Caroline Pari-Pfisterer

Carolina Pari Pfister



Office: N-751P

Office Hours: Email me to set up an appointment.

Phone: +1 (212) 220-8282


Prof. Pari-Pfisterer has been teaching at BMCC since 1996 and continues to be a vibrant, enthusiastic, and innovative professor. Her publications are in the fields of Composition and Rhetoric and Italian American Studies. She co-edited three volumes of essays on Freirean critical liberatory pedagogy with Ira Shor and contributed chapters to several volumes on her working-class pedagogy at BMCC. In Italian American Studies, she published essays on working-class Italian American women’s writings and on Pascal D’Angelo, an immigrant laborer who wrote the first autobiography of an Italian immigrant. She is currently working on applying translingual theories and practices to writing courses and to Italian American literature. She is also working on pedagogical interventions that support students’ growth mindsets, increase equity, and reduce withdrawals and failures. At BMCC, she co-created ENG 100.5, one of the first co-requisite courses at BMCC and helped provide professional faculty development for the course. She served as Coordinator of Intensive Writing courses (1999-2002; 2014-2018) and as Deputy Chair of the English Department (2018-2020).


Composition and Rhetoric/writing pedagogy; literacy narratives; immigrant autobiography; Italian American literature; working-class pedagogy; growth mindset and culture of care; research on community colleges; faculty development; translingual theories and practices.


Ph.D in English. The City University of New York Graduate School  

M. Phil. in English. The City University of New York Graduate School

B.A. in English, Honors Program  Queens College, City University of New York

Courses Taught

Research and Projects


“Understanding Italian American Texts Through Translingualism.” Diaspore Italiane International Symposium. Calandra Institute, NY. November 2, 2018.

“Redesigning Developmental Writing with a Translingual Approach.” Two Year College Association (TYCA).  LaGuardia CC, NY. October 11,2018

“Classroom Applications of the Translingual Approach to Writing Instruction.” SoTL Forum. BMCC. November 10, 2017.

“Accelerating Writing at BMCC-CUNY with ENG 100.5.” Two Year College Association (TYCA). Hartford. CT.  October 15, 2016.

“Inside Accelerated Courses in Writing and Reading at BMCC.” Conference on Developmental Education (CADE). Baltimore, MD. June 16, 2016.

“Conflicting Values: The Educational Journeys of Italian American Women.”  48th Annual International Conference of Italian American Studies Association.  Washington, D.C. October 16, 2015.

“From Mario Cuomo to Andrew Cuomo: Tracing the Disappearance of Immigrant Rhetoric in Political Speeches.”  46th Annual Conference of IASA, Italian American Studies Association. New Orleans, LA.  October 6, 2013.


“‘Capital’s Monstrous Outrages: The Voice of Immigrant Labor in Pascal D’Angelo’s Son of Italy.” VIA: Voices in Italian Americana, Spring 2021.

“Divided Worlds: Autobiographical Literacy Narratives of Italian-American Women Writers.” VIA: Voices in Italian Americana. Fall 2015.  (Republication of best essays in last 25 years). (refereed journal)

Review of Italian Women in Chicago.  Eds. Dominic Candeloro, Kathy Catrambone, and Gloria Nardini. VIA: Voices in Italian Americana. Fall 2011. (refereed journal)

“Divided Worlds: Autobiographical Literacy Narratives of Italian-American Women Writers.” VIA: Voices in Italian Americana. Spring 2011. (refereed journal)

Education is Politics: Critical Teaching Across Differences (Vol. II: Post-secondary).  Editors: Ira Shor and Caroline Pari.  Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann-Boynton/Cook.  March 2000.

“Developing Critical Pedagogy at a CUNY Community College” Attending the Margins. Eds. Michelle Kells and Valerie Balester.  Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann-Boynton/Cook. October 1999.

Education is Politics: Critical Teaching Across Differences (Vol. I: K-12).  Editors: Ira Shor and Caroline Pari. Portsmouth,NH:Heinemann- Boynton/Cook.  September 1999.

Critical Literacy: Writing Words, Changing Worlds.  Editors: Ira Shor and Caroline Pari. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann-Boynton/Cook.  March 1999.

“‘Just American:’ Reversing Class and Ethnic Assimilation in Academia.” Teaching Working Class.  Ed. Sherry Linkon.  University of Massachusetts Press. March 1999.

Honors, Awards and Affiliations

Gateway Project (2018-2019)

Fellowship Leave (Spring 2017)

PSC-CUNY Research Grant (2011-12)

Faculty Development Grant (2009)

Fellowship Leave (2007-2008)

Member, Modern Language Association

Member. National Council of Teachers of English

Member, Italian American Studies Association

BMCC representative, CUNY Writing Discipline Council  


Additional Information