AATI Marist

 DATES: May 30 – June 2, 2019

Click Here for a Complete List


Accepted Sessions


25) Session TitleFrom Language Functions to Content-based Modules*

Organizer: Paola Morgavi, (Northwestern University), p-morgavi@northwestern.edu

Session Chair: Paola Nastri, (Independent Researcher), paola.nastri@gmail.com

Titolo: Il secondo anno come ponte di collegamento fra il livello novice low e intermediate high.

Descrizione: Questa presentazione offrirà degli spunti progettuali per una programmazione del secondo anno di apprendimento della lingua italiana, sia al liceo che all’università, durante il quale si insegna il  linguaggio come forma di comunicazione pragmatica. Gli esempi forniti partono dall’esperienza diretta delle insegnanti con i loro studenti, al liceo Bellaire in Texas (Houston Independent School District) e all’Università Pepperdine in California. I progetti che le insegnanti presenteranno, pur avendo un carattere prevalentemente culturale, offrono agli studenti la possibilità di utilizzare a scopo comunicativo le semplici strutture linguistiche di un secondo anno.

La presentazione vorrebbe anche servire come spunto per una discussione sull’utilità di una programmazione verticale che tenga conto degli obiettivi dei diversi ordini di scuola.

Maria Gloria Borsa, Bellaire High School, Houston Independent School District

Patrizia Lissoni. Pepperdine University, Malibu

Title: A Content-based Module: Sustainability and Language Competence

Description: How can we best integrate content learning and language function in an intermediate Italian course?  Which active learning activities can we propose to motivate and fully engage all students?  This presentation aims to show a sample of a content-based module designed for second year students of Italian. Using filmed interviews, soft news, movie clips, and advertisements, the presenter will illustrate how to explore a global issue while providing examples of effective pedagogical activities that allow learners to collaborate, engage in passionate discussions, enhance critical thinking, and challenge and extend their prior knowledge. The desired outcome of this presentation is to share with the audience how to intertwine a diverse range of comprehensible, culturally authentic material and develop effective learning activities that allow learners to address a global issue from a different perspective, develop insight into their own culture, and foster civic engagement while enhancing the interpretative, interpersonal, and presentational mode of communication.

Name and AffiliationDaniela Pozzi Pavan, Northwestern University


24) Moving Toward Proficiency: Exploring the AATI Italian National Exam* 

Gina Maiellaro, (Northeastern University), l.maiellaro@northeastern.edu

Mary Jo Lubrano, (Yale University), maryjo.lubrano@yale.edu 

Content and Purpose:  

In 2018, the construct and structure of the National Italian Exam (NIE) for high school students was substantially revised from its grammar-based approach to a proficiency-based construct that sought to ensures alignment with the ACTFL Performance and Proficiency Guidelines.  

The ACTFL Performance articulation is reflected in the definition of topic and tasks, while the Proficiency Guidelines represent the basis for both item development and rating scale.  When taking the NIE students’ performance is evaluated against descriptors that define a set of language content and contexts, while their language abilities are determined according to the assessment criteria in the proficiency guidelines. 

The test was developed in consultation with Italian language teachers from across North America and uses a variety of student performances to assess their progress toward proficiency. Alignment with the ACTFL Performance descriptors and the thematic content of each level was initially established by analyzing the responses to a national survey among K-12 teachers of Italian and subsequently, adjusted empirically through a piloting stage. 

The NIE Committee envisions the exam not only as an assessment tool which will provide teachers and students with diagnostic feedback and positive washback to help inform high school instruction and curricula (including transitioning to the Seal of Biliteracy), but also as an opportunity for visibility and for promoting Italian programs in North American schools.  

This session will introduce attendees to the following topics:  

  • Construct of the new NIEa detailed illustration of the type of performances elicited in the exam’s levels, sub-skills, vocabulary domains, type of texts, and sample indicators.  
  • Development process:the steps that were undertaken in this project (national surveys, piloting stage; statistical analysis and reconfiguration of the construct). 
  • Backwash effect:the uses of the exam results for addressing students’ needs to maximize their learning in the classroom and beyond.  


Attendees will be able to learn about and familiarize with the construct of the NIE exam; 

Attendees will be able to discuss how test items are aligned to the content and performance standards in the curriculum of their courses; 

Attendees will be able to interpret the diagnostic feedback of the exam results and use it to guide students’ learning.  


Presenter Mario Costa (IACE Treasurer), costa1139@gmail.com

This section will focus on grants, scholarships and summer programs opportunities available for K – 12 students and teachers sponsored by the Italian American Committee on Education (IACE).

The presentation will cover how to apply for an IACE grant for curricular courses (for teaching material or teachers’ salary).  IACE study abroad programs in Italy, field trips to relevant “Made in Italy” businesses in the New City area as well as professional development opportunities for teachers of Italian will be explored during the session.  IACE also offers financial support for Italian AP students and Saturday classes for bilingual students.


22) From Face-to-Face to Hybrid and Online: Student Engagement in Language and Culture Courses *

Organizers: Daniele De Feo (Princeton University) and Carmela Scala (Rutgers University)

Chair: Daniele De Feo

Presenters: Chiara De Santi (Farmingdale State College SUNY), Eilis Kierans (Rutgers University), Carmela Scala (Rutgers University)

Pedagogy should at its best be about what teachers do that not only help students to learn but actively strengthens their capacity to learn. 

-David Hargreaves, Learning for Life, 2004, p. 27.  

Our goal as educators of language and culture is to transcend traditional boundaries in order to develop students’ translingual, intercultural, and critical competencies. However, in order to fully be effective and reach these goals, student engagement is paramount (whether academic, cognitive, intellectual, etc..). It is the instructor’s goal to engage students in the learning process with meaningful activities, however, this can prove to be complicated when moving from F2F, hybrid and/or fully online contexts. This panel will explore different technologies and techniques that will aid instructors in developing thoughtfully designed and relevant learning tasks across levels and platforms, to create a rich and engaging learning environment for student and educator alike.   


21) Blended/Hybrid Italian Courses (Roundtable)*

Organizer and Chair: Antonella Dell’Anna, Arizona State University Antonella.dellanna@asu.edu

Lo scopo di questa tavola rotonda è di analizzare alcuni esempi di corsi in cui l’insegnamento è svolto in parte in classe (face-to-face) e in parte online. Saranno presentati alcuni moduli insegnati con questa metodologia e si discuterà dell’efficacia, dei vantaggi e degli svantaggi che i corsi ibridi comportano.


Donatella Melucci, Georgetown University, dm527@georgetown.edu

Daria Mizza, The John Hopkins University, dmizza1@jhu.edu

Antonella Dell’Anna, Arizona State University, Antonella.dellanna@asu.edu

20) 1989-2019: VIA. Voices in Italian Americana: “ché la diritta via fu smarrita”?*

Organizer:Anthony Julian Tamburri, John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, Queens College, CUNY

Chair:Mark Pietralunga, Florida State University

SPEAKERS: Fred Gardaphé, Paolo Giordano, Anthony Julian Tamburri

This round-table celebrates 30 years of the journal VIA, Voices in Italian Americana. In so doing, the panelists will discuss the relationship of Italian/American studies with both American and Italian studies. First published under the auspices of Bordighera Incorporated, VIAwas the catalyst for the creation of the imprint Bordighera Press. Along with 30 years of the journal, Bordighera Press has published more than 200 volumes of poetry, prose, creative non-fiction and critical essays on literature, cinema, and other disciplines. The founding editors — Fred Gardaphé, Paolo Giordano, Anthony Julian Tamburri — will be discuss (a) the founding philosophy of the journal and press, (b) the challenges in maintaining the press over three decades, and (c) the relationship of Italian/American studies to other disciplines, especially American studies and Italian studies.


19) TITLE: “Strategies to build an effective AP course starting from the beginning levels.”*

PRESENTER: Roberta Pennasilico (Naples Middle High School),



The session aims to give teachers practical suggestions on how to build a successful AP course and how to include typical AP tasks at lower levels.  The presentation will include hints on how to develop the typical AP tasks in activities of various levels of difficulty and examples of originally designed lessons to use with AP students and students at lower levels of competence, in the perspective of preparing them for the higher levels and the AP exam.  

18) Title: Pirandello e il teatro del paradosso dell’esistenza. 

Organizer and Chair: Sandra Dugo, Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”. PhD in “Italianistica. Studi Umanistici”, Università  di Roma “Tor Vergata”in Dupla Titulação, Doutora em Letras Língua Literatura e Cultura Italianas USP (Università di San Paolo, Brazil).

