Alan Gravano, President
Samuele F. S. Pardini, Vice-President 
Fred Misurella, Treasurer
Alexandra de Luise, Secretary
Maria Protti, Curator

Executive Council  (vote for six)
Joanne L. Detore
Robert Oppedisano
Laurie Buonanno
Carla A. Simonini 
Anthony Mitzel 
 Joshua Alan Hoxmeier 
John Gennari



Alan Gravano is an adjunct instructor at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio. As President of the Italian American Studies Association (formerly the American Italian Historical Association), he has worked to promote and expand the scope and presence of IASA. For the last nine years, Dr. Gravano has maintained various leadership roles in IASA.

Recognizing the benefits of a multidisciplinary academic organization since he first joined IASA in 2007, he has expanded his research interests far beyond his initial studies at University of Miami. This work has resulted in a co-edited collection of essays on Italian American Studies, Southern Exposures: Locations and Relocations of Italian Culture, and a chapter, titled “Don DeLillo’s Mapping of New York City.” Italian Americana published his article, titled “New York in Don DeLillo’s Novels,” and the editors of Italian Passages: Making and Thinking History published another piece “Recycling and Redemption in DeLillo’s Underworld.”

During his tenure in IASA, Dr. Gravano facilitated the organization of the IASA conferences in New Orleans, Washington, DC, and Long Beach, California as well as its panels on Francis Ford Coppola, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Martin Scorsese, and DeLillo. He believes that expanding the membership and visibility of IASA is vital to the organization and to this end, IASA must continue its partnership with the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF). He agrees with the other executive council officers and members that IASA should reevaluate whether or not to continue the partnership or make changes. In order to attract and maintain members, Dr Gravano recognizes the need for tiered membership rates. To that end, the 49th annual conference in Long Beach was the first to offer reduced rates for graduate students, and in the future he wants to include an adjunct faculty rate. Furthermore, Dr. Gravano hopes to create opportunities for graduate student interaction with senior scholars to help facilitate future collaboration and retention.


Vice President:

Samuele F. S. Pardini has been a IASA member for more than a decade. As IASA’s VP in the last two years, he worked closely and efficiently with IASA’s president  Gravano and the Executive Council. He was a member of the EC’s educational activities committee. He recruited Dr. Robert Cohen as the keynote speaker for the IASA’s 2015 conference in D.C., where Cohen delivered a thought provoking and unanimously well received lecture on Mario Savio. Pardini also laid the groundwork to recruit next year conference keynote speaker, Dr. Robert Orsi. Pardini served as a member of the program committee for this year conference in Long Beach. A comparatist by training and interests, his research focuses on the relationship between Italian Americans and other ethnic groups as part of larger processes of modernization and medial representation.

He is the author of In the Name of the Mother: Italian Americans, African Americans, and Modernity from Booker T. Washington to Bruce Springsteen, the first full study of the cultural relationships between these two groups, which is about to be published by the University Press of New England ( His work on Italian American literature and popular culture has appeared in both academic and non-academic publications such as Critique. Studies in Contemporary Fiction, Italian Americana, The Ambassador (the magazine of the National Italian American Foundation) and Americana, the e-journal of American Studies in Hungary. His comparative approach reflects his goal to promote Italian American studies within as well as outside of the academy, a goal he pursued in his first term as IASA’s VP. To continue this work, he recently proposed the creation of an outreach committee to link and create collaborations between IASA and other Italian American cultural organizations that are being formed in the country as well as in Italy (for example, the Italian American Museums in LA and Philadelphia, the immigration museum in Potenza, Italy, the Italian American Library currently being built in Pittsburgh). The EC approved his request and Pardini will lead the committee along with Alexandra DeLuise and Fred Gardaphe’.          



Fred Misurella

I am the current IASA Treasurer and have been for the past two years. I’m comfortable with the job, and I enjoy contributing to our organization by paying bills, keeping track of our funds, helping with tax returns, and joining with the Executive Council on policy matters. I’m a lifetime IASA member and have contributed regularly on panels at our conferences for many years, reading critical papers and doing creative readings from my fiction. Two years ago I proposed that we institute an annual IASA Book Award, alternating years for creative work and scholarly work, and I am happy that we presented our first award at the Long Beach, California conference in November. I served as a reader for that award and will do so again for next year’s award, and perhaps more importantly I worked out a way for us to invest our funds in order to give a monetary award with the prize. I am a retired Professor of English and have published two novels, Only Sons and Arrangement in Black and White, along with Lies to Live By: Stories, and a novel that will appear in the spring entitled A Summer of Good-Byes.  My stories and non-fiction have appeared in The Partisan Review, Salmagundi, Kansas Quarterly, Voices in Italian Americana, L'Atelier du roman, The Christian Science Monitor, The Village Voice, and The New York Times Book Review. My essays on Primo Levi appear in The Legacy of Primo Levi and Answering Auschwitz



Alexandra de Luise

I am running for a second term as Secretary.  In this position, I attend board meetings, write up the minutes and otherwise serve as our public recorder. I hope to serve for another term. If elected, I will attend future meetings and strive for open communication among members.   Prior to my term as Secretary, I served as Curator.  The IASA organization is one that I proudly and willingly give of my time.

 I am a librarian at Queens College, the City University of New York.  I interact with the college’s Italian American Studies Program, as well as for the Department of European Languages & Literatures. I am an occasional adjunct instructor for the Graduate Library School and Library Depts.    Since 2015, I serve on the Italian American Faculty and Staff Advisory Council to the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute (IAFAC) as Queens College delegate.

Since 2010 I have presented a paper annually at our conferences. My research interests tend towards Italian American assimilation, religion, culture and literacy.   My essay, “Early deaths in the Italian enclaves at the turn of the 20th century: a great granddaughter's perspective,” was published in, What is Italian America? : Selected essays from the Italian American Studies Association (NY: IASA/Calandra, 2015).

Next year, we will have partnered twice with NIAF and I will have been present at both conferences. My sense is that the partnership needs to be reviewed, with more opportunities to connect with members if we are to continue the collaboration.



Maria Protti

The mission of IASA lives in my heart. Having spent over twenty-five years in the field of information management in academic, business, and government settings, I am a research attorney and have been a library director and professor. I have served as curator of IASA and am currently the Vice-President of the Western Regional Chapter.  I hold a certificate in Italian from the San Francisco City College, and have presented many times at the IASA national conference. My interests include the Italian-American experience in World War II, and the evolution of Italian-American culture.  IASA should maintain strong collegial relations with NAIF but should remain at arms-length in terms of monetary contributions and scholarship.  I would like to use my skills to continue the work toward preserving and making accessible IASA documents.    


Executive Council 

Joanne L. DeTore, Ph.D. has been a member of IASA since 2010 and has been a member of the EC since 2012.  She has helped to grow an online presence for IASA from 75 followers to over 1000 followers on FB in addition to growing followers on other social media platforms and has encouraged the use of Submittable for conference submissions to streamline the process.  An Associate Professor of Humanities and Communication at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, she created their first Italian American film course and also teaches literature,writing, and public relations courses.  She is the creator of award-winning diversity programming as Embry-Riddle's former University Director of Diversity and has brought in  over $770,000 in grant funding as a PI and Co-PI.  A former communication department chair at Eastern Florida State College in  Melbourne, FL.,  she created the first journalism program and co-authored a white paper on diversity that led to a diversity requirement for all students. DeTore's scholarly and creative work has been published in over fifteen journals and four books.  Recently in May 2016, her poem, "Leftovers," was a finalist for the Edwin Markam Poetry Prize for Reed Magazine.  Her unpublished collection of Italian American poems was also a finalist for the Prize Americana in Poetry from Review Americana in 2013. Other creative and scholarly  work work has been published in Voices in Italian Americana, Italian Americana, Review Americana: A Literary Journal, The Apple Valley Review, Slow Trains Literary Journal, The Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering, Art Ciencia: Revista de Arte, Cincia e Communicacao, And/Or Literary Journal, and Florida English and in the books, Anti-Italianism: Essays on Prejudice; Fractured Feminisms: Rhetoric, Context, and Contestation; Joy, Interrupted; and Sweet Lemons: Writing with a Sicilian Accent. She is currently a manuscript reviewer for Gender & Society and writes book reviews for Italian Americana.  Growing the field of Italian American Studies is very important to DeTore. From the Italian American community in Utica, NY,  DeTore feels it is important to foster Italian American scholarship as well as creative work, especially exploring the intersection of race, ethnicity, and gender in the Italian diaspora.


