Fred L. Gardaphe

  • Fred L.  Gardaphe profile photo
Distinguished Professor in English and Italian American Studies  
John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, Room 1700  

Fred L. Gardaphe earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1976), a Master’s Degree in English at the University of Chicago (1982) and his Ph.D. in Literature at the University of Illinois at Chicago (1993) with an emphasis on cultural criticism and American multicultural literature.

A leading expert in the field, Gardaphe is Distinguished Professor of English and Italian American Studies. He directs the Italian American Studies Program at Queens College, City University of New York and also works at the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute. Previously he helped to create the Italian American Studies program at Stony Brook University, which he directed from 1998-2008. He taught five years at the high school level before taking a position in English and Educational Studies at Columbia College in Chicago. At Columbia College he created and taught writing, literature courses and courses in Italian American film and literature from 1978-1998.

Gardaphe is Associate Editor of Fra Noi, an Italian American monthly newspaper, editor of the Series in Italian American Studies at State University of New York Press, and co-founding-co-editor of Voices in Italian Americana, a literary journal and cultural review. He is past President of the American Italian Historical Association (1996-2000) and served as Vice President of the Italian Cultural Center in Stone Park, IL from 1992-1998. He is also past President of MELUS: The Society for the Study of Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (2003-2006 and 2007-2009), and The Working Class Studies Association (2009-2012).

His edited books include: New Chicago Stories, Italian American Ways, Shades of Black and White: Conflict and Collaboration Between Two Communities, Cultures, Communities and the Arts, From the Margin: Writings in Italian Americana, Italian Ethnics: Their Languages, Literature and Lives, Anti-Italianism: Essays on a Prejudice; Reconstructing Italians in Chicago: Thirty Authors in Search of Roots and Branches, and Transcending Borders, Bridging Gaps: Italian Americana, Diasporic Studies, and the University Curriculum.

Italian Signs, American Streets: The Evolution of Italian American Narrative, based on his dissertation that won the Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli/Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs award for 1993 dissertations, and published by Duke University Press in 1996; it was named an Outstanding Academic Book for 1996 by Choice. His other books include Dagoes Read: Tradition and the Italian/American Writer, Moustache Pete is Dead!, Leaving Little Italy, From Wiseguys to Wise Men: Masculinities and the Italian American Gangster, The Art of Reading Italian Americana, and Read ‘Em and Reap: Gambling on Italian American Literature. He is co-founding/co-editor of VIA: Voices in Italian Americana, editor of the Italian American Culture Series of SUNY Press, and frequent contributor to the Fra Noi, L’italoamericano, and i-Italy magazine and television. He has written two one-act plays: “Vinegar and Oil,” produced by the Italian/American Theatre Company (1987), and “Imported from Italy,” produced by Zebra Crossing Theater (1991).

Gardaphe is the recipient of a 2011 Fulbright Senior Lectureship at the University of Salerno, Italy, and currently at work on a memoir and a study of humor and irony in Italian American culture.