For 12 years, the Teaching Italian Symposium has been the annual meeting place of Italian scholars and teachers from around the globe to connect professionally and share ideas.
Due to the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19, Teaching Italian has been reconceptualized and will take place virtually while providing the same stimulating experience. And this year, the Joseph and Elda Coccia Institute will be offering the Teaching Italian Symposium free of charge to all participants.
TIXIII: Equity in the Italian Curriculum is where you need to be this October 23 and 24, as we meet to engage with experts to develop materials and reflect on today’s urgent social issues. Montclair State’s signature event—with its stellar presenters and networking opportunities for Italianists—offers an immersive learning experience designed to deliver strategies and problem-solving skills you can put to use immediately to help you address issues of equity and social justice in the Italian curriculum.
Tavola Rotonda: Voci unite / Unifying Voices
Ospiti: Amir Issaa (Artist); Nicolino Applauso (Morgan State University); Maria Gloria Borsa (Bellaire High School) & Kwanza Musi Dos Santos (Questaèroma); Silvia Carlorosi & Giulia Guarnieri (Bronx Community College); Rosetta Giuliani Caponetto (Auburn University) & Vetri Nathan (Univ. of Massachusetts)
Moderatrice: Dott.ssa Enza Antenos, Montclair State University
Amir Issaa è nato e cresciuto a Roma nel quartiere di Torpignattara, figlio di un immigrato egiziano e di una donna Italiana si avvicina all’Hip Hop all’inizio degli anni novanta. Fondatore e direttore artistico di “Potere alle parole” (beat e rime contro le discriminazioni), un laboratorio di scrittura nato in collaborazione con Unar e l’associazione Il Razzismo è una brutta storia con l’obiettivo di destrutturare attraverso percorsi educativi musicali nelle scuole, gli stereotipi e i pregiudizi alla base delle discriminazioni.
Grazie all’utilizzo del rap come forma didattica si aprono nuove strade a livello accademico, e attualmente viene richiesta regolarmente la sua presenza per dei laboratori di scrittura anche fuori dall’Italia. Le sue lecture lo hanno visto protagonista in veste di docente negli Stati Uniti in Belgio e Giappone.
A Giugno del 2017 pubblica il suo primo libro Vivo Per Questo per la casa editrice Chiarelettere (premio Biblioteche di Roma 2018). La sua musica altresì pluripremiata dal 2005 (nel 2012, il David di Donatello e Nastri d’argento).
Nicolino Applauso, dottore di ricerca, è Visiting Assistant Professor of Italian presso la Loyola University Maryland negli Stati Uniti. È anche docente di italiano, spagnolo e latino presso la Morgan State University, dove ha collaborato alla fondazione nel 2018 del programma di lingua italiana. Questo nuovo programma accademico d’italiano è di portata storica perché si ritiene che sia l’unico programma italiano che è al momento offerto presso un Historically Black College and University (HBCU) negli Stati Uniti.
Il Dr. Applauso ha presentato a convegni sia nazionali che internazionali su argomenti legati alla diversità razziale e alla giustizia sociale organizzando webinar per la formazione di docenti dalla scuola primaria all’università in relazione alla Pedagogia Linguistica. I suoi workshop e webinar online si concentrano principalmente sull’integrazione della cultura e della diversità nel curriculum attraverso l’utilizzo della tecnologia e di nuovi materiali didattici. Le sue numerose pubblicazioni toccano diversi argomenti che vanno dalla storia italiana, alla satira politica, all’umorismo, alla musica e alla poesia nell’Italia medievale e contemporanea. La sua ricerca è stata pubblicata e presentata negli Stati Uniti, in Italia, in Inghilterra, in Germania, in Polonia e in Olanda.
Maria Gloria Borsa graduated from the University of Sassari in Italy in Foreign Languages and Literatures and holds two master’s degrees: in Bilingual Translation from the University of Westminster in London and in Theories and Methodologies of Teaching Italian to Foreigners from the University of Tor Vergata in Rome. Maria Gloria teaches all levels of Italian including AP and IB at Bellaire High School for the Houston Independent School District. She is certified in Italian, Spanish, French, ESL. Since 2014, she cooperates with the College Board and ETS as a Lead Consultant, a member of the AP Italian Reading Leadership, and is now Lead AP Daily Instructor. She defines herself a teaching practitioner with a passion for equity and justice.
