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News and Announcements

Research Assistant Selected for Cali-sponsored Project on Food Culture in Sicily

Posted in: Inserra, Uncategorized

blue door and breakfast table

The College for the Humanities and the Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies are pleased to announce that Kenneth Browne will be the research assistant to Prof. Teresa Fiore (Inserra Chair) for a project on food culture in Sicily in Summer 2018.

Supported by the Angelo and Marie Cali Fund for Italian Studies with matching funds from the Inserra Endowment, the project revolves around a study of food availability and practices in Sicily, at the time of the U.S. troops arrival during WWII, to assess their impact on local mores. The 10-day stay in Sicily includes interviews with senior residents of Valledolmo, Licata, Gela, and Agrigento, who have memories of that period, a visit to a research foundation and an art exhibit, as well as some cooking classes at Case Vecchie (featured above) as part of the background and context for the project. See the full description of the project.

Kenneth Browne is pursuing the post-BA Certification in Italian through the Adult Learning Program. He holds an MA in Italian from Yale University and has an established record in professional video-making based on interviews and research. As a non-traditional student interested in starting a new career in teaching, Kenneth will bring a wide array of expertise to the project.

“I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to serve as a research assistant with Professor Teresa Fiore,” Kenneth remarked. “This grant is yet another great opportunity since beginning my graduate degree at MSU. Best of all, the project will engage my reading of Italian literature, fascination with Sicily, and my work experience in documentary film. In fact, a film is one of the envisioned outcomes of the research project. Another benefit will be the value the grant and research will bring to my preparation to teach Italian in a NJ public school.”

Prof. Fiore added that “cultural issues related to Sicily have gradually become a focus of the Italian activities on campus from the performances of playwright Emma Dante and the musicians Fratelli Mancuso to the cooking master class of chef Fabrizia Lanza (Case Vecchie). This focus embraces research in more evident forms at this point, with the publication of an article and possibly videos as the final objectives. And, all of this is possible thanks to our generous donors on campus.”