Joseph Papaleo (1925 - 2004) was considered the grandfather of Italian American writing. He was a best-selling author who won the Guggenheim and American Book Award, and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize Award for his short stories collection, Italian Stories. Joseph Papaleo retained a profound sense of inferiority about his Italian identity throughout his career. From a reading of some of Joseph Papaleo's writing, Professor Fred Gardaphe will analyze not only the inner conflict between the success and inferiority, but also the influence the Italian American identity has had in the development of the art and life of William Papaleo.
Professor Fred Gardaphe is a Distinguished Professor of English and Italian American Studies at Queens College/CUNY and the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute. He directs the Italian/American Studies Program at Queens and formerly directed the programs in Italian American and American Studies at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is the Associate Editor of Fra Noi, an Italian American monthly newspaper, editor of the Series in Italian American Studies at State University of New York Press, and co-founding-co-editor of Voices in Italian Americana, a literary journal and cultural review.