American Literature

Professor Joseph Conte

Fall 2005

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Aug 29:  Introduction to Italian American Literature.

Aug 31:  Italian culture, ethnicity, and immigration.

Sep 2:  The Sicilians and emigration.  Leonardo Sciascia, The Wine-Dark Sea, pp. 3-65.

Sep 5:  Labor Day

Sep 7:  Sciascia, Wine-Dark Sea, pp. 67-91.

Sep 9:  Sciascia, Wine-Dark Sea, pp. 93-138.

Sep 12:  Sciascia, Wine-Dark Sea, pp. 139-98.

Sep 14:    Newcomers to these shores.  Pietro di Donato, from Christ in Concrete; in Regina Barreca, Don’t Tell Mama, pp. 153-64.

Sep 16:  Jerre Mangione, from Mount Allegro; in Barreca, pp. 367-73.  Mangione and Ben Morreale, from La Storia; in Barreca, pp. 374-75.

Sep 19:  Gay Talese, from Unto the Sons; in Barreca, pp. 500-13.

Sep 21:  Daniela Gioseffi, poems; in Barreca, pp. 235-40.  Edvige Giunta, “Litania”; in Barreca, pp. 240-42.

Sep 23:  Garibaldi M. Lapolla, from The Grand Gennaro; in Barreca, pp. 333-37. Maria Laurino, from Words; in Barreca, pp. 353-58.  Mary Ann Mannino, “Your Children Are Your Children” ; in Barreca, pp. 275-81.

Sep 26:  Joseph Papaleo, Italian Stories.  “Immigrant Epiphanies,” pp. 13-58.

Sep 28:  Papaleo, Italian Stories.  “Immigrant Epiphanies,” pp. 59-105.

Sep 30:  Papaleo, Italian Stories.  “Losing the Bronx,” pp. 109-74.

Oct 3:  Papaleo, Italian Stories.  “Losing the Bronx,” pp. 175-228.

                        First Essay Due in Class

Oct 5:  Richard Gambino, from Blood of My Blood: The Dilemma of the Italian-Americans; in Barreca, pp. 208-21.  Fred Gardaphé, from The Italian-American Writer; in Barreca, pp. 221-28.

Oct 7:  No Class                    

Oct 10:  Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, “Godfather II:  Of Families and families” and from An Accidental Autobiography; in Barreca, pp. 255-65.

Oct 12:  La Cosa Nostra.  Mario Puzo, The Godfather.

Oct 14:  Puzo, Godfather.

Oct 17:  Puzo, Godfather.

Oct 19:  Puzo, Godfather.  George Anastasia, “Sinatra’s ‘Associations’ with the Mob”; in Barreca, pp. 15-18.

Oct 21:  Francis Ford Coppola, The Godfather, Part I.

Oct 24:  Coppola, Godfather, Part I.

Oct 26:  Iron Eyes Cody, Cree actor; or Oscar DeCorti, Sicilian-American.

Oct 28:  The Sopranos, “Christopher” (Columbus Day episode).

Oct 31:  Ellen Willis, “Our Mobsters, Ourselves” (photocopy)

Nov 2:  Coppola, The Godfather, Part II.  (Virtuality Conference, Torino, Italy)

Nov 4:  Coppola, The Godfather, Part II.  (Virtuality Conference, Torino, Italy)

Nov 7:  No Class

Nov 9:  Wally Lamb, “Food and Fatalism”; in Barreca, pp. 315-33.

                        Second Essay Due in Class

Nov 11:  Helen Barolini, “Buried Alive by Language,” “Umbertina,” and “Classic and Good”; in Barreca, pp. 37-55.

Nov 14:  Brooklyn Days, Greenwich Village Nights.  Gilbert Sorrentino, Little Casino.

Nov 16:  Sorrentino, Little Casino.

Nov 18:  Sorrentino, Little Casino.

Nov 21:  Sorrentino, Little Casino.

Nov 23:  Thanksgiving Recess

Nov 25:  Thanksgiving Recess

Nov 28:  Don DeLillo, from Underworld; in Barreca, pp. 119-23.

Nov 30:  Carole Maso, “The Lion’s Head” and “Friend”; in Barreca, pp. 387-90.

Dec 2:  John Fante, selections in Barreca, pp. 172-90.

Dec 5:  Italian American poetry.  Thomas Centolella, selections in Barreca, pp. 86-88.  John Ciardi, selections in Barreca, pp. 89-93.  Gregory Corso, selections in Barreca, pp. 103-05.

Dec 7:  W. S. DiPiero, selections in Barreca, pp. 164-65.  Diane DiPrima, from Recollections of My Life as a Woman; in Barreca, pp. 166-72.  Lawrence Ferlinghetti, selections in Barreca, pp. 190-93.

Dec 9:              Conclusions and evaluations.    

Final Research Paper Due in Class


Required Texts:

 All texts are available in paperback at Talking Leaves Bookstore, 3158 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14214, located across from the South Campus.  Telephone:  (716) 837-8554.

 Barreca, Regina, ed.  Don’t Tell Mama:  The Penguin Book of Italian American Writing.  New York:  Penguin, 2002.

Papaleo, Joseph.  Italian Stories.  Chicago, IL:  Dalkey Archive Press, 2002.

Puzo, Mario.  The Godfather.  New York:  New American Library, 2002.

Sciascia, Leonardo.  The Wine-Dark Sea.  New York:  New York Review Books, 2000.

Sorrentino, Gilbert.  Little Casino.  Saint Paul, MN:  Coffee House Press, 2002.

Course Requirements:

Two 5-7 page papers; a final research paper; and regular attendance.

Papers:   Neatly printed copies must be presented in class on the day indicated on the syllabus.  These copies should adhere to the following format:  a cover page with a title for your essay, your name, the course number and title, the date; typed, double-spaced with one-inch margins; all pages numbered; stapled.  The paper should be proofread for grammatical and typographical errors. 

Late policy:  Late assignments will be accepted only by prior arrangement with me.  Failure to seek approval before the due date will result in a penalty of one grade increment per class meeting. 

Plagiarism:  All secondary materials, either from print or digital sources, must be properly attributed.  Plagiarism of a paper—either in whole or in part—will result in an immediate failure for the assignment and possible failure for the course, at the discretion of the instructor.

Attendance:  Noted on a daily basis.  Absence from more than six classes during the course of the semester will result in a final grade deduction, up to and including failure for the course, at the instructor’s discretion.  Students should be prepared to discuss the readings at every class.  Please turn off pagers and cellular telephones before entering the classroom.

Grading:  50% for the two papers; 40% for the research paper; and 10% for attendance and participation in class discussion.


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Last revised on Monday, 29 August 2005
Copyright © 200
5 Joseph M. Conte.  All Rights Reserved.