Memoria Presente project: Bibliography


Note that the single webpages related to the project have targeted bibliographies focused on the specific subjects covered. This list is in alphabetical order by author (when available). For more information, visit the specific pages:


  • Article about plants brought from the Americas (Accademia Properziana del Subasio). Online article.
  • Baily, Samuel L. Immigrants in the Lands of Promise: Italians in Buenos Aires and New York City, 1870 to 1914. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1999. Print.
  • Blengino, Vanni. “Nella letteratura argentina” in Bevilacqua, Piero, Andreina De Clementi, and Emilio Franzina, eds. Storia dell’emigrazione italiana: Arrivi. Rome: Donzelli, 2002. 641–60. Print.
  • Crosby, Alfred W., Jr, The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492 – 30th Anniversary Edition, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1972. Print.
  • De Amicis, Edmondo. “From the Apennines to the Andes.” Heart. Charleston, SC: CreateSpace, 2009. 145–65. Print.
  • De Robertis, Carolina.The Gods of Tango. New York: Knopf Doubleday, 2015. Novel.
    Winner of the Stonewall Book Award, this novel interweaves migration and sexuality in bold ways. It follows the story of a young woman who travels by herself from a small village in Italy to Buenos Aires in 1913: bound to meet her husband-to-be as part of an arranged marriage, she finds herself alone with a closet full of men’s suits. And she starts wearing them, after cutting her hair, in order to follow her passion – playing the violin – and secure an income for herself at a time when women are relegated to domestic work. In the process, she discovers the intense world of tango and her own gay sexuality. The novel is available in Italian (La città degli incontri proibiti, Garzanti edition, 2016).
  • Devoto, Fernando. “In Argentina.” in Bevilacqua, Piero, Andreina De Clementi, and Emilio Franzina, eds. Storia dell’emigrazione italiana: Arrivi. Rome: Donzelli, 2002. 25–54. Print.

  • Encyclopedia Britannica entry about “Columbian Exchange” Online entry.
    A general introduction to the mechanisms of the Columbian exchange, with a focus on plants, animals and diseases that were transferred in the process of the exploration, conquest and dominion of the Americas (and Africa). Attention is paid to both directions of the transnational routes of the exchange across the Atlantic, highlighting the short and long-term consequences in all continents in terms of biology and politics.
  • Fiore, Teresa. “Displaced Italies and Immigrant ‘Delinquent’ Spaces in Pariani’s Argentinian Conventillos and Lakhous’s Roman Palazzo.” Pre-Occupied Spaces: Remapping Italy’s Transnational Migrations and Colonial Legacies. New York: Fordham UP, 2017. 83-103. Print.
    The first part of the essay analyzes Laura Pariani’s innovative detective novel Dio non ama i bambini (2007, see details in the specific entry in this bibliography), set early 1900s Buenos Aires, Argentina. Set in the tenement houses the immigrants inhabited (conventillos), and written in a unique hybrid language blending Italian, dialect, and Spanish, the novel is an ideal text to learn about Italian immigration in Argentina at the time of anarchism and anti-immigrant sentiment via the analysis of urban space and gender/class/generational conflict.
  • Giardinelli, Mempo. Santo Oficio de la Memoria. 1993. Madrid: Ediciones B, 2004. Novel.
    A classic immigrant saga with autobiographical elements, the novel relates the story of the Domeniconelles moving from Italy to Argentina at the end of the 1800s. Divided in hundreds of short chapters, the book employs roughly thirty voices, for the most female ones, to relay the vicissitudes of five generations (the genealogical tree is included in the Spanish edition!). Winner of the prestigious Rómulo Gallegos Prize in Venezuela, the novel represents a true accomplishment for the author, who sees in it the story of an entire country, and its social mores. Also available in Italian as Sant’Uffizio della memoria (2017).
  • Màrquez, Gabriel García. “Roma en verano.” El País. June 8, 1982. Newspaper article (in Spanish).
    The piece is a recollection of Márquez’s arrival in Rome in August of 1955. His encounter with Rome is filled with curiosity and lyrical indulgence towards a place that is as new to him as it is reminiscent of his birthplace in Colombia. His impression of the decadence of the ruins, the soporific nature of scorching hot afternoons, and the frivolous exchanges with prostitutes are rendered in a magical language that creates timeless aphorisms about Italy and Italians with unparalleled fluidity.
  • Moretti, Nanni, dir. “Santiago, Italia.” Sacher, 2018. Film.
    Nanni Moretti’s award-winning 2019 documentary, Santiago, Italia highlights the political and cultural ties between Chile and Italy at a very delicate time in 20th-century history. In the early 1970s, Italy opened its Embassy first and then its borders to Chileans fleeing the Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship, which overturned with a coup d’état the democratically elected leader Salvador Allende and his Socialist agenda of free universal education and land re-distribution. The little known story of the efforts of the Italian Embassy to save and relocate citizens targeted by the fascist regime is told through the testimonies of those who were there, from refugees to diplomats. “Santiago, Italia is a chilling depiction of living under junta rule and an ultimately inspiring expression of hope amidst dire circumstances” (Distrib Films website), which lends itself to a reflection on the fate of today’s refugees whose protection is much more fragile in a world of tightening borders.
  • Nunn, Nathan, and Nancy Qian. “The Columbian Exchange: A History of Disease, Food, and Ideas,” an article by Journal of Economic Perspectives 24:2 (Spring 2010). 163-188. Journal article.
  • Pariani, Laura. Dio non ama i bambini. Turin: Einaudi, 2007. Print.
    Pariani’s Dio non ama i bambini is a choral detective novel interlacing the macrohistory of Argentina at the time of mass immigration with particular reference to the era of anarchist movements and the related anti-Italian sentiment they both produced; the microhistory of the conventillos (tenement houses), a paradigmatic space for the immigrant urban experience; and the micro-microhistory of the children living in/around these conventillos. The primary plot revolves around a series of horrific killings targeting Italian children in a poor neighborhood known (in the novel) as Villa Basura, the “trash villa,” for being made up of poor conventillos located next to the city’s slaughterhouses and garbage. The novel presents a mosaic structure composed of approximately sixty sections focusing on individual characters and offering their points of view. The novel is characterized by an inventive idiom, a unique cocoliche in which the Italian language is influenced by Spanish syntax and phraseology.


This page was created as part of an NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) grant, and with the logistical support of Montclair State University. For information about the NEH Faculty Award linked to the Memoria Presente project, see link.