Nancy Caronia


1328 CL

My current research project, “The Criminal Body: Mediating Ethnicity and American Nativism in the Dime Novel,” examines the discrimination practices carried out in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, how these practices shaped dime novel characterizations of Italian migrants, and what these portrayals say about current national and local rhetoric regarding immigrants and immigration policies and laws. I am especially interested in how southern Italian women were pitted against northern Italian women and how words like hags, witches, slovenly, lazy, and whores were applied only to those seemingly born in the south. This type of xenophobia and misogyny continues today, most especially in the recent examples of what happens regarding discussions of refugees and women who report in the era of #MeToo. This research project will add not only to American and Italian Diaspora literary studies, but also to contemporary migration and gender studies. In 2017, I received an NEH Summer Institute fellowship to the Bard Graduate Center’s American Material Culture: Nineteenth-Century New York in support of this project.



Film Studies
Italian American and Italian Diaspora Studies
Memoir Studies
Multiethnic (especially literatures of migration) Studies
Women & Gender Studies
Working class Studies


Selected Publications


Co-editor and Introduction. Personal Effects: Essays on Memoir, Teaching, and Culture in the Work of Louise DeSalvo. Eds. Nancy Caronia and Edvige Giunta. Fordham University Press, 2015.



Interdisciplinary Writing Center Collaborations.” J.C. Lee, Nancy Caronia, and Diane Quaglia Beltran. Academic Exchange Quarterly 18.4 (Winter 2014): 64-70.

Food, Frenzy, and the Italian American Family in Anne Bancroft’s Fatso.” Italian American Review 3.1 (2013): 24-48.



“Resisting Displacement in Evaristo’s The Emperor’s Babe.” Madness in Black Women’s Diasporic Fictions: Aesthetics of Resistance. Eds. Caroline Brown and Johanna K. Garvey. Palgrave MacMillan, 2017. 19-50.

“Fierce: Female Appetite in Louise DeSalvo’s Casting Off.” Introduction. Casting Off by Louise DeSalvo. Bordighera Press, 2014. xiii-xlix.

“Meeting at Bruce’s Place: Springsteen’s Italian American Heritage and Global Notions of Family.” Essays on Italian American Literature and Culture: A Decade and Beyond of Insights and Challenges. Eds. Dennis Barone and Peter Covino. Bordighera-Saggistica, 2012. 67-77.



Guest Editor and Introduction. “The Legacy of Rocky.” Special Issue on Race, Ethnicity, and Masculinity in the Rocky series, Italian Americana 35.2 (2017).