Oral History, Oral Culture, and Italian Americans

Hardcover | October 15, 2009

EditorLuisa Del Giudice

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Selected Essays from the 38th Annual Conference of the American Italian Historical Association, “Speaking Memory: Oral History, Oral Culture and Italians in America,” Los Angeles, November 3-6, 2005. AIHA is devoted to the interdisciplinary scholarly study of the culture, literature, history, sociology, psychology, and politics of Italians in America. See AIHAweb.org

This book introduces readers to a wide range of interpretations that take oral history and folklore as the premise with a focus on Italian and Italian American culture in disciplines such as history, ethnography, memoir, art, and music. Del Giudice has assembled a wide range of scholars in this innovative collection.

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Selected Essays from the 38th Annual Conference of the American Italian Historical Association, “Speaking Memory: Oral History, Oral Culture and Italians in America,” Los Angeles, November 3-6, 2005. AIHA is devoted to the interdisciplinary scholarly study of the culture, literature, history, sociology, psychology, and politics of Ital...

Luisa Del Giudice is an independent scholar, founder/director of the Italian Oral History Institute in Los Angeles (1994–2007, when the IOHI was dissolved), and professor of Italian folklore at UCLA (1995–2001). She has published widely and has produced many public events in Los Angeles. She is an honorary Fellow of American Folklore ...

other books by Luisa Del Giudice

Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.59 × 6.25 × 0.78 inPublished:October 15, 2009Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230619479

ISBN - 13:9780230619470

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Table of Contents

Introduction * Speaking Memory:  Oral History, Oral Culture and Italians in America / Luisa Del Giudice * PART I: Oral History * What Makes Oral History Different / Alessandro Portelli * Oral Histories of Italian Americans in the Great Depression:  The Politics and Economics of the Crisis / Stefano Luconi * “Il Corriere del Pomeriggio” of  the Gruppo Lonatese of San Rafael, Marin County, California / Ernesto R Milani * Breaking the Code of Silence Woman to Woman / Marie Saccomando Coppola * Twice Told Tales:  Art and Oral Histories from the Tenement Museum and Ellis Island / B. Amore * PART II: Oral Culture * Cantastorie:  Ethnography as Storysinging / Christine F. Zinni * “That’s Not Italian Music”!  My Musical Journey from New York to Italy and Back Again / John T. La Barbera * Simple Does Not Mean Easy: Oral Tradition Values, Music, and the Musicàntica Experience / Roberto Catalano and Enzo Fina * “The North End is a State of Mind Surrounded by Waters” / Augusto Ferraiuolo * “The Alms-seeking Tradition of Sant’Antonio Abate in 1920’s Western Pennsylvania” / Michael Di Virgilio * In Search of the Roots of Stregheria:  Preliminary Observations on the History of a Reclaimed Tradition / Sabina Magliocco * My Homer / Joanna Clapps Herman * APPENdix * Alessandra Belloni:  In Her Own Words, Interview and Translation into English / Luisa Del Giudice

Editorial Reviews

"This collection, edited by veteran oral historian Luisa Del Giudice, reflects not only the persistently evolving nature of Italian American experiences, but also the poetic and performative characteristics of this dynamic culture. Fighting for the legitimacy of what is considered 'authentic,' whether it is a musical tune, a vernacular expression, or a political affiliation, the oral accounts included in this collection amply prove the importance of their contribution to history writing. As a collection of specific case studies, it will serve as a much-needed complement to broader volumes on oral history methodology, while it represents an invaluable contribution to immigration studies with its important addition of the Italian and Italian American component." - Ali F. Igmen, Altreitalie 'Luisa Del Guidice has produced an important and welcome addition to the growing body of research centered on recovering Italian American immigrant culture. In a wider context, Oral History, Oral Culture, and Italian Americans also contributes to our understanding of the immigrant experience in general and the inescapable dichotomies of 'past and present,' 'here and there,' and 'native and foreign' which ultimately define it.' - Folk Life: Journal of Ethnological Studies "A sparkling collection! The whole is decidedly more than the sum of its wonderfully diverse parts, in two senses. Framed by an excellent introduction, the essays collectively leverage the power of oral history, oral performance, autobiography, storytelling, folklore, and narrative to open important new insights into Italian and Italian-American history, culture, and tradition, often in very original ways. And such detailed explorations in that rich context, in turn, sharpen our understanding of broader issues in and between these important dimensions of inquiry. The result is an engaging, readable volume of broad interest and significance." - Michael Frisch, University at Buffalo, SUNY "This book importantly contributes to an extension and enhancement of understandings about the range and depth of oral history and culture in the intersecting worlds of Italian, Italian American, and American environments. The high-quality essays enlarge an understanding of the importance of orality to everyday life and the ways in which ethnic cultures influence, resurrect, and revise oral traditions from pre-modern, largely agricultural milieus...The book's greatest appeal is the work of recovery it performs: of Italian American communities; of story-tellers whose words, if not transcribed, will be lost to future generations; of Italian folk traditions in music; and of the multiple intersections between telling stories, healing, and organizing feste." - Stephen Siporin, Professor of English and History (Folklore), Utah State University "With interest in oral methodologies again reviving, Del Giudice's collection of essays provides a beautiful and timely illustration of Italianists' and Italian Americanists' explorations of sound, music, voice, spoken word, and memory." - Donna R. Gabaccia, Director, Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota