Photo of the crowd for Jhumpa Lahiri's visit to campus.


The 2019-20 calendar of events and activities

List of events

In line with the past seasons, the 2019-20 calendar is characterized by interdisciplinary programs presented in a variety of formats from conversations to workshops and panels, and through dynamic collaborations across departments. This year’s topics include: migration in cinema, nutrition and the environment, fashion and business, literary translation, data visualization, and language preservation and acquisition.

Special guests such as Pulitzer-Prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri and pluri-awarded information designer Giorgia Lupi will visit our campus this academic year. The calendar is enriched by the presence of MSU alumni (Wayne DeFeo) and professors active in Italy (Maurizio Cellura). Acclaimed actor Vincenzo Amato returns to campus to talk about immigration to the U.S. as part of the in-class presentation series linked to the course “Italian Americans in Film.” The Inserra Endowment will co-sponsor and support programs organized by other units on campus, including Stefano Piaggi, curator of the legacy of his aunt, fashion legend Anna Piaggi.

Ongoing student-centered programs (the only Italian summer course for HS students offered in the US, and a series of paid internships in Italian Business) will be presented again as part of an innovative take on Italian Studies across systems (HS and university as well as university and professional world).

The approach offered by the Inserra Chair is a holistic one that strives for organically bringing together research initiatives, teaching projects, and cultural activities in the service of several communities both on and off campus in the belief that the promotion of Italian and Italian American culture happens in multi-layered ways, with several stakeholders involved, and in a sustained way over time. Its efforts continue to be particularly focused on Italian Business/Made in Italy and Translation, following a path defined since the inception of this position and that over time has been able to make an impact on the curricular offerings on campus (see translation-centered courses in the Italian major and minor as well as the Language Business Culture combined major). Research projects that involve students have been renewed: an older adult student is still involved in a multi-phase research project devoted to the impact and legacy of the Allied landing in Sicily in 1943 in connection with migration and food practices. A new area of expansion is being launched: Italian for Spanish speakers will be taught for the first time this semester and it is proving to be particularly promising given the federal designation of the University as a Hispanic Serving Institution.

Thank you for supporting this vision with your participation and with the circulation of this information. We look forward to seeing you at these events!