Robert Oppedisano

I am placing my name in for re-nomination to the Executive Council of the Italian American Studies Association.  I do so for many reasons but primarily to  complete the re-launch of the new IASA Annual, to be published in 2018 by the State University of New York Press. The new Annual, which I am editing,  will be an important step forward for us.

My role in the Annual is part of a larger commitment: to help strengthen our core systems of communications—among members, between leadership and members, and within the larger academic marketplace—as an essential path to growth. We have the resources to do this. And as a lifelong marketer, editor, and publisher with strong ties to Italian and Italian American academic circles, I want to  work more energetically than ever to help make  this happen. I’ve worked to produce brochures and other tools, as the website news and blog editor, and now on establishing systems to ensure a sustainable future for the Annual.  I also look forward to more involvement with the website, implementing new ideas for adapting the blog and news sections to better serve members and advance our reach with more resources, showcases for member work and interests, and better platforms for outreach.

I supported our NIAF partnership, and support moves to improve our next joint conference. However, I believe IASA needs to establish a clear, comprehensive method for deciding whether or not to renew the partnership. How does the partnership advance our mission?  What are its costs and benefits? These questions need to be framed, asked, and answered with metrics acceptable to all before we make a decision. Because the partnership created member rifts,  we must convey an accurate sense of our strategic investment by involving members in any evaluation, with transparency and frequent communications.  I’m pleased to have been charged to help with these communications challenges,  and look forward to working on them  in all the ways I can.


Laurie Buonanno, PhD 

I am a professor at SUNY Buffalo State where I direct our MPA program.  I co-created and team taught The Italian American Experience at SUNY Fredonia in the early 1990s.  When I left Fredonia in 2006 to chair SUNY Buffalo State’s political science department, I created this course at Buffalo State as a SUNY General Education (diversity) elective, team-teaching online via the Open SUNY platform.   I have also been able to integrate some of my knowledge of the Italian American experience in Migration Policy, an elective course in our MPA program.  While my principal research areas are transatlantic relations and European Union policymaking, I co-authored a chapter in IASA’s latest proceedings and a book-length manuscript on the subject of Italian American identity, which my co-author and I are currently preparing to send to a publisher.  If elected, my principal objective for the two-year term is to establish a Buffalo-Niagara IASA chapter.  Buffalo is rich in Italian American and Italian cultural societies, while area colleges, high schools, and a cultural institute offer Italian language and literature courses.  An IASA-affiliated chapter could build on this base to bring Italian American scholarship to the Western New York and Southern Ontario communities. On the matter of NIAF:  I am not philosophically opposed to links between IASA and NIAF; however, I practice inclusive and consultative decision-making. Therefore, I would endeavor to work with IASA members, the executive council, and the executive board to craft a productive partnership for IASA. Website:


Carla A. Simonini received a BA from Amherst College, an MA in Comparative Literature from the University of Rhode Island and a Ph.D. in Italian Studies from Brown University. Her research interests include 20th century and contemporary Italian literature, theories and methodologies of second language acquisition and constructs of italianità in American and Italian American literature, which was the subject of her doctoral dissertation. She has taught at Brown University, the University of Rhode Island and Skidmore College and is currently an associate professor of Italian at Youngstown State University, where she coordinates the Italian program and teaches courses on Italian language, culture and literature as well as courses on Italian American identity for the American Studies program and Italian American literature for the English department.  In 2015 she also assumed the editorship of the journal Italian Americana and has to date published three issues in collaboration with the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Youngstown State University.


