Teresa Fiore, Professor of Italian and Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies, was recently awarded the Italian national honor of “Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia” (Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy) by the Italian Consulate.The president of the Italian Republic grants the distinction “to Italians abroad or foreigners who have acquired special merit in the promotion of friendly relations and cooperation between Italy and other countries.” Fiore was honored during a special ceremony on February 24, 2021, at the Italian Consulate in New York.
“I am truly honored to receive this recognition which highlights the impact of the humanities in international relationships and of the academic profession in world languages, which is effectively the work of cultural ambassadors,” says Fiore. “I am lucky that what is a passion for me is also a professional mission: work that creates a dialogue across languages and cultures between two countries, Italy and the U.S., that have given meaning to my life in very different and complementary ways.
“I am grateful to all the scholars, artists, entrepreneurs and organizations, as well as the Consular offices, that have accepted to share their work as part of a decade of Inserra programs, and within a transnational vision that embraces and goes beyond the U.S. and Italy.”
During the ceremony, the Consul, Francesco Genuardi, highlighted Fiore’s commitment to the promotion of Italian culture in the tri-state area and beyond through the activities, research, and public/private partnerships she develops as part of the Inserra cultural programs at Montclair State University.
The Inserra Chair is an endowed position devoted to the promotion of Italian culture, with particular emphasis to its meaning and relevance in the international scene – especially in the U.S. and in New Jersey. Since its inception in 2011, the Inserra Endowment has made possible a vast array of on-campus activities, from the regular presentation of cultural events with notable artists and scholars to the development of innovative educational initiatives, pedagogical approaches, and pre-professional opportunities with paid internships.
Fiore’s interdisciplinary work as Inserra Chair – on topics ranging from migration to translation and Made in Italy – has received several recognitions, most recently a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for a project that links Italy to Spain and Latin America linguistically and culturally. She is also the author of “Preoccupied Spaces: Remapping Italy’s Transnational Migrations and Colonial Legacies,” which will be released in Italy later this spring.
“I am grateful to Montclair State University and our donors, in particular the Inserra family, for constantly creating the conditions that allow for all this work to be of regular benefit to students, the University at large, the surrounding community, and now also the online community following us from all over the world,” says Fiore. “This recognition adds an official stamp that can only inspire me to continue this work further, with a particular eye toward international experiences for our students; from study abroad programs to internships with a transnational component, so that world languages become more central to the U.S. university experience.”
For more information on the Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies, visit montclair.edu/inserra-chair.