Kwanza Musi Dos Santos is an italian-afrobrazilian activist raised in Rome, co-founder of the cultural association QuestaèRoma that has been operating since 2013 to erase any type of discrimination through culture and art. She earned a bachelor degree in political science and international relations at Roma Tre University, and is currently completing a master in management of cultural diversity at Tilburg University in the Netherlands.
She organizes and participates to conferences and workshops on diversity and inclusion with a special focus on racial minorities and intersectionality, and she collaborates as a consultant for enterprises and interracial adoptions organizations. Recently, she has taught about Black Italy at the previous three editions of the Black Europe Summer School in Amsterdam.
Silvia Carlorosi is an Assistant Professor of Italian at Bronx Community College of the City University of New York. She received an M.A. in Mass Communications at Miami University of Ohio (2001), and a Ph.D. in Italian at the University of Pennsylvania (2007). She has published various articles on cinema, literature, pedagogy and translation, most recently “Gy-neology and Genealogy of a Female Filmmaker: The Case of Susanna Nicchiarelli’s Films” (Italian Motherhood on Screen, Giovanna Faleschini Lerner and Maria Elena D’Amelio Editors, Palgrave McMillan: New York, 2017: 175-194). She is the author of A Grammar of Cinepoiesis: Poetic Cameras of Italian Cinema (Rowman and Littlefield, 2015), and co-editor of Il secondo occhio di Ulisse: Saggi di letteratura italiana attraverso lo sguardo del forestiero. (Pisa: Pacini Editori, 2019)
Giulia Guarnieri is professor of Italian Language and Literature. She coordinates the Writing Intensive Faculty seminar as well as the Online Development Seminar. Her research interests are instructional Technology, 19th and 20th century Italian literature and film and urban studies.
Dr. Rosetta Giuliani Caponetto is Associate Professor of Italian Studies at Auburn University, Alabama. Her areas of academic interests include Italy’s colonialism in East Africa; African diaspora literature and film of Italy; the Italian American diaspora; studies on nostalgia; food movements and activism; philanthropy studies. She is the author of Fascist Hybridities. Racial Mixing and Diaspora Cultures under Mussolini (Palgrave, 2015).
Dr. Vetri Nathan is Associate Professor and Head of the of Italian Studies program in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures (MLLC) at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Nathan received an M.A. and Ph.D. in Italian from Stanford University in 2009. His research interests include immigrant cultures and globalization in contemporary Italy, European colonialism and postcoloniality, Italian cinema, and food studies. He has published various articles on these topics and his book Marvelous Bodies: Italy’s New Migrant Cinema was published by Purdue University Press in 2017.
Can You Turn it Into a Movie? New strategies to implement social justice, awareness and inclusion in the Italian curriculum from primary school to higher education will take you on a journey to teach your students not only to widen their perspectives on Italian through race and social justice, but also to enable them to create a movie out of what they learn.
This movie is based on their personal experience with different cultural topics ranging from sport, food, music, fashion, history, and science through real conversations with Italian native speakers of different ethnic backgrounds, authentic reading and video materials, cooking lessons and independent research. What will the students gain from it? They will maximize their language proficiency while developing a more inclusive representation of current demographic changes in Italy in order to connect the new emerging Afro-Italian population in Italy with minority students in the United States.
How did this project start? It originated from my experience in teaching Italian language and cultural classes in one of the largest HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and University) in the United States as well as in various primary and secondary public schools (by creating new Italian programs based on STEAM education at the elementary and middle school levels). Throughout these experiences, I faced several challenges in teaching Italian to a body comprised mainly of minority students, specifically the lack of diversity within the primary material of instruction available in the U.S. market. I therefore designed and developed an iMovie project that comprised of several steps. Overall, students benefited from this project by learning diversity and inclusion in a fun and engaging way.
Maria Gloria Borsa & Kwanza Musi Dos Santos
Kwanza Musi Dos Santos will introduce the Black Italy context in contemporary Italy and how the country changed from a place of emigration to one of immigration. She will present Italy’s immigration situation and how the presence of “foreigners” helped shape a new multicultural generation of Italians.
In her part of the presentation, Ms. Dos Santos will offer teachers the possibility to enter the aspect of multiethnicity in fields like art, music, literature, created by and for second generation Italian artists.