Proposta di Sessione

L’universo complesso del disagio esistenziale viene rappresentato sul palcoscenico reale, dove sentimenti, conflitti della coscienza e crisi di identità convivono tra finzione e realtà vissuta e sofferta anche dagli stessi attori e dal pubblico in sala, che soffre, si diverte, si stupisce oppure contesta l’impietoso autore dei drammi esistenziali. Personaggi umanizzati o uomini “pupazzi” come la vita stessa che scorre inesorabile nella nostra esistenza quotidiana definita da Pirandello “una enorme pupazzata”.

La presente sessione è aperta anche a contributi che studiano l’adattamento dei testi narrativi per la recitazione teatrale, oppure la trasposizione cinematografica di romanzi,  novelle o drammi teatrali.

Sono incoraggiate anche le proposte che riflettono sulla relazione tra finzione e realtà, sulla crisi dell’identità nelle trame pirandelliane teatrali e quelle narrative rappresentate a teatro o che sono state trasformate in film.

I partecipanti sono pregati di inviare un abstract di 200 parole e una breve biografia a sd3ugo22@gmail.com entro il 15 marzo 2019.

17) Title: Italian, Italian-Americans, and italianità in the Hudson Valley 

Organizer: M. Marina Melita (Marist College) 

Since the late 1800’s Italian immigrants and Italian-Americans have made a significant mark on the Hudson Valley. Once home to a local, booming FIAT plant, the region is now home to several universities, IBM, local farms, wineries, dairies, and even frequent movie shoots. However, Italian influences abound, from the largest Italian-American Historical Society in Albany to Poughkeepsie’s Little Italy, and numerous Italian cultural centers, such as the Pirandello Institute and the Magazzino Italian Art museum. The cultural heritage and traditions of Italians and Italian-Americans can be found all along the Hudson and this panel aims to explore the many ways in which Italians and their descendants have contributed to and changed the landscape of the Hudson Valley.

Papers are invited which explore any aspect of Italian, Italian-Americans, and italianità in the Hudson Valley and/or the intersectionality of Italian with other local communities. We are extremely interested in papers from local scholars.

Please send an abstract of 250 words to marina.melita@marist.edu by March 1, 2019.

16) Title: Gaming Languages – Round table 

Organizer: Marina Melita (Marist College) 

How has gaming changed your teaching? This round table will consider the ways in which language educators are embracing the digital gaming world, beyond Kahoot! and DuoLingo. The objective of this round table to share ideas, rather than to present papers. We are interested in hearing from several educators about their experiences and their innovative lesson plans. The intent is to host an open forum of exchange and discussion. Audio/Visual equipment is available, if needed. If interested in participating in this Round Table, please send a brief email to marina.melita@marist.edu by March 1, 2019, outlining what you would like to bring to the table.

15) Title: Theatre Techniques in the Language Classroom – Workshop 

Organizer: Marina Melita (Marist College), Anna Santucci (University of Rhode Island) 

It’s often been remarked that teaching is like acting and that we should apply the same techniques to both. During this workshop, we hope to share theatre techniques that educators can use in their own classrooms to help lower students affective filter, as well as encourage expression in a foreign language. These techniques can be used in any language classroom, not just that of Italian. We invite our colleagues who teach in any language and use theatre techniques in the language classroom, to participate in this workshop. Please send a brief email of interest to marina.melita@marist.edu and asantucci@uri.edu by March 1, 2019.

14) Title: L’ITALIANO: SE NON ORA, QUANDO? (Tavola rotonda) *

Organizer: Daniela Cavallero (DePaul University)

Participants: Giuseppe Cavatorta, Antonietta Di Pietro, Lyn Scolaro, Mariastella Cocchiara, Patrizia Lissoni, rappresentante ICE Chicago

Questa tavola rotonda vuole essere soprattutto l’occasione per  uno  scambio di proposte, iniziative e strategie, alcune gia’ attuate (con successo) ed altre potenzialmente interessanti ed innovative, per cercare di uscire dall’impasse che sta vivendo l’insegnamento della lingua e della cultura italiana sul territorio nord-americano e per aumentarne l’interesse da parte di istituzioni scolastiche, accademiche e degli studenti.

L’intenzione e’ quella di facilitare un incontro fra membri del mondo accademico ed esponenti del mondo esterno, delle istituzioni italiane e dell’impresa per concordare nuove possibili  collaborazioni e strategie d’intervento comuni.

13) Title:Giallo genre in writing and cinematic makings.

Organizer: Anna Iacovella (Yale University, anna.iacovella@yale.edu)

Session Chair: Anna Iacovella

Panel Description:

This panel examines crime fiction stories, police novels, and cinematic representations in films or TV series. Italy’s contemporary writers, novelists, essays, playwriters, and journalists who are also well known for their crime-writing and giallo novels. The panel seeks the discussion and reflection upon connections between the literary writing and the cinematic views as popular means in current culture of Italy.

