Italian Language and Literature Others

“Italian migrants and the land”: a conversation with historian Vincenza Scarpaci

An exploration of the intimate relationship of Migrant Italians with the Land.

About this Event

Vincenza Scarpaci is an Italian-American research historian born into a Sicilian family. She has written two books, A Portrait of Italians in America and The Journey of Italians in America, a pictorial history about Italians in America from the 1770s to the present listing all the contributions Italians made in the many different areas of American culture, agriculture, cuisine, industry, religion, sports, architecture, arts, and politics while settling in America. 

At Caffè Culturale, Vincenza will discuss the inestricabile and intimate relationship of migrant Italians with American soil. Thousands of Italians migrated to the US, most of them from rural villages. They came for work and settled wherever they found employment, usually not in agricultural jobs. How did they translate their rural lifestyles to urban/industrial America? What strategies enabled them to retain their relationship to the land? Some became grocers, and greengrocers. A minority, who settled in some “unlikely places“ became farmers, truck farmers tenant farmers or migrant farm workers. These few produced fresh vegetables, introducing new kinds to the public. Join us for an intimate conversation to hear the struggles and the success stories of Italian migrants in America.


Please consider supporting Caffè Culturale! You can do so by donating, even the cost of a slice of pizza or a caffè, to the Portland State Italian Department HERE . In the box ‘Designation’ please select Italian Program 

Your contributions will help compensating our engaging speakers and keep the program going. Thank you ! Grazie mille!