News

Calandra’s Catalina Santamaría’s Squatters Film Festival Official Selection

Catalina Santamaria at Cali Film Festival 2021
At the FICCALI November 2021.

Squatters, a new feature documentary by Catalina Santamaría, the Calandra Institute’s producer for Italics, was named “Official Selection” at two film festivals in Colombia: MIDBO 23 (International Documentary Encounter Film Festival), and FICCALI (Cali International Film Festival).

At the end of the 1980s, two abandoned buildings in Manhattan’s Lower East Side neighborhoods of the “truquito” and the “maroma” were occupied by a group of young artists, mostly immigrants, who renovated them and turned them into self-sustainable homes outside the boundaries of the law. Santamaría gathers records from multiple sources to chronicle the transformation of Puerta 10 and Umbrella House based on the stories of their singular protagonists. Part of the material in this documentary comes from video recorded by them during the renovation of the buildings in order to document a community that built these houses by hand in order to inhabit them in their own way. This film pays homage to that desire by showing some of the difficulties that come with being a collective utopia, including fragility in the face of time and the looming threat of the system.

Click here to see the trailer for Squatters.

Cav. Joan Marchi Migliori Receives Christopher Columbus Award

The Calandra Institute’s Director for Community and International Programs Joan Migliori was given the Christopher Columbus Award by the Italian Charities of America October 24 at their eighty-fifth annual dinner dance. She was recognized for her years of service coordinating study abroad programs as well as her tireless efforts on behalf of the Italian Heritage and Culture Committee, Inc., among many other achievements. Also honored at the event were Giovanni P. Silvagni, Esq.; Mary Christine Modica; Tiziano Thomas Dossena; and Dr. Stanislao G. Pugliese of Hofstra University, who graciously thanked the Institute and particularly Dean Tamburri for having supported his research in Italian American Studies over the years.

Calandra’s Dean Tamburri and Dr. Joseph Sciorra on WBAI Talking Columbus

Calandra’s Dean Anthony Julian Tamburri and Director for Academic and Cultural Programs Joseph Sciorra were interviewed on New York radio WBAI wiith Paul DeRienzo talking about Christopher Columbus and Columbus Day, Indigenous Peoples Day, and imperialism. Click here to listen to the sound cloud conversation.

Dean Anthony Julian Tamburri Publishes Two New Books

Calandra’s dean, Anthony Julian Tamburri, has published two new books this summer.

Signing Italian/American Cinema: A More Focused Look (Ovunque Siamo Press). “The essays in this book all share a common notion that a greater awareness of the potentiality of signification of sign functions is an indispensable tool for a more extensive understanding of how a film might signify-indeed, about how any text might signify.” (from the introduction)

(You can buy the book here.)

The Columbus Affair: Imperatives for an Italian American Agenda (Casa Lago Press). “The Columbus Affair engages in the intellectual, crisscrossing zigzag of a quagmire that is the Columbus Affair and demonstrates the major complexities of such argumentation. The goal, modest it may seem, is to examine aspects of each side, with the hopes of spurring on an even greater discussion among all parties within our Italian/American semiosphere.” (from the introduction)

(You can buy the book here.)

New Approaches to Italian American Studies

Click here to watch a video discussion among Calandra Dean Anthony Julian Tamburri, Queens College Distinguished Professor of Italian American Studies Dr. Fred Gardaphé, Calandra’s Director of Academic and Cultural Programs Dr. Joseph Sciorra, and York College Professor Dr. Donna Chirico on new directions scholars are taking while exploring the historical and contemporary experiences and output of the world’s Italian diaspora.

To watch all Italics programs on YouTube, click here.

Dr. Joseph Sciorra Wins Studs Terkel Award

Photograph of Joseph Sciorra
Joseph Sciorra

As part of the Working-Class Studies Association Awards for work produced in 2020, this year’s Studs Terkel Award for Single Published Articles or Series, Broadcast Media, Multimedia, and Film in Media and Journalism goes to “Protesta Per Sacco & Vanzetti,” by the Calandra Institute’s Director of Academic and Public Programs Joseph Sciorra. A judge writes that the piece includes “extensive research into the songs related to the men’s arrest, trial and executions,” a case they compare with the death of George Floyd. “The balm for xenophobia is knowledge, but the challenge is to bring people to that table. I’m there.” Also, a judge writes that Sciorra has “preserved a vital record of American anarchist history, giving credit to the working-class reproductions of this period’s emotive sounds and sensations of this historical moment.” The essay’s “focus on Italian language items provides an explicit example of working-class experience across languages, cultures, and people.”

Tribute to Robert Viscusi Published

Bordighera Press has just published this volume of essays, a Festschrift for beloved colleague and friend of the Calandra Institute Robert Viscusi (1941–2020). In it scholars deal with an array of Bob’s contributions to the worlds of letters and of academia.

This volume is available everywhere now for purchase. You may buy it at IAMBooks or at Barnes & Noble, among other booksellers. You may purchase the book directly from Bordighera Press by writing to info@bordigherapress.org.

Connecting Despite the Pandemic: Calandra Conversations

With the COVID-19 pandemic, venues that devote resources to public programming, like the Calandra Institute, have had to switch things up a bit. These more casual Zoom conversations offer a new and flexible means by which we have been able to continue with some of our scheduled events that could not take place in person as well as add other fun and informative online events. Click here to see all the conversations to date, and check back often, because we are only doing more.