Photo of Joseph Stella artwork at the Newark Museum

2011-12 Events

Spring Program

Fall 2011

Spring 2012

Fall 2011 program

Risorgimento Film Series

Screening of Senso (1954)
September 19, 2011 at 2:00pm (Cohen Lounge, Dickson Hall)

Senso poster

Based on Camillo Boito’s short story with the same title, this tragic romance by Luchino Visconti, set during the Austrian occupation of Italy, is deeply intertwined with some of the most significant moments of the Italian Risorgimento. Alida Valli is Livia Serpieri, a nineteenth-century countess supportive of the cause of Italian independence, espoused by her patriot cousin, count Usseri (played by Massimo Girotti). She puts her marriage and political principles on the line by engaging in a torrid affair with a dashing but vile Austrian lieutenant, played by Farley Granger. Besides the ill-fated illicit love story, the class clash, the outstanding classical soundtrack (Verdi and Bruckner), the luxurious aristocratic sets and the actual palazzi that open on breathtaking beauty of the Italian countryside, the real core of the movie is the betrayal of the Risorgimento cause. Visconti, who succeeds in representing lively the historical background in which this melodramatic romance takes place, vibrantly highlights the political and ideological crisis that Italian patriots face after the defeat at the Battle of Custoza. Considered an extraordinary tribute to the Italian Risorgimento, Senso is an operatic melodrama evoking reckless emotions with strong social and historical connotations.

Introduced and moderated by Dr. David Del Principe and Dr. Teresa Fiore (Spanish and Italian Department, Montclair State University)
2:00pm Refreshments
2:30pm Brief introduction to the movie and screening
4.45pm Q&A

Sponsored by the Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies and the Coccia Institute in collaboration with the Amici Club

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Preservation and Composition in Italy’s Folk Music. A presentation by Gualtiero Bertelli

Thursday September 29, 2011 12-1:30pm
Jed Leshowitz Recital Hall (Cali School of Music, Montclair State University)

Bertelli Event Images

The presentation
Bertelli will discuss issues of preservation, transformation and re-arrangement of the traditional music as well as original composition within this tradition. While concentrating on the Italian repertoire, he will also address classic cases related to the U.S. scene, with specific reference to socially engaged songs. Mention will also be made to the invaluable work of Alan Lomax, an American ethnomusicologist active in Italy (among many other places), whose recordings have been vital to the field. Bertelli will play a selection of traditional, rearranged, and original songs to illustrate these topics.

Gualtiero Bertelli
Born in Venice, Bertelli comes from a proletarian family with a strong passion for music. Over his long career, he has constantly combined his research interests in Venetian folk music with social, political, and historical themes. He is the founder and an active member of several folk groups (Canzoniere Popolare Veneto, Nuovo Canzoniere Veneto), which have been central to the Italian scene since the 1960s. Bertelli has worked with famous cantautori popolari (folk singsong writers) such as Giovanna Marini and Paolo Pietrangeli. In 1982 he was awarded the Tenco Prize for the song Barche de carta (Paper boats) for Best Dialect Song. With “La Compagnia delle Acque,” an eclectic group of musicians, singers and actors that he founded and directs, Bertelli performs shows in Italy and abroad on issues as diverse as migrations, liberation movements, pop culture under Fascism, and labor songs. His current project (“Recounting and Singing Venice”) combines music and storytelling about his native town.

  • Free and open to the public, this presentation is in Italian with English consecutive translation
  • For Bertelli’s site, see:
  • The presentation is linked to the show The Horde (Montclair State University, Fri Sept. 30)

Sponsored by the Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies with the support of the John J. Cali School of Music.

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The Horde: Stories, Songs, and Images of Italian emigration

September 30, 2011 at 7:00pm (Montclair State University, Jed Leshowitz Recital Hall)

Media coverage of this event

The Horde show image

Adapted from Stella’s 2002 best-seller with the same title, this multi-media show presents the fascinating story of Italian emigration starting from the post-Unification era until the 1970s. Through historical accounts, anecdotes, and factual data, renowned Corriere della Sera journalist Stella takes the audience on a journey through Europe and the Americas as an old-time storyteller. Accompanied by images of archival documents, illustrations, and photographs, which are projected on a screen, Stella’s engaging tale of the emigrants’ struggles, failures, and successes is enriched throughout by songs collected or written by ethnomusicologist Bertelli and performed by the Compagnia delle Acque ensemble with traditional instruments.

