Eat, Live, Die: Food and Family in Italian American Culture

FRIT-M222 — Fall 2020

Bowl of spaghetti.
Colleen Ryan
Days and Times
11:30A-12:45P T
Course Description

Fulfills GenEd World Cultures and A&H requirements. 

This course is taught in English in a hybrid format. Extra work required online in place of second in-person weekly meeting.

Meatballs, mothers, madonnas, and mafiosi? Maybe! Nearly 18 million Italian Americans comprise about 6% of America’s population. For decades, Italian American writers, directors, and artists have represented their cross-cultural identity in ways that reflect the comforts, conflicts, and social concerns of this (our fifth largest) heritage group. While food is often central to artists’ narratives about immigration, cultural assimilation, and ethnic identity, it also fuels the commonplaces and reinforces the stereotypes that we will unpack and interpret thoroughly. From Mario Puzo to Francis Ford Coppola, Helen Barolini to Nancy Savoca, and Tony Soprano to Martin Scorsese, we will explore rituals and myths about Italian food and family as well as our own consumption of it through Italian-American novels, poetry, theater, music, restaurants, television, and movies.

This course will be taught synchronously, but will require asynchronous work as well.  


Interested in this course?

The full details of this course are available on the Office of the Registrar website.

See complete course details