Ernesto G. Caserta papers, 1965-2007

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Caserta, Ernesto G.
Ernesto G. Caserta was a professor in the Dept. of Romance Languages at Duke University. Collection includes notebooks prepared by Caserta of scans and the original documentation, largely consisting of correspondence from 1965-2007. The bulk of the collection is in Italian.
1 Linear Foot
approx. 650 Items
Material in Italian, English
Collection ID:
University Archives Record Group:
29 -- Papers of Faculty, Staff, and Associates
29 -- Papers of Faculty, Staff, and Associates > 02 -- Individuals


Scope and content:

The bulk of the collection is in Italian. Senior Processing Archivist Paula Jeannet Mangiafico translated the material and provided the following collection overview:

Divided into three series (descriptions taken directly from his papers): professors and scholars; miscellany (colleagues, friends, and students); and Duke University correspondence (promotions, Hearing Committee, Research Council)

Scanned copies followed by the original letters, assembled and arranged by Caserta. Arranged in chronological order, with the exception of Part II and the Appendix, which are in alphabetical order.

Letters written to Caserta from Rocco Montano (U. of Illinois) form the bulk of the body of the first series, and chiefly discuss the state of Italian studies in the U.S., academic culture, Montano's publications and literary research, and Caserta's own career at Duke and his literary writings. There are few personal or family matters discussed, but throughout there are references to each man's health. The correspondence extends from 1965 to 2007.

The rest of series one, notebook 2, begins with Alfredo Parente (several letters), and then the rest is taken up with a long-term correspondence from Dante Della Terza (Harvard), 1970-2007, Caserta's graduate studies mentor at Harvard, chiefly focusing on the same topics as Montano. Della Terza writes in almost every instance of Caserta's difficulties with the pursuit of promotion and tenure at Duke University. This correspondence is followed by a lengthy body of letters from Giovanni Cecchetti (UCLA), 1968-1993, again focusing on the state of Croce studies (Caserta's specialty), Italian studies in the U.S., the culture of the academy in the U.S., publications both by Cecchetti, Caserta, and others (particularly in the field of Dante and Croce studies. Cecchetti, as others, gives advice in almost every letter concerning Caserta's professional development, beginning from the completion of Caserta's thesis on Croce and throughout his years at Duke University. Throughout this series from Notebook 2 there are many references to Caserta's publications and their reception in the U.S., including his work on Croce and Marxist thought. Other smaller groups in this series include letters from Giovanni Gullace (SUNY Binghampton), 1982-1998, Raffaello Franchini (Univ. of Naples), 1971-1988, and Angelo De Gennaro (Loyola Marymount), 1983-1989. The content of these letters is much the same.

The second series, miscellaneous letters from friends, colleagues, and students, contain more references to personal matters, such as his married life and travels, and are sometimes more informal in nature than previous series of exchanges with older colleagues.

The third series is entirely in English and is taken up with Caserta's series of difficulties with promotion and support at Duke University. This material is restricted for 25 years from date of origin as it contains administrative records.

The fourth series contains the original letters and documents that comprise the first three series. The Duke-related material is also restricted for 25 years from the date of origin.

Materials were removed from non-archival binders and placed in archival folders, in original order.

Biographical / historical:

Ernesto G. Caserta was born March 19, 1937 in Montenero Valcocchiara, Isernia, Italy. He received the Diploma di Maturità Classica, Ginnasio-Liceo Antonio Genovesi in Naples, Italy in 1957. Caserta earned a B. A. from Gannon College in Pennsylvania (1960), an M. A. from Tulane University (1963) and a Ph.D. from Harvard University (1969). From 1959-1962, he was a teacher of French and Latin at Northwestern High School in Albion, PA. He served as an instructor at Boston University (1967-1969) and as an Assistant Professor (1969-1970). In 1970, Caserta began his career at Duke as Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Romance Languages. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1980 and to Professor in 1989. Caserta is currently retired from teaching.

Acquisition information:
The Ernesto G. Caserta Papers were received by the University Archives as a transfer in 2008.
Processing information:

Processed by Kimberly Sims and Paula Jeannet, June 2009

Encoded by Kimberly Sims, July 2009

Accession UA2008-0058 is described in this finding aid.

Physical location:
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


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Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the University Archives to use this collection.

Collection is open for research.

For a period of twenty-five years from the origin of the material, permission in writing from the office of origin and the University Archivist is required for use. After twenty-five years, records that have been processed may be consulted with the permission of the University Archivist.

Terms of access:

Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Ernesto G. Caserta Papers, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.