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From the Dean’s Desk

News

Renowned Italian Historian Alessandro Barbero on Dante
Professor Alessandro Barbero
Prof. Barbero
In commemoration of Dante Alighieri's life and work, many projects were realized on the 700th anniversary of the poet's death. One of them, which took place at the end of 2021, was a series of conversations, sponsored in part by the Italian Heritage and Culture Committee Inc., including this one with Alessandro Barbero, a professor of history at University of Eastern Piedmont and a famous figure from Italy's numerous history programs on television. Barbero enjoys an unusual amount of fame in Italy, where it is fair to say that he is almost universally beloved on account of his uncanny ability to explain history in accessible language, as well as his general affability, which is on clear display in this video conversation with Calandra's dean Anthony Julian Tamburri. Barbero is fluent in many languages, including English, the language of this conversation.
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Spring 2022’s Scheduled Events Conclude
Alyssa J. Maldonado-Estrada, of Kalamazoo College, presented her book Lifeblood of the Parish (NYU Press, 2020) on June 6 as part of the Philip V. Cannistraro Seminar Series in Italian American Studies, bringing to a close the Spring regularly scheduled events at the Calandra Institute. Please check our Calendar as we begin to update it with Fall events. More about Lifeblood of the Parish: Every Saturday, a group of men can be found in the basement of the Shrine Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, busily measuring, hammering, and painting. Each year the parish hosts the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and San Paolino di Nola. Its crowning event is the Dance of the Giglio, where men lift and carry a seventy-foot-tall, four-ton tower through the streets, bearing its weight on their shoulders. Drawing on six years of research, Alyssa Maldonado-Estrada tells the story of how this Italian American tower comes into being. Lifeblood of the Parish (NYU Press, 2020) evocatively presents Catholicism in Brooklyn, where religion is raucous and playful. It offers a new lens through which to understand men’s religious practice, showing how men and boys become socialized into their tradition and express devotion through unexpected acts like woodworking, fundraising, and sporting tattoos.
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At the New York State Conference of Italian American Legislators Gathering
Sen. Diane Savino and Dean Anthony Julian Tamburri
Sen. Diane Savino and Dean Anthony Julian Tamburri. Image courtesy Italics
This year, 2022, on May 23, the New York State Conference of Italian American Legislators resumed its annual gathering in Albany and in Troy, New York, to distribute scholarship monies and to recognize notable Italian American citizens and celebrate at a festa in the evening. The Calandra Institute always receives a gracious invitation to attend, and the day's events are covered by Calandra's TV show, Italics. Stay tuned for this episode, which will air later in June. In it you will see, among other things, Dean Tamburri interview Senator Diane Savino.
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Christopher Sorrentino, Vanessa Pérez-Rosario, and Joseph Salvatore at Calandra
Sorrentino book reading at Calandra Institute
Image courtesy Rosaria Musco
Novelist Christopher Sorrentino did a book reading on May 10 from his new memoir Now Beacon, Now Sea: A Son's Memoir. With him were Vanessa Pérez-Rosario and Joseph Salvatore to discuss the book. Co-sponsored with Centro, The Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College, the event was live-streamed to dozens of viewers and also videotaped. In the book, Sorrentino excavates his own memories and family folklore in an effort to peel back the ways in which his mother Victoria seemed trapped between conflicting identities: the Puerto Rican girl identified on her birth certificate as Black, and the white woman she had decided to become.  
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Dean Tamburri Interviewed for “Tutto Italiano!” Radio Show
tamburri.jpgThe Tutto Italiano! radio show interviewed Dean Tamburri Sunday, May 15, 2022. Here is the episode description: "Join us with guest Anthony Julian Tamburri, Dean of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute (Queens College, CUNY) and Distinguished Professor of European Languages and Literatures. His research interests lie in literature, cinema, semiotics, interpretation theory, and cultural studies. Dr. Tamburri has divided his intellectual work evenly between Italian and Italian/American studies, authoring sixteen books and more than one hundred essays on both subject areas in English and Italian." And you can listen to the complete episode here: https://radiokingston.org/en/broadcast/tutto-italiano/episodes/anthony-julian-tamburri-dean-of-the-john-d-calandra-italian-american-institute
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