Guide to the Joseph Fucilla (1897-1981) Papers

Collection Title: Joseph Fucilla (1897-1981) Papers
Dates: 1918-1981
Identification: 11/3/12/1
Creator: Fucilla, Joseph Guerin, 1897-1981
Extent: 10 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: During his career at Northwestern Fucilla traveled to Europe on several occasions, wrote prolifically, and served as editor of Italica, the journal of the American Association of Teachers of Italian, from 1943 to 1968. The Joseph Fucilla Papers include biographical materials, correspondence, research materials, teaching materials, publications, and talks, as well as two additions.
Acquisition Information: These materials were donated to the University Archives by Mrs. Joseph Fucilla on September 11, 1981 as Accession #81-197.
Processing Information: William K. Beatty, October-November, 1981.
Separated Materials: Twenty-two photographs were transferred to the Northwester University Archives' photograph collection.
Conditions Governing Access: None.
Repository: Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
URL: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/archives
Email: archives@northwestern.edu
Phone: 847-491-3354

Biographical/Historical Information

Joseph Fucilla was born in Chicago on December 14, 1897, the oldest of seven children born to Giovanni and Maria Carmela (DeMarco) Fucilla. During his career at Northwestern Fucilla traveled to Europe on several occasions, wrote prolifically, and served as editor of Italica, the journal of the American Association of Teachers of Italian, from 1943 to 1968. Not limiting himself to academic pursuits, Fucilla was actively involved in various Italian and Spanish cultural activities. Fucilla retired from NU in 1965 and spent much of the following year gathering material and writing The Teaching of Italian.

In 1900 the Fucilla family moved to Racine, Wisconsin where Fucilla attended parochial and public elementary schools. As a child he learned Italian from his uncle and father. Following elementary school Fucilla was forced to go to work in order to help support his family. A freak industrial accident prompted Fucilla to continue his education at the Racine High School where he studied Latin, German and Spanish. He also enrolled in evening language classes.

In September, 1917, Fucilla enrolled at the University of Wisconsin in Madison where he added French to his language studies. After a brief hitch in the Army, Fucilla returned to Madison and began studying Portuguese. He was elected Phi Beta Kappa in his junior year. After graduating in June, 1921, Fucilla rejected a teaching offer from the University of Kentucky in favor of one from Iowa State College at Ames where he stayed for two years. In 1922 he obtained an M.A. from Wisconsin.

In the fall of 1923, Fucilla moved to Butler College in Indianapolis. While there he met and married Reba Ann South in Charleston, Illinois, on May 9, 1925. They had two sons, Jay and Van.

Fucilla had taken summer courses at the University of Chicago in 1923-25 in pursuit of a Ph.D. Desiring to complete his doctorate he took a leave from Butler for the 1926-27 academic year and traveled in Spain, France, and Italy to research his dissertation, “Petrarchism in Spain.” His Ph.D. was granted in 1928, and through the effort of an examiner at his orals, Fucilla was offered a position at Northwestern as Assistant Professor of Romance Languages. He became Associate Professor in 1934, and Professor in 1936, a position enjoyed for the next thirty years.

During his career at Northwestern Fucilla traveled to Europe on several occasions, wrote prolifically, and served as editor of Italica, the journal of the American Association of Teachers of Italian, from 1943 to 1968. In 1951-52 Fucilla received a Fulbright grant that enabled another research trip to Europe. Fucilla completed what he called his “most important contribution to scholarship” in 1960: an expanded version of his doctoral dissertation in Spanish. Fucilla also made substantial contributions to the scholarship on D'Annunzio, Tasso, and Dante, as well as Italian language scholarship in general.

Not limiting himself to academic pursuits, Fucilla was actively involved in various Italian and Spanish cultural activities. He was elected to the Accademia Cosentina (1949), the Academia Sevillana de Buenas Letras (1961) and Hispanic Society (1966). He received many honors, among them being created a commendatore by the Italian government in 1968, receiving the Dante Medal in 1968 and being awarded the Petrarch Medal in 1974. The Petrarch Medal was presented to Fucilla in front of the U.S Capitol Building during the World Petrarch Congress.

Fucilla also played an important role in the Committee for a Better Peace with Italy after World War II. He was particularly pleased when his efforts to persuade the United States to issue a postage stamp commemorating the seven hundredth anniversary of Dante's birth met success in 1965. His book, Our Italian Surnames published in 1949, became quite popular.

