Italics: Marino Auriti’s Encyclopedic Palace

On the latest edition of Italics, B.G. Firmani, author of Time’s a Thief, A Novel, is in conversation with the Calandra Institute’s Dr. Joseph Sciorra about her grandfather Marino Auriti, creator in the 1950s of the Encyclopedic Palace. Auriti’s sculptural model became the centerpiece and namesake of the Venice Biennale in 2013 and now is a part of the permanent collection at New York City’s American Folk Art Museum.

Click here to watch the episode.
Marino Auriti with his Encyclopedic Palace.
Marino Auriti with his Encyclopedic Palace.

Dean Tamburri Interviews Actor Edoardo Ballerini

Photograph courtesy the New York Times.

With us this month on Italics is Edoardo Ballerini, actor, audiobook narrator, writer, director, and film producer. Ballerini has appeared in more than fifty films and TV shows. He is best known for his work on The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, and Dinner Rush. He is a prolific and award-winning audiobook interpreter. Since 2007 he has recorded nearly 300 titles.

Ballerini’s work as a narrator has garnered him international attention. He recently was profiled in a New York Times article titled “The Voice of God …”

To watch the whole conversation, click here.

Book Presentation of Future: il domani narrato dalle voci di oggi

On February 4, 2020, at the Calandra Institute was a presentation of Future: il domani narrato dalle voci di oggi, edited by Igiaba Scego. The evening featured Calandra’s dean Anthony Julian Tamburri giving opening comments and serving as moderator; Candice Whitney, who gave a general presentation of the book; Camilla Hawthorne, who spoke on “The Significance of Future and ‘African Italy’”; and Marie Moise and Angelica Pesarini, who gave readings from the work.

New Episode of Italics: Who Are the “Real” Italians?

Our latest episode of Italics is up now. Click here to watch.

In the studio with us this month are Dr. Stefano Albertini, clinical professor of Italian in New York University’s Department of Italian and director of its Casa Italiana, and Rossella Rago, host of the popular web TV series “Cooking with Nonna.” We will discuss today the notion of what constitutes “Real” and Non-“Real” Italians, a discussion that is long overdue, some might say.

Italics is hosted by Anthony Julian Tamburri, Dean of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute of Queens College/CUNY and Distinguished Professor of European Languages and Literatures.

Italics is now in its third decade serving the Italian-American community and those interested in Italian-American history and culture. Italics is co-produced in collaboration with the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute.

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The Italian Diaspora Studies Summer Seminar™ 2020

Study Italian Diaspora Culture in Rome through a Unique Summer Program

The Italian Diaspora Studies Summer Seminar™ is a three-week summer program that takes place at Roma Tre University from June 15-July 3, 2020. 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 sixth year of the Italian Diaspora Studies Summer Seminar.

The program will be accepting up to 20 participants for the 2020 summer program. Application forms can be found on-line at

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 check back later for more information on the program schedule and faculty.



Application Deadline—February 24, 2020.