Directed by Gualtiero Bertelli and performed by La Compagnia delle acque
with the special participation of Gian Antonio Stella

Gian Antonio Stella: Narrator
Gualtiero Bertelli: Accordion, Guitar, Voice
Paolo Favorido: Voice, Piano Keyboard
Giuseppina Casarin: Voice
Rachele Colombo: Percussions, Guitar, Voice
Captions by: A. Fognani, M. Candia, M. Trubiano, coordinated by T. Fiore

Sponsored by the Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies.
Co-sponsored by the Coccia Institute for the Italian American Experience, the John J. Cali School of Music and the History Department at Montclair State University.
The show is included in both the NY-NJ Italian Culture Bridge Program, supported by the Italian Cultural Institute of New York and the Consulate of Italy in New York and Newark, and the 2011 Italian Heritage and Culture Month Celebration dedicated to the 150th Anniversary of Italy’s Unification.

The NY-NJ tour of The Horde is also supported by SUNY Stony Brook (D’Amato Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies and the Center for Italian Studies); the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute with the Italian Cultural Center at St. John’s University; La Scuola d’Italia “Guglielmo Marconi” with the Education Office of the Italian Consulate and the IACE (Italian American Committee on Education) of New York; the UNICO Foundation; and Rutgers University.

For a clip of the show:
For the company’s site:

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Risorgimento Film Series

Screening of The Leopard (1963)
October 17, 2011 at 2:00 pm (Cohen Lounge, Dickson Hall)

Il Gattopardo image

Luchino Visconti’s The Leopard is an epic on the grandest possible scale. The film is set in Sicily and recreates, with nostalgia, drama, and opulence, the tumultuous years of the Italian Risorgimento–the period that marks the end of foreign occupation and emergence of Italy as a unified and democratic state. Starring Burt Lancaster as Prince Salina, the Sicilian leopard of the title, an aging patrician whose declining fortunes under Garibaldi and the fights for independence of the 1860s lead him to arrange a financially advantageous marriage between his nephew Tancredi (Alain Delon) and Angelica (Claudia Cardinale), the daughter of a rich merchant, Don Calogero Sedara (Paolo Stoppa). The movie exults in the last gasps of the nobility’s wealth even as it acknowledges and, ambivalently, endorses the necessity of its end. Awarded the Palme d’Or at the 1963 Cannes Film Festival, The Leopard translates Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s novel, and the history it recounts, into a truly cinematic masterpiece.

Sponsored by the Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies and the Coccia Institute in collaboration with the Amici Club.

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Joseph Stella’s Futurism between Italy and the U.S.

Thursday November 10, 2011 6pm (Billy Johnson Auditorium, Newark Museum)

Media coverage of this event

Joseph Stella art

As a coda to the rich series of events that celebrated Futurism’s centennial in 2009, this panel on the Italian American artist Joseph Stella and his iconic Futurist polyptych (“Voice of the City of New York Interpreted,” owned by the Newark Museum) illustrates and contextualizes the hybrid trajectory of an artist who emigrated from Italy to the U.S., acted as a bridge between the transatlantic avant-garde groups through his regular travel between the two countries, and created with his paintings some of the most memorable images of New York City’s architecture.

  • “The Feet of the Stars: Stella’s New York Future”
    Ara H. Merjian (Professor of Italian Studies and Art History, NYU)
  • “Joseph Stella: The Conjunction of Worlds”
    Barbara Haskell (Art Historian and Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art)
  • “Stella and the Futurists: Italian Itineraries in the American Museums”
    Renato Miracco (Art critic/Museum Curator and Cultural Attaché, Italian Embassy in D.C.)
  • “A Reading from Stella’s Notes”
    Pellegrino D’Acierno (Professor of Italian and Comparative Studies, Hofstra University)
  • Moderator: Teresa Fiore (Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies, Montclair State University)

RSVP Required (973-596-6550 or
PARKING: Attended on-site parking provided by Central Parking, an independent operator, is available (for a nominal fee) in the Museum parking lot, with entrances located at Washington St. and Central Ave.

Sponsored by the Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies
Co-sponsored by the Newark Museum, the Consulate of Italy in Newark, the Embassy of Italy in Washington D.C., and The Art History Program of the Department of Art and Design, Montclair State University. This event is part of Italy@150, a series of cultural programs celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the country’s unification.
For information on Joseph Stella:

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The Fascist Control over Public Image

Monday November 14, 2011 at 3:30pm (Cohen Lounge, Dickson Hall)

Fascism in Italy images

In fascist Italy photography became a basic instrument for the construction of political consensus. Photo agencies – like Publifoto, Farabola or the governmental Istituto Luce – constructing and diffusing apparently neutral images, implement a rigid control of the ‘official’ face of Italy. The main lines are the evocation of the past (sometimes imaginatively reinvented) and the idea of a very stable and codified social life.

