Simone Cinotto

The Italian American Table: A Lecture on Food History by Dr. Simone Cinotto

Monday, November 18, 2013
6:00 - 8:00 PM
Montclair State University
Cohen Lounge, 1st Floor of Dickson Hall
Free and open to the public
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While covering general aspects of the history of food production, consumption and distribution within the Italian immigrant community in the U.S., the lecture focuses on New York City and in particular 1920s-40s Harlem. Central to the lives of immigrants and their children, food offered not only sustenance but also powerful narratives of tradition and innovation to create an Italian American identity. Cinotto shows how generations of creative, ambitious improvisers in tenement kitchens and behind restaurant stoves cooked, ate, and shared the foods that helped them make their way into American culture while developing the vibrant food-based economy of importers and restaurateurs that we still enjoy today.

Introduction: Dr. Teresa Fiore, Inserra Chair

Discussion moderators: Dr. David Del Principe (Associate Professor of Italian) and Dr. Gina Miele (Assistant Professor of Italian)

  • Sponsored and organized by the Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies at Montclair State University, NJ
  • In collaboration with Coccia Institute for the Italian Experience in America at Montclair State University
About Dr. Simone Cinotto

Simone Cinotto is a Professor of American and Contemporary History at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy. He regularly teaches summer courses at the University of Turin and NYU, and has been Visiting Professor of Italian-American Studies at NYU, Fellow of the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America at Columbia University, Visiting Fellow of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies at Cornell University, and Resident Fellow of the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies in Philadelphia. Simone Cinotto is also Visiting Scholar with the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies (CEMS) at NYU. 

Cinotto’s research interests include transnational migration; the history and anthropology of consumption; and food and identity.  Cinotto is the author of several books on Italian American food practices and social dynamics, including the recent Soft Soil, Black Grapes: The Birth of Italian Winemaking in California. His fundamental contribution to the field of Italian American Studies, the book Una famiglia che mangia insieme, is about to be issued in a revised English translation entitled The Italian American Table: Food, Family, and Community in New York City (University of Illinois Press, 2013).

Please see the speaker’s bio and his book's official site.