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Department of

Languages and Literatures

Eventi - Autunno 2014

Please use the contact information provided under each event to confirm that the event has not been cancelled or moved.


On campus


Finding the Mother Lode: Italian Immigrants in California
Film screening/discussion with filmmakers Gianfranco Norelli and Suma Kurien


images of Italian immigrants and the filmmakers


Wednesday., november 5 | 7 p.m. | Warren Auditorium (mother rosalie hill hall)

Free admission.

Contact: Loredana Di Martino | | 619- 260-2746

Italians first came to California in large numbers with the Gold Rush. While most found little gold, they did find a mother lode in farming, fishing, commerce and making wine.

Finding the Mother Lode documents the experience of Italian immigrants in California, which was markedly different from that of their compatriots elsewhere in the United States. Through stories set in seven Italian communities throughout California, this film examines how economic and social mobility became possible for many Italians in the Golden State. It is also a look at how immigrant identity is maintained and transformed as immigrants become assimilated into mainstream America.

The current film is a follow-up to the filmmakers’ critically acclaimed Pane Amaro (Bitter Bread) on the Italian immigration to the East Coast. Finding the Mother Lode too, is based on extensive research and weaves together oral histories by community members with scholarly analyses which provide the larger historical context.

Gianfranco Norelli was born in Rome and received a Degree in Political Science from the University of Rome "La Sapienza." He moved to the U.S. in 1979 to pursue a graduate degree in Journalism at New York University, and in 1980, was awarded the ITT International Fellowship for Television Journalism. In the last 30 years, Norelli has produced a wide range of award-winning documentaries for American and European television networks, including PBS, BBC, HBO, National Geographic and RAI-Italian National Television. His films have focused on social and cultural issues such as environmental pollution in Russia, euthanasia, the experience of immigrants in the United States, and violence against women on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Suma Kurien is a nationally recognized authority on issues of immigrant education and Director of LaGuardia Community College's Center for Immigrant Education and Training at the City University of New York. The Center provides educational and training programs designed to help low-income immigrants improve their economic status and become full participants in civic life. A native of India who grew up in Africa, Suma has lived in the U.S. for over 30 years. Suma holds a doctorate in Education from Columbia University's Teachers College and is the co-producer and co-writer of the documentary Pane Amaro. Norelli and Kurien are a husband/wife team.

Sponsored by the San Diego Italian Film Festival and the Department of Languages and Literatures, and supported by an ESFI grant.



Exhibit: Italian ArtPortrait of a Lady in a Green Dress - 1530 - Bartolomeo Veneto

Balboa Park: Timken Museum of Art


Time: Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. | Sun., 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
Contact: 619 239 5548 |

The world-class Putnam Foundation Collection is on permanent display in the Timken Museum of Art. European old master paintings, Russian icons and American art constitute the primary focus of the collection.

The Putnam Collection's European paintings span nearly 600 years of Western art from early Italian altarpieces to mid-nineteenth century French landscape painting. The collection includes fine examples of French, Dutch, Flemish, and Italian painting. A featured highlight is San Diego's only painting by the great Dutch artist Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn.

The American collection is noted for its choice selection of paintings. Among its celebrated masterworks are paintings by John Singleton Copley and Eastman Johnson.

Russian icons from the Moscow and Novgorad schools, the oldest dating to the fifteenth century, are on view in a special gallery. A late bronze sculpture of Mercury by the famed sculptor Giambologna graces the center of the rotunda, which is adorned with French seventeenth century tapestries from the Stories of Queen Artemisia series.

Logo House of Italy Balboa ParkOpen House

balboa park: international cottages (Map)


Time: Sundays, 12-4 p.m.
Cost: Free

The House of Italy has the warmth of an Italian salon and is decorated with a ceiling mural, and photographs of Italian scenes. Visitors are greeted with a warm Italian welcome and treated to biscotti and gelato, Italian cookies and ice cream. Please visit and learn about Italy!