Guest Speakers: Claudia Cavatorta and Paolo Barbaro (University of Parma)

Claudia Cavatorta and Paolo Barbaro hold an M.A. in Museum Pedagogy and work in the Photography Department of the Center and Archive for Communication Studies (CSAC) at the University of Parma. They both run workshops, and organize art and photography exhibits at the national and international levels. Cavatorta’s publications include “I fratelli Zangaki a Port Said” (2006) and articles in the Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography (Routledge, 2008). Barbaro is the author of An Italian Sense of Place (Montclair State University, 2008) and Luigi Ghirri, Lezioni di fotografia(2010).

Sponsored by the Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies
Co-sponsored by the Global Education Center at Montclair State University

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Spring 2012

Mangia Piano: The Internationalization of Italian Local Foodways

March 6-7, 2012

Media coverage of this two day event

Man eating spaghetti

Image source: Un Americano a Roma by Steno (1954) Click for film clip

Stimulated by the explosion of interest in the Italian diet over the past couple of decades, this panel seeks to contextualize and re-assess the meaning of Italian food, the philosophy of environmental sensitivity that it embodies, and the lifestyle of unhurried convivial enjoyment attached to it. The panelists will adopt historical, cultural and applied approaches in discussing a variety of topics: the preservation of old forms of food production as both a cultural desire and an economic need; the establishment of Italian food in foreign markets through the channels of the country’s diaspora as well as the forces of globalization; the popularization of “Slow Food” since the mid-80s and the different forms it has taken in the U.S.; and finally, the environmentally sustainable opportunities offered by traditional Italian practices when applied abroad.

Tuesday March 6, 2012 at 6:30pm (University Hall Conference Center 7th floor, Montclair State University)
A Panel of Italian and American Experts on Food History, Distribution, and Consumption.


  • Donna Gabaccia (Vecoli Endowed Chair, University of Minnesota, now University of Toronto): “Globalizing and Nationalizing ‘Italian’ Food in the Diaspora”
  • Cristina Grasseni (Università di Bergamo, Italy/Harvard University): “Food Activism and Alternative Food Networks: Models from Contemporary Italy”
  • Fabrizia Lanza (Chef and Sicilian gastronomy expert, Anna Tasca Lanza School, Italy): “Socio-Cultural Rituals and Sustainable Practices in Sicilian Cuisine”
  • Respondent: Pietro Frassica (Princeton University)

Light refreshments will be served, accompanied by an introduction:
“Illustration of an Organic Menu Based on Local Resources and Fair Trade” by Grace Grund (Food activist and educator, Montclair)

Directions and maps

Wednesday March 7, 2012 (Montclair State University campus)

“The St. Joseph’s Tables in Sicilian Cuisine”: A Talk/Demonstration by chef Fabrizia Lanza (followed by food samplings)

Sponsored by the Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies
Co-sponsored by the Global Education Center and the Coccia Institute for the Italian Experience in America, in collaboration with the Food Management Program (Health and Nutrition Sciences Department) at Montclair State University.
In-kind donors: Inserra Supermarkets, Fazio Wines and Colavita USA

Directions and maps
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Film screening: The Orchestra of Piazza Vittorio (2006)

Tue April 17, 2012 6:30pm (Cohen Lounge, Dickson Hall)

L'orchestra di Piazza Vittorio

In the process of gathering musicians in the Esquilino, a dynamic immigrant neighborhood in Rome, to create an eclectic orchestra along with composer Mario Tronco and the Apollo 11 group, filmmaker Agostino Ferrente captured the individual stories of the artists in this captivating documentary. Shot over a period of five years, from the birth of the orchestra to its first successful public performances, The Orchestra of Piazza Vittorio brings together thirty professional and street musicians of eleven different nationalities, representing a microcosm of the cultural diversity of contemporary Italy. Indebted to a long tradition of documentary filmmakers in Italy (De Seta, Grifi), Ferrente brought together the lesson of engagé art and the lightness of modern technology and cultural mobility in a lyrical documusical that reflects what he calls “a cinema of relation.” The Orchestra of Piazza Vittorio was screened at international festivals such as Locarno (Switzerland) and Tribeca (New York), and has received several awards, including the Nastro d’Argento/Silver Ribbon and Globo d’oro/Golden Globe for best documentary.

Introduction by Dr. Teresa Fiore (Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies, Department of Spanish and Italian)
Q&A led by Dr. Alex Lykidis (Film Studies Program, Department of English)
Light refreshments will be served.

For more information about the documentaryFor a New York Times article on the orchestra

Sponsored by the Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies in collaboration with the Film Studies Program (Department of English), the Coccia Institute for the Italian Experience in America, Amici Club, and LASO (Latin American Student Organization) at Montclair State University.

For events on similar film and photography topics