In the Name of the Mother

Italian Americans, African Americans, and Modernity from Booker T. Washington to Bruce Springsteen

Samuele F. S. Pardini

In the Name of the Mother

Samuele F. S. Pardini

Distributed for Dartmouth College Press

280 pages | 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
Paper $40.00 ISBN: 9781512600193 Published January 2017
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781512600186 Published January 2017
In the Name of the Mother examines the cultural relationship between African American intellectuals and Italian American writers and artists, and how it relates to American blackness in the twentieth century. Samuele Pardini links African American literature to the Mediterranean tradition of the Italian immigrants and examines both against the white intellectual discourse that defines modernism in the West. This previously unexamined encounter offers a hybrid, transnational model of modernity capable of producing democratic forms of aesthetics, social consciousness, and political economy. This volume emphasizes the racial “in-betweenness” of Italian Americans rearticulated as “invisible blackness,” a view that enlarges and complicates the color-based dimensions of American racial discourse. This strikingly original work will interest a wide spectrum of scholars in American Studies and the humanities.
Contents
Acknowledgments • Introduction • New World, Old Woman: Or, Modernity Upside Down • Rochester, Sicily: The Political Economy of Italian American Life and the Encounter with Blackness • Structures of Invisible Blackness: Racial Difference, (Homo)Sexuality, and Italian American Identity in African American Literature during Jim Crow • In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Gun: Modernity as the Gangster • In the Name of the Mother: The Other Italian American Modernity • The Dago and the Darky: Staging Subversion • Notes • Bibliography • Index
Review Quotes
Voices in Italiana Americana
“An exceptional book.”
Americana
“The volume offers examples for identity positions that provide a new view of modernity: a view that does not dovetail with the traditional view of modernity as the total sum of productivity, individuality, and consumption but rather presents a modernity where social inclusiveness and a shared sense of community are still possible. Moreover, the volume offers lucid and persuasive analyses of a wide array of material from diverse contexts and genres.”
Italian American Studies Association

Winner of the 2018 Italian American Studies Association Book Award

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