The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute


Read the full conference program here.









A Symposium on Three Continents
Australia * United States * Italy

Melbourne * April 2018 / New York * November 2018 / Genova * June 2019
With the patronage of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism


"Transnationalism & Questions of Identity"
New York City * November 1-3, 2018
John D. Calandra Italian American Institute
25 West 43rd Street, Suite 1700
New York, NY 10036

"Transnationalism and Questions of Identity," the second chapter of the international conference Diaspore Italiane: Italy in Movement, will be held in New York City, the backdrop for discussions that explore ideas of identity building, claiming, maintaining, and maiming in the twenty-first century.  
Transnational contexts show cultural identities in motion as they react, adapt, and develop in reciprocal contact in reaction to changing notions of the individual nation in the world today. Transnational subjects, who, within varying degrees of structural constraint, navigate, evaluate, and negotiate different cultural options, emerge as the potentially rational agents of these changes. In parallel, cultural identities emerge as historical constructs affected by contemporary acts and this-worldly constructs of the human imagination.

How do ideas of identities in motion compare with traditional ways of understanding cultural identities as fixed essences, typically anchored to metaphysical notions such as blood, the land, family, or divinity? What can be said about the creation of and challenges to generational concepts and constructions of identity? What is the role of memory, both individual and collective, in the creation of senses of belonging to one culture or another? How do migration, diaspora, and colonial studies create, adapt, and challenge changing ideas of race, class, gender, and ethnicity? How do the arts and formal education affect individual and collective senses of belonging or not to one culture or to many cultures?

Call for Papers is now open.
Deadline for submission of single papers and panels is April 1, 2018.
Submission information: Must be done electronically
Abstract (250 words)
Short biography (100 words)
Due: April 1, 2018
Submit to:
Acceptances will be announced on June 1, 2018.

We invite abstracts for individual papers and panel sessions. Individual papers: Each presenter will have 20 minutes to present, followed by 15 minutes discussion.Panel sessions: Duration 60 minutes followed by 15 minutes discussion; may follow a discussion format or may have an allocated time for each panelist.

International scholars gathered together for four days to discuss Italian diasporic and transnational issues for the "Transcending Borders, Bridging Gaps: Italian Diasporic Studies and the University Curriculum" project. More to come. #ItalianDiaspora


The Italian Diaspora Studies Summer Seminar™ is a three-week summer program that takes place at Roma Tre University from June 11 to 29, 2018. It is designed to introduce participants (doctoral students and professors) to cultural studies of the Italian Diaspora from a variety of academic perspectives and to foster development of individual projects responding to the materials covered in the series of seminars in literature, film, and the social sciences. All participants will engage in a special research project.

The Italian Diaspora Studies Summer Seminar is open to graduate students (doctorate; advanced MA students may be considered) and professors from colleges and universities worldwide. This is a collaborative program between the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute / Queens College of The City University of New York and the Roma Tre University. Professors from these two institutions and others will comprise the teaching faculty of the entire three weeks. This is the fourth year of the Italian Diaspora Studies Summer Seminar.

The program will accept up to twenty participants for the 2018 summer program.

Fellowships of $1,500 per participant are available.

Cost of room, board (breakfast and lunch) and tuition (12 Roma Tre credit hours): $3,000. Air and ground travel are additional. Click here for the application form, and click here for more information on the program schedule and faculty.

For more information about the program schedule and faculty, contact Dean Anthony Julian Tamburri at 212.642.2094 or via email at

Application Deadline—February 24, 2018.

Images from the final lecture in the Francesco and Mary Giambelli Foundation lecture series, with speaker Dr. Donna Gabaccia. Her talk was titled "Sambuca: a Digital Return." Top, Donna Gabaccia. Bottom, Dr. Fred Gardaphé and poet Robert Viscusi.

The Calandra Community Book Club met for their fourth annual holiday party on December 4.

After a screening of Tony Osso's documentary film Pizza Shop: An Italian American Dream, as part of the Institute's Documented Italians series, a panel discussion ensued, consisting of (left to right) Dr. Rocco Marinaccio, the film's producer Laura Nespola, and restaurateurs Rick and Charlie Osso.

Professor Fred Gardaphé delivered the penultimate Francesco and Mary Giambelli Lecture, "In Education Begin Responsibilities, or 'They don't know what they don't know,'" on November 29. The final lecture in this year's series will be by Professor Donna Gabaccia on Tuesday, December 12.

Italian artist Francesco Fiscardi donated this four-sided miniature giglio sculpture to the Institute in recognition of the new relationship with the Dante Alighieri center. York College Dean Donna Chirico, Hostos University Professor Marcella Bencivenni, Calandra Institute's Carmine Pizzirusso, and Dean Anthony Tamburri unpack and set up the sculpture.

NEW! Click here to read the complete contents of the Italian American Review issues 5.1 and 5.2, now with the following articles available:

  • Efrem Bartoletti in the Mesabi Range: A Wobbly's Efforts fo Mobilize Immigrant Italian Miners, by Thierry Rinaldetti
  • The Afterlife of a Classical Text: Representing Ethnicity in the Stage Productions of Marty, by Jonathan J. Cavallero
  • Now, "That's Italian": Food, Culture, and the Gendering of Italian American Identity, by Annette Cozzi
  • Caffe au Lait to Latte: Charting the Acquisition of Culinary Capital by Italian Food in the United States, by Zachary Nowak
  • The Italian Roots of the Artisanal Food Movement in the United States, by Suzanne Cope

Plus: Read all the reviews from the most recent edition of the Review, 7.2, here. Click here to subscribe and support the IAR.

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Click here to watch video of this morning's historic signing of an agreement between the Calandra Institute and the Società Dante Alighieri, NY. For more information, click here. Auguri a tutti!

Panel discussion Tuesday, October 24: "Monuments, Public Memory, and Group Identity: The Cultural Politics of Italian America in the Twentieth-First Century." Laura E. Ruberto (Berkeley City College) (on screen) and Joseph Sciorra (John D. Calandra Italian American Institute) (left) on Columbus statues; Mary Anne Trasciatti (Hofstra University) (center) on the Triangle Fire Memorial; Fraser Ottanelli (University of South Florida) (right) on the Balbo Monument; and Fred Gardaphé (Queens College) (not pictured), discussant.

Click here to read the essay “Recontextualizing the Ocean Blue: Italian Americans and the Commemoration of Columbus,” by Laura E. Ruberto and the Calandra Institute's Joseph Sciorra, in the history blog "Process."


To relive the presentations and performances from the 2017 edition of the Calandra annual conference, "Italian Sonorities and Acoustic Communities: Listening to the Soundscapes of Italianità," click here for a playlist of videos from the spectacular two-day event.