IASA Calls

Executive Council Elections - Nominee Biographies

Executive Editor of Italian Americana and recipient of a Danforth Foundation grant, Carol Bonomo Albright taught Italian American Studies at Harvard Extension School and has been a visiting lecturer at Harvard University as well. She served as IASA Vice-President for 2 terms; co-edited American Woman, Italian Style: Italian Americana's Best Writings on Women and Wild Dreams: The Best of Italian Americana; Italian Immigrants Go West (AIHA publication); series editor of Italian American Autobiographies; and published essays in Our Roots are Deep with Passion: The Dream Book; Social Pluralism and Literary History; and in Journal of American Ethnic History, LIT, and MELUS. A section of her memoir has been published in Italian. She has received numerous grants and awards, including being named an Associate Fellow of the Danforth Foundation of Higher Education and receiving, a university-to-community outreach grant from that foundation. She initiated a free Web Site Supplement to Italian Americana.

My vision for IASA is to see it to make greater contact with other academic organizations, such as it has done with the MLA. The purpose of this is twofold: 1) to foster cross-cultural contacts and work and 2) to make outreach to a new audience of possible members and/or attendees at conferences. This seems important also because immigration studies has gone mainstream and for IASA to continue to be a force in its field it needs to make the case for itself regarding the unique contribution it makes to the academy.

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Jessica Femiani's poems have been published in the Paterson Literary Review and she was a finalist for the American Voice In Poetry Prize, 2009. She is a graduate student of English at Brooklyn College (February, 2014) and teaches English at the Leonardo da Vinci Middle School in Corona, Queens. She has a BA in English from Wesleyan University, an MS in Education from St. John's University, and is an IAWA Board member. Jessica presented her master's thesis Grounded in the Garden: Polytextual Recovery in Immigration Memoir, at the 2013 IASA Conference. She also has been accepted to SUNY Binghamton's Ph.D. in English and Creative Writing for Fall 2014. A passionate scholar of Italian American literature, she is committed to expanding the field of Italian American studies. She would like to assist IASA in partnering with cognate organizations for future conferences and endeavors.

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Courtney Ruffner Grieneisen is a full professor of English at State College of Florida in Bradenton, Florida. She is co-founder and co-editor of the journal Florida English. She has published work as contributing editor for the Edgar Allan Poe book in Harold Bloom’s BioCritiques series, an article on Edgar Allan Poe, “A Debt Owed, A Debt Paid: Poe’s Literary Cultural Heritage” in the Critical Insights series, an article in the MLA Teaching Italian American Literature, Film, and Popular Culture, an article on John Donne that has been translated into Portuguese and published in the Brazilian journal Revisto Espaço Académico and articles on Pound’s work published by Stes-Maries-de-la-Mer: Gregau Press and The Richard Aldington Society. She has earned her doctorate in Literature and Criticism with her dissertation on “Inter-Colonialism: On-screen Representations of Italian-Americans” from Indiana University of PA, and has been a member of IASA since 2009.

As a member of the IASA organization since 2009, I have seen some really wonderful ideas emerge from conferences and conference presentations alone. The networking at these conferences is immeasurable for anyone working in the field of Italian American Studies; however, there are a few things that could really enhance the organization, as I see it, and they are as follows: (1) Update the association distribution list (2) Survey members and past members regarding their allegiance and lack thereof to the association (i.e. where have all the people gone and why?) (3) Suggest utilizing digital printing for conference proceedings or at least get a quote from a digital printer before reverting to PDFs and online posting (4) Stick to only ONE emailer instead of two or three people sending similar or the same materials, and be sure to include all info. in EVERY email (conference site, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) (5) Suggest that a Bookmark or pamphlet detailing the IA publications and what they are looking for and when they read, etc. be created and sent to all members (6) Suggest getting the conference program agenda out ASAP so presenters can plan accordingly. I feel these six items could be easily addressed in the coming year and that they would help to strengthen the organization in its presence throughout our academic communities. I would be happy to oversee any or all of these areas if elected.

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Chiara Mazzucchelli is Assistant Professor of Italian at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, where she teaches undergraduate intermediate, and advanced courses in Italian language, culture, and literature. She is the current Editor of Voices in Italian Americana, a semiannual literary and cultural journal dedicated to Italian-American Studies.

Within IASA, she has been an Executive Council member since 2009, serving since in the Graduate Students Fellowships and Conference Subsidy Committee and twice in the Nominating Committee. If reelected, she hopes to increase membership and boost conference attendance, especially among younger generations of scholars from a variety of fields.

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Joey Nicoletti has an M.F.A. in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. in English from New Mexico State University. He is the author of four poetry collections, including Cannoli Gangster (Turning Point, 2012), which was selected by Denise Duhamel as a finalist for the Steel Toe Books Poetry Prize. His poetry, creative nonfiction, and reviews have appeared in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Waccamaw, Jet Fuel Review, Gradiva, and Italian Americana, among other magazines and journals. A former poetry editor of Puerto del Sol, he currently teaches writing at SUNY Buffalo State.

I have been involved with IASA since 2011. Since that time I have been on 4 panels for the 2011, 2012, and 2013 conferences, where I have read my poems, essays, and have chaired committees with the likes of Fred Gardaphe, George Guida, Joanne DeTore, Alan Gravano, and Maria Mascotti Gillan, among other distinguished colleagues. I have also served IASA by assisting with the registration process, and I am as excited at the prospect of serving the organization in an increasingly larger capacity as I am honored and humbled for nomination to the Executive Council.

I have several ideas for the future of IASA, but chief among them is increasing membership through greater visibility. I believe that our organization could be a more dynamic presence on the literary scene than it presently is, just as others such as Cave Canem has been by focusing on African American Writers. Our efforts might be well served to establish a writing/scholarly retreat of our own, where there is a vibrant Italian-American scholar/writer presence, such as CUNY Queens College, where Fred Gardaphe teaches. Such a setting could lay the groundwork not only for encouraging other writers and scholars to cultivate their work in a welcoming environment, but also to have mentorship with established people in the field of Italian American studies. In so doing, we would have the opportunity to start a new tradition out of established ones, which could revitalize interest in our organization.

Another way that we can increase our visibility is to establish ourselves as regulars at writing and academic conferences. For example, being at AWP every year would be advantageous on several levels. Bordighera Press could potentially bridge the gap between our writers and our would-be audiences. By exposing the work of our authors to a population that buys and discusses books, we give our authors the potential to make sales, and reach new audiences. If smaller, independent publishers attend AWP, then it is incumbent that Bordighera is likewise present. Similarly, our journals (such as Italian Americana and VIA) might also have tables at AWP. Given the quality of the work of our scholars and writers, we could not only inform people about our contributions to literature, we could make ourselves known to others—besides ourselves—as the inimitable, indispensable part of the literary landscape that we are undoubtedly are.

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John Paul Russo is professor and chair of the Department of Classics at the University of Miami. He received his PhD from Harvard University and has published books and essays on the theory of criticism, ethnicity, and history of culture. I.A. Richards: His Life and Works appeared in 1989. The recipient of three Fulbright Fellowships to Italy, most recently (2006) to the University of Salerno, he has also taught at the universities of Palermo, Rome, and Genoa. He is book review editor of Italian Americana, co-managing editor of RSA (Rivista di Studi Nord Americani), and the recipient of the 2006 Bonner Award for The Future without a Past: The Humanities in a Technological Society. His study of representations of Italy, Italians, and Italian Americans, co-written by Robert Casillo and entitled The Italian in Modernity, was published by the University of Toronto Press in 2011. "My vision of the future of IASA begins with a campaign to expand our membership and reach a new generation of Italian American scholars. I would also like to establish more links with Italian scholars in the field who are working in Italy, through closer ties with Italian organizations that share our interests, such as AISNA (Associazione Italiana di Studi Nord Americani). We could have a regular workshop at our conference that features the work of Italian scholars, and some of us could participate at workshops in their conferences. This would also be a way potentially to boost membership."

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Anthony Julian Tamburri is Dean of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute (Queens College, CUNY). He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He is co-director of Bordighera Press, past vice president (2006-07) and president (2008-09) of the American Association of Teachers of Italian (AATI) and past president of the Italian American Studies Association (a.k.a., American Italian Historical Association). His dozen-plus authored books include: Una semiotica della ri-lettura: Guido Gozzano, Aldo Palazzeschi, Italo Calvino (2003); Narrare altrove: diverse segnalature letterarie (2007); Una semiotica dell’etnicità (2010); Revisiting Italian Americana: Specificities and Generalities on Cinema (2011); and Re-reading Italian Americana: Specificities and Generalities on Literature and Criticism (2013). He is the executive producer of Italics, produced in collaboration with CUNY TV, and one of the co-founders of the Italian American Digital Project, which produces i-Italy.org. Southern Connecticut State University named him its Distinguished Alumnus for 2000. In 2010, he received ILICA’s “Frank Stella Person of the Year,” and, conferred motu proprio, 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 he was also voted into the Order of Merit of Savoy as Cavaliere.

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