A well-attended book launch was held at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura on May 31 to celebrate the English translation of Maria Teresa Cometto’s new book Emma and the Angel of Central Park (2023 Bordighera Press). The book tells the amazing true story of Emma Stebbins and her path toward designing the famous Angel of the Waters statue for the park’s Bethesda Fountain. The statue is monumental achievement for a woman sculptor in any era, and it was all the more so in 1868. Cometto’s book is a delightful and informative read. The book is available here and here, among other booksellers.
From the Calandra Institute’s Director for Academic and Public Programming Dr. Joseph Sciorra: “I am euphoric to announce that a tombstone for murdered dock worker and labor activist Pietro ‘Pete’ Panto was recently placed at his grave that went unmarked for 82 years. I thank all of you who made this possible, with your support, your donations, and work of various sorts. We will soon be organizing a ceremony at the site. Stay tuned.”
January 11, 2023, marked the eightieth anniversary of the murder of activist Carlo Tresca. Tresca was gunned down on the corner of Fifth and 15th St. in 1943 at age sixty-three. To remember this brutal end of a valiant life, Dr. Joseph Sciorra and Stephen Cerulli of the Calandra Institute organized a gathering of Tresca fans on the site of the assassination. Dr. Sciorra welcomed those present and put the event in some historical context, which Cerulli expanded on. They then opened the event up for others to speak, and a handful did so. Calandra’s Dean Anthony J. Tamburri closed the remarks, and the event concluded with the placing of red carnations, Tresca’s favorite flower, on the pavement near where he died.
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On October 23rd, 2022, at the 86th Annual Italian Charities of America Dinner Dance these Italian American honorees were celebrated for their outstanding work and achievements.
Joseph Petrosino, Esq. received the Christopher Columbus Award.
Silvana Mangione received the talian American Ambassador Award.
Giovanni Pinto received the Italian American Community Service Award.
Dr. Donna M. Chirico received the Italian American Leadership Award.
Dr. Antonio Carlo Vitti received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Louisa Calio received the Renaissance Award.
On Saturday November 5, 2022, the Institute convened a panel of scholars to discuss the half-century-old legacy of the Mario Puzo novel and the series of films by Francis Ford Coppola. Some topics covered in the presentations included “The Don’s Tuxedo: Fashion and Costume in The Godfather,” by Rebecca Bauman, “No Girls Allowed: Homosociality and the Man Caves of Identity,” by Dr. Donna Chirico, and “From Scratch: Foodways as a Politic of Representation,” by Ryan Calabretta-Sajder, among other paper topics. Dean Anthony Julian Tamburri served as host and moderator. Stay tuned to this space for upcoming videos of the presentations.
Friday afternoon, September 16, 2022, a group of eminent members of the Italian American community came together at the Calandra Institute for the purpose of discussing the state of Italian American studies and the University as well as to underscore the importance of Italian American participation in humanistic philanthropy—namely, supporting the humanities, social sciences, and the arts.
Invited were those in positions of influence among Italian Americans; those who have engaged in philanthropy either personally or through their organizations; and those engaged in research and the promotion of Italian American and Italian diaspora studies. As a result, in attendance were state legislators, heads of some of the most prominent area organizations, professors, and academic administrators, among others.
Speakers included Dr. Anne M. Prisco, President of Holy Family University; Dr. Katia Passerini, Provost, Seton Hall University; Dr. Donna Chirico, former Dean of Arts and Sciences, York College, CUNY. Consul General Fabrizio Di Michele made opening comments and the Director of the Italian Cultural Institute, Fabio Finotti, offered closing reflections.
The principal topics on the agenda were: the critical importance of Italian American/Italian Diaspora courses as part of the college curriculum; and what academics in positions of influence can do to encourage these studies, especially in collaboration with people from the Italian American population at large. The discussion was focused, frank, and collegial. The meeting was followed by a reception.
La Voce di New York (in partnership with the Calandra Institute, the Co.Mi.Tes from the tristate area, and Gruppo Esponenti Italiani) convened on Friday, September 9, a debate among candidates campaigning for the votes of Italians abroad. Click here to read the article in La Voce di New York in Italian. (Click here for an English translation of the article, and click here to watch the video of the proceedings.)
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.
The 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