When Fucilla retired from Northwestern in 1965 he was appointed visiting professor of the University of Wisconsin for the following year. Fucilla spent much of 1965 and 1966 gathering material and writing The Teaching of Italian in the United States under a contract from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Later he taught at the University of Colorado and the University of California. He died in Evanston, Illinois on March 22, 1981 at the age of 83.

Scope and Content

The Joseph Fucilla Papers comprising seven boxes are arranged in six main subseries: biographical materials, correspondence, research materials, teaching materials, publications, and talks.

The biographical materials include news releases and biographical sketches, Mrs. Fucilla's hand-written account of their trip to Washington and Italy in 1974, several obituary notices, and published bibliographies of Fucilla's writings. A marked copy of a bibliography indicates which of Fucilla's books and articles are part of this Series or in the Archives' Faculty Publications Collection. Also included is Fucilla's 45-page) typed autobiography, dated July 18, 1974.Clippings concern Fucilla's interest in personal names, his promotion of a U.S. stamp to commemorate the 700th anniversary of Dante's birth, and various events in his academic life. The awards and certificates are all photocopies. Some of the identification cards carry pictures of Fucilla at different ages.

The correspondence is quite general. Comprised mainly of letters to Fucilla, it is arranged chronologically. Many letters are in Italian, Spanish, or French. They deal with manuscripts and publications by Fucilla and other authors in his field, meetings, research, and awards. Several letters written by former students include comments about Fucilla's teaching and influence upon them. The personal correspondence contains letters informing Fucilla of increases in his salary, arrangements for grants, and notification of awards.

The research materials consist of typed copies of poems, mostly in Italian or Spanish, from published works or manuscripts, bibliographic and source notes, and a small amount of pertinent correspondence. The notebooks contain, for the most part, excerpts from and entire poems, notes, and journal entries Fucilla made during his trips, including one to southern Europe in June and July, 1935. The teaching materials include dated and undated class lists and grades.

The bulk of the Papers, approximately four boxes, consists of offprints of Fucilla's many publications. The Modern Language Association selected Fucilla to research and write a book on the teaching of Italian in the United States. Correspondence, data, and photocopies in Box 4 and portions of Boxes 3 and 5 pertain to this assignment. Drafts and notes for several articles are also included.

Addition, Boxes 8-9

The material in this addition is arranged in three categories: class materials, research materials, and drafts.

The folder of class materials includes one student paper (1938) and a small number of grade sheets for courses Fucilla taught at Northwestern (1966), the University of Wisconsin (1967-1968), and the University of Colorado (1967).

The folder of research materials contains a wide variety of reading notes, excerpts, and miscellaneous materials relating to many subjects.

Drafts comprise the bulk of this addition. Included is a bibliography of studies on Petrarch, one of Fucilla's major interests. Also here are Fucilla's translations of Dido Aban-doned, Demetrius, and The Olympiad by the eighteenth century playwright, Metastasio. A review of this publication appeared in the South Atlantic Review (May, 1982) and is filed in Box 5, Folder 12. A small amount of correspondence pertaining to the translations is included here. Finally, several article and book review manuscripts and a number of manuscript fragments are included with the drafts.

Addition, Box 10

This addition to the Joseph Fucilla Papers fills one half-size archival box and spans the period 1921-1982 with the bulk of the material between 1952 and 1982. The addition is divided into three categories: biographical files, correspondence, and publications. Most of the addition consists of materials related to Reba Fucilla and the South family.

The biographical materials fill two folders and consist of genealogical data, certificates, clippings and obituaries. One of the folders is filled with a genealogical study of the South family (Reba Fucilla's maiden name) and short essays written by Reba Fucilla.

The correspondence folder spans the years 1952-198, and is arranged chronologically by date. The folder contains personal letters and correspondence related to the Fucilla's fiftieth wedding anniversary celebration, held on May 9, 1975.

The publication folder contains the book cover for Joseph Fucilla's Our Italian Surnames.

