Italian Studies

Events & Activities

Events & Activities
The Italian Studies program organizes several activites: here you can check out our events calendar and catch a glimpse of the life of the department. Italian film nights, visiting authors and filmmakers, lectures and schedule for language table can all be found here.

Contact Us

Franco Baldasso
Office Hours: Tues. 2:30 - 4:30 and by appt.

Current and Upcoming Events

There are no current or upcoming events scheduled.

Italian Events Archive by Year



Monday, December 7, 2015

The Dreams of Reason

by Alberto Manguel, Internationally Acclaimed Author
RKC 103  6:30 pm
Throughout the ages, writers have attempted to put into words the events that take place in dreams, and they have always failed. From the prophetic dreams in the Bible to Kafka's Metamorphosis, the resulting text, though masterful literary compositions, never seem to convey with verisimilitude the atmosphere and tone of dreams. Perhaps this ongoing failure tells us something about the nature of imagination and that of narrative, and about the hesitant links between both.
Sponsored by: Italian Studies Program; Literature Program
Contact: Joseph Luzzi  845-758-7150
Thursday, September 24, 2015

Italian Fascism's Empire Cinema

A lecture by Ruth Ben Ghiat
Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium  6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Italian Fascism’s Empire Cinema (Indiana University Press, 2015) by Prof. Ruth Ben Ghiat (New York University) is the first in-depth study of the feature and documentary films made during Mussolini’s dictatorship about Italy’s African and Balkan occupations. The fruit of research in military and film archives, it focuses on the dramatic years between the invasion of Ethiopia (1935-1936) and the loss of the colonies (1941-43) during World War Two. Promoted and created at the highest levels of the regime, empire films were Italy’s entry into an international marketplace of colonial and exotic offerings, and engaged many of Italy’s emerging filmmaking talents (Roberto Rossellini) as well as its most experienced and cosmopolitan directors (Augusto Genina, Mario Camerini).  Shot partly or wholly in Libya, Somalia, and Ethiopia, these movies reinforced Fascist racial and labor policies: their sets were sites of violence and of interracial intimacies. Like the imperial histories they recount, they were largely forgotten for most of the postwar period.Ben Ghiat will present her recent study which restores these films to Italian and international film history, and offers a case study of the intertwining of war and cinema and of the unfolding of imperial policy in the context of dictatorship.Respondent: Joseph Luzzi
Moderated by Franco Baldasso

Sponsored by: Hannah Arendt Center; Historical Studies Program; Italian Studies Program
Contact: Franco Baldasso  845-758-7377
Thursday, March 5, 2015

POSTPONED UNTIL FALL: Dante’s Musical Design in the Commedia

Francesco Ciabattoni
Campus Center, Weis Cinema  5:00 pm
Dante’s journey through the Christian netherworld is not without its own proper soundtrack. From the cacophonous failed attempts at performing sacred music in Hell, the pilgrim goes on to listening to Purgatory’s expiatory performances of Gregorian Chants; and from the music of pure innocence in the Garden of Eden, Dante ascends to the complex and bedazzling beauty of polyphony in Paradise. In his lecture, Professor Ciabattoni will explain the musicological and theological underpinnings of Dante’s chosen musical settings.Francesco Ciabattoni received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. He is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Italian Department at Georgetown University. His monograph Dante’s Journey to Polyphony (University of Toronto Press 2010) is a comprehensive study of the role of music in Dante’s Commedia. Professor Ciabattoni teaches two courses on Dante at Georgetown University, one in English translation, the other tackling Dante’s original Italian text for majors in Italian and students with adequate preparation. He also teaches courses on Boccaccio, French and Italian love poetry and other aspects of medieval literature. Among his research favorites are Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Ariosto, Pasolini, the Middle Ages, the interplay of music and literature. With P.M. Forni he has edited The Decameron Third Day in Perspective: Volume Three of Lectura Boccaccii (University of Toronto Press 2014) and is currently preparing a book on the intertextual practice among Italian songwriters.

Sponsored by: Italian Studies Program
Contact: Joe Luzzi  845-758-7150
Monday, February 2, 2015

Italy and the Italians: What You See Is Not What You Get 

We look forward to hosting special guest, John Hooper, in the Fall.
Preston Theater, 110  5:00 pm
John Hooper will read from his new book, The Italians, followed by discussion.
A vivid and surprising portrait of the Italian people from an admired foreign correspondent Sublime and maddening, fascinating yet baffling, Italy is a country of seemingly unanswerable riddles. How can a nation that gave us the Renaissance have produced the Mafia? How could a people so concerned with bella figura (keeping up appearances) have chosen Silvio Berlusconi as their leader—and not just once but three times?In THE ITALIANS,  British journalist John Hooper explores the fascinating story of a country divided by geography and dialect, by politics and history. Overrun by invaders at intervals for 1,500 years, Italy’s people may have an uneasy relationship with foreigners. But foreigners love them.John Hooper’s entertaining and perceptive new book is the ideal companion for anyone seeking to understand contemporary Italy and the unique character of the Italians. Digging deep into their history, culture and religion, Hooper offers keys to understanding everything from their bewildering politics to their love of life and beauty. Looking at the facts that lie behind—and often belie—the stereotypes, his revealing book sheds new light on many aspects of Italian life: football and freemasonry, sex, symbolism and the reason why the Italian language has twelve words for a coat hanger, yet none for a hangover.The author of the critically acclaimed, The New Spaniards, John Hooper has lived in Italy for more than 15 years, and is uniquely qualified to explore this fascinating country. Here, he reveals the Italians so few travelers ever get the chance to know, whose world is riven by contradictions that have plagued no other nation; the people who are as proud of their scoundrels as they are of their heroes; the country whose contemporary reputation is both cynically weighed down and joyously buoyed up by its past.

Sponsored by: Division of Languages and Literature; Italian Studies Program
Contact: Joe Luzzi  845-758-7150

Ongoing Events

  Sep 07, 2015 – Dec 18, 2015
Every Wednesday

Italian Language Table

Please join us each Wednesday.  Stay for as long as you would like.
Kline, back corner by President's Room  6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Look for the table with the Italian flag.

Sponsored by: Italian Studies Program
Contact: Franco Baldasso  845-758-7377
  Sep 16, 2015 – Dec 09, 2015
Every Wednesday

Italian TV Series

Preston Theater 110  9:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Genre's include thriller, history, mafia, etc..
All TV shows are free, in Italian language with English subtitles

Sponsored by: Italian Studies; Italian Studies Program
Contact: Franco Baldasso  845-758-7377
  Sep 15, 2015 – Dec 08, 2015
Every Tuesday

Italian Film Festival

Preston Theater 110  7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Every semester the Italian Department is pleased to invite you to an Italian Film Series.
All movies are free, in Italian language with English subtitles
Sponsored by: Italian Studies
  Feb 18, 2015 – Apr 08, 2015
Every Wednesday

Italian Film Festival

Please join us!
Preston Theater, 110  7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
See contact for more details!

Films will not be shown 4/11 & 4/18.

Sponsored by: Italian Studies Program
Contact: Franco Baldasso  845-758-7377