Italian American Lit. & Culture


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Going Beyond the Stereotype

What is an Italian American? What does it mean to be an Italian American today? During the semester we will answer these questions by studying the portrayals of Italian Americans in literature and media. Recently, television and reality programming (MTV’s Jersey Shore, Style Network’s Jerseyliscious, Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New Jersey, and HBO’s The Sopranos) has contributed a great deal to the reinvention of the Italian American persona. In this course we will take into consideration the above mentioned portrayals and explore how this reinvention has affected the Italian American community for better or worse. This is a survey course of the history of the Italian American immigrant and his/her search for an identity. Topics that will be covered will include: the Italian Risorgimento, the Great Wave of Immigration, Sacco and Vanzetti, the effects of World War II, and contemporary Italian American culture. Taught in English.

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 - 6:30 pm (June 27 - August 08)

The class will meet online during Summer Session II (June 27 - August 08). Students majoring in Italian may have the class count as one of two cognate courses towards the completion of their Bachelors degree. The course is also cross-listed with the Masters of Liberal Arts program and is open to students at the graduate level.

Open to all Non-Temple Students!

Temple University welcomes students from other colleges and universities who wish to enroll in courses on any of our campuses. Students who are not currently enrolled at another institution may also register for some courses as non-matriculated (non-degree) students. For more information on how to apply click here!

About the Instructor

Carmelo Galati, Assistant Professor of Italian, earned his BA in English Literature and Italian in 2003 from the University of Pittsburgh. He received his Ph.D. from Rutgers University in 2011. His research takes an interdisciplinary approach towards Dante and Medieval Studies by focusing on their adaptation and appropriation in modern and postmodern literary and popular culture. His scholarship aims to bridge together the medieval and the modern, making the texts accessible as well as clarifying their relevance today. In his studies, he is interested in how contemporary productions transform, modify, and extend Dante’s Commedia, thereby using the medieval poem as a springboard for the creation of newer, original works, while showcasing different modes of reading and thinking about literature.

For Carmelo teaching is an integrative process that surpasses lecturing in front of a class. Teaching is the opportunity to reach out to students, to have them discover more about the world, literature and perhaps about themselves. His enthusiasm and passion for teaching has inspired many of his students to pursue their study of Italian as majors or minors, study abroad, and pursue graduate studies. He has been teaching Italian language and literature courses at Temple University since 2007.

The Italian Program at Temple University

The Italian Major at Temple University is an interdisciplinary course of study that, in addition to being built on requirements of language proficiency and core knowledge of Italian literary history, places strong emphasis on cultural, global, and national identity studies. An additional learning goal for students of Italian is to demonstrate understanding and appreciation of cultural perspectives and practices in the Italian-speaking world. The program’s methodology is based on a communicative approach coupled with technology–based student engagement practice to enhance the students’ language retention, level of competency, and proficiency, as well as to provide a window into Italian culture. The transferable communication and critical thinking skills acquired by the program prove invaluable to employers of liberal arts graduates.

The Master of Liberal Arts at Temple University

If you are interested in career change or advancement, if you want to prepare for doctoral-level graduate work, or if you just want the academic enrichment and personal fulfillment that graduate study provides, THINK...MLA!

Join the hundreds of students who have discovered the benefits of affordable, flexible, and interdisciplinary graduate study in the Liberal Arts.

  • Tailor your own course of study based on your academic interests, professional objectives, and personal goals.
  • Select from a broad range of course offerings, in MLA as well as other graduate programs at Temple University, without being confined to a single department or discipline.
  • Take evening courses at Main Campus or Temple Center City (TUCC).
  • Study with accomplished and energetic faculty in small seminar settings.