Subjects

Personal Name

Petrarca, Francesco, 1304-1374

Subjects

Italianists--United States

Romance languages--Study and teaching (Higher)--Illinois--Evanston


Container List / Contents

  • Biographical Material
    • News Releases, questionnaire, notes, forms, 1918-1981Box 1, Folder 1
    • Autobiography, July 18, 1974Box 1, Folder 2
    • Bibliography, 1921-1977Box 1, Folder 3
    • Clippings, 1925-1977Box 1, Folder 4
    • Awards and CertificatesBox 1, Folder 5
    • Identification CardsBox 1, Folder 6
    • Programs and DirectoriesBox 1, Folder 7
    • Travel MaterialsBox 1, Folder 8
  • Correspondence
    • General, 1924-1949Box 1, Folder 9
    • General, 1950-1959Box 1, Folder 10
    • General, 1960-1969Box 1, Folder 11
    • General, 1970-1981Box 1, Folder 12
    • Correspondence, n.d.Box 2, Folder 1
  • Research Materials
    • Notes, translations, excerpts, n.d.Box 2, Folder 2
    • Notes, translations, excerpts, n.d.Box 2, Folder 3
    • Notes, translations, excerpts, n.d.Box 2, Folder 4
    • Notes, translations, excerpts, n.d.Box 2, Folder 5
    • Jefferson's Italian Books, n.d.Box 2, Folder 6
    • Notebooks, n.d.Box 2, Folder 7
    • Notebooks, n.d.Box 2, Folder 8
    • Notebooks, n.d.Box 2, Folder 9
    • NotebooksBox 3, Folder 1
    • NotebooksBox 3, Folder 2
    • Class Lists and GradesBox 3, Folder 3
    • Student Papers, 1940, 1959, 1961Box 3, Folder 4
  • Publications
    • “Petrarchism in Spain, Doctoral Dissertation, Draft, n.d.Box 5, Folder 3
    • “La Leggenda Tassiana in un Libretto Musicato Spagnuolo,” Drafts, n.d.Box 5, Folder 4
    • Petrarchism in Romance-Speaking Countries,” Drafts, n.d.Box 5, Folder 5
    • Articles, brief pieces, n.d.Box 5, Folder 6
    • Italica, miscellaneous, n.d.Box 5, Folder 7
    • Poetry, n.d.Box 5, Folder 8
    • “El Esclavo del Demonio,” play, n.d.Box 5, Folder 9
    • “Italian Children,” film script, 1949Box 5, Folder 10
    • Reviews by, manuscript and published, 1930-spring 1980Box 5, Folder 11
    • Reviews of Works by, 1935-May, 1966Box 6, Folder 1
    • Catalogue sheets, Flyers, n.d.Box 6, Folder 2
    • Book contracts and royalty, 1935-1970Box 6, Folder 3
    • New York Daily News article on names, Nov 24, 1946Box 6, Folder 4
    • Reprints, 1929Box 6, Folder 5
    • Reprints, 1930-1939Box 6, Folder 6
    • Reprints, 1940-1949Box 6, Folder 7
    • Reprints, 1950-1959Box 6, Folder 8
    • Reprints, 1960-1969Box 7, Folder 1
    • Reprints, 1970-1979, n.d.Box 7, Folder 2
    • BooksBox 7, Folder 3
    • BooksBox 7, Folder 4
    • Talks: Drafts, 1949, 1967Box 7, Folder 5
    • Teaching of Italian in the United States
      • Correspondence, Colleges A-L, 1965-1966Box 3, Folder 5
      • Correspondence, Colleges M-Z, 1965-1966Box 3, Folder 6
      • Correspondence and Research Materials, 1965-1966Box 3, Folder 7
      • Correspondence and Research Materials, 1965-1966Box 3, Folder 8
      • Correspondence and Research Materials, 1965-1966Box 4, Folder 1
      • Correspondence and Research Materials, 1965-1966Box 4, Folder 2
      • Correspondence and Research Materials, 1965-1966Box 4, Folder 3
      • Correspondence and Research Materials, 1965-1966Box 4, Folder 4
      • Correspondence and Research Materials, 1965-1966Box 4, Folder 5
      • Correspondence and Research Materials, 1965-1966Box 4, Folder 6
      • Correspondence and Research Materials, 1965-1966Box 4, Folder 7
      • Draft, Chapters I-V, 1965-1966Box 4, Folder 8
      • “Teaching of Italian in the United States,” Draft, ChaptersVI-VI11, 1965-1966Box 5, Folder 1
      • “Teaching of Italian in the United States,” Proofs, 1965-1966Box 5, Folder 2
  • Additions
