Mr Gareth White


I completed my Bachelors Degree in French and Italian in 2015 from Bangor University, Wales. During my undergraduate degree, I completed two Erasmus exchanges at the University of Bologna, Italy, and at the Université de la Bretagne Occidentale, Brest, France. Following a year in which I taught for several online English schools, I returned to Bangor in order to complete an MA in European Languages and Cultures. In 2017, I completed my MA and began to work as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in Italian. I am also currently pursuing a PhD in Modern Languages. My project, under the supervision of Dr. Rossella Merlino and Dr. David Miranda-Barreiro, concentrates on the occupational and cultural practices of Italian migrants in Wales at the turn of the 20th century.   



My MA dissertation, 'Constructing an Imagined Representation of America in the Letters of Emigrants from Valchiavenna at the Turn of the Twentieth Century', analyses a series of letters written by members of the Valchiavenna community, Lombardy, and published in Paolo Via and Giordano Sterlocchi’s 1983 work Vengo a caramente salutarvi: lettere di emigranti valchiavennaschi in America, 1853–1946. In line with a recent sociohistorical approach that considers personal narratives and letters as able to generate new understandings of a historical phenomenon (Gerber: 1997, 2001; Iggers : 1997), the dissertation envisions that an analysis of emigrant letters from Valchiavenna will provide an additional perspective on Italian emigration to America. In so doing, this dissertation seeks to integrate existing theory on Italian emigration to America with a new set of primary sources in order to determine how the imagined representation of America as a mythical land was propagated within the community. It also engages with Edward Said’s notion of imaginative geography (Said: 1978) in order to explore the ways in which a sense of distance was created between Italy and America in the emigrants’ letters. As America is distanced by the letters, the boundary between real and imaginary is blurred, thus allowing for the more mythical elements to be integrated within the narrative.. 



Italians in Wales: A Transnational Approach to Italian Working Practices in Wales 1870s–1950s.

My thesis aims to investigate the work experiences of first and second-generation Italian migrants in Wales from a transnational perspective and in light of wider political and economic shifts and evolving society.  The focus will be on a range of working sectors in which Italian migrants were employed over the course of the period taken into account, including itinerant or temporary occupations (street musicians, street traders or figurinai) manual labour (coal miners, steel layers and tinplate miners), the refreshment industry (ice cream vendors, coffee shop keepers, restaurant workers, and fish and chip dealers), and finally more institutional roles (businessmen, ambassadors, and politicians). The thesis will take an interdisciplinary approach grounded on a historical methodology and integrated with the socio-geographic analysis of geospatial factors related to the extent of Italian migration to Wales.

Teaching and Supervision

  • LZI 1001/2: Italian Intermediate (module convenor): communicative lessons
  • LZI 1003/4: Italian for Beginners: communicative lessons
  • LZI 2020/2040: Italian Language 1: video comprehension and translation into English
  • LZI 3020/3030/3040: Italian Language 2: Translation into English

I have also contributed to the following modules with some seminars:

  • LXI 2010: Making of the Italian Nation: Seminar on the othering of the Italian South in Emanuele Crialese’s Nuovomondo
  • LXE 1700: Cultures in Context: Two seminars: ‘Representing the Italian South in 19th century European travel writing’; “Italian emigration to America and the representations of the Italian South’.

Education / academic qualifications

  • Professional , Associate Fellow of Higher Education Academy
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