Mr Gareth White
Graduate Teaching Assistant in Italian
I completed my Bachelors Degree in French and Italian in 2015 from Bangor University, Wales. During my undergraduate degree, I completed two Erasmus exchanges at the University of Bologna, Italy, and at the Université de la Bretagne Occidentale, Brest, France. Following a year in which I taught for several online English schools, I returned to Bangor in order to complete an MA in European Languages and Cultures. In 2017, I completed my MA and began to work as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in Italian. I am also currently pursuing a PhD in Modern Languages. My project, under the supervision of Dr. Rossella Merlino and Dr. David Miranda-Barreiro, concentrates on historical representations of Italian emigrants in America at the turn of the 20th century.
I am currently teaching the following modules:
LZI 1001/2: Italian Intermediate (module convenor): grammar, translation and video comprehension lessons
LZI 1003/4: Italian for Beginners: communicative lessons
LZI 2020/2040: Italian Language 1: video comprehension and translation into English
I have also contributed to the following modules with some seminars:
LXI 2010: Making of the Italian Nation, seminar on Italian emigration to America
LZI 1700: Cultures in Context: seminar on Italian emigration to America
My MA dissertation, ‘Constructing an imagined representation of America in the letters of emigrants from Valchiavenna, Italy at the turn of the 20th century’, examined how a series of letters sent by emigrants from Northern Italy engaged with the myth of America.
Imagined Italies: (Re)-constructing a counter-narrative of Italian immigrant experience in America between 1890 – 1910
My research focuses on the collective imagery of Italian immigrants in America during the American Gilded Age (1870s – 1900) and Progressive Era (1890s – 1920s). It aims to analyse the construction and persistence of a complex system of collective representations surrounding the Italian immigration phenomenon by engaging with external images (how American society depicted the Italian diasporic communities) and self-representations (how the Italian immigrants saw themselves). My project aims to answer the following questions:
- Which historical, social and cultural factors contributed to the co-existence of different Italies within the collective imago-migrationis of the Italian Great Migration?
- Why, despite the evident differentiation made by both American authorities and civil society between Northern and Southern Italians, the collective imagery around Italian immigration mainly consolidated around the images of the Italian South?
- How have American and Italian social scientists, journalists, politicians, immigration officials and others reworked and redeployed stereotypes and discourses of Italianicity when writing about Italian immigrants?
In order to answer these questions, my PhD engages with a qualitative analysis of historical and cultural documents, such as letters written by immigrants from America to Italy, as well as newspaper articles produced both by American and by Italian journalists in America. My work adopts an interdisciplinary approach that combines insights of historical approaches to Italian Great Migration with recent cultural studies approaches regarding the representation of Italian immigrants in America.