In this episode we talk to scholars and researchers Laura Ruberto and Joseph Sciorra about the history of Italian migrations to the United States and their work surrounding this topic. We also discuss the two books they edited, New Italian Migrations to the United States: Vol. 1: Politics and History since 1945 and New Italian Migrations to the United States: Vol. 2: Art and Culture since 1945
- “Italian immigrants went to the new world with the idea of making money and then returning again.” – Joseph Sciorra
- “Many Italian Americans associate the Italian American experience with something that is now routed back to an immigrant situation that is six or seven generations ago.” – Laura Ruberto
- “It’s a family connection, but it’s also a historical fact that there were more people that immigrated at a time when the United States was changing in terms of its communication, industry and the politics.” – Joseph Sciorra
- “My real concern has been in the way in which certain forms of cultural expressivity and Italian American life are historically and contemporary undervalued.” – Joseph Sciorra
- “When we think about the history of Italy as a country, we know that well over 28 million Italians have left the country since its existence.” – Laura Ruberto
- “From the 1920’s it became much harder to leave Italy and fewer Italians immigrated to the United States. The number only started to go up again after World War II”- Laura Ruberto
About our Guests
Laura Ruberto is professor of Humanities in the Humanities Program at Berkeley City College in the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies. She teaches film studies courses and interdisciplinary liberal arts courses that focus on cultural studies, material culture, aesthetics, and media. Her research includes work on material culture, Italian American culture, Italian film, and cultural theories of transnational migration.
Joseph Sciorra is the director of Academic and Cultural Programs at the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, a Queens College (CUNY) research institute. Receiving his Ph.D. in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania, Sciorra is the recipient of the Italian American Studies Association 2016 book award and author of several works in the Italian American experience.
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Q&A with Laura E. Ruberto and Joseph Sciorra, editors of “New Italian Migrations to the United States”