Remembering Italian America: Memory, Migration, Identity examines the life of Italians in the United States and the role of migration and collective memory in the history of the construction of Italian American identity.
Employing the concept of communicative memory, the authors explain the processes that gave shape to Italian identity in America and the ways in which a symbolic identity became concretized in Italian American oral histories. The text explores the Italy migrants left behind, transatlantic networks, the welcome received by the Italian newcomers, the socioeconomic fabric of Italian America, and the singular worldview that grew out of the immigrant experience. In exploring the role of memory in the construction of Italian American identity, the book analyzes the commonalities in the lives of immigrants, allowing the Italian American experience to speak to the circumstances of newer immigrant communities and allowing these new immigrant communities to speak to the Italian migrant history. Looking at Italian American culture from a multidisciplinary perspective, this volume brings various theoretical perspectives to bear on "what, why, and how" questions concerning the Italian American experience.
This book will be of interest to students of ethnic studies, immigration studies, and American/transnational studies, as well as American history.
Winner of the 2022 Italian American Studies Association Book Award
Introduction: Memory, Nostalgia, History PART I: History 1. The Origins of a Diaspora 2. Exodus 3. Entering the United States PART II: Socioeconomics 4. Family and Community 5. Little Italy 6. Making a Living 7. The Factory, Labor, and the Body Politic 8. Mafia PART III: Worldview 9. Folk Catholicism 10. Malocchio: The Evil Eye 11. Saints Fests 12. Stories and their Social Context Conclusion: Memory, Migration, Identity
Winner of the 2022 Italian American Studies Association Book Award:
"In Remembering Italian America: Memory, Migration, Identity, Laurie Buonanno and Michael Buonanno combine memoir with an historical, sociological, and political examination of Italians in the United States. This book makes a significant contribution to the field of Italian American studies by synthesizing various aspects of the immigrant experience. The Buonanno siblings’ comprehensive overview of Italian Americans, illustrated by a rich selection of stories from the family table, the workplace, and sites of religious worship, illuminates the history of this ethnic group. As we read of grandparents, aunts, cousins, and extended family and friends whose lives punctuate tales of the diaspora, labor disputes, religions, and folk traditions, we come to understand and appreciate the Italian American experience on both an individual and collective level."
"Remembering Italian America will make an excellent textbook as an introduction to Italian American history and culture, especially if integrated with other resources that embrace the history and oral memories of other Italian American communities, such as those that cover the post -World War II immigrant generations and other regions of the United States, particularly the Midwest and West. " - Eveljn Ferraro, Santa Clara University