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


The 2020-21 calendar of events and activities

List of events

In line with the past seasons, the 2020-21 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: transnation and translation, food and war, politics and cinema, and gastronomy along post-colonial routes.

Special guests include scholars of Italian Studies devoted to an innovative approach to language studies at large (Loredana Polezzi, Charles Burdett, Derek Duncan, Jennifer Burns), a cinematographer (Maura Morales), a Sicilian chef (Annalisa Pompeo), history researchers working on war and political movements (Lizzie Collingham and Jaime Baeza Freer) and an Italian American writer and editor (Mark Rotella). A new international collaboration with the University of Palermo will be launched via the COIL initiative as part of a broader program about Italian for Spanish Speakers and the Common Spanish Legacy in Italian and Latin American cultures supported by a 2021 NEH FACULTY AWARD. 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 (COVID permitting) 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 –  Italian for Spanish speakers – continues to be particularly promising in terms of course offerings 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!