Please join us in Falvey Memorial Library on Wednesday, Nov. 5 at 7:00 p.m. for our annual event that focuses on scholarship about Italian-American history, culture and the immigrant experience: The Alfred F. Mannella and Rose T. Lauria-Mannella Endowed Distinguished Speaker Series Lecture. This year’s lecture will feature Joseph L. Tropea, PhD, retired professor and former chair, Department of Sociology, George Washington University.
Dr. Tropea’s previous research projects in institutional history have been published in Social Science History, Criminal Justice History, Journal of Education Quarterly, Journal of Management History, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, as well as in edited works in the U.S. and Europe. His recent research (his presentation’s focus) shifts to social history of the greatest mine disaster in U.S. History, which killed 361 persons, including 170 Italian migrants. His work, so far, includes findings which change the facts and interpretations of that 1907 disaster, especially for Italians (West Virginia History, 2013); a biography of a once-chastised northern Italian mother of five, widowed by the disaster (Women’s Studies, 2013); and a beguiling effort to document intimacies and intricacies of four Calabrian migrants to West Virginia’s Fairmont Coal Field, including a miner who died in the explosion (under review). The presentation will reveal many bizarre but illustrative errors and myths that constitute too much Italian-American history and identity. Dr. Tropea’s grandparents migrated from four regions in Italy (Abruzzo, Lazio, Basilicata and Calabria) to settle in West Virginia, two of whom were present in Monongah at the time of the 1907 disaster. In addition, he was honored in Rome for his research and also as “Italian Man of the Year” in Clarksburg, West Virginia.
If time permits, a Q&A session will follow the talk. Light refreshments will be served.
This event, sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library, is free and open to the public.