Food Consumption, Topographies of Taste, and Ethnic Identity in Italian Harlem: 1920-1940

Special Guest Lecturer:

Simone Cinotto, University of Turin

Utilizing the largest “Little Italy” in the interwar years as a case study, Simone Cinotto looks at the function of food in the construction of a peculiar Italian American ideology of home, family, and community, and in the redefinition of concepts like “domesticity” and “respectability.” Focusing on intergenerational interaction, Cinotto discusses the role of the family table as a site where a particular compromise took place between conflicting narratives of “being Italian” and “becoming American.” He will also explore how food helped to create affective relations toward place, and to draw boundaries between neighboring groups in the community.