Founded in 1979 by a group of concerned Italian Americans whose aim was to redress imbalances in treatment of Italian Americans in higher education, the Calandra Institute has grown to encompass a much more varied—and expanding—set of goals. The Institute conducts research and produces regular series of public programming that are open to the public and free of charge. It also publishes a semi-annual academic journal, the Italian American Review. The staff is made up of seventeen regular employees working in our Midtown Manhattan offices and four part-time counselors who work mostly on the campuses of our affiliated CUNY colleges. The Institute has formal agreements with several international institutions of public learning in Italy for the goal of advancement of Italian American studies on both sides of the Atlantic. The Institute produces cable TV programming that is available at CUNY TV and also on YouTube and that focuses on matters related to Italian American history and culture. The Institute’s on-site library is the home of a number of scholarly collections of books and magazines related to Italian history and the history of Italian diaspora. The Institute publishes original book series of nonfiction works on topics including Italian-language learning and Italian Americans in higher education. Senior staff members of the Institute regularly serve as consultants for U.S., Italian, and other international scholars producing work in sociology, history, psychology, musicology, folklore studies, among other fields.
In everything the Institute does, the aim is to further explore and promulgate the experience and creative output of people from the Italian diaspora.
The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute operates under the aegis of Queens College, CUNY.