      Scope and Contents: The material in this addition is arranged in three categories: class materials, research materials, and drafts. The folder of class materials includes one student paper (1938) and a small number of grade sheets for courses Fucilla taught at Northwestern (1966), the University of Wisconsin (1967-1968), and the University of Colorado (1967). The folder of research materials contains a wide variety of reading notes, excerpts, and miscellaneous materials relating to many subjects. Drafts comprise the bulk of this addition. Included is a bibliography of studies on Petrarch, one of Fucilla's major interests. Also here are Fucilla's translations of Dido Aban-doned, Demetrius, and The Olympiad by the eighteenth century playwright, Metastasio. A review of this publication appeared in the South Atlantic Review (May, 1982) and is filed in Box 5, Folder 12. A small amount of correspondence pertaining to the translations is included here. Finally, several article and book review manuscripts and a number of manuscript fragments are included with the drafts.
    • Class Materials: Student Papers, 1938, 1966-1968Box 8, Folder 1
    • Research Materials: Notes and Excerpts, n.d.Box 8, Folder 2
    • Drafts
      • Petrarch Bibliography Preface through Page 100, n.d.Box 8, Folder 3
      • Petrarch Bibliography Page 101 through Page 200, n.d.Box 8, Folder 4
      • Petrarch Bibliography Page 201 through Page 300, n.d.Box 8, Folder 5
      • Petrarch Bibliography Page 301 through 367, Addenda, n.d.Box 8, Folder 6
      • Petrarch Bibliography Index (1), n.d.Box 8, Folder 7
      • Petrarch Bilbiography Index (2), n.d.Box 8, Folder 8
      • Petrarch Bibliography Index (3), n.d.Box 9, Folder 1
      • Petrarch Bibliogranhy Preliminary Draft (1), n.d.Box 9, Folder 2
      • Petrarch Bibliography Preliminary Draft (2), n.d.Box 9, Folder 3
      • Petrarch Bibliographv Citations, Notes and References, n.d.Box 9, Folder 4
      • Petrarch and Petrarchism Drafts and Notes Concerning the Work and Influence of Petrarch, n.d.Box 9, Folder 5
      • Translations of Metastasio "Abandoned", c. 1980Box 9, Folder 6
      • Translations of Metastasio Melodramas, "Demetrius", c. 1980Box 9, Folder 7
      • Translations of Metastasio Melodramas, "The Olympiad", c. 1980Box 9, Folder 8
      • Introduction to Metastasio Translations; Preliminary Draft, c. 1980Box 9, Folder 9
      • Metastasio Translations, Correspondence and Notes, 1980, n.d.Box 9, Folder 10
      • “Goldoni as Humorist”, n.d.Box 9, Folder 11
      • “The Role of Italy in the Development of Modern Culture”, 1921Box 9, Folder 12
      • Book Reviews by Fucilla, 1941, 1970, 1978Box 9, Folder 13
      • Manuscript Fragments, n.d.Box 9, Folder 14
  • Additions
      Scope and Contents: This addition to the Joseph Fucilla Papers fills one half-size archival box and spans the period 1921-1982 with the bulk of the material between 1952 and 1982. The addition is divided into three categories: biographical files, correspondence, and publications. Most of the addition consists of materials related to Reba Fucilla and the South family. The biographical materials fill two folders and consist of genealogical data, certificates, clippings and obituaries. One of the folders is filled with a genealogical study of the South family (Reba Fucilla's maiden name) and short essays written by Reba Fucilla. The correspondence folder spans the years 1952-198, and is arranged chronologically by date. The folder contains personal letters and correspondence related to the Fucilla's fiftieth wedding anniversary celebration, held on May 9, 1975. The publication folder contains the book cover for Joseph Fucilla's Our Italian Surnames.
    • Biographical Material: Joseph Fucilla, 1948-1981Box 10, Folder 1
    • Biographical Material: Reba Fucilla, 1921-1978Box 10, Folder 2
    • Correspondence, 1952-1982Box 10, Folder 3
    • Cover of "Our Italian Surnames", n.d.Box 10, Folder 4