Antonio Nicaso

Italian School Associate Director


ANTONIO NICASO, Bestselling author, award-winning journalist, television producer and internationally recognized expert on organized crime. He teaches courses on Social History of Organized Crime and on Mafia in Popular Culture at Queen’s University (Kingston, Canada). He is also a lecturer at St. Jerome’s University (Waterloo, Canada). He sits on the Advisory Board of the Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security at York University (Toronto) and on the International Advisory Board of the Italian Institute of Strategic Study Nicolò Machiavelli, based in Rome, Italy. He is the author of more than 30 book on organized crime. 



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 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 6678 - Trilogy of the God Father      

Analyzing The Trilogy of The Godfather Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2018 Language Schools, Mills 6 Week Session

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ITAL 6738 - Italians in the West      

Italian Americans are the fourth largest ethnic group in America. Most of these immigrants came from the southern parts of Italy, like Sicily and Campania, because of the political situation in Italy. Overall, an estimated 5.5 million Italians immigrated to the U.S. between 1820 and 2004. Most of these, about 4 million, came in the period between 1880 and 1920. Now there are 18 million Americans who claim Italian ancestry. The course highlights the history of Italian-American experience in California and will trace the assimilation to achievement, from 1880 to 1950. Starting from a close study of the motivations for immigration to the U.S., the course will move on to analyze the difficulties faced in assimilation along with their social, religious, intellectual, political and economic development. The course will also highlight similarities and differences with the new immigrant experience, including a close study and comparison of the padrone system to the current labor exploitation system.

Summer 2019 Language Schools, Mills 6 Week Session

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The Italian School

Sunderland Language Center
Middlebury College
P: 802.443.5874
F: 802.443.2075

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

Joe Tamagni, Coordinator