Diversity in Italian Studies Conference

The Calandra Institute hosted a two-day conference January 17 and 18 on diversity in Italian studies. Participants came from all over the country and abroad to participate. The keynote speech was delivered by Dr. Deborah Parker of the University of Virginia. Topics covered in the several sessions included race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, diversity statistics, and class. This conference focused on a set of issues located at the absolute cutting edge of the philosophy of education, and the presentations were exciting and absorbing. Stay tuned for videos from the sessions, which were Livestreamed and recorded by the Institute and CUNY TV for Italics.

If you are interested in seeing the full program and reading presentation abstracts and finding out more about the presenters, click here.


Calabrian Rap Star Francesco “Kento” Carlo on Italics

Francesco “Kento” Carlo spoke to Italics host Dean Anthony Tamburri 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. Francesco recently celebrated the publication of his new book Resistenza Rap, published in English translation by Bordighera Press. Click here to buy the book.

Watch the whole conversation with Francesco on Italics here.

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.


Italian Diaspora Studies Summer Seminar Payment


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.