The Forty-Seventh Annual Italian American Studies Conference

(Nov 07, 2014)

The 47th annual Italian American Studies Association conference, Italians Without Borders: Transnational Italian (American) Experience, opened on October 17th, 2014, at the University of Toronto's stately Croft Chapter House, with a talk entitled "The Cosmopolitan Italic Experience," by Italian Canadian scholar, critic, poet, and filmmaker Antonio D'Alfonso, introduced by conference co-host and Chair of the University of Toronto Italian Studies Department, Salvatore Bancheri. The talk was followed by a reception and poetry reading by ten Italian American and Italian Canadian poets.

The first full day of the conference featured seventeen breakout sessions on topics ranging from "Italian Americans and Television" to "Transnationalizing Italian American Studies." Following these sessions was the keynote address, "Transnationalism and Italian Migrations to the U.S. and Canada," delivered by Bruno Ramirez, Professor in History at the University of Montreal. The day ended with a sumptuous banquet at the elegant Fieramosca Restaurant.

The second day included fourteen more breakout sessions covering topics from "Guernica Editions: The Work of an Italian Canadian Press" to "Borders, Citizenship, and Italian Identity," and was highlighted by a screening of the new Public Broadcasting Service documentary "The Italian Americans," directed by John Maggio, who led a lively discussion of the hour-long excerpt he shared with conference attendees. The discussion typified this year's conference, which drew over 100 participants, and was the best attended IASA conference in recent years.

During the conference weekend, IASA's Executive Council approved plans to hold its 2015 conference in Washington, D. C., at the Marriott-Wardman Park Hotel; and to allow members of the National Italian American Foundation to attend our panel sessions, in return for NIAF's logistical support of the conference. This move, part of a provisional three-year agreement with NIAF, will allow IASA members to enjoy larger audiences for both their presentations and their publications. The agreement provides for IASA to hold its conference in Washington, D. C. in 2015 and 2017. In the upcoming even-numbered years, 2016 and 2018 IASA is planning to hold its conferences in Providence, Rhode Island and San Diego, California.

IASA wishes to thank Professor Bancheri, along with Professor Bruno Magliochetti and Italian Studies Department Assistant Nina Di Trapani for their indispensable work on this year's wildly successfully conference.