Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

American New England Studies

First Advisor

Kent Ryden

Second Advisor

Ardis Cameron

Third Advisor

Manuel Avalos,PhD., Dean

Keywords

Robert Burns memorial, assination of Chief Brown, reshaping ethnic identity

Abstract

This thesis investigates Men Against Granite, an oral history project undertaken by the Writer's Program in Barre, Vermont in the late 1930's and 40s. Thirty years earlier , Barre was an important site in the transnational Italian Left, but the Men Against Granite interviews present a curiously depoliticized place. The following pages explore national and local rhetoric that formed a composite "radical Italian," a racialized identity that set Italian immigrants apart and legitimized state repression . In response, second-generation immigrants , including project writer Mari Tomasi, used the interviews to reshape themselves and their pasts as "American," in part by eschewing subversive politics and conforming to regionalist narratives of the period.

Share

COinS