Lingue Migranti, The Global Languages of Italy and the Diaspora

Anthony J. Tamburri * (April 28, 2013)
Yesterday, April 27, John D. Calandra Italian American Institute concluded two-day conference on yet another significant aspect of our community and its ever expanding issues: the Italian language and its inevitable, changing nature, as people move from one locale to another

We had more than forty scholars deliver insightful presentations on important topics that continue to affect our comunal ragion d'essere. Further still, we had a great amount of people from the community come and listen, reaching an unprecedented number of attendees. 

The conference opened with a Thursday night reception and welcoming comments from Queens College President James Muyskens and Italy's Vice Consul Lucia Pasqualini, followed by a brief video interlude and a lecture by Visiting Professor at the Calandra Institute Roberto Dolci. 

This is our sixth annual conference that we have hosted at the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute since my arrival in late summer 2006. Conferences of this sort, especially with regard to Italian-American Studies, are fundamental. Our conference in the spring and the much longer standing, fall conference of the Italian American Studies Association (formerly, American Italian Historical Association) constitute, here in the United States, a significant and necessary voice for us to add to that larger USA discourse on race and ethnicity. These and other fora allow us to "speak for ourselves," thus preventing others to (a) speak for us, and, ultimately, (b) define us.

I wish thus to take this opportunity to thank everyone at the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute who made this event possible; and I also wish to thank those of you from the community who continue to support all of our events throughout the year. With regard to this past weekend's conference, you can find further information in both English ( and Italian (La Voce di New York).

Finally, let me remind you that, as a CUNY wide research institue under the aegis of Queens College, we continue to engage in innovative ways through which we can examine, analyze, and interrogate the many issues -- from the local to the international -- that affect Italians in America. In this regard, then, I would remind you of our two upcoming events on May 7 and May 9, and the most recent publication of issue 3.1 of the Italian American Review, the social science journal dedicated to Italian Americana. Also, forthcoming this summer is a collection of essays on Italian Americans and Mental Health and Wellness, an outgrowth of a conference we organized in October 2011. For further information about these and other Calandra events, projects, and continued activities both within and beyond CUNY, please visit our website.

Again, un caloroso grazie for your continued support, and we look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events.

* Anthony Julian Tamburri, Ph.D.

  Dean & Professor





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