William Connell, Ph.D., history professor, Andrew Carnegie Fellow, and Joseph and Geraldine La Motta Endowed Chair in Italian Studies, has in recent months seen three of his books published in translation. The books were presented in Rome last year.
Sacrilege and Redemption in Renaissance Florence was among the three books translated. It was published in Spanish by the press of the University of Valencia and had previously been translated into Italian, Russian, Romanian, and Farsi. The focus of the book is Antonio Rinaldeschi, a man who was arrested and hanged in Florence in the summer of 1501 after throwing horse dung at an outdoor painting of the Virgin Mary. His punishment was severe, even for the times, and the crimes with which he was formally charged – gambling, blasphemy and attempted suicide – did not typically warrant the death penalty. Co-written by Giles Constable, Sacrilege and Redemption in Renaissance Florence unveils newly discovered sources concerning this incident. Connell and Constable demonstrate how the political and religious context of Renaissance Florence resulted both in Rinaldeschi's death sentence and in the creation by the followers of Savonarola of a new religious devotion, in the heart of the city, commemorating the event.
Anti-Italianism: Essays on a Prejudice was published in Italian by Aracne Editrice of Rome. This piece was presented to the Italian American Studies Association meeting in Rome at the Università di Roma Tre. Co-edited by Fred Gardaphe, the book explores the reluctance on the part of historians of the Italian American experience to confront the discrimination faced by Italians and Americans of Italian ancestry. Anti-Italianism: Essays on a Prejudice is a bold attempt by an esteemed group of scholars and writers to discuss the question openly by charting the historical and cultural boundaries of stereotypes, prejudice, and assimilation. Contributors offer a series of cultural encounters and experiences from popular culture, including television, literature, and film, that will catch the attention of anyone interested in the larger themes of American history.
The Routledge History of Italian Americans was also published in Italian by Le Monnier-Mondadori of Milan. This book was presented at the Centro di Studi Americani in Rome. The Routledge History of Italian Americans offers a narrative of the trials and triumphs of one of the nation's largest ethnic groups. This history, comprised of original essays by leading scholars and critics, addresses themes including the Columbian legacy, immigration, the labor movement, discrimination, anarchism, Fascism, World War II patriotism, assimilation, gender identity and popular culture. Co-edited by Stanislao G. Pugliese, the book offers a clear overview of work in the growing field of Italian American studies.
"We think Italian Americans have a history that should generate serious interest on the part of anyone who cares about the history of the United States, of Italy, of immigration, of globalization and of many other topics," Connell recently stated during an interview with La Voce di New York about The Routledge History of Italian Americans and its new Italian edition.
About William Connell:
Connell, founding director of the Charles and Joan Alberto Italian Studies Institute, has received numerous recognitions including fellowships at Harvard's Villa I Tatti and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the Mille Grazie Award of UNICO National, and the Presidential Award of the Columbian Foundation. Twice he served as a gubernatorial appointee on the New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission. In 2016 he received the Monsignor Joseph Granato Italian Culture Medal of Seton Hall University.