Welcome to the Calandra Institute!


On April 3, 2013, as part of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute’s “Writers Read” series, poet Robert Viscusi (Brooklyn College, CUNY) gave a reading from his latest collection, Ellis Island. At the outset of the event, Viscusi made some remarks about the Calandra Institute, which you can see in the video above. Likewise, a few months later, award-winning actress Annabella Sciorra added her praise. How fortunate we are to have such good friends!

As we head into the middle of summer and the dog-day afternoons, we can only wish you all a fun-filled and productive season of sun, sand, and sea. While some of our staff will also enjoy some down town, they will also be working hard to get ready for the fall public programming. In the interim, some members are working hard in preparing other projects that include our publications (e.g., il Bollettino, Italian American Review, books for our book series). Others still will be working on their research projects that run the gamut from the study of aging and the elderly to religious practices in the Italian-American community to demographics and cultural studies. Finally, our more public face, Italics TV, will air original programming this summer, the first time in many. Click here on CUNY TV’s website for more information.

We had an excellent year these past ten-plus months. Great programming and cutting-edge research, and much success with our counseling programs on the various CUNY campuses; our counselors also work diligently at high schools in the greater New York area where they do outreach on a weekly basis during the academic year. Our annual conference on “Lingue migranti” offered 40-plus lectures from various countries, and we had our best attendance in seven years.

As we look forward to this year, we can guarantee you a jam-packed fall program that is second to none and offers much for the mind to ponder. In addition, as we continue our mini-course on Italian-American literature and film at the Università per Stranieri di Perugia, we will inaugurate this fall a similar program at the University of Calabria. The Italians want to know more about us! As we continue to strengthen these programs, we will expand the subject matter to include history, folklore, sociology, psychology, and other areas. In a similar vein, the Calandra Institute has been awarded a grant to organize a four-day workshop entitled “Transcending Borders, Bridging Gaps: Italian Americana and the University Curriculum,” to be held March 4th through March 6, 2014 at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Italy. Among many, thanks go to David D’Amato, Director of Development, of Queens College’s Office of Advancement. The moderators will be Distinguished Professor Fred Gardaphé and Dean Anthony Julian Tamburri.

In closing, we remind you of some of our extra programming this coming year. In September, the Calandra Institute will host a symposium/workshop on Inter-comprehension, the teaching of Italian to native speakers of other romance languages. In October and November, we will partner again with ILICA (Italian Language and Inter-Cultural Alliance) on the theme of Italian Identity in the Third Millennium. And we remind you of our annual conference in the spring, with the provocative theme “MAFIAs: Realities and Representations of Organized Crime.” For more information, and if you wish to submit a proposal, please click here for more information.

Con I nostril più cari saluti per una bella estate, arrivederci a settembre!