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  • 20 Jan 2016 by Robert Oppedisano

     The Lt. Joseph Petrosino Lodge (OSIA), in collaboration with IAWA – The Italian American Writers Association, is hosting and launching a “Sagra Del Libro” (Italian-American Book Festival) on Friday, February 26, 2016 from 6 to 10 pmin the Lodge Hall at 113 Baxter Street in Manhattan’s Little Italy. Admission is free to all. In past years on a Sunday in May most bookstores remained open in Italy to support and promote its writers. This initiative was called “Celebrazione dei Libri” (Celebration of Books). Our Sagra Del Libro continues in the spirit of that movement by celebrating our Italian-American literary culture.

    All writers are invited to display and sell their published books at this event. Tables will be set up for the display of books and promotional materials, and authors will be available to speak with attendees and sign books. Also lively presentations or readings by the authors will make for a fascinating evening of celebrating our Italian-American writers. There is a small charge of $5.00 for individual authors to reserve a spot and participate. Authors interested in joining this event should immediately contact Bob Agnoli at 917 816 9916 or Gil Fagiani at to reserve a spot or for additional information. Payment in advance by check should be made out to the Lt. Joseph Petrosino Lodge and mailed to Dr. Emelise Aleandri, 3299 Cambridge Avenue #3C, Riverdale NY 10463. We look forward to your response.

    The Lt. Joseph Petrosino Lodge #285 was formed by John Fratta and Robert Fonti in February 1999, the only OSIA lodge in Manhattan. The Order Sons of Italy was formed in 1905 in the very same neighborhood. The Lodge is named after Lt. Giuseppe (Joe) Petrosino (1860-1909), the first Italian-American Police Lieutenant of the New York City Police Department. The Petrosino Lodge, whose President is William Bray, produces and supports many charitable, cultural and social events throughout the year, raises funds for cancer research, Cooley’s Anemia, Autism and other causes, and most recently hosted a Christmas party for the children of the Henry Street Settlement House.

    IAWA was founded in 1991 to promote Italian-American literature by encouraging the writing, reading, publication, distribution, translation, and study of Italian-American writing and to give Italian-American writers a public forum where the full range of Italian-American expression could find a hearing. IAWA has nurtured the growth of a community of Italian-American readers and writers.  Robert Viscusi, Broeklundian Professor and Executive Officer of the Wolfe Institute for the Humanities at Brooklyn College, is President and Founder of IAWA. Last year he served on the OSIA Grand Lodge Literary Award Committee, chaired by Emelise Aleandri.

    The Sagra Book Festival Committee is chaired by Emelise Aleandri, co-chaired for the Petrosino Lodge by Robert Agnoli and for IAWA, by board member Gil Fagiani, co-host of their Manhattan monthly readings and founding member of the Vito Marcantonio Forum. The Committee also includes Bill Castleberry, Leslie Donofrio, and Angel Marinaccio. We look forward to welcoming you to an enjoyable Italian-American cultural celebration.

  • 20 Jan 2016 by Robert Oppedisano

    Three new and two returning members were  elected to  IASA'S Executive Council in December. Their terms are for 2016-2018.

     Returning  members are:
    Jessica Femiani, Doctoral student in the Department of English and Creative Writing at Binghamton University and an adjunct professor at SUNY Broome Community College.

    Anthony Julian Tamburri, Distinguished Professor of European Languages and Literatures and Dean of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute (Queens College,  City University of New York). 


     New members are:

    Ryan Calabretta-Sajder, Visiting Assistant Professor of Italian at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

    Donna Chirico, Professor of Psychology and Dean, Arts and Sciences at York College of The City University of New York.

    Michele Fazio, Associate Professor of English, Theatre and Foreign Languages at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.


    Congratulations. And buon lavoro!

