The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute
Queens College/CUNY

Spring 2004 Programming

Seminar Series in Italian American Studies

Thursday, February 19, 2004
Living Newspapers and Circum-Atlantic Performance in 1930s New York
Clarissa Clò, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Clarissa Clò will examine Italian American and African American relations in New York during the 1930s from the perspective of cultural productions created partially in response to international events, such as the Italo-Ethiopian War. Clò will explore the Federal Theatre Project's
censored "living newspaper" "Ethiopia" and Orson Welles's Harlem production of "Macbeth" in relation to the performative aspects of the Italian
immigrant press and theatre. She will discuss how these productions are part of and enabled by a larger transoceanic cultural context of encounter, conflict, and mutual, but not necessarily equal, exchange.

Thursday, March 25, 2004
The Revival of Ritual and Performance in Italy: The Example of Tarantella and Tarantismo
Laura Biagi, New York University

In the 1960s and 1970s, the folk revival movement in Italy involved literature, cinema, music, and dance. It was a mirror of the socio-political
transformations of the country since the end of World War II, and it translated politics into performance. In this talk, Ph.D. candidate Laura
Biagi gives a general overview of the movement and the "first and second waves" of revival in Salento (1970s-90s), focusing particularly on the
example of local tarantella and tarantismo.

Thursday, April 22, 2004
"From Angelo to Atlas, or How a 97-Pound (Italian) Weakling Became the All-American Working-Class Male."
Dominique Padurano, Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Using photographs, advertisements, and other texts from popular culture sources, Ph.D. candidate Dominique Padurano will trace the ways in which Angelo Siciliano, born in Calabria in 1893, transformed himself into Charles Atlas, bodybuilder and icon of twentieth-century American masculinity, as well as how he created a pan-ethnic coalition of working-class boys and men from the 1930s-50s.

Friday, May 14, 2004
"Italian/American Cultural Criticism: The State of the Art"
Anthony Julian Tamburri, Florida Atlantic University

The past thirty years, especially, constitute a fertile period of any sort of cultural, critical discourse with the advent of Rose Basile Green's study of the Italian/American novel. Until then, we could find a number of essays/reviews published sporadically, but no one had yet articulated a sustained discourse of this sort. Since the publication of Green's study, we have witnessed an admirable number of sustained essays, though some seem a bit premature. This talk will address the current state of Italian/American critical discourse and how it interrogates the cultural productions of Italian America.

The Calandra Institute Seminar Series in Italian American Studies was established in 1996 by Distinguished Professor Philip V. Cannistraro

--- Writers Read Series -----

Monday, March 15, 2004

Say That To My Face
David Prete

"Only a profound talent can write stories that are at once simple and deep."
* Darin Strauss

"Prete's complicated affection for neighborhood life-and his ability to produce vivid thumbnail sketches of the kind of men who feel at home in
dingy pool halls-gives his debut authority and individuality." * Publishers Weekly

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Death by Renaissance

Paola Corso
2003 Artists' Fellowship recipient of the New York Foundation For the Arts (NYFA)

"Death by Renaissance evokes and invokes a time that is gone and a place that is becoming unrecognizable. Powerful currents run through this book * anger, love for a community, commemoration of a way of life. Refusing to be too easily understood, the best of these poems demand and amply repay repeated reading."
* Michael Palma

Paola Corso's presentation is co-sponsored by Artists & Audiences Exchange, a public program of NYFA.

Special Guest Lecturer

Tuesday, May 4, 2004

Food Consumption, Topographies of Taste, and Ethnic Identity in Italian Harlem, 1920-1940"
Simone Cinotto, University of Turin

Utilizing the largest "Little Italy" in the interwar years as a case study, Simone Cinotto looks at the function of food in the construction of a
peculiar Italian American ideology of home, family, and community, and in the redefinition of concepts like "domesticity" and "respectability."
Focusing on intergenerational interaction, Cinotto discusses the role of the family table as a site where a particular compromise took place between conflicting narratives of "being Italian" and "becoming American." He will also explore how food helped to create affective relations toward place, and to draw boundaries between neighboring groups in the community.

John D. Calandra
Italian American Institute
25 West 43rd St., 17th Floor
(between 5th and 6th Avenues)
Seating is limited.

Please call (212) 642-2094 for further information.

The Calandra Institute is a university institute under the aegis of Queens College.

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