Calabrian Rap Star Kento at Calandra

CUNY was privileged to host Francesco “Kento” Carlo at two events this past week, culminating in his presentation and panel discussion at the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute Queens College on December 11. The Italian rapper talked about the influence of local Mafia branch ‘Ndrangheta in Calabrian life throughout history, about being a political rapper, and about the critical importance of rap and music in general in making connections between people when the world is in dire trouble. He also gave the audience a sample of some new lines he’d recently written and answered questions from Dr. Joseph Sciorra and Dean Anthony J. Tamburri, as well as from members of the audience. Kento was in town to celebrate the publication of his new book Resistenza Rap, published by Bordighera Press. (Click here to see some music videos of Kento.)

Italian Diaspora Studies Summer Seminar™

The Italian Diaspora Studies Summer Seminar™ is a three-week summer program that takes place at Roma Tre University from June 17-July 5, 2019. 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 of their choice.

The 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 fifth year of the Italian Diaspora Studies Summer Seminar.

The program will be accepting up to 20 participants for the 2019 summer program. Application forms can be accessed here.

Fellowships of $1,500 per participant are available.

Cost of room, board (breakfast and lunch), and tuition (12 Roma Tre credit hours): $3,000. Air and ground travel are additional. Click here for the application form and click here for more information on the program schedule and faculty.

Application Deadline—February 22, 2019.

The Elena Ferrante Phenomenon: Italics TV

Italics: Television for the Italian American Experience aired Tuesday, November 13, with a new episode on the Elena Ferrante Phenomenon. Here in the United States, Ferrante is best known for her New York Times best-selling Neapolitan Quartet of Novels, about two friends growing up in postwar Italy. One of the nation’s most beloved novelists today, Elena Ferrante has garnered great praise both in Italy and in the United States. To discuss this unprecedented cultural event with us are Giancarlo Lombardi, professor and executive officer of the Department of Comparative Literature at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and Rebecca Falkoff, professor of Italian at New York University. Both guests have significant publications on Elena Ferrante. (Taped: 10/16/2018) Click here to watch the episode.

 

Italian American Women, Food, and Identity: Stories at the Table

Andrea L. Dottolo, Rhode Island College (left), and Carol Dottolo, retired educator, Liverpool Central School District, New York (right). The mother-daughter research team came to the Institute Thursday, October 25, to present their work on the psychological facets of Syracuse’s Italian American women and their relationships to food.

Book Launch and Commemoration for Gil Fagiani 1945–2018

Poet Laureate of the borough of Queens, Maria Lisella, reading from the collection of poetry by her late husband Gil Fagini at the Calandra event. (Photograph by Rosangela Briscese)

Last night Calandra Institute was fortunate to host, together with Bordighera Press and Queens Poet Laureate Maria Lisella, a book launch for the new collection of poems by the late poet Gil Fagiani, titled Missing Madonnas. You can purchase Missing Madonnas through Bordighera Press.

Elizabeth Zanoni and Migrant Marketplaces

Dr. Elizabeth Zanoni

Elizabeth Zanoni, associate professor of history at Virginia’s Old Dominion University, presented her new book Migrant Marketplaces: Food and Italians in North and South America (2018 University of Illinois Press) at the Institute on October 9. Her brilliant talk covered the intricate and fascinating links between Italian migration and foodways in both New York City and Buenos Aires. The relationships among all the factors are startling and rich. Autographed copies of the book were available for sale at a discount at the event (as is typically the case; another among many reasons to come to the Institute!), but you can still buy it here.

An Exciting Autumn at the Calandra Institute

As people turn their thoughts to the new academic year ahead of us, I want to share with you some highlights of what will be happening at the Calandra Institute this autumn so you can understand why we’re so excited about it.

Our events started off with a bang on September 11 with our Writers Read series, when we hosted former white nationalist Christian Picciolini reading from his memoir about working with and then leaving that movement. With the month of October comes Italian Heritage and Culture Month as well as the continuation of all our series, Writers Read, the Cannistraro Lectures, and Documented Italians film screenings. And in November, among our other regular offerings, we will proudly host the second installment of the three-part multinational Diaspore Italiane/Italy in Movement symposium, which situates Calandra, together with our European and Australian partners, at the absolute cutting edge in research work on Italian diaspora scholarship.

Take a look at our calendar for more information about all our events, and be sure you are included on our mailing list to receive notice of what’s going on at the Institute. And check back frequently to the site for updates on last-minute events added to our terrific schedule for academic year 2018-2019.