  • 15 Jan 2016 by Robert Oppedisano


    At Italians in America: Recent Documentaries and Photographs, join documentary filmmakers John Maggio and Cristian Piazza and filmmaker-photographer Michele Petruzziello for a round table discussion of issues related to past and present Italian immigration to the United States. As a country of historical emigration from which young people are currently leaving once again to find opportunities abroad, Italy constitutes a unique lab to discuss issues of mobility and relocation.

    New documentaries and photographic works capture the tension between outbound and inbound flows as well as the reverberations of the past onto the present. Blending a desire for documentation and a search for a dynamic aesthetic expression, these documentaries and photographs are both personal and collective. They speak eloquently to migration in the U.S. as well as global migrations. The panel will also include the screening of excerpts from the speakers' works and a photo exhibition: Good Bye My Love by Michele Petruzziello. 

    Introductory remarks: Dr. Teresa Fiore (Inserra Chair, MSU)

    John Maggio (Executive Producer, Producer/Director, Writer at Ark Media): "Filming and Producing The Italian Americans for PBS" 
    Cristian Piazza (Filmmaker): "The Making of WAITING: Stories from Recent Italian Immigrants" 
    Michele Petruzziello (Filmmaker/Photographer): "The Past in the Present: Photographs of Recent Italian Immigrants"

    The program is spearheaded and sponsored by The Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies (Department of Spanish and Italian) at Montclair State University with the co-sponsorship of UNICO National.

    Italians in America: Recent Documentaries and Photographs
    Monday, February 8, 2016 - 6.45-8.45pm
    University Hall 7th Floor Conference Center

    RSVP required by Thur. Feb. 4, 2016

    To register for the conference and for a complete details and a listing of  Spring 2016 Inserra Chair events at Montclair State:


    Photo: Michele Petruzziello



  • 12 Jan 2016 by Robert Oppedisano


    Hit Refresh: Italian American Imagery in Mass Media – Round Table

    Sunday, February 21, 2016 – 4:30pm @ The Museo Italoamericano, San Francisco

    This roundtable discussion by leading California scholars in Italian American cinema and culture will cover some of the following questions related to Italian American media, representation, and history. What is the role of film and mass media in the constant reconstruction or refreshing of Italian and Italian American iconic images?

    What influences do such recurrent images on TV, film, the Internet, and elsewhere have? Can we consider popular images of Italian ethnicity as more than just “negative portrayals” or “positive portrayals”? Why should scholars study such popular depictions?

    The speakers will be:

    Dr. Pasquale Verdicchio, Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature, UC, San Diego

    Dr. Laura Ruberto, Humanities Professor, Co-Chair Arts and Cultural Studies Department, Berkeley City College

    Dr. Evelyn Ferraro, Lecturer, Italian, Modern Languages, and Literatures, Santa Clara University

    RSVP to (415) 673-2200

    Members $10 / non-members $20

  • 08 Jan 2016 by Robert Oppedisano

     The Center for Italian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania will host an international conference to celebrate "Sicily: Language, Art, and Culture", 11-12 February 2016 Sicily, land of culture, art, cinema, literature; land of travellers and dreamers, of artists and thinkers; land of division and unity. Sicily presents the peculiar characteristics of an island with its own complex reality, distinct from Italian "continental" reality and yet linked to it. The conference aims at exploring Sicily in all aspects of its history and culture, in itself and in relation to the rest of Italy and to the world, from its most ancient traditions to present debates, to its hope for the future. 

    Featuring presentations by Chiara Mazzucchelli, Fred Gardaphe, George De Stefano, Gaetano Cipolla and other scholars, the themes of discussion will include:

    1) Sicilianity and Sicilitude

    2) Language and Literature

    3) Visual Arts and Music

    4) Cinema and Theater

    5) The Sicilian Diaspora

    6) Popular Traditions and Modernity

    7) Gastronomic Tradition

    8) Political and Economic History

    The conference program will be available shortly.

    Conference registration: Faculty/ Professional: $100; Student: $70 

    Registration is required only of speakers by January 15. Attendance is free to the general public. 

    More information about the conference and registration: