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Nancy Caronia

Teaching Associate Professor

Curriculum Vitae

My current research project, “The Criminal Body: Italian Racialization and Erasure in the Dime Novel,” is an interdisciplinary study that explores how the American dime novel genre helped enforce discriminatory practices against and eroticized the Italian (im)migrant body in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Encouraged by political and juridical discourses that focused on southern Italian immigrants as violent criminals, dime novel characterizations portrayed southern Italians as monstrous beings who had no loyalty to the United States or American ideals. Dime novel detectives like Nick Carter took on the mask of the Italian immigrant and Mafioso in a minstrelsy overtly designed to marginalize Italian immigrants, but unwittingly also revealed an attraction white nativist Americans had with fictionalized Italian and Italian American criminality. This examination contributes not only to American and Italian Diaspora Studies, but also to current national and local discourses regarding immigrants and immigration policies and laws. In 2017, I received an NEH Summer Institute fellowship to the Bard Graduate Center’s American Material Culture: Nineteenth-Century New York in support of this project. And in 2020, I received the WVU Library in the Arts Faculty/Staff Exhibit Award to mount the exhibit “Dime Novels: Racialization and Erasure.” 


Film Studies 
Italian American and Italian Diaspora Studies 
Memoir Studies 
Multiethnic (especially literatures of migration) Studies 
Women & Gender Studies 
Working class Studies 

Selected Publications 


Co-editor and Introduction.  Personal Effects: Essays on Memoir, Teaching, and Culture in the Work of Louise DeSalvo . Eds. Nancy Caronia and Edvige Giunta. Fordham University Press, 2015. 


“The Criminal Body: Italian Racialization and Erasure in the Dime Novel.” Italian American Review 9.2 (2019): 208-233. 

Caronia, Nancy & Edvige Giunta. “New Directions from the Personal Edge: Remembering Louise DeSalvo” and “Essential Louise DeSalvo Reading List.” Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies 5.2 (2019). 

“Interdisciplinary Writing Center Collaborations.” J.C. Lee, Nancy Caronia, and Diane Quaglia Beltran.  Academic Exchange Quarterly 18.4 (Winter 2014): 64-70. 

“Food, Frenzy, and the Italian American Family in Anne Bancroft’s Fatso.”  Italian American Review 3.1 (2013): 24-48. 



“Resisting Displacement in Evaristo’s The Emperor’s Babe.” Madness in Black Women’s Diasporic Fictions: Aesthetics of Resistance. Eds. Caroline Brown and Johanna K. Garvey. Palgrave MacMillan, 2017. 19-50. 

“Fierce: Female Appetite in Louise DeSalvo’s Casting Off.” Introduction. Casting Off by Louise DeSalvo. Bordighera Press, 2014. xiii-xlix. 

“Meeting at Bruce’s Place: Springsteen’s Italian American Heritage and Global Notions of Family.” Essays on Italian American Literature and Culture: A Decade and Beyond of Insights and Challenges. Eds. Dennis Barone and Peter Covino. Bordighera-Saggistica, 2012. 67-77. 



Guest Editor and Introduction. “The Legacy of Rocky.” Special Issue on Race, Ethnicity, and Masculinity in the Rocky series, Italian Americana 35.2 (2017). 



“Cover Me.” Ovunque Siamo6.1 (Summer 2017). (Pushcart Prize nomination). 
“The Language of the Women.” Voices of Italian Americana 28.2 (Winter 2017): 49-51. 
“Big Girl Stories.” Italian Americana 34.1 (2016): 85-94. 
“Trapped.” The Missing Slate (May 2015). 
“Miss Bucky Beaver. Miss Bugs Bunny.” Animal: A Beast of a Literary Magazine (November 2014). 
“Deserving Angels.” BioStories (March 2014). 
“Quiet.” NewDelta Review 4.1 (Winter 2013). 
“Beyond the Sea.” 94 Creations 4 (2013): 86-96. 
“Postmortem.” Tell Us a Story (September 2013).  
“The Arsenale.” LowestoftChronicle 15 (Autumn 2013): online. [Also appears in Somewhere, Sometime: Lowestoft Chronicles’s 2014 Anthology. Ed. Nicholas Litchfield. Lowestoft Chronicle Press, 2014. 106-114.] (Pushcart Prize nomination.)