Loyola University Chicago

Modern Languages and Literatures

Italian American Studies

An interdisciplinary Minor focusing on the history and impact of Italian migration to the Americas

In fall of 2018, the College of Arts and Sciences launched a new program: Italian American Studies. The program’s inauguration was the culmination of a five-year fund-raising campaign, the proceeds of which were matched by Loyola University Chicago, providing for the endowment of the Paul and Ann Rubino Professorship and the establishment of a Minor in Italian American Studies.

Students who pursue a Minor in Italian American Studies will learn about the political, cultural and historical conditions that have precipitated waves migration from Italy, and the ways that Italian culture has developed and continues to take shape in the context of the Americas, with an emphasis on the Chicagoland area. The broad interdisciplinary focus of the program allows students to explore the Italian American experience through diverse fields of investigation, including history, literature, cinema, politics, music, popular culture, criminal justice and the social sciences.  By studying the specifics of the Italian American experience the program also aims to provide students with a framework for making connections with other American groups, and for addressing questions related to assimilation, identity, gender, race, class and religion that continue to inform contemporary discourse on immigration.

                              FALL 2021 Course Offerings                                 

LITR  291 - 001   Italian & Italian-American Women Writers       

Lakeshore Campus TuTh 1:15PM - 2:30PM

This course is a comparative study of 20th century Italian & Italian-American writers from different periods and geographic areas. What unites these writers in addition to their nationality and ethnicity is that the city of Rome played a central role in their development as artists, either directly or indirectly. Special emphasis will be given to the construction of the female and male subject; ties among women, and the dynamic interplay of gender, politics, and spirituality.

HIST  300D - 003   Topics in U.S. History:

Italian Americans in Popular Culture                   

Lakeshore Campus TuTh 3:00PM - 4:15PM

Ethnic history with an Italian flair.  From Columbus, to lynchings, violent strikes, Valentino, Ponzi, Sacco and Vanzetti, Al Capone, World War II, John Basilone, The Godfather Saga, and the rise of the American middle class, millions of women and men of Italian origin have played varied roles in American history.  The Italian American Experience is a complex and vital part of the nation's story---too often untold or trivialized in the popular culture.

CJC  351 - 001   Organized Crime         ONLINE

This course offers an introduction to the study of organized crime in U.S. society. Emphasis is given to the history and development of traditional organized crime in Chicago and on the association of Italian Americans with criminality through the proloferation of reporting on The Black Hand and the Mafia. Emerging organized crime groups are also studied. In addition, this course offers an introduction to the concept of transnational organized crime.

Click on the link below to listen to a presentation by Program Director Carla A. Simonini on what the Italian American Studies Program has accomplished in its first two years:

 Loyola University Chicago Italian American Studies Program