City University of New York names Anthony Julian Tamburri Distinguished Professor

(Jul 03, 2014)

On June 30, 2014, The Board of Trustees of The City University of New York appointed five new Distinguished Professors: Dean Anthony Julian Tamburri was named Distinguished Professor of European Languages and Literatures at Queens College.

Tamburri is internationally recognized and much praised for his scholarly contributions to Italian and Italian American Studies, as well as for his theoretical writings on cultural studies and textual interpretation. His fourteen authored books and twenty edited volumes have been published by highly respected university and academic presses, and his articles have appeared in the most distinguished journals in his respective fields in the United States, Italy, and Canada.

Literary critic Frank Lentricchia called Tamburri's latest book (Re-Reading Italian Americana [2014]) "a landmark in the field ... unique in its accessibility of presentation without sacrifice of precision and complexity, and tough in its call for Italian Americans to get involved, stop the cheerleading and sentimentality, and contribute."

Together with Fred Gardaphe (Queens College) and Paolo Giordano (University of Central Florida), Dean Tamburri co-founded Bordighera Press, which over the past quarter century has published more than 150 volumes of Italian-American poetry, fiction, and essays, as well as the biannual journal Voices in Italian Americana. He has organized or co-organized more than thirty international conferences on Italian, Italian-American, and Cultural Studies, many of which have resulted in published volumes.

Anthony Julian Tamburri came to Queens College in 2006 as Dean of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute. Since his arrival, the public and research profile of the institute has risen remarkably, stretching overseas, specifically to Italy. The Institute administers a number of exchange programs, two of which include faculty exchange and cooperative research projects. Most recently, the Rockefeller Foundation awarded the Institute a grant for a four-day workshop that took place in Bellagio, Italy, with the goal of exploring the expansion of Italian American Studies both in Italy and in the United States.

Early on at the helm of the Calandra Institute, Dr. Tamburri also set in place an annual international conference, now in its eighth year, which has drawn participants from the Americas, Italy, France, South Africa, and Australia, including such dignitaries as one of Italy's former Undersecretaries of State as well as the Cardinal of Naples. The Institute has also launched two book series and now publishes a peer-reviewed social-science journal, the Italian American Review.

Within the realm of public discourse, Dean Tamburri is the Executive Producer of Italics: Television for the Italian American Experience, and he writes regularly for the Italian bimonthly Italian American Magazine. He is co-founder of the Italian/American Digital Project, which produces a website, a magazine, and a weekly TV show.

Tamburri's contributions to the profession also include holding office for national associations: as past vice president (2006-07) and president (2008-09) of the American Association of Teachers of Italian (AATI), and as past president of the Italian American Studies Association (IASA). His career has garnered numerous awards and recognitions. Southern Connecticut State University named him its Distinguished Alumnus for 2000. In 2010, he received the Italian Language Inter-Cultural Alliance's Frank Stella Person of the Year Award, and in that same year the government of Italy conferred upon him, motu proprio, the honor of Cavaliere dell'Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana. In 2012, he received The Lehman-LaGuardia Award for Civic Achievement from the Commission for Social Justice Order Sons of Italy (New York State) in America and B'nai B'rith International (Metro-North Region) and also was voted into the Order of Merit of Savoy as Cavaliere.

When asked about receiving the Distinguished Professorship, Tamburri stated: "I am both honored and humbled to be recognized as a Distinguished Professor by The City University of New York. What makes this truly special is, first of all, that it has its origins at the level of peer evaluation. That my colleagues at Queens College adjudicated as much is an honor unto itself. That this is then re-considered and ultimately validated by a university-wide committee of Distinguished Professors is an even higher honor. One could not ask for greater validation of one's work."