Italy as a cultural zone developed throughout the centuries with a plethora of distinct languages. Regionally-based Romance languages—e.g., Neapolitan, Sicilian, Tuscan, Venetian—and their local variants were the numerous languages spoken by illiterate peasants as well as professionals, scholars, and creative writers. In the aftermath of unification in 1861, the state sought to impose the Tuscan dialect as the national standard in an attempt “to make Italians” in the same period that mass emigration began in earnest. Tensions emerged during that time and, with the onset of a more recent immigration, continue to inform the interrelated spheres of language and migration, from issues concerning standard Italian versus dialects, especially along a north-south divide; to representations of “Italian” as the esteemed language of the Renaissance versus the marginalized language of working-class emigrants and their descendants; to responses to “foreign” influences of vocabulary and literatures. This conference seeks to build on the growing literature dealing with language and migration as it concerns Italy and the diaspora.
SUGGESTED PAPER TOPICS INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO, THE FOLLOWING:
• The poetics and politics of “dialects”: The rapidly growing importance of Italian dialects in the field of linguistics over the past twenty years;
• Non-Italian languages in Italy, from historic Arbëresh and Griko to contemporary Arabic and Chinese, etc.;
• Italian government’s promotion of Italian language abroad, e.g., university programs, under Fascism;
• Italian language education (from pre-school to the university) and literature (from Dante to immigrant authors), particularly outside Italy;
• Immigrant creole languages such as cocoliche in Argentina, Itaglish in the United States;
• Slang and group identity, from criminal argot to youth idiom;
• Gendered uses of and approaches to language;
• The Internet and the media, e.g., enforcing standard Italian, translations of film and television shows, diasporic communication;
• Artistic depictions of language use in music, literature, and cinema, e.g. Farfariello’s comic music routines, Carlo Emilio Gadda’s Quer pasticciaccio brutto de via Merulana (1947; 1956), Gavino Ledda’s Padre Padrone (1975), rap italiano;
• Ethnographic and sociolinguistic approaches to language use and speech;
• Italian diasporic and immigrant literature in Italy, e.g., John Fante in Italian translation; Italian literature produced abroad (e.g., Alfredo de Palchi); Amara Lakhous’s Scontro di civiltà per un ascensore a Piazza Vittorio (2006).
The official language of the conference will be English. All presentations are to last no longer than
twenty minutes, including audio and visual illustrations that accompany presentations. Thursday evening is dedicated to welcoming comments and reception; sessions and panels will take place all day Friday and Saturday.
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: SEPTEMBER 16, 2012.
Abstracts for scholarly papers (up to 500 words, plus a note on technical requirements) and a brief, narrative biography should be emailed as attached documents, by September 16, 2012, to email@example.com, to whom other inquiries may also be addressed. There are no available funds for travel, accommodations, or meals.
We encourage the submission of organized panels (of no more than three presenters). Submission for a panel must be made by a single individual on behalf of the group, with all the paper titles, abstract narratives, and individual biographies.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION SEE OUR WEB SITE WWW.QC.EDU/CALANDRA
JOHN D. CALANDRA ITALIAN AMERICAN INSTITUTE
Queens College, City University of New York
25 West 43rd Street, 17th floor (between 5th and 6th Avenues), Manhattan
CALANDRA CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
Anthony Julian Tamburri
Nancy Carnevale, Montclair State University
Anna De Fina, Georgetown University
Clorinda Donato, California State University Long Beach
Roberto Dolci, Università per Stranieri di Perugia
Luciana Fellin, Duke University
Stefania Giannini, Università per Stranieri di Perugia
Hermann Haller, Queens College, CUNY
Donna Jo Napoli, Swarthmore College
Eugenia Paulicelli, Queens College, CUNY
Lori Repetti, SUNY Stony Brook
Christina Tortora, College of Staten Island, CUNY
Massimo Vedovelli, Università per Stranieri di Siena
The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, Queens College, is a university-wide research institute of the City University of New York, dedicated to the history and culture of Italians in the United States.
John D. Calandra Italian American Institute
Queens College, CUNY
25 West 43rd Street, 17th floor
New York, New York 10036
tel. (212) 642-2035
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