Papers that explore keen aspects of giallo and noir genre especially in gender neutrality, are particularly welcome.

Please send proposals for presentations, including your name and affiliation, a title, and a 150-word abstract to the organizer by 2/26.

12)Title: Performing Italianità (Session Complete)*

Session: Chair Antonietta Di Pietro

Presenters: Antonietta Di Pietro; Daniela Cavallero; Silvia Giorgini-Althoen

Italianità  is a fluid and changeable concept that refers to the intersection of elements from Italian national identity and culture. Italianità as the result of a subjective process was, and remains, constructed and deployed in different ways by different people in different contexts. In this presentation, it is used to frame discussions of identity and chart cultural constructions of anything connected to Italy, its people, its culture, and language. This presentation approaches literary works, folktales, folksongs, artworks, buildings, urban planning, and cuisine as imprints of Italian consciousness to understand multiple constructions of Italianità.

11) Bridging the University and High School Systems Through Innovative Italian Teaching Approaches and Projects  

Co-organizers: Teresa Fiore (Montclair State University), Patti Grunther (Watchung Hills Regional High School), Marisa Trubiano (Montclair State University) 
Please send 250-word proposal and a 100-word bio and tech specification to Patti Grunther (pgrunther@whrhs.org) by May 1st, 2019. 

At a time in which the study of world languages is being redesigned to respond to the changing needs of the student population and the job market, developing closer relationships between university and high school systems is very fruitful terrain for expanding the internationalization of the curriculum, as well as for increasing enrollment, the number of majors/minors, and levels of linguistic and cultureal competence. 

We invite presentations for a panel (or a roundtable, depending on the number of proposals received) on topics that among, others, include:  

  • Summer Italian intensive courses for high school students on university campuses
  • Italian for Spanish speakers’classes
  • Programs and courses focused on Translation (especially audiovisual)
  • The role of the AP for revitalizinguniversity programs
  • Dual enrollment classes
  • Articulation of assessment across the HS and university systems (ACTFL/EuropeanFramework)
  • Formation of consortiaoffeeder schools, leveraging alumni 
  • Teacher certification programs (including class observations) as engines of circular growth
  • Advocacy for languages, professional associations, community mobilization
  • Articulation with Community Collegesas a bridge between HS and University 

These and other projects of a similar innovative nature have been launched in Italian Studies in the past five years around the country to better prepare students for an interconnected culturally diverse world, as they cross the bridge from high school to university, but also as they cross it back in the opposite direction in the role of future teachers. 


Organizer: Silvia Giorgini-Althoen (Wayne State University), sgiorgini@wayne.edu

This roundtable explores examples of incorporation of technology in Italian language, literature and culture courses at all levels. It seeks to provide all participants and audience members with new tools, strategies, and activities for immediate adoption in the classroom setting. We particularly welcome interdisciplinary approach to foster and facilitate students learning of Italian Language, Literature, Culture and Cinema.

Please send a 200-300 word abstract, brief bio, and request for A/V to the roundtable organizer by: February 24, 2019

9) Documenting the Italian Diaspora 

Organizzatori: Salvatore Bancheri (salvatore.bancheri@utoronto.ca), University of Toronto; Simone Casini (Simone.casini@utoronto.ca) e Michael Lettieri, University of Toronto Mississauga; Christine Sansalone (csansalone@laurentian.ca), Laurentian University 

Il panel riproduce verbatim la sessione organizzata e presieduta da Paul A. Colilli all’interno dell’ultimo convegno internazionale AATI a cui ha partecipato nell’anno 2016, presso l’Università di Napoli Federico II e L’Orientale. La sessione si profila pertanto come un omaggio alle attività di ricerca e studio di Paul A. Colilli e prende in esame uno degli interessi ultimi, in senso cronologico, che hanno caratterizzato la sua produzione scientifica. 

