Antonio Nicaso

Italian School Associate Director


Antonio Nicaso is a bestselling author, an award-winning journalist and an internationally recognized expert on organized crime. He has published 30 books on Mafia and Mafia-type criminal organizations and is teaching courses on the history of organized crime in Canada, Italy and the United States.

Regular consultant to governments and law-enforcement agencies around the world and lecturer at several universities, he is Professor Adjoint in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Queen’s University, lecturer at St. Jerome’s University and co-director of the Research in Forensic Semiotics Unit at Victoria College (University of Toronto).

He sits on the Advisory Board of the Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security, at York University (Toronto); on the International Advisory Council of the Italian Institute of Strategic Studies “Niccolò Machiavelli” in Rome (Italy), and on the Expert Advisory Committee on Bullying, Intimidation and Gang Violence in Montreal.

He is also the President of Centro Scuola e Cultura, in Toronto.



Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

ITAL 6576 - Faces of Italy:1861 to Present      

Faces of Italy: Italian Culture and Society through Literature and Scandals from 1861 to the Present

This course examines the most pressing issue that has confronted Italian society since its Unification: How does one make a nation? If the Italian historical process that led to unification (the Risorgimento) can be read as an unfulfilled revolution (Gramsci), a revolution that failed (Gobetti), or even the fulfillment of noble plans made by enlightened men, animated by a philanthropic spirit (Croce), how can these different ways of reading the nation’s beginnings help us to understand its past, its present, and its future? The course is interdisciplinary: we will place political and historical transformations (from Liberalism, to Fascism, to the Resistance, to the First and Second Republics) in a dialectical relation to the cultural production of an Italy constantly in flux, looking at literature, music and the visual arts as expressions of social change: as reactions for or against the dominant culture. Particular attention will be given to major scandals that have characterized the history of Italy. We will also contextualize the Italian
reality within that of Europe and the rest of the world.

Required Texts:
A. Nicaso, Pignotti, L’Italia spiegata ai ragazzi. Mondadori, 2011. - 978-88-04-61355-8
Andrea Camilleri, La bolla di Componenda. Sellerio, Palermo, 1997. - 9788838913686 Civ Cul & Soc Literature

Summer 2014 Language Schools, Mills 6 Week Session, Summer 2015 Language Schools, Mills 6 Week Session

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ITAL 6622 - Rereading:Unification of Italy      

A Rereading of the Unification of Italy

The history of Italian Risorgimento has been shaped by rhetoric that depicts a nation founded on a legendary past. This legendary past is one of the heroism and martyrdom of a minority of combatants who believed that they had a singular mission to accomplish. In order to understand what really happened a deep re-reading of historical facts is necessary. The course will focus on how the unification of the South of Italy with the North led to a civil war. We will explore how the victor erased the memories of the vanquished and discover the true nature of the Risorgimento.

Required Text: Gigi Di Fiore, Controstoria dell’Unità d’Italia, Rizzoli, 2010, Formato Tascabile, ISBN: 978-88-17-04281-9 Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2017 Language Schools, Mills 6 Week Session

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ITAL 6628 - Mafia Through Lenses of Cinema      

The course will analyze the representation of Mafia and Mafiosi in Italian cinema from a historical, sociological and political perspective, situating each film in its cultural background. With the goal to gain a variety of critical tools, the vision and discussion of selected films will be intertwined with analysis of documents and artifacts such as newspaper articles, interviews, documentary clips, literary excerpts and song lyrics. We will organize our screenings, readings and discussions around the following cultural themes: the characterization of the Mafioso, society and a-mafia, government and anti-mafia, mafia and the youth, mafia and woman, mafia’s comedies and mafia today.

Required Texts:
/Mafia/. Nicaso, Antonio - Bollati Boringhieri, Torino, 2016.
Il Giorno della civetta. Sciascia Leonardo, Baglione A. - La nuova italia editrice, 1993 Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2016 Language Schools, Mills 6 Week Session

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ITAL 6721 - Globalization of the Mafia      

The course aims to provide the basic knowledge to interpret the phenomena of organized crime. It defines patterns, characteristics, norms, myths, symbols and languages and offers a reading of their evolution as a function of globalization and new technologies, starting with Lucky Luciano to the present day. In particular, we will study criminal activities with reference to drug trafficking and trade routes (Caribbean, Atlantic and transoceanic), the economic outlook favored by old and new recycling techniques (casino, internet, financial institutions, and other commercial activities), joint-ventures with interactions and strategic alliances between various criminal groups, especially in the Americas, and communication systems based on languages that are increasingly sophisticated.

Required Texts:
Dire e non dire, di Nicola Gratteri e Antonio Nicaso, Mondadori, Milano, 2012. ISBN 978-88-04-62306-9
Quando la mafia trovò l'America, Salvatore Lupo, Einaudi, Torino, 2008, ISBN 978-88-06-18598-5 Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2014 Language Schools, Mills 6 Week Session

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The Italian School

Sunderland Language Center
Middlebury College
P: 802.443.5727
F: 802.443.2075

Mailing address
Italian School
14 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT  05753

Joseph Tamagni, Coordinator