September 24, 2014: LECTURE: From Pinocchio to the Godfather and Beyond: Aspects of Italian/Italian North American Identities

What is, or who is, an Italian and how does that identity square up with Italian North American identity. What are the assumptions we make when we are introduced to someone who carries a recognizably Italian name for example: “Hello Lisa, this is my friend Pasquale Verdicchio”? Why is that too often met with something like “oh, I love radicchio!” or, as even some of my colleagues have joked, “I’d better watch what I say, or you’ll get your people to take care of me,” which is not a joke at all. Where do some of these stereotypes come from, and how come they still seem to be acceptable? During my presentation I will consider how the representation of Italians in film and other media might help us understand how a national/ethnic image is created, maintained, exported, and even manipulated to political ends. We will start in Italy and make our way to North America in an attempt to track some of these representations and their long-lasting effects.

Pasquale Verdicchio (Naples, 1954)
 is a founding member of the Association of Italian Canadian Writers. His translation from the Italian and his own poetry have been published through presses in Canada and the U.S. His most recent publications include This Nothing's Place, winner of the Bressani Prize for Poetry in 2010, and a translation of Andrea Zanzotto poetry collection Fosfeni (2010). In addition to Zanzotto, he has published translation of works by Pier Paolo Pasolini, Alda Merini, Antonio Porta, and Antonio Gramsci. His essays on poetry, film, and literature have appeared in journals in North America and Europe. The critical work Looters, Photographers, and Thieves: Topics in Italian Photographic Culture in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (2011) appeared through Fairleigh Dickinson Press. Verdicchio has taught literature, film and writing at the University of California, San Diego, since 1986. He is occasionally spotted in San Diego’s Little Italy being followed by a group of USD students on a journey through local history.

Sponsored by the Italian Program and the Department of Languages and Literatures, with an award from the ESFI Interaction Fund


oct. 30, 2013: Lecture: Italian Americans in the Media by Fulvio S. Orsitto, PhD

Prof. Fulvio Orsitto, Associate Professor and Director of the Italian and Italian American program at California State University, Chico, will give a talk about the representation of Italian Americans in the media. The first part of the talk will focus on cinema, touching upon various stylemes and stereotypes that recur in films directed by Italian Americans, but also by directors who do not belong to this community. The second part of the presentation will be centered on the depiction of Italian Americans in American TV; while the third and final part will briefly touch upon the presence of Italian Americans in American music industry.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Languages and Literatures with a grant from the ESFI fund, and by the "Intersections" Living and Learning Community (joint event for the preceptorial courses ITAL 294 and COMM 130).


oct. 28, 2013: Documenting the Italian Diaspora: Film screening and panel discussion with filmmakers Paul Tana and Marco Bertozzi

USD and The San Diego Italian Film Festival will show a series of documentary films about the Italian immigrant experience, including Paul Tana’s Ricordati di noi, a film dealing with the preservation of television footage that captures the life of Montreal's Italian community. The screening will be followed by a discussion with filmmakers Paul Tana and Marco Bertozzi. All films will have English subtitles.

Sponsored by the Department of Languages and Literatures with a grant from the ESFI fund, and by The San Diego Italian Film Festival (SDIFF).


oct. 17, 2013: Lecture: Anatomy and Art in the Italian Renaissance by Kevin Petti, PhD

Italy’s medieval universities established the study of human anatomy for medical professionals. To heighten their art, Renaissance masters clandestinely studied anatomy through human dissection. An anatomy professor at San Diego Miramar College and a USD graduate, Prof. Petti studies the relationship between art and science, focusing on the work of great Italian Renaissance masters. His talk will examine the profound nexus between art and science, and the history of anatomy education in the university.

Sponsored by the Department of Languages and Literatures with a grant from the ESFI fund, and by the School of Leadership Studies.


march 6, 2013: Lecture by Prof. Giacomo Rodina: "Goodbye Dolce Vita. How Italy's Economic
Miracle Has Turned Into a Quarter-century-long Economic Decline"

About the speaker: A native of Urbino, Italy, Prof. Rondina joined the Department of Economics of the University of California at San Diego in 2007, after obtaining his Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His research is in the field of Macroeconomics and his interests include the studying of the determinants of business cycles in industrialized economies and the analysis of global financial imbalances and their implications for recurrent financial crises. His work has been published in several journals including the American Economic Review and the Journal of Monetary Economics. He is the recipient of several grants and scholarships including funding from the National Science Foundation.

Sponsored by the ESFI Fund.