Creative Expression and the Material Culture of Italian POWs in the United States During World War II


  • Laura Ruberto Berkeley City College


prisoners of war, POWs, World War II, Italian diaspora, Italian transnationalism, transnationalism, diaspora, vernacular, folklife, material culture and ethnicity, internment


This study concerns the history of Italian prisoners of war in the United States during World War II through an analysis of the art and architecture they created. These crafted expressions highlight how Italian culture was transported and reshaped during the war and suggest alternate understandings of Italian diasporic culture and wartime experiences. They reinforced cultural heritage, mediated personal and community identities, and negotiated some of the atrocities of war. As a cultural studies scholar engaging with Italian transnational concerns, my approach emerges from an interest in the use of space, place-making, and the meanings ascribed to the material world.


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How to Cite

Ruberto, Laura. 2022. “Creative Expression and the Material Culture of Italian POWs in the United States During World War II”. Material Culture Review 92 (July):3-32.

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