"Italians in the Americas": An International Conference

(April 18, 2008)
April 24-26, 2008. Dozens of scholars and experts will meet at the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute (Queens College, CUNY) to explore the diasporic experiences of Italians in the New World. The "Italians in the Americas" conference is dedicated to the myriad experiences of Italians in the Americas. It is a unique opportunity for scholarly communities in North and South America to come together and explore the past one hundred twenty-five years of diasporic activity in the western hemisphere.

The original call for papers suggested topics of civil rights, cultural productions, dominant cultures, economics and class, educational accomplishments, identity construction, immigration patterns, interaction with diasporic communities, media portrayals, race issues, politics, religions, and social influences. The result is a collection of diverse narratives recounted by scholars from many and varied quarters. The work presented here illuminates questions and possibly some answers about the diasporic experiences of Italians and how they influenced the new world.

Italians in the Americas

24-26 April 2008

sponsored by John D. Calandra Italian American Institute Queens College The City University of New York 25 West 43rd Street - Manhattan


Thursday, April 24, 2008

6:00-9:00 PM, 17th Floor


James Muyskens

President, Queens College

Anthony Julian Tamburri

Dean, Calandra Institute

Keynote Lecture

“Beyond the Immigrant Paradigm: Identities and the Future of Italian American Studies”

Fred L. Gardaphè Distinguished Professor of Italian American Studies


Friday, April 25, 2008,
18th Floor 8:30-9:45

Contested Identities in Italian America

Chair: Maria Grace LaRusso, Calandra Institute Joseph LoGiudice, New York University. “The Construction of a Dual Identity: A Social Work Perspective of Rejection and Acceptance of the Gay & Italian-American Selves” Michael Carosone, New York, NY. “Disgracing the Family?: A History/Non-History of Queer Italian Americans” Angela D. Danzi and Marilyn Blumenthal, Farmingdale State College. “Family Disconnection: The Causes and Consequences of Estrangement and its Relationship to Ethnicity”

Working Aesthetics

Chair: Joseph Sciorra, Calandra Institute Javier Grossutti, The Italian Academy of Columbia University. “Beyond the ‘Pick and Shovel’ Laborers: Italian Mosaic and Terrazzo Workers in New York City” Christine Francis Zinni, SUNY Brockport. “Writings in Stone and Textile” Anna Maria Carlevaris, Concordia University. “Italian Artists in the North

America: Proposal for a History without Borders”

“Italians” in the “Americas”

Chair: Robert Viscusi, Brooklyn College/CUNY David Aliano, College of Mount Saint Vincent. “Responses to Fascism from the Italian Community in Argentina (1922-1945)” Stefano Luconi, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”. “The Political Mobilization of Italian Immigrants to Argentina and the United States: A Comparison” Vincenzo Milione, Calandra Italian American Institute & Maddalena Tirabassi, Centro Altreitalie, Fondazione Giovanni Agnellli. “Inventory of the Italian Diaspora in the Americas”



Reflections in Psychology

Chair: Donna Chirico, York College/CUNY

Organizer: Elizabeth G. Messina, Lenox Hill Hospital Donna H. DiCello, University of Hartford. “Contra genio: The Experience of the Italian American Female Psychologist” Elizabeth G. Messina, Lenox Hill Hospital, Dept. of Psychology. “Stereotyping of Italian Americans, 1-Reflections on the History of Racism in Psychology toward Italian Americans” Antonio Terracciano, National Institute on Aging. “Stereotyping of Italian Americans, 2-Historical Perspectives on the Stereotypes of Northern and Southern Italians”


Chair: Joseph Sciorra, Calandra Institute Marion S. Jacobson, Albany College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences. “Italian Dance Hall Culture: Italian Americans, Accordions, and a Pluralistic Vision of Ethnicity in Manhattan, 1938-1961” Simona Frasca, Università di Roma “La Sapienza” & Università di Napoli “Frederico II”. “Representations of the Italian American Community through its Music” Jacqueline Maggio-May, Florida Atlantic University. “‘Americans All!’:

“Re-Imaging Ethnicity, Italians in America, 1939-1945”

Is There an Italian/American Body Politic?

