Samuele F. S. Pardini, In the Name of the Mother: Italian Americans, African Americans and Modernity

Dec 23, 2019 278

BY: Christian O'Connell

"If there is one thing that we learned from Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, it is that the way others see or do not see us (the latter being a way of seeing too) is just as, if not more important than the way we define ourselves. We are never what and who we think we are."

In this simple yet powerful statement, Samuele Pardini sets out his aim to explore the historical as well as cultural processes of identity formation by considering creative encounters between Italian Americans and African Americans. In an ambitious interdisciplinary examination of film, poetry, fiction, and popular music, which covers numerous writers, directors, and musicians spanning the twentieth century, the author considers the different ways in which writers and artists fed off one another in their shared condition of non-whiteness to subvert and destabilize the foundations of American modernity. 

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