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Talk: Little Italies - A place or a people? The development of ethnicity in the US

  • 17 Nov 2022
  • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
  • 16


Registration is closed

The ICC is pleased to present


A visual journey across America
by Prof. Jerome Krase

As part of our series ITALIAN AMERICANS: MORE THAN 200 YEARS IN THE MAKING, dedicated to exploring the history and heritage of the millions of Italians who emigrated to the United States and demystifying stereotypes, we are delighted to announce our November talk: Little Italies - A Place or a People? The Development of Ethnicity in the US with Prof. Jerome Krase.

For many, Italian America and the Italian American neighborhood are virtually synonymous. Ethnic urban villages, initially established to provide mutual assistance and support among immigrants, have survived despite upward social mobility, suburban migration, urban renewal, and invasions by subsequent groups. Interestingly, the local Italian community (as a congeries of families) has been better suited than many others to survive the transformations, having evolved over centuries within a variety of oppressive social, political, and economic structures. Until recently, most predicted the imminent disappearance of Italian ethnic neighborhoods, thus producing a large collection of studies on the birth and death of one or another Little Italy. These pessimistic analyses were based on various theories that predicted the “Twilight” of Italian American ethnicity. For historians the major rubric under which Italian residential communities are discussed is that of Little Italy. For other social scientists it is the urban village. Although most of these, almost stereotypical enclaves, are still found in the central areas of large metropo­lises many others can be found in smaller cities, and virtually every location where heavy industry, construction, sewer, road, or canal work, or major railroad or seaport connections required immigrant labor. Also, a sizable percentage of Italians have lived and worked in small factory towns, mining villages, and in rural America. Although these Italian American neighborhoods have many variations based on such things as size, concentration, and immigrant generation; from tiny California fishing villages to the huge concentration of Italians in New York City's East Harlem, it is possible to speculate about what they have in common. Not all of the neighborhoods in which Americans of Italian descent reside are regarded as Little Italies. Ironi­cally, it is possi­ble that an area in which all of the resi­dents are Italian might not be called a “Little Italy” while another locale at which there is not a single Italian resident will be so regard­ed. Little Italies are fre­quently de­scribed as having Old World Italian airs, in most cases what is defined as Old World, or even Italian is arbitrarily ill-defined, if defined at all. People just seem to intuitively know when they are in a real Italian neighborhood.

Join us on Thursday, November 17th, 6:00 - 7:30 PM (Doors: 5:30 PM) at ICC. Prof. Jerome Krase will connect remotely from the East coast with ICC members and friends listening together from our location in the vibrant North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis.

This will be a fascinating evening, providing participants with an opportunity to discover ICC's new location, reconnect and enjoy a glass of wine and light appetizers. Doors: 5:30 PM; Presentation: 6:00 PM.

Jerome Krase, Emeritus and Murray Koppelman Professor, Brooklyn College CUNY is a Public Scholar writing, photographing, and lecturing on urban and ethnic issues globally. e.g. Rome, Padua, Urbino, Trento, Trieste, Bari, and Pisa. Relevant books include Ethnicity and Machine Politics: The Madison Club of Brooklyn (1992), The Review of I-A Studies (2000), Race and Ethnicity in NYC (2005), Ethnic Landscapes in an Urban World. (2007), The Staten Island Italian American Experience (2007), Seeing Cities Change (2012), The Status of Interpretation in Italian American Studies (2012), and four volumes of the AIHA Proceedings. A Founding Member the American Italian Coalition of Organizations (1978), he was Brooklyn College Center for Italian-American Studies Director (1975-84), received the Monsignor Gino Baroni Award (Italian Americana 2005), and was American Italian Historical Association President (1993-97). For those who are ethnically inquisitive, his mother Martha Rose Cangelosi’s family came from Marineo, Sicily in the late Nineteenth Century.

IMPORTANT: Masking will be optional but proof of vaccination or a negative test performed within 72 hours of the event will be required upon entry. Click here for details on our COVID 19 policy.

All cancellations must be received at least 72 hours in advance to receive a refund less an administrative fee.

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