Photo of Joseph Stella artwork at the Newark Museum

About Inserra

About Inserra

The Theresa and Lawrence R. Inserra Endowed Chair was created through a major gift of Lawrence R. Inserra, Jr. and thanks to the support of Italian American organizations and individual donors.

The following links illustrate the history of the position:

The first and current Inserra Chair, Dr. Teresa Fiore, started in this position in 2010-11. For her profile and CV, visit Dr. Fiore’s Profile page.

Besides teaching and conducting research as part of the regular university position attached to the Inserra Chair, a central responsibility includes the development of research activities and educational initiatives vital to the continued growth of Italian and Italian American Studies at Montclair State University. The Chair offers a regular series of free cultural programs that serve both Montclair State University students and faculty and the residents of the NY/NJ area at large. Since 2011, major artists and scholars from Italy and the U.S. have presented shows, lectures, exhibits, films, dance performances, etc. on a wide array of Italian/Italian American themes (the Humanistic Legacy; Migrations; Futurism; Slow Food) in disciplines as diverse as visual arts, film, theater, music, fashion, art history, design, nutrition, and history.

Notable events include a lecture-exhibit by 2011 MacArthur Fellow Ubaldo Vitali; a lecture-show by renowned Corriere della Sera journalist Gian Antonio Stella; the award winning play Noise in the Waters by Teatro delle Albe; a talk by acclaimed avant-garde theatre director Romeo Castellucci; a round table and guided tour about Renzo Piano’s architecture in Manhattan; a concert-workshop by the highly regarded Sicilian music duo I Fratelli Mancuso; a multi-media presentation with dance choreographer Emio Greco; a lecture with Amara Lakous; a conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri; a presentation on sustainability by Andrea Illy of illycaffè; the U.S. premiere of Emma Dante’s play The Sisters Macaluso (New York Times Critic’s Pick); and and the NJ premiere of Antonio Piazza and Fabio Grassadonia’s film Sicilian Ghost Story (New York Times Critic’s Pick).

Many programs have been presented in collaboration with institutions based in New Jersey, New York, Washington D.C., and Italy (UNESCO, Italian Embassy, Italian Consulates, Italian Cultural Institute, Cineteca di Bologna, La MaMa Theatre, Calandra Institute/CUNY, Newark Museum, Kasser Theater, Prescott Studio, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Arena di Verona, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro Nuovo di Spoleto, Piccolo Teatro di Milano, Academy of Italian Cinema David di Donatello Awards, i.e. the Italian equivalent of the Oscar Awards). Inserra programs are regularly covered in the media (RAI, i-Italy, La Voce di New York).