2020: Support IASA, It's Take Deductible
Dear IASA members,
As many of you know, the Association had to postpone its Lucca Symposium (May 2020) and Pittsburgh Conference (November 2020) to May 2021 and October 20201, respectively. At the same time, we did not want to lose the momentum of our scholarly meetings over the last several years, so, based on suggestions by Ryan Calabretta-Sajder and Courtney Ruffner, we have started monthly Zoom webinars. We opened with “What Does the Future Have in Store for the Italian American Studies Association” on May 22. We have also scheduled our second session, “Italian Americans on Screen: Reception of Black American Films, Italian-American Female Filmmakers, and Italian Immigrant Cinema in Canada,” for this Friday, June 19, at noon EST.
With the success of our first Zoom webinar, the Association realized that hosting monthly virtual presentations could provide an opportunity to generate revenue by having attendees who can donate. Therefore, we have shifted our focus to Donation Campaigns. Since we included the link to Donation Campaigns in our most recent email to those wishing to attend the next webinar, there have been several issues. The Association is working with our Management Software Company, SilkStart, to resolve them.
For example, some members wanted to donate to more than one campaign, such as the Book Award, General Fund, Memorial Fellowship, and/or Travel Grant. Second, some members wanted to enter the amount donated rather than choosing an amount. Third, we have always used PayPal for members to renew membership and/or donate via a credit card; however, PayPal can get glitchy if someone pays their renewal automatically. The Association is working on these issues and will send a follow-up email to the membership regarding the solutions.
On July 22 at 3:00 PM, Jonathan J. Cavallero will present, “Directing The Sopranos: David Chase, Lorraine Senna, and the Visual.”
Additionally, we are working on the schedule for the remainder of 2020. We have our pedagogy presentation in August with Josephine Gattuso Hendin and Phil Sipiora and a queer Italian diaspora panel with Ryan Calabretta-Sajder and Domenico Beneventi in October. We have several other Zoom webinars in the works, including ones on creative writing and Italian-American women’s literature.
Other membership projects that the Association hopes to implement this summer include interviews with all past IASA (formerly AIHA) presidents. We are also considering a contest for current members to submit creative work for an IASA 2021 calendar.
Thank you for your attention, and please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are looking for ways to get more involved in the many vibrant committees that bolster our Association.
Best wishes for good work and good health in the weeks and months ahead,
Alan J. Gravano