An introduction to the best from the new directions in U.S. immigration history
Representing a selection of the finest new research on immigration, American Dreaming, Global Realities explores the ways in which immigrant lives and those of their children are shaped by transnational bonds, globalization, family ties, and personal choice, and the ways in which they engender a sense of belonging and a sense of themselves as “Americans.”
American Dreaming, Global Realities considers a plurality of very specific historical, economic, regional, familial, and cultural contexts. This history reveals resistance and accommodation, both persistent older traditions and Americanization, plus the creation of new cultural forms blending old and new. The twenty-two interdisciplinary essays included in this collection explore the intricate overlapping of race, class, and gender on ethnic identity and on American citizenship.
Love and its attendant emotions not only spur migration—they forge our response to the people who leave their homes in search of new lives. Emotional Landscapes looks at the power of love, and the words we use to express it, to explore the immigration experience. The authors focus on intimate emotional language and how languages of love shape the ways human beings migrate but also create meaning for migrants, their families, and their societies. Looking at sources ranging from letters of Portuguese immigrants in the 1880s to tweets passed among immigrant families in today's Italy, the essays explore the sentimental, sexual, and political meanings of love. The authors also look at how immigrants and those around them use love to justify separation and loss, and how love influences us to privilege certain immigrants—wives, children, lovers, refugees—over others.
Affecting and perceptive, Emotional Landscapes moves from war and transnational families to gender and citizenship to explore the crossroads of migration and the history of emotion.
Contributors: María Bjerg, Marcelo J. Borges, Sonia Cancian, Tyler Carrington, Margarita Dounia, Alexander Freund, Donna R. Gabaccia, A. James Hammerton, Mirjam Milharčič Hladnik, Emily Pope-Obeda, Linda Reeder, Roberta Ricucci, Suzanne M. Sinke, and Elizabeth Zanoni
In Italian Workers of the World, a distinguished roster of contributors examines how the reception of immigrants in their new countries shaped their sense of national identity and shaped the multiethnic states where they settled. Argentina and Brazil welcomed Italian migrants as a civilizing influence, and these immigrant workers played an instrumental part in establishing and leading movements committed to labor internationalism. In the United States, by contrast, the American Federation of Labor's hostility to socialism, internationalism, and unskilled laborers fueled distrust and xenophobia that steered Italian immigrants into ethnically mixed unions like radical Industrial Workers of the World. Essays also focus on specific topics ranging from the work of republican Garibaldians in South America to antifascist currents among Italian migrants in France and the United States, and from a 1912 textile strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts, to Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia.
Contributors: Antonio Bechelloni, Fernando J. Devoto, Pietro Rinaldo Fanesi, Donna R. Gabaccia, Mirta Zaida Lobato, Fraser M. Ottanelli, Carina Frid de Silberstein, Michael Miller Topp, Angelo Trento, Nadia Venturini, and Elisabetta Vezzosi
Italian immigration from 1945 to the present is an American phenomenon too little explored in our historical studies. Until now. In this new collection, Laura E. Ruberto and Joseph Sciorra edit essays by an elite roster of scholars in Italian American studies. These interdisciplinary works focus on leading edge topics that range from politics of the McCarren-Walter Act and its effects on women to the ways Italian Americans mobilized against immigration restrictions. Other essays unwrap the inner workings of multi-ethnic power brokers in a Queens community, portray the complex transformation of identity in Boston’s North End, and trace the development of Italian American youth culture and how new arrivals fit into it. Finally, Donna Gabaccia pens an afterword on the importance of this seventy-year period in U.S. migration history.
Contributors: Ottorino Cappelli, Donna Gabaccia, Stefano Luconi, Maddalena Marinari, James S. Pasto, Rodrigo Praino, Laura E. Ruberto, Joseph Sciorra, Donald Tricarico, and Elizabeth Zanoni.
Ghulam Bombaywala sells bagels in Houston. Demetrios dishes up pizza in Connecticut. The Wangs serve tacos in Los Angeles. How ethnicity has influenced American eating habits—and thus, the make-up and direction of the American cultural mainstream—is the story told in We Are What We Eat. It is a complex tale of ethnic mingling and borrowing, of entrepreneurship and connoisseurship, of food as a social and political symbol and weapon—and a thoroughly entertaining history of our culinary tradition of multiculturalism.
The story of successive generations of Americans experimenting with their new neighbors’ foods highlights the marketplace as an important arena for defining and expressing ethnic identities and relationships. We Are What We Eat follows the fortunes of dozens of enterprising immigrant cooks and grocers, street hawkers and restaurateurs who have cultivated and changed the tastes of native-born Americans from the seventeenth century to the present. It also tells of the mass corporate production of foods like spaghetti, bagels, corn chips, and salsa, obliterating their ethnic identities. The book draws a surprisingly peaceful picture of American ethnic relations, in which “Americanized” foods like Spaghetti-Os happily coexist with painstakingly pure ethnic dishes and creative hybrids.
Donna Gabaccia invites us to consider: If we are what we eat, who are we? Americans’ multi-ethnic eating is a constant reminder of how widespread, and mutually enjoyable, ethnic interaction has sometimes been in the United States. Amid our wrangling over immigration and tribal differences, it reveals that on a basic level, in the way we sustain life and seek pleasure, we are all multicultural.