Call for Papers for Calandra’s 2025 Conference: The Bitter Bread of War: Multidisciplinary Perspectives from Italy and the Diaspora

April 25–26, 2025

War has been foundational to the shaping of modern Italian history, memory, and culture—from the wars of the Risorgimento to colonial and Fascist wars of expansion up to and including the two world wars. Furthermore, in all these Italian war efforts, emigrant and diasporic communities have played significant roles whether through moral and material support, serving in the Italian military, or through their opposition to Italian wars. As such, scholars are increasingly turning their attention to the theme of war and its importance to our understanding of the history of Italy, the Italian diaspora, and former colonial subjects. This interdisciplinary conference is open to a wide range of topics concerning war from an Italian—broadly understood—perspective. As in the past, the Institute’s conference proposes an inclusive approach to Italy and Italian mobilities, including inhabitants of the nation-state, members of the diaspora, current immigrants in Italy and their descendants, and former colonial subjects.

Suggested paper topics include but are not limited to:

  • Italian military history
  • Italy’s reaction to other nations’ wars (e.g., Vietnam War, Russian-Ukraine War)
  • Anti-war movements and statements (e.g., Scorsese’s 1967 The Big Shave)
  • Colonial wars and anti-colonial responses
  • Domestic warfare, e.g., brigands, partisans, Years of Lead
  • Diasporic involvement with Italy’s military and wars
  • Italian immigrant and descendants’ participation in host country’s military
  • Displaced persons and refugees
  • Internment, e.g., POWs, US government’s enemy alien designation, Fascist concentration camps in Libya
  • Gendered approaches to war
  • Creative accounts and depictions, e.g., memoir, fiction, film, visual arts (e.g., Mengiste’s 2019 The Shadow King)
  • War as metaphor, e.g., class wars, war on organized crime, war on migrants
  • Memory, oral history, and historical revisioning, e.g., the foibe, Fosse Ardeatine, the Shoah

This is an in-person event without virtual presentations.

The official language of the conference is English. All presentations are limited to twenty minutes, including audio and visual illustrations. Thursday evening is dedicated to welcoming comments and reception; sessions and panels will take place all day Friday and Saturday.

NOTA BENE: There are no available funds for travel, accommodations, or meals. There is no conference registration fee. The conference does not make arrangements with local hotels, so participants are responsible for booking their own accommodations.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: SEPTEMBER 15, 2024. Abstracts for scholarly papers (up to 500 words, plus a note on technical requirements) and a brief, narrative biography should be emailed as attached documents by September 15, 2024, to, where other inquiries may also be addressed. We encourage the submission of organized panels (of no more than three presenters). Submission for a panel must be made by a single individual on behalf of the group and must include all the paper titles, abstract narratives, and individual biographies and emails.

Notice of acceptance or rejection will occur in early November 2024.

This year’s conference title comes from Arturo Giovannitti’s poem “Anniversary II.”

Professor Fred Gardaphé on Growing Up Italian American in Chicago

Calandra’s Professor Fred Gardaphé spoke to podcaster Danielle Romero on her channel NYTN, in which she explores issues related to identity and ethnicity. Gardaphé spoke about his working-class background and his education journey and the ways in which his upbringing has reflected and refracted in his life as a professor at Queens College and as the author of numerous scholarly books and articles. Watch the whole conversation below.

Italian Diaspora Summer Studies Seminar

The Italian Diaspora Studies Summer Seminar™ is a three-week summer program that takes place at Roma Tre University. It is designed to introduce participants (doctoral students and professors) to cultural studies of the Italian diaspora from a variety of academic perspectives and to foster development of individual projects responding to the materials covered in the series of seminars in literature, film, and the social sciences. All participants will engage in a special research project.

The Italian Diaspora Studies Summer Seminar is open to graduate students (doctorate; advanced MA students may be considered) and professors from colleges and universities worldwide. This is a collaborative program between the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute/Queens College of The City University of New York and the Roma Tre University. Professors from these two institutions and others will comprise the teaching faculty of the entire three weeks. This is the seventh year of the Italian Diaspora Studies Summer Seminar.

The program will be accepting up to twenty participants for the 2024 summer program. The dates for this year are from June 10–28, 2024.

Fellowships of $1,500 per participant are available upon acceptance. Application forms can be found on-line at

Fellows will spend three weeks in a four-star hotel; the seminar classes will be held at Roma Tre University. Cost of room, board (breakfast and lunch), and tuition is $3,300. Graduate credit pending. Air and ground travel are additional. Click here for the application form and click here to read this summer’s program. The 2024 edition begins on June 10, 2024.