Christian Picciolini at Calandra

White nationalist rallies in the United States have drawn the ire of people across the nation and the world, and Christian Picciolini has emerged as an expert at unpacking the dangerous psychology of the white supremacist movement. Picciolini himself was recruited by a now notorious skinhead leader and encouraged to fight to “protect the white race from extinction.” Picciolini read excerpts from his book at the Institute and answered questions about how he got out of the movement and is working now to redeem others from its ranks. For information on how to buy his book White American Youth: My Descent into America’s Most Violent Hate Movement and How I Got Out, click here.

Diaspore Italiane: Italy in Movement

A Symposium on Three Continents
Australia * United States * Italy

Click here for videos and PowerPoint audio recordings of sessions from the Melbourne session of this tri-part symposium.

Melbourne * April 2018 / New York * November 2018 / Genova * June 2019

The second part of the symposium, “Transnationalism & Questions of Identity,” will take place in New York City * November 1-3, 2018, at the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, 25 West 43rd Street, Suite 1700, New York, NY 10036.

“Transnationalism and Questions of Identity,” the second chapter of the international conference Diaspore Italiane: Italy in Movement, will be held in New York City, the backdrop for discussions that explore ideas of identity building, claiming, maintaining, and maiming in the twenty-first century. Transnational contexts show cultural identities in motion as they react, adapt, and develop in reciprocal contact in reaction to changing notions of the individual nation in the world today. Transnational subjects, who, within varying degrees of structural constraint, navigate, evaluate, and negotiate different cultural options, emerge as the potentially rational agents of these changes. In parallel, cultural identities emerge as historical constructs affected by contemporary acts and this-worldly constructs of the human imagination.

This conference has a $50 fee. There will be a dinner after the conference on Saturday at a cost of $75.


With the patronage of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism

The 2018 Diaspora Studies Summer Seminar, Universita’ Roma Tre

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 engage in a special research project.

For more information about the program schedule and faculty, contact Dean Anthony Julian Tamburri at 212.642.2094 or via email at

Incoronata Serra and Global Tarantella

At the final event of our regularly scheduled programming for the term, Incoronata Inserra presented her book Global Tarantella (University of Illinois Press, 2017), which ventures into the history, global circulation, and recontextualization of tarantella, a genre of Southern Italian folk music and dance. Examining tarantella’s changing image and role among Italians and Italian Americans, Inserra illuminates how factors like tourism, translation, and world music venues have shifted the ethics of place embedded in the tarantella cultural tradition.

Italian Brooklyn: Photographs by Martha Cooper

In this collection of images, photojournalist Martha Cooper, well-known for her work on graffiti and the early days of hip-hop, documents Italian American vernacular expressive culture in 1980s Brooklyn. These thirty-nine photographs were made as part of various documentation projects undertaken by folklorists some three decades ago. Cooper’s photographs of everyday scenes and interactions, many of them involving public Catholic practices in Italian Brooklyn, shine a light on often overlooked details of the urban landscape. Digitized from their original slide formats and newly printed, the photographs depict, among other things, Williamsburg’s annual giglio feast, the Manteo Sicilian marionette theater, yard shrines and sidewalk altars, as well as portraits of community members both noted and lesser-known. This is the first exhibit of Cooper’s extensive earlier Italian American oeuvre.

This exhibition is in collaboration with City Lore, a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to New York City’s vibrant folk arts. City Lore is the repository of Cooper’s extensive slide collection.

On view April 19–August 31, 2018
Exhibition Opening: Wednesday, April 18, 20