Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Fred Gardaphe  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: Chicago, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Was born in Chicago, IL and raised in Melrose Park, IL. He attended Triton College in River Grove, where he earned an Associate of Arts degree.

Biographical and Professional Information

He is a Professor of American Studies and Director of the Italian American Studies Program at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York. He earned his Bachelor's of Science Degree in Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Master's Degree in English at the University of Chicago, and his Ph.D in Literature at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He taught writing, literature and courses in Italian/American film and literature at Columbia College.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Leaving Little Italy: Essaying Italian American Culture (Suny Series in Italian/American Culture)
ISBN: 0791459187

State University of New York Press. 2003

Provides an overview of the past, present, and future of Italian American culture.

Leaving Little Italy
explores the various forces that have shaped and continue to mold Italian American culture. Early chapters offer a historical survey of major developments in Italian American culture, from the early mass immigration period to the present day, situating these developments within the larger framework of American culture as a whole. Subsequent chapters examine particular works of Italian American literature and film from a variety of perspectives, including literary history, gender, social class, autobiography, and race. Paying particular attention to how the individual artist's personality has intersected with community in the shaping of Italian American culture, the book reveals how and why Italian America was invented and why Little Italys must ultimately disappear.

"Absorbing from beginning to end, this book is original, well informed, insightful, and comprehensive. It represents not only a disciplinary history but also a history of the materials that make up the objects of study, e.g., fiction, poetry, memoir, lifestyle, etc. The range of reference is extraordinary. No American—and possibly no Italian—knows more than Gardaphe about the field. Gardaphe is the dean of Italian American Studies." — John Paul Russo, University of Miami

"Gardaphe provides a complete 'history' of Italian/American criticism, while, at the same time, introducing material on new topics, such as whiteness, food, and city vs. suburb." — Anthony Julian Tamburri, author of A Semiotic of Ethnicity: In (Re)cognition of the Italian/American Writer

From Wiseguys to Wise Men: The Gangster and Italian American Masculinities
ISBN: 0415946484

Routledge. 2006

The gangster, in the hands of the Italian American artist, becomes a telling figure in the tale of American race, gender, and ethnicity - a figure that reflects the autobiography of an immigrant group just as it reflects the fantasy of a native population.

From Wiseguys to Wise Men studies the figure of the gangster and explores its social function in the construction and projection of masculinity in the United States. By looking at the cultural icon of the gangster through the lens of gender, this book presents new insights into material that has been part of American culture for close to 100 years.

Dagoes Read: Tradition and the Italian/American Writer (Essay Series 25)
ISBN: 1550710311

Guernica Editions. 1997

Since 1987, writer and critic Fred Gardaphe has regularly reviewed Italian/North American literature in Fra Noi, an Italian/American monthly newspaper based in Chicago. This volume features the best of 'Parole Scritte', his monthly columns. Introduced by an essay from which the collection gets its title, Dagoes Read is the first publication of its kind in the history of Italian/North American literature. It serves as a fine introduction to this literary movement as well as a survey of recent publications by Italian/North Americans. Works reviewed include those by Tony Ardiaone, Dorothy Bryant, Pietro di Donato, John Fante, Maria Mazziotti Gillan, Frank Lentricchia, Jay Parini, Diane Raptosh, Gay Talese, Sal LaPuma, and many others.

Food in Multi-Ethnic Literatures (Special Issue of MELUS, Winter 2007, Volume 32, Number 4)
ISBN: B002H1V81U

Society for Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the US. 2007


Grants from Illinois Humanities Council, American Italian Historical Association.

Availability for Public Speaking

Speaking Engagement Availability: (Yes)