Center for Italian Studies

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General Information

Current Activities

Italian Classes for the Community and for Children

Forum Italicum:
A Journal of Italian  Studies

General Information

Research Activities

The assessment and impact of Italy and Italian Americans through artistic, political, economic and social manifestations.

Conferences, Symposia, Meetings and Seminars:

Organize and sponsor conferences, symposia, lectures, seminars and meetings to provide a forum for the dissemination of scholarly findings and the exchange of ideas. Scholars and leaders in government, business, and the professions engage in a common effort to asses Italy's and Italian Americans' standing as a nation or as an ethnic group and provide directions to enhance their image and their real role as a people. The intent of these activities is not to be polemical but constructive, not cynically intellectual, but rationally curious, to compare and contest conceptions and hypotheses, to interface diverse disciplines and cultures, thus creating the opportunity for an original synthesis or integration. The activities will include:

  1. a yearly conference on "Italy Today" dealing with its institutions (political, economic, educational, religious) and society.
  2. a yearly conference on Italian Americans in a multicultural society.
  3. a yearly one-week seminar and a workshop on the most recent changes and problems on the Italian (and European) political scene, retracing them, where possible, to their causes.
  4. an annual one-week seminar and a workshop on the Italian American experience.

For each seminar and workshop, many experts in diverse fields, will compare knowledge with each other. Each seminar will consist of one main speaker, two or three discussants, and some respondents. The main speaker will provide an abstract and a bibliography ahead of time, so that the participants are able to attend from an informed condition.

Visiting Fellows Program

This Fellows program is an important activity of the Center. The program enables the Center to bring scholars of international reputation to Stony Brook for intensive interaction with faculty, students and the local community. As part of his/her short residency, each fellow gives a public lecture, conducts a faculty seminar, teaches a graduate class and holds an informal seminar with graduate students. In addition, the fellow is available for informal interactions with faculty and students and to give lectures at local public gatherings.


The research and papers presented at the conferences, symposia, seminars and workshop organized by the Center will be published in books, pamphlets, professional journals, annual report, newsletter.

The Center will also consider for publication relevant material that is submitted by individual scholars or organizations (i.e., American Italian Historical Association) or support the publication of a journal issue focusing on a topic that falls within the realm of interests of the Center.

Cultural Awareness And Public Service

To better engage the public, including the young generation, in the activities of the Center and/or assist in their interest in Italy and the Italian American experience, the Center will plan informative meetings for specific groups on specific issues and organize contests on cultural issues for students in secondary schools and colleges.


  1. Continue to support the Italian poetry contest organized by the American Association of Teachers of Italian (AATI) for Junior and High School students on Long Island.
  2. Continue to support an essay contest among High School students on the "Italian American Experience." This contest would have the objective to raise the awareness among our children of the contribution Italian Americans have made to this country and, consequently, bring their attention to the problem of "identity."

Regional Resource Center

Besides providing the forum for intellectual exchange and becoming a source of cultural enrichment to those who are able to attend the activities organized by the Center, to be more effective in its purpose, the Center must collect cultural material on Italy and Italian Americans and make it available to the public. To this end, the Center is working out a plan:

  1. to become a "Regional Resource Center for Curriculum Material on Italian and Italian American Studies."
  2. to build a collection of video material (feature films, travelogue, documentaries, etc.)
  3. to promote the collection of the "oral history" by supporting interviews conducted by scholars in the field (sociologists, historians, etc.) of that generation of Italian Americans who can give first-hand information of the "meeting of the two cultures" that is rapidly disappearing. Interviews could also be promoted through student (high schools and colleges) contests; this latter approach would again bring the young generation to focus its attention on the "identity" issue.

Scholarship and Fellowship Program

Donations from private sources, specifically earmarked for scholarships or fellowship and which become part of the endowment fund, are used to award undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships to meritorious students who have declared as their major field of interest Italian or Italian American studies (language, literature, history, economy, linguistics, etc.) at Stony Brook.

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