Italian-American Foodways and the Making of Modern New York, Wednesday, December 12, 2012, 6:00 p.m., at the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, 25 West 43rd Street, 17th floor, (between 5th and 6th Avenues), RSVP by calling (212) 642-2094.
Rocco Marinaccio, of Manhattan College, will discuss the foodways associated with New York’s Italian immigrants in the early twentieth century. His focus is on the ways a developing Italian-American cuisine was incorporated into broader public discussions of moral, intellectual and physical health within the immigrant population. He will also consider both a range of institutional actions–such as the New York City pushcart-reform legislation and various public health and dietary initiatives–and representations of Italian immigrant cuisine in various media. Ultimately, mainstream responses to this cuisine comprised a program of “culinary reform,” designed to police and to assimilate the immigrant, fashioning both the citizenry and the urban landscape according to emergent conceptions of “modern” New York.