Antonio Nicaso is a bestselling author, an award-winning journalist and an internationally recognized expert on organized crime. He has published 27 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 the 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.
Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
ITAL6576 - 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.
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 2012, Summer 2013, Summer 2014 Language Schools, Summer 2015 Language Schools
ITAL6628 - 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.
/Mafia/. Nicaso, Antonio - Bollati Boringhieri, Torino, 2016.
Il Giorno della civetta. Sciascia Leonardo, Baglione A. - La nuova italia editrice, 1993 Civ Cul & Soc
Summer 2012, Summer 2016 Language Schools
ITAL6717 - Globalization of Criminal Org
The Globalization of Criminal Organizations
This course aims to analyze the globalization of diverse criminal organizations (Mafias) and their entrance in the ‘new economy.’ At first, the course will examine the origins of this globalization: the summit of Palermo and Appalachian in 1957; the market of the heroine; the investigation of the French and Pizza Connection; the testimony of Joe Valachi; and the cover up of Joe Pistone’s that revealed the secrets of the ‘Cosa Nostra’ to Americans. Then students will be introduced to the diverse ‘Mafias’criminal organizations in Italy. For example, the ‘Ndrangheta will be analyzed as one new example of globalized criminality, including the diverse activities in which it is involved: kidnapping, construction market, drug trafficking, money laundering, and investments in the legal economy. Keeping in mind the evolution from the old to the new economy, this course will conclude with the internalization of markets, the condition of the legal economy, and above all criminal organizations’ relationship with power in moments of economical crisis. The course will also take into consideration the diverse sectors of success of the Mafia economy and the cultural, political, and economic acceptance of its infiltration into society.
*Required texts*: /La mafia spiegata ai ragazzi, Antonio Nicaso, Mondadori, ISBN 978-88-04-60368-9
Dire e non dire, I dieci comandamenti della 'ndrangheta nelle parole degli affiliati, Nicola Gratteri, Antonio Nicaso, ISBN 978-88-04-62306-9
Gomorra, Roberto Saviano, Mondadori, ISBN 978-88-04-61316-9. Civ Cul & Soc
ITAL6721 - 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.
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