All’interno della sessione sono accolti contributi che affrontino sotto prospettive diverse gli aspetti e i risultati del processo migratorio nel mondo globale, visto attraverso fonti documentarie e rappresentazioni molteplici della cultura umana. Sono accolte proposte che analizzino la migrazione attraverso gli strumenti della storia, della letteratura, del cinema o di altra forma di memoria e produzione artistica. Gli argomenti dei contributi non sono limitati a periodi specifici né a particolari contesti o Paesi di arrivo, e possono includere, a titolo esemplificativo 

  • filminerenti le migrazioni in Nord America, America Latina, Australia ecc., che trattano in modo specifico l’esperienza italiana nel paese ospitante; 
  • poesie, romanzi e opere teatrali cheaffrontino la questione della persistenza e costruzione di una identità italiana da parte di emigrati di prima, seconda e terza generazione; 
  • lo spazio linguistico pluraledegli emigranti italiani e dei loro discendenti; 
  • pittura, scultura e altre arti figurative come mezzodi rappresentazione dell’esperienza migratoria italiana nel paese ospitante; 
  • analisi di fonti anche statistichenel campo delle scienze sociali che prendano in esame l’esperienza migratoria  

Si prega di inviare un abstract di 200 parole a Salvatore Bancheri (salvatore.bancheri@utoronto.ca), Simone Casini (Simone.casini@utoronto.ca), o Christine Sansalone (csansalone@laurentian.ca) entro il 10 febbraio 2019. 

I contributi più meritevoli saranno sottoposti ad un comitato scientifico per la pubblicazione di un volume in onore di Paul A. Colilli

8) Gender and Language Politics

Organizers:  Elisabetta D’Amanda (Rochester Institute of Technology, damanda5@yahoo.com), Sara Galli (University of Toronto, saragalli@mail.utoronto.ca), Marina Melita (Marist College, Maureen.melita@marist.edu), and Federica Santini (Kennesaw State University, fsantini@kennesaw.edu) for the AATI Gender and Women’s Studies Collective 

Session Chair: Marina Melita

Panel Description:

This panel aims to explore the connections between gender and language in Italy. Starting with the seminal, 1987 analysis of sexism in the Italian language by Alma Sabatini, the discussion on gender and language has expanded through the work of several scholars, such as Cecilia Robustelli, but has yet to gain widespread traction. We welcome papers that explore the work that has been done in the field as well as propose new strategies towards change. Papers that explore less-studied aspects, such as gender neutrality, are particularly welcome.


7) Re-reading Gomorrah as a docudrama of the La Camorrista in the Southern Italian criminal “System” (ROUNDTABLE)

Organizer: Elda Buonanno Foley (IONA COLLEGE) EBuonanno@iona.edu

According to Prof. John Carner from the University of Liverpool, there are five basic characteristics for documentaries: 1) observation, 2) interview; 3) dramatization; 4)mise en scene; 5) exposition. These basic features testify the powerful and focused role of documentaries that position them on another category and level than fiction movie. With my rereading of the Italian powerful movie and series Gomorrah, I will demonstrate how a fictional work can be read and interpreted as a “docudrama” of the current role of women in the organized crime and their representation in movies and TV series 

After briefly introducing the series that follows the mercilessly violent Neapolitan criminal group headed by the Savastano family and its fights for control over the drug-riddled streets and portraying the Camorra (or “The System”), a centuries-old criminal nexus with untold power and impunity in the southern Italian city, I will indicate how, while observing the life of the main female protagonists, identifying and interpreting their points of views, reading through the lines of the dramatization of peoples’ lives and local current issues, observing the dramatic mise en scene of events, real and/or fictional, and while putting the audience in the uncomfortable position of admitting and thinking about the truth behind the dramatization, Gomorrah is and must be watched and eventually studied as a modern version of documenting the current cultural issues of a big/small community and how big is the role of women in the organization of dramatic events and actions. 

By watching this new “docudrama”, the audience will be presented with new and stimulating ways cultural material is formulated so to encourage questioning, analyzing, and interpreting. 

By covering and discussing several content areas such as social issues, contemporary life issues; personal and public identities and aesthetics, the Italian series can be considered the frontrunner of a new typology of documenting facts without necessarily focusing of the mere entertainment.


Organizers:  Beppe Cavatorta (University of Arizona Tucson), beppe@email.arizona.edu; Gianluca Rizzo (Colby College), Gianluca.rizzo@gmail.com; Federica Santini (Kennesaw State University), fsantini@kennesaw.edu

Session’s Chair: Beppe Cavatorta (University of Arizona)

This panel aims to explore 20th-century experimental works of all genres, characterized by a non-normative approach to language or the act of writing itself. Papers analyzing the intersection between literature and other art forms as well as cross-disciplinary and/or non-traditional approaches to the theme of experimentation are welcome.

5)TitleSocial, Psychological and Anthropological Conflicts in Italian Cinema of the XXI century.

