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Cultural Politics/Reimagining Italian

Cultural Politics/Reimagining Italian


February 3, 2010

Fear and (Self-)Loathing in Italian America

Joey Skee

The Specter of the Gavon Haunts the Prominenti.

September 28, 2011

The Agita Theory of Italian-American Identity‏

Joey Skee

Dyspepsia and Italian-American Condition.

April 11, 2013

The Wacky World of Arthur Piccolo

Joseph Sciorra
Arthur Piccolo
The title card from Arthur Piccolo's YouTube video.

Il Piccololismo rages ad nauseum.

January 24, 2013

A Little Wager?

Joseph Sciorra
Zeljko Lucic as Rigoletto.

Wanna bet Philistine Italian-American “Leaders” become “Outraged,” Again?

August 23, 2012

The New Negative Image of Italian Americans

Joseph Sciorra
Titzu Nishi and the Public Art Fund
Titzu Nishi's drawing for the “Discovering Columbus” art installation.

The inane opinions of a few and the diminution of Italian America.

October 19, 2011

A Ph.D. in Basket Weaving

Joseph Sciorra
Folklorist Joseph Sciorra, Ph.D. (University of Pennsylvania, 1996), holding Italian-American immigrant Vincenzo Ancona’s Sicilian-style basket made in Castellammare del Golfo (Trapani), Sicily in 1985.

Italian-American anti-intellectualism rears its ugly little head again.

September 21, 2011

Whose Day Is It Anyway?

Joseph Sciorra
Diane di Prima

Poet Diana di Prima offers alternative Italian-American heroes to Columbus.

May 5, 2011

Talking Folklore

Joseph Sciorra

Over the next several months, I will be presenting the book Italian Folk in venues throughout the New York metropolitan area.

January 30, 2011

Anti-defamation, a Punch Line

Joseph Sciorra
Sofia Coppola

Something Funny about Somewhere.

March 17, 2011

Rethinking 150 Years

Joseph Sciorra
Garibaldi's cold shoulder.

The living links between Italian unification and Italian emigration.

September 16, 2010

Mr. Piccolo’s Peculiar Obsession

Joseph Sciorra
Joseph Scelsa/Arthur Piccolo

Tracing a “fool’s path” to power.

May 31, 2010

Building Community, the Brooklyn Way

Joseph Sciorra
Joseph Sciorra
KAVES, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, April 14, 2010.

Meet KAVES, band leader, tattoo artist, community activist.

April 12, 2010

The Italian-American Political & Moral Bocce Club of Paradise’s Inaugural Annual May Day Dinner Dance, Gala, and Reception

Joseph Sciorra

Another blog post about a very real event parodying ongoing surreal phenomena.

February 24, 2010

Return of the Italian-American Voldemort

Joseph Sciorra

An update from Rita Skeeter, gossipy reporter for the Daily Prophet.

January 19, 2010

Real Italians

Joseph Sciorra
Joseph Sciorra, circa 1980.

A social scientist’s take on guidos, prominenti, and intellectual inquiry.

January 3, 2010

Wise Men Melchior and Balthazar banned in northern Italian city.

Joseph Sciorra

A story about racism in contemporary Italy so absurd it could be true.

October 1, 2009

The Italian-American Political & Moral Bocce Club of Paradise's Inaugural Annual Reception, Gala, and Dinner Dance

Joseph Sciorra

A blog post about a real event parodying very surreal events.

March 25, 2009

Chalking Memory

Joseph Sciorra
Joseph Sciorra
Chalk memorial to Triangle Factory Fire victims, 509 East 13th Street, New York, March 25, 2009.

Remembering the victims of the Triangle Factory Fire victims.

December 6, 2007


Joseph Sciorra
Dina Gerasia/The Malìa Collective website
La Società di Sant'Anna, Villa Avenue, Bronx, New York, c. 1940.

First post.

December 7, 2007

Sal Paradise was an Italophobe.

Joseph Sciorra
Jack Kerouac

A little piece of drivel by Jack Kerouac begs the question, What's Italian-American about On The Road?

December 24, 2007

Gramsci’s Presepio

Joseph Sciorra
Joseph Sciorra
Underground Nativity, 2007.

The domestic presepio, an example of living folklore.

September 20, 2008

What’s So Funny about the Virgin Mary?

Joseph Sciorra
Luca Enrico Fantini
St. Mother Cabrini (LuLu LoLo) and me.

Ludic and hybridic reworkings of Catholic imagery and ritual are part of recent reimagining of Italian-American culture and identity.

September 14, 2008

The Sound of Italian-American Cultural Philanthropy

Joseph Sciorra

What happens when a PBS station targets Italian Americans as donors?

September 2, 2008

La Madonna Nera of New York City

Joseph Sciorra
Smiljana Peros
Drawing la Madonna Nera in chalk, Manhattan, September 8, 2006.

Italian Americans gather at a gay bar in Manhattan in celebration of the Black Madonna.

July 29, 2008

Watching Mob Movies with my Fourteen-Year-Old Son

Joseph Sciorra
Don Homer

A “teachable moment” about mafia realities and representations.

July 11, 2008

Una malia contro il malocchio dei prominenti.

Joseph Sciorra
Eliza Putnam Heaton, "By-Paths in Sicily"
"Door Charms for the Evil Eye" (detail), Sicily, circa 1910.

Iettature, malie, & la lingua a strascinuni in the 21st century.

July 1, 2008

Watching “Serpico” with my Thirteen-Year-Old Son

Joseph Sciorra

Musings on heroes, role models, and the Italian-American imaginative.

May 25, 2008

Brigand or Emigrant, but Ultimately Film Protagonist

Joseph Sciorra
Michelina De Cesare (1841-1868)

Representations of brigands have shaped and continue to reshape perceptions of Italy and its people throughout the world.

March 8, 2008

Tony Soprano Made Me Do It!

Joseph Sciorra

Turncoat mafioso’s statement about media depictions of Italian Americans is “smoking gun” say some Italian-Americans. No kidding.

January 26, 2008

The Cultural Politics of Coffee

Joseph Sciorra
Joseph Sciorra
Mimmo Lepore, Sal’s Pizzeria, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. January 26, 2008.

In Search of a Decent Espresso in New York City.

January 11, 2008

Poet Vincent Ferrini, 1913-2007

Joseph Sciorra
Vincent Ferrini reciting "Forge Plant."

Poet Vincent Ferrini, 1913-2007

January 8, 2008

The Cost of Freedom: The Rascals' Struggle for Change

Joseph Sciorra
Photo courtesy of Joe Russo/
"Good Lovin'" (1966), The Young Rascals

"In 1967-68, The Rascals were on top of the pop charts. So they decided to use their power to take a stand on Civil Rights. That’s when the problems started."

October 13, 2015

Why I’m Boycotting This Year’s Italian American Studies Association Conference

Joseph Sciorra
NIAF’s brand on IASA conference program.

The 2016 NIAF gala-IASA conference.

December 13, 2009

An entry from The Encyclopedia of Imagined Italian-Americana

Joseph Sciorra
Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason) in front of a presepio.

The lost Christmas special of "The Honeymooners" with an Italian-American theme, from the Imaginarium of Joey Skee.

February 3, 2010

Fear and (Self-)Loathing in Italian America

Joseph Sciorra

The Specter of the Gavon Haunts the Prominenti.