Date of Degree

5-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor

George Fragopoulos

Subject Categories

American Studies | Ethnic Studies | History | Race and Ethnicity | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Social History

Keywords

race, ethnicity, Italian Americans, Columbus, identity

Abstract

This thesis explores the relationship between ethnicity and race, “whiteness,” in the American racial system through the lens of Italian/Americans. Firstly, it overviews the current scholarship on Italian/Americans and whiteness. Secondly, it analyzes methodologies that are useful for understanding race in an American context. Thirdly, it presents a case study on the Columbus symbol and the battle over identity that arose out of, and continues over, this symbol. Finally, this thesis provides suggestions using the case study and methodologies to open up new ways of understanding Italian/Americans and the American racial system.

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