Organizers: Maurizio Scontrino (University of Toronto), maurizio.scontrino@mail.utoronto.ca

Italian cinema has a long history of political, social and psychological engagement. The cinematic representation of Italy and Italians has always been considered a prolific space for analysis, interpretation, and commentary of past and current events investing the peninsula.

The present panel invites papers that explore the ways and forms in which Italian directors address major social and emotional issues. The purpose is to provide a critical space where to individuate, examine and debate those cinematic elements which depict and disclose problematic and/or traumatic relationships, connections, and encounters in Italian society.

Topics for papers may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • cultural/ social change
  • class conflict
  • relationships
  • discrimination/ prejudice/ stereotypes
  • national identity
  • impact of post-colonialism
  • conflict, trauma and memory
  • masculinity/ gender identity
  • migration

Abstract for papers (ca. 200 words) either in English or Italian should be submitted to maurizio.scontrino@mail.utoronto.caby February 1 2019. 

4) Jewish Culture within the Italian Landscape

Organizer: Ryan Calabretta-Sajder, University of Arkansas (rcalabretta@gmail.com)

The Jewish community is one of the oldest communities/cultures present within the Italian peninsula, spanning as many as two thousand years, dating back to the pre-Christian Roman period.  As such, Italian Jewish Identity has evolved in a unique manner, sharing diverse traditions related to religion, culture, history, and language while simultaneously remaining rather homogenous and often separate.  In 2016, the Jewish Culture in Italy remembered the 500th Anniversary of the Jewish Ghetto in Venice and 100th Anniversary of Giorgio Bassani’s birth (now the inauguration of the Centro studi bassaniani in Ferrara), one of Italy’s most noted Jewish Italian authors.  This panel aims to explore any intersection(s) of Jewish and Italian identity.  Some themes include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Artistic blendings/mixings/etc.
  • Jews enlisting in the Fascist party
  • Jews of the Mediterranean
  • Regionalism Judaism in Italy
  • Jewish Italian writers/writings
  • The underground
  • Racial Laws in Italy
  • Screening Jewish Italian Culture
  • The Venetian Ghetto
  • Giorgio Bassani

Please send an abstract of 250 words, along with a brief biography and technology requests to rcalabretta@gmail.com by February 15, 2019.

3) Gendering the Cinema of the South

Organizer: Ryan Calabretta-Sajder (rcalabretta@gmail.com), University of Arkansas 

La questione meridionale has been a topic of both political and academic discussion for more than 100 years.  Some scholars maintain that Southern Italy is dominated in old-world, traditional, patriarchal values, while others including Gabriella Gribaudi in her piece entitled “Images of the South” (in Italian Cultural Studies: An Introduction) argues that the South is rather matriarchal in nature.

Using this concept as a springboard for the panel, the session aims to open a discussion on contemporary cinematic images of the South from a gendered perspective.  Some topics include the following:

  • Differences between gender in Southern and Northern films
  • Is the South more patriarchal or matriarchal? Or can we even use this terminology in today’s society?
  • What is the role of woman in Southern Italian cinema of the last ten years? Has anything changed?
  • How does travel/public space vs private space/work influence gender in society?
  • How does the recent wave of migration to Southern Italy register with gender concepts?
  • Are their homosexuals, lesbians, transvestites, and transgendered people in Southern Italian film? How are they seen on screen?

Please send an abstract of 250 words, along with a brief biography and technology requests to rcalabretta@gmail.com by February 15, 2019.

2) Teaching Off the Beaten Path: Roundtable

Organizer: Ryan Calabretta-Sajder (rcalabretta@gmail.com ), University of Arkansas 

Italian Studies both in Italy and more recently in North America has boasted a rather traditional, or canonical approach to the field, which even flows into the pedagogical methodology often utilized.  Yet, students (as such parents) are requesting a more contemporary, cultural introduction within the Italian curriculum of today.  This roundtable aims therefore to recognize, explore, discuss, and criticize the current state of Italian Studies in North America with the hope of addressing new ideas and approaches to the field.

The roundtable particularly searches for instructors on any level (K-university) who have experimented with new theoretical models in the classroom with success and/or even failure.   The goal is to dissect want can, but also, may not work.  Some topics include the following:

  • Italian and Intercultural Comprehension
  • Italian for Romance Speakers
  • Online Italian
  • Business Italian/MADE IN ITALY/ Italian for the Professions
  • Study Abroad
  • Internships/Researchships/ecc.

