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Dr. Fiore Selected for NEH Summer Workshop on Creative/Contested Spaces (June 2024)

Posted in: CHSS News, Endowed Chair's Research, Italian News and Events, Teresa Fiore Research, World Languages and Cultures

NEH Contested Spaces

Dr. Teresa Fiore (Inserra Endowed Chair in Italian and Italian American Studues) was selected for the 2024 NEH Summer Workshop titled “Creative Spaces/Contested Spaces: Reinterpreting Italian American Public Art in New York City” (June 10-14). The workshop includes five days of presentations, discussions, and site visits designed to expand research and teaching tools as well as enrich a specific current project the participants are focusing on.

Dr. Fiore applied with a proposal linked to her ongoing endeavor, Memoria presente: The Common Spanish Legacy in Italian and Latin American Cultures,” which received NEH support in its initial stages in Summer 2021. A section of Memoria Presente is devoted to architecture: Dr. Fiore started developing it during Summer 2023. As part of the Undergraduate Research Program at Montclair State University, she mentored a student, Mar Arroyo Cabrera, for the production of a video on the Spanish Mission Revival architecture of Montclair State University, a historically uncontested space that warrants creative readings. Whimsically chosen as the style of the campus at the time of its foundation in 1908, this architectural style has acquired new meanings since the university moved from serving a primarily Italian (and Polish) population to a fast-growing Hispanic one (45% of the incoming class this year) and received the federal designation of Hispanic Serving Institution in 2016.


The short video will be further expanded also thanks to the scholarly materials, intellectual exchanges, and guided tours offered through the 2024 NEH Workshop. As a result, the larger project, Memoria Presente, will also be expanded by identifying the unlikely connections between places as disparate as Montclair, NJ, San Diego, CA, Ragusa (Sicily), and Veracruz (Mexico) along the mission revival and baroque style’s colonial route. By providing useful tools to address this complex cultural geography in place, the NEH Workshop will equip Dr. Fiore to design more targeted classes of Italian language and culture for Spanish speakers.

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