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The Pistol in the Privy: Myths and Contexts of Southern Italian Violence in the Anthracite Coalfields of Northeast Pennsylvania

Author(s): Michael P Roller

Year: 2016

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Summary

The discovery of a revolver in the privy deposits of a home in a coal company town in the anthracite region of Northeast Pennsylvania evokes a long history of Southern Italian racialization as violent and vindictive by dominating groups. These imagined characteristics mobilized the privileged to fear, and thereby act to contain or exclude Southern Italian laborers wherever they lived. At the same time a transnational context reveals complex historical continuities when considered through accounts of Black Hand banditry in the region, possibly transplanted from the homeland context of North Italian conquest to Gilded Age Industrial Capitalism. Contextualizing these criminal activities in contexts of structural violence, sovereign and capitalist, provides surprising continuities and ruptures. And then sometimes.... a gun is just a gun.


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The Pistol in the Privy: Myths and Contexts of Southern Italian Violence in the Anthracite Coalfields of Northeast Pennsylvania. Michael P Roller. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434327)


Keywords

Temporal Keywords
20th Century


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 568

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America