Please send an abstract of 250 words, along with a brief biography and technology requests to rcalabretta@gmail.com by February 15, 2019.

1) Queering Italian Studies

Organizer: Ryan Calabretta-Sajder (rcalabretta@gmail.com ) University of Arkansas 

The focus on gender in Italian Studies has come to the forefront within the last five years both in Italy and North America.  Whether it is a rereading older texts or taking into account the newly highlighted life of the contemporary LGBTQI society in Italy, more and diverse attention has been afforded this thematic/cultural field.  In 2017 alone, Italy will be the host of three major, international conferences on Queer Theory and boasts some amazing ‘think tanks’, some being completely funded.

Some possible themes to consider include the following:

  • Intersections and/or Contradictions of Queer Theory (Anglophone vs. Italian)
  • Gendering the Body
  • Queering Italian Daily Life (talk shows, reality tv shows, Gay Pride, etc.)
  • Intersex in Italy
  • Queering Italian Art
  • LGBTQI Literature

Please send an abstract of 250 words, along with a brief biography and technology requests to rcalabretta@gmail.com by February 15, 2019.


Accepted Papers

1) Lo statuto della saggistica letteraria nell’Italia contemporanea

Presenter:Valentino Baldi (Università per Stranieri di Siena) valentinobaldi@hotmail.it

Questo intervento si propone di indagare le linee di dominanza nella saggistica letteraria italiana dal 2000 ad oggi. Anche se da più parti è stata messa in evidenza il tramonto della critica (Luperini, Tramonto e resistenza della critica, 2013), la produzione di saggi sulla letteratura non è diminuita, anzi si è spostata notevolmente anche su riviste online e blog letterari. Nel recente libro di Simonetti sulla letteratura contemporanea (La letteratura circostante, 2018), sembra che la funzione di mediazione debba essere ridiscussa alle fondamenta, un aspetto colto anche dall’ultimo lavoro di Baricco (The Game, 2018), nonché da un acceso dibattito che ha coinvolto quotidiani come «Il sole 24 ore» (https://www.ilsole24ore.com/art/notizie/2018-11-02/le-elites-e-competenza-nemici-mortali-popolo-140427.shtml?uuid=AEwj4vZG&refresh_ce=1) e «Repubblica» (https://www.repubblica.it/robinson/2018/10/25/news/quale_futuro_per_il_giornalismo_culturale_-209961516/a proposito della crisi delle élites e della mediazione).

L’autore rifletterà sullo statuto del saggio contemporaneo, sulla ostilità italiana alla teoria, sulla difficoltà di proporre opere di alta divulgazione e, infine, sulla sempre più marcata diffidenza nei confronti dell’analisi testuale.  Al centro di questo intervento, verranno posti alcuni libri che consentono di rintracciare delle costanti condivise, fra cui risaltano Benedetti (Disumane lettere, 2011); Giunta (Una sterminata domenica, 2013) Donnarumma (Ipermodernità, 2014); Mazzoni (I destini generali, 2015); Giglioli (Stato di minorità, 2016); Marchesini (False coscienze, 2017) Scaffai (Letteratura e ecologia, 2017).

Valentino Baldi è ricercatore (tipo B) presso l’Università per Stranieri di Siena. È stato Senior Lecturer presso la University of Malta (2010-2018) e insegna Letteratura italiana. Membro della redazione di «Allegoria» e «Ticontré. Teoria. Testo. Traduzione», ha pubblicato libri e saggi su Svevo, Pirandello, Gadda, nonché su Francesco Orlando teorico della letteratura. Nel 2019 uscirà, per Quodlibet, il suo ultimo libro: Come frantumi di mondi. Teoria della prosa e logica delle emozioni in Gadda.

2) The Ethics and Politics of Translation under Fascism

Piero Garofalo (University of New Hampshire) pg@unh.edu

This paper examines the mediation between translators, publishers, and cultural policy during the ventennio. The focus is on translations of American literature with the understanding that translations are active interventions both into texts by multiple interests and into cultural/political environments of the receiving language. Contrary to popular perceptions, translations constituted a significant aspect of book production in Italy. Some 10% of books published in Italy between 1926 and 1941 were translations—compare this figure to 5.6% for France and 3.4% for Germany. Translations took on a specifically anti-Semitic dimension with the 1938 Racial Laws thereby emphasizing the “culture war” aspect of translating. By examining recent scholarship (e.g., Rundle, 2010; Meschonnic, 2011; Bielsa, 2015; Drugan, 2017; Bonsaver et al., 2017), this paper seeks to reassess the role of translations in cultural production during the Fascist period.