Anthony Mitzel

Experience/IASA involvement/Collaborations

  • Italy based adjunct professor of English language and linguistics (L-LIN/12), Università di Bologna, Forlì.
  • PhD researcher, University College London. Department of Italian, Centre for Translation Studies (dissertation specifically on Italian American culture).
  • Teaching: Linguistics, semiotics, memetics, cultural/humor studies with a focus on contemporary issues in the United States, U.S./Italian American culture. Past courses on Italian Americans in film, television, literature.
  • Presented IA based research at numerous conferences/symposiums in Europe and North America. Three IASA conferences, 2014 IASA Memorial Fellowship Award recipient.
  • Fellow of the John D. Calandra/Università della Calabria Diaspora Studies program (2015).
  • Member, Humours of the Past network (HOP). University of Aberdeen (UK)/University of Durham (UK).
  • Scientific committee, The Taboo Conference Series.
  • Collaborator with Project Censored (Critical Media Literacy).

Position on IASA/NIAF partnership

Cautious. NIAF is not an academic institution but that does not mean it is not open to the work IASA does. Our organization could be that catalyst. Therefore, I believe we should respect legacy agreements made by previous executive councils with regards to the “NIAF question”. Future decisions should be brought to a membership vote with total transparency before voting takes place. Furthermore, I do not believe IASA conferences should be held in hotels or other “commercial” properties. Events should take place at universities, museum venues, or other educational institutions. 

Projected contributions

If elected I will:

  • Work to promote IASA as organization and raise awareness of research being done in IA studies. 
  • Make new connections outside of the United States. More synergies make for a stronger organization.
  • Push for the diffusion of analytics regarding voter participation.


My name is Joshua Alan Hoxmeier and I am currently the 2016-2017 George and Virginia Dare Shuflata Fellow at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. My main accomplishments in the field of Italian American studies is my research on the oral history of Italian American identity, inclusion, and perceptions during the first half of the twentieth century. I recently presented a paper at the 2016 Italian American Studies Association conference concerning the involvement of Italian American men in World War II and how that shaped their identity and inclusion as Americans. I believe my contributions to the Italian American Studies Association as an Executive Council member would be to increase the membership of the association by reaching out to younger undergraduate and graduate students to promote more research and discussion regarding Italian Americans, specifically in the field of history as that is my area of expertise. I would also contribute by through the reading of submissions and papers for the Italian American Studies Association Annual for example.


John Gennari

I am an Associate Professor of English and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at the University of Vermont. My training is as an American Studies-trained U.S. cultural historian with specializations in jazz and popular music, race and ethnicity, Italian American culture, food, sports, and cultural criticism. My new book, Flavor and Soul: Italian America at Its African American Edge, will be published in March 2017 by the University of Chicago Press. My earlier book, Blowin’ Hot and Cool: Jazz and Its Critics (University of Chicago Press, 2006), won the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for Excellence in Music Criticism and the John Cawelti Award for the Best Book in American Culture.  I have been a member of IASA/AIHA since 2001; have served on the editorial board of Italian American Review since 2009; and have published essays in the journals Italian Americana and Voices in Italian Americans and in the books The Routledge History of Italian Americans, Personal Effects: Essays on Memory, Culture, and Women in the Work of Louise DeSalvo, Making Italian America: Consumer Culture and the Production of Ethnic Identities, Frank Sinatra: History, Politics, and Italian American Culture, and Are Italians White? How Race is Made in America.

I do not favor a formalized relationship with NIAF, which I think would compromise the autonomy that IASA should maintain as a scholarly organization. I believe that IASA should consider collaborations with NIAF (and other organizations) on a case-by-case basis, rather than committing to a formal permanent relationship such as a bi-annual jointly-sponsored conference.



 Voting is restricted to IASA members only and begins on Monday January 23, 2017 and ends  on Friday, January 27, 2017.

There are a total of 11 positions to vote for:  President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, Curator, and 6 Executive Council members.

Click here to ebgin: Once you arrive at the voting polls on the website located under the “Members’ Area” section please follow these directions

Please vote "Elect"  or "Do Not Elect" for each candidate listed--you may vote to fill all positions or for any number of indivusal candidates.

Please note: all answers are automatically submitted as soon as you click on them. There is mo need to click a "submit" or "save" button.