16 Facts About Alessandro Portelli


Alessandro Portelli was born on July 8,1942 and is an Italian scholar of American literature and culture, oral historian, writer for the daily newspaper il manifesto, and musicologist.

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Alessandro Portelli is a professor of Anglo-American literature at the University of Rome La Sapienza.

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Alessandro Portelli's father was a civil servant, and his mother was a teacher of English.

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Alessandro Portelli spent his senior year of high school as an American Field Service exchange student in the Los Angeles area.

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Alessandro Portelli studied at the University of Rome La Sapienza, receiving degrees in law in 1966 and in English in 1972.

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Alessandro Portelli began working for the Italian National Research Council in 1962.

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Alessandro Portelli began his academic career at the University of Siena, where he taught American literature from 1974 to 1981.

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Alessandro Portelli moved to the faculty of human sciences at the University of Rome La Sapienza to teach American literature in 1981 and has remained there to the present.

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Alessandro Portelli returned as a James Still fellow at the UK Appalachian Center in fall 1983, and began developing his extensive oral history work in Harlan County.

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Alessandro Portelli began a continuing exchange program, involving graduate students and faculty, between the UK Appalachian Center and the University of Rome La Sapienza.

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Alessandro Portelli's writing has shifted the focus of oral history from whether the subject's account is historically accurate to the meaning of the story and the nature of memory.

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Alessandro Portelli has allowed us to see oral histories as more than eyewitness accounts that are either true or false and to look for themes and structures of the stories.

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In 1972 Alessandro Portelli founded the Circolo Gianni Bosio, an activist collective dedicated to studying folklore, oral history, and people's culture.

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Alessandro Portelli chaired the group, which continued for twenty years, through 1992.

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Alessandro Portelli has been a contributor to the independent left-wing Italian daily paper il manifesto since its founding in 1971.

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Alessandro Portelli has published books in Italian about Washington Irving, Joseph Conrad, Mark Twain, Woody Guthrie, and African-American writers.

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