Piero Garofalo is Associate Professor of Italian Studies at the University of New Hampshire. He is co-author with Elizabeth Leake and Dana Renga of the forthcoming Internal exile in Fascist Italy: History and representations of confino (Manchester University Press, 2019) as well as of Ciak… si parla italiano (2005) and Re-viewing Fascism: Italian Cinema, 1922-1943.

3) Female Theology meets Poietic Writing: Michela Murgia’s L’incontro (2012)

Presenter: Margherita Heyer-Cáput, Università della California, Davis, mheyercaput@ucdavis.edu

Oneofthemostacclaimed(female)voicesofcontemporarySardinianandItalianliterature(Accabadora 2009,PremioCampiello2010),MichelaMurgiaoffersinhernovellaL’incontroapowerfulexpressionof poietic writing. Writing as poiesis, as creative force capable of shaping reality through theoretical reflection, expresses itself in the in-between space of literal and metaphorical orders. A religious educatorinpublicschools,amilitantpoliticianinthepro-independencemovement“SardegnaPossibile”, anenvironmentalactivistintheindustriallyandtouristicallyexploitedislandofSardinia,atheateractress, Murgiaoffersapowerfulincarnationofpoieticwritinginhercorpusasawhole.Inparticular,L’incontrosuggestsaresponsetothequestionthathadguidedHannahArendtinhertheoreticaljourneyfromvita activa to vita contemplativa: “What are we ‘doing’ when we do nothing but think?” In the spirit of Arendt’squestion  IwillanalyzethesignificanceofMurgia’sL’incontroaspoieticwritingthatintertwines femaletheologyandcommunityactivism.Thetheoreticalframeworkofmyconsiderationsstemsfrom thethoughtofsexualdifferenceanditsarticulationofafemalelineinthesymbolicorderofwestern philosophy.Morespecifically,mycontributionreadsL’incontro,anovelofformationunfoldingalongthe preparations for the traditional Sardinian Eastern ritual of “S’incontru,” through the lens of feminist theology.MarinaWarner’sAloneofAllHerSex:TheMythandtheCultoftheVirginMary(1976)and Virginia Ramsey Mollenkotts’ The Divine Feminine: Biblical Images of God as Female (1983) connect Murgia’s novella to her theological essay, Ave Mary: E la Chiesa inventò la donna (2012) and her philosophicalessayFuturointeriore(2016).InthiscontextMurgia’swritingarticulatesaconceptof poíesisthat intertwines thinking and doing, transcendence and immanence in its reflection “at the border”astheexistentialconditionofafluidmodernity.

4) L’occhio pigro dell’Occidente in Fuocoammare (2016) di Gianfranco Rosi 

Presenter: Francesco Rabissi (University of Arizona), rabissi@email.arizona.edu


Jacques Rancière ricorda che l’espressione politica del cinema apre a due significati, uno relativo al soggetto del film, ad esempio un evento, un movimento politico, o una influente personalità storica; l’altro alla strategia discorsiva dispiegata per esprimere tale contenuto. Al cuore del cinema politico sta, quindi, il rapporto tra “una questione di giustizia e una pratica di giustezza,” tra la giustizia dei temi e il modo in cui essi sono espressi.

Se applicata alla produzione cinematografica italiana più recente, la riflessione di Rancière getta nuova luce sul modo in cui cinema e politica interagiscono. Il cinema italiano degli ultimi anni si è infatti distinto per come ha raccontato la società italiana senza conformarsi agli imperativi estetici del film a tesi o del documentario di denuncia, bensì sondando le possibilità estetiche di un’immagine svincolata da prescrizioni e gerarchie ideologiche. Un’opera come Fuocoammare di Gianfranco Rosi, premiata su scala internazionale con l’assegnazione dell’Orso d’oro al Festival di Berlino e con la nomina all’Oscar come miglior documentario, è indicativa di una ricerca che sfrutta l’incertezza costitutiva dell’immagine cinematografica tra documento e finzione per denunciare l’occhio pigro con cui l’Occidente ha osservato la cosiddetta crisi europea dei migranti. Tra le immagini del film di Rosi prende corpo una riflessione sulla doppia natura, sensibile ed estetica, di un cinema che alterna le vicende fittizie dei personaggi alle immagini documentaristiche degli sbarchi dei rifugiati sulle coste della Sicilia.