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Call for Submissions: Anthology on Italian Americans and Television

(Apr 03, 2012)

Italian Americans have been a consistent presence on U.S. television screens since the  1940s and 1950s. Fictional Italian American families have anchored shows like The Sopranos and Everybody Loves Raymond, while Italian American characters have played prominent roles in everything from reality TV to medical melodramas to situation comedies to live television anthologies. However, despite the attention given to Italian Americans in cinema, little scholarship exists on Italian Americans and TV. The research that has been done tends to focus on issues related to representations of the mafia and anti-defamation critiques of seemingly stereotypical images.

This proposed book will investigate the eclectic nature of Italian Americans’ presence on and in television in order to develop a preliminary history of their televisual presence. In doing so, we hope to better understand the relative acceptance of one white ethnic group in U.S. society and the ways in which the broadcasting of Italian American ethnicity relates to that of other ethnic/racial groups. The anthology will approach the topic from a number of disciplines and critical theoretical models.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:
• Representations of Italian Americans on television programs, especially in relation to stereotypes 
• Reception of Italian American characters or Italian American-focused shows
• Italian Americans and other racial and ethnic groups
• Use of Italian, dialects, and Italian American colloquialisms on U.S. television
• Histories of specific shows or characters, especially in relation to issues of gender, class, and ethnicity
• Italian Americans in leadership roles within the industry as writers, directors, and producers
• News coverage of Italian Americans, including televised coverage of gangster trials and celebritiesi
• Television advertising and the representation of Italian American ethnicity, language and culture
• Protests of Italian American representations by Italian American groups

Deadline for submissions: September 30, 2012. Abstracts (up to 500 words) and a brief curriculum vitae should be emailed to the editors, Laura E. Ruberto (lruberto@peralta.edu) and Jonathan J. Cavallero (jcavalle@uark.edu), to whom other enquiries may also be addressed. Abstracts should clearly display  knowledge of previous research and indicate theoretical perspectives. Authors may expect to be notified of decision by December 2012. The editors will be seeking a publisher for the collection shortly afterward.

For more details: http://www.cmstudies.org/forums/posts.asp?topic=397290

Jonathan J. Cavallero
Department of Communication
University of Arkansas

Laura E. Ruberto
Department of Arts and Cultural Studies
Berkeley City College