This will allow teachers to bring a more inclusive concept of Italian culture and identity to their lessons.
Maria Gloria Borsa will show examples of how this relatively new concepts can be transformed into class activities and projects in order for students not only to learn about Italian culture and society, but also for them to recognize themselves in the new Italian reality. She will share materials and strategies for teachers to apply concepts of multiculturalism, equity and justice to the Italian classroom.
Silvia Carlorosi & Giulia Guarnieri
The overarching objective of this workshop is inclusion, which ultimately leads to improved social cohesion among students and their surroundings. It focuses on methods for encompassing equitable and accessible tools through low-stakes writings: a remarkable and flexible instrument to enhance inclusive, diverse thinking. We will present examples of exercises aimed to help teachers implement low stake writing assignments in a language classroom, specifically aimed to promote cultural competence and nurture students’ individual voice and agency, while also building a supportive and learning environment.
Most students feel overwhelmed when facing the task of writing a composition in a L2, and rely on online translations, and resort to stereotyping rather than to challenging their own thinking and assumptions. Yet writing assignments are a key component for learning a new language, and “one of the most powerful tools we have for clarifying our own thinking,” critic James Van Allen explains. Implementing more frequent, but shorter low stakes writings, as informal, exploratory writing activities, helps to ease the pressure. Furthermore, they guide the task of composing a higher thinking critical piece, more apt to nurture students’ unique voice and agency, while they discover, develop, and clarify their own thinking. Short and spontaneous writings as such offer more opportunities to enrich an equitable curriculum which promotes inclusion, global citizenship and collaboration, challenging bias and stereotyping.
The workshop will also address accessibility, and how to support diverse students’ academic needs.
Rosetta Giuliani Caponetto & Vetri Nathan
Is there anything more desirable than food in the Italian way of living? A recurrent expression in Italian recipes is “quanto basta (as needed)”. How much is needed for food not to lose its “authentic” Italian imprint? Does food provide the lens through which we see a culture in flux? Can the aesthetic experience of creating the most sophisticated food, for which Italy is renowned, turn into an ethical call for turning the lives of vulnerable people around?
Teaching Social Justice though Italian Food Studies: Personal Reflection and Community Engagement addresses social justice by exploring the multiple ways in which the traditional approach to food-related topics in Italian language and culture classrooms can be transformed to question monolithic notions of Italian society. The workshop will be divided in to two parts that are interconnected: the first part will feature ways in which instructors can engage students in the classroom to reflect on the personal and cultural implications of buying, cooking and eating Italian food. The second part of the workshop will discuss different ways in which Italian food can become a launchpad into social and community engagement. The workshop attendees are invited to engage in a conversation with the co-presenters on topics such as Italy’s gastronomic war on foreign flavors; advertisement and the invisible essential workers in food production; the interplay between aesthetics and ethics in food production, preparation, and consumption; food as driving force to promote social justice in Italy.
Cuore del progetto “Vivo per Questo – Potere alle parole” è il linguaggio che oggi più di ogni altro racconta le istanze, le contraddizioni e le urgenze di una società in profonda transizione: il rap. E nello stesso tempo è quello che più efficacemente raggiunge cuore e mente delle giovani e giovanissime generazioni: l’obiettivo del “laboratorio rap” è di proporre ai docenti strategie per fornire ai loro studenti uno strumento per raccontare il loro vissuto, attraverso laboratori educativi musicali. Una particolare attenzione è posta al tema del linguaggio, della musica e della tecnica di scrittura del rap, nello sperimentarsi nel fare “rime” e scrivere un testo.
Il workshop lavora su questi aspetti intrecciando le esperienze personali dei partecipanti legate all’”heritage”, alle seconde generazioni, ai migranti, alla dimensione atlantica della migrazione che coinvolge anche il “sangue” italiano (italo-americani, americano-italiani etc etc). Il docente-artista Amir propone tecniche per parlare la stessa lingua degli studenti, basandosi non solamente sulle regole grammaticali, ma dando sfogo al lato più comunicativo della scrittura grazie alla creatività, fatta anche di metafore, riferimenti storici, aneddoti, e tutto quello che può essere di aiuto nell’apprendimento di una lingua e una cultura.