Fred Gardaphe

Fred Gardaphe is Distinguished Professor of English and Italian/American Studies at Queens College/CUNY and the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute. He is a Fulbright Fellow (University of Salerno, Italy (2011) and past president of the Italian American Studies Association (formerly AIHA), MELUS, and the Working Class Studies Association. His books include "Italian Signs, American Streets"; "From Wiseguys to Wise Men"; "The Art of Reading Italian Americana", and "Read ‘Em and Reap." He is co-founding/co-editor of VIA: Voices in Italian Americana, editor of the Italian American Culture Series of SUNY Press, and associate editor of Fra Noi.

Education trumps anti-defamation

The predominant image of Italian Americans in today’s media comes through representation of our working-class presence. The predominant voice of protest of those images comes from Italian Americans in the middle class. Those educated out of the working class no longer connect to those who have remained working class. One result of this class mobility through education is the creation of Americans with Italian names who do not see anything wrong with writing, producing, directing and acting in films that, while protected by the First Amendment, offend other Italian Americans. For help in understanding this struggle, we need to review …

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