Studies in Modern Italy

  • Founded
  • Seminar Number

This seminar is concerned with political, social, cultural, and religious aspects of Italian life from 1815 to the present. In recent years, the seminar has stressed an interdisciplinary approach to Italian studies, increasing the participation of anthropologists and scholars of art, film, and literature. The seminar meets on the second Friday of the month, from October to April, to discuss a paper presented by a member or an invited speaker. Papers cover a wide range of topics, approaches, and methodologies. The seminar occasionally holds a day- long conference or a more restricted symposium to explore a topic in depth.

Professor Ernest Ialongo
Assistant Professor, Hostos Community College, CUNY, History

Alessia Palanti
Columbia University, Italian



09/20/2013 Italian Academy, 1161 Amsterdam Ave, 5th Floor
6:15 PM
"Venezianella e Studentaccio," by F.T. Marinetti
Paolo Valesio, Columbia University

Respondent: Peter Carravetta, Stony Brook University

10/11/2013 Italian Academy, 1161 Amsterdam Ave, Third Floor, Library
9:30 AM
All Day Conference/Workshop: "Italian Fashion: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow," a special issue of the "Journal of Modern Italian Studies"
Various speakers, Organized by Eugenia Paulicelli


Special issue of JMIS, Editor John Davis, University of Connecticut, Storrs, to be published in Spring 2014
Guest editor, Eugenia Paulicelli, Queens College and The Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY)

Program & Speakers:

9:30-9:45--Introduction: John Davis , Eugenia Paulicelli, and Ernest Ialongo

***"Yesterday: From the Risorgimento, Fascism and the Launch of 'Made in Italy' "***

9:45-11:15--FIRST SESSION

Moderator: Jane Schneider, CUNY Graduate Center

Gabriella Romani, Seton Hall University:
“Fashioning the Italian Female Character: The Risorgimento and its ‘cappello alla calabrese’.”

Maria Antonella Pelizzari, Hunter College and The Graduate Center, CUNY:
“The Italian 'New Woman' in Fashion Magazine Photography of the 1930s.”

Emily Braun, Hunter College and The Graduate Center, CUNY:
“Making Waves: Giacomo Balla and Emilio Pucci.”



12:30-2:00--LUNCH BREAK


Moderator: David Forgacs, New York University

Carlo Marco Belfanti, University of Brescia:
“Renaissance and Made in Italy. History as an Intangible Asset for the Fashion Business.”

Calvin Chen, Mount Holyoke College:
“Made in Italy (by the Chinese).”



***"Italian Fashion: History, Curating, and Journalism. New Directions."***

3:45-5:15--FINAL SESSION

Moderator: Michael Blim, CUNY Graduate Center

Sonnet Stanfill, Victoria & Albert Museum and curator of the upcoming exhibition on Italian Fashion in Spring 2014, will discuss her exhibition, and present: “The Dressmaker's Art: The Role of the Sartorial in Post-War Italy."

Patricia Mears, Deputy Director of the Museum at FIT, and Bruce Boyer, author and menswear expert, will discuss their upcoming co-curated FIT exhibition “Elegance in the Age of Crisis: Fashions in the 1930s” (Spring 2014), and Bruce Boyer will present: “The Neapolitan School: A Study in Deconstruction."

Grazia d’Annunzio, Vogue Italia, USA:
“Anna/rchist Piaggi: 50 Years of Style”


RSVP at:
10/25/2013 Italian Academy, 1161 Amsterdam Ave, 5th Floor
6:15 PM
The 'Made in Italy' Fashion by Chinese Immigrants: Economic Illegality, Police Raids, and Social Integration in Prato, 2005-2012
Gaoheng Zhang, University of Southern California

Respondent: David Forgacs, New York University

11/15/2013 Italian Academy, 1161 Amsterdam Ave, 5th Floor
6:15 PM
Fascist Legacy and American Intervention: The Cineteca Scolastica Italiana and the Education of Italian Citizens Through Films in the Classroom (1952-1962)
Paola Bonifazio, University of Texas at Austin

Respondent: Victoria de Grazia, Columbia University

12/13/2013 Italian Academy, 1161 Amsterdam Ave, 5th Floor
6:15 PM
Transnational Political Cosmology, a Central-Mediterranean Example
Naor Ben-Yehoyada, University of Cambridge

Respondent: Jane Schneider, CUNY Graduate School

02/07/2014 Italian Academy, 1161 Amsterdam Ave, 5th Floor
6:15 PM
Benito Mussolini and the Maciste Films of Italian Silent Cinema
Jacqueline Reich, Fordham University

Respondent: Ruth Ben-Ghiat, New York University

02/26/2014 Italian Academy, 1161 Amsterdam Ave, 3rd Floor Library
5:00 PM
Futurism at the Guggenheim: A Roundtable Discussion
Various Speakers,

Notes: Futurism at the Guggenheim: A Roundtable

Wednesday, February 26, 5-7 pm
The Italian Academy, 3rd Floor Library
Columbia University
1161 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY

Following up on the opening of the Guggenheim's landmark show Futurism, 1909-1944: Reconstructing the Universe (, the Columbia University Seminar in Modern Italian Studies is hosting a roundtable discussion on the exhibit and Futurism more broadly. Futurism continues to be of interest because of its wide-ranging contributions to modern culture, which the exhibit highlights in its multidisciplinary chronicle of the movement, but also because of its social and political views. The members of our panel bring a broad array of expertise to the roundtable, and as such we expect an expansive dialogue on the many facets of Futurism. We will reserve time at the end for audience questions and comments.

Confirmed participants include:

Giovanna Ginex, Independent Art Historian

Romy Golan, Professor of Art History, Lehman College and the CUNY Graduate Center

Vivien Greene, Chief Curator for Futurism, 1909-1944: Reconstructing the Universe, Guggenheim Museum

Marianne Lamonaca, Associate Gallery Director and Chief Curator, Bard Graduate Center

Adrian Lyttelton, Professor of European Studies, The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, The Johns Hopkins University

Christine Poggi, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art and Criticism, University of Pennsylvania

Lucia Re, Professor of Italian, University of California, Los Angeles

Discussion moderated by Ernest Ialongo, Chair, Columbia University Seminar in Modern Italian Studies

Please join us at the Italian Academy of Columbia University (1161 Amsterdam Ave., in the 3rd Floor Library) on Wednesday, February 26, 5-7 pm.

RSVP to Ernest Ialongo at by February 21.
03/14/2014 Italian Academy, 1161 Amsterdam Ave, 5th Floor
6:15 PM
A Very Seductive Body Politic: Berlusconi in the Cinema
Nicoletta Marini-Maio, Dickinson College

Respondent: Silvia Carlorosi, City College, CUNY

04/11/2014 Italian Academy, 1161 Amsterdam Ave, 5th Floor
6:15 PM
The Lost Wave: Women and Democracy in Postwar Italy
Molly Tambor, Long Island University, C.W. Post

Respondent: Frank Snowden, Yale University

05/09/2014 Italian Academy, 1161 Amsterdam Ave, 5th Floor
6:15 PM
Fabulous Planning: Unbuilt Venices
Jennifer Scappettone, University of Chicago

Respondent: Ara Merjian, New York University