Concentration: Film Studies
Title of Project: The Italian-American Identity Crisis
Inspiration Behind the Project:

This is a study of the media exploitation of the Italian-American slur and an analysis of its psychological/social impact on the urban Italian-American male community as it relates to these images. This thesis paper begins with the history of the Italian slur and how it made its way into America along with Italian immigrants. The focus then shifts to the beginnings of media exploitation of the slur and its eventual continuation in modern day.

We conclude with a psychoanalysis of these stereotypical images through the work of Lacan, Mulvey and Metz. The thesis film is a positive spin and realistic outlook on the Italian-American community. The film focuses on the devoted participants of the Giglio feast tradition at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. This tradition is deeply rooted in the community and entails 100 Italian American men who have lifted a 3 ton 65 foot tall tower called the Giglio (Lily in Italian), for 125 years, in honor of Saint Paulinus of Nola, Italy.