Chair: Anthony Julian Tamburri, Calandra Institute

Organizer: Ottorino Cappelli, Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale” Rodrigo Praino, Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”. “The Italian Vote Abroad: Electing from Afar” Ottorino Cappelli, Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”. “The Black Hole: Italian/American Studies and Political Science” Jerome Krase, Brooklyn College, Emeritus. “Italian-American Politics: A Worm’s Eye View”

Respondent: Doug Muzzio, Baruch College

Saturday, April 26, 2008, 18th Floor

Personal Readings of Key Cultural Texts

Chair: Anthony Julian Tamburri, Calandra Institute Rosanna Micelotta-Battigelli, Sudbury, Canada. “It all Started With My Mother Tongue: The Impact of Language on my Identity as a Teacher and Writer” Frances Gendimenco Kaufmann, Academic Library & Research Solutions. “Unlocking My Italian-American History: Reading Pietro Di Donato and Richard Gambino” John Calabro, Quattro Books. “The Children of Immigrants; Who Speaks for Them?”

First Encounters, First Conflicts

Chair: Donna Chirico, York College/CUNY

Teresa Fava Thomas, Fitchburg State College. “Arresting the Padrone Problem in America 1881-1901: Italian Diplomats, Immigration Restrictionists and the Italian Bureau of Ellis Island” Peter Oliva, Calgary, Canada. “Constructing Emilio Picariello: Small-town Conception and Big City Media in Canada’s Notorious 1922 Murder Trial” Geoffrey G. Drutchas, Taylor, Michigan. “Italians in the Americas: An Artist’s Story, Tommaso Juglaris”

Mapping and Visualizing Italians

Chair: Joseph Sciorra, Calandra Institute Esther Romeyn, University of Florida. “I Misteri di New York: Urban Mysteries and Miseries of Italian Immigrants” Joan Saverino, The Historical Society of Pennsylvania. “Paradoxical Pasts: Diverse Interpretations of a Local Landscape” Vincenzo Pascale, CUNY. “Writing of Visions: Dreams of Visions”



Women as Authors, Women as Subjects

Chair: Fred Gardaphè, Queens College/Calandra Institute Licia Canton, Accenti Magazine. “Literary Women: From Italian Daughters to Canadian Authors” Venera Fazio, Association of Italian Canadian Writers. “Reclaiming Our Magdalenes: The Case Histories, Angelina Napolitano and Filomena Losandro” Nancy Caronia, SUNY Brockport. “Omertà: Writing in Code; Reading Between the Lines”

Italian Americans after World War II

Chair: Joseph Sciorra, Calandra Institute Francesca L’Orfano, Carleton University. “Identitià, Three Films: Straniera Come Donna (2002), Enigmatico (1995), and In bocca al lupo (1995)” Danielle Battisti, University of Buffalo. “The Edward Corsi Affair and Postwar Italian Immigration” James Pasto, Boston University. “Immigrants are not ‘Us’: Conflicts between

First- and Second-generation Italian Americans and New Italian Immigrants in Boston’s North End during the 1960s and 1970s”

Imagining Italians

Chair: Steven J. Belluscio, Borough of Manhattan Community College/CUNY Jana Vizmuller-Zocco, York University. “Italianità on Facebook: Towards a Cognitive Ethnicity” Patrizia La Trecchia, University of South Florida. “Being and Becoming: Notes on Subjects and Narratives in Transition” Daniela Gioseffi, ItalianAmericanWriters.com. “Why the Stereotyping of Italian Americans Works, Is Exploited and Persists”

Conference Committee

Steven J. Belluscio

Donna Chirico

Maria Grace LaRusso

Vincenzo Milione

Carmine Pizzirusso

Joseph Sciorra

Anthony Julian Tamburri

Peter Vellon

All activities of the conference are free and open to the public!

RSVP at 212.642.2094

Photo by flickr