(deadline: 15 December 2013)


The Canadian Society for Italian Studies

Annual Conference

24-26 May 2014

at Brock University

(Saint Catharines, Ontario, Canada)

in the Niagara Peninsula


The Canadian Society for Italian Studies will hold its next annual conference on 24-26 May 2014 (Sat.-Mon.) at Brock University in the beautiful Niagara Peninsula. The conference is part of the annual Congress of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences – CFHSS), the largest multidisciplinary academic gathering in Canada, which attracts delegates from across the continent and around the world.

We invite individual papers and complete sessions (consisting of a chair and three speakers) that address traditional areas of Italian studies, such as Italian literature, linguistics, pedagogy, film, politics, and culture. Aside from these, papers are also invited for special sessions on:

  • Borders Without Boundaries 
    This is the general theme of the entire Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

  • The Crisis in Italian Studies 
    A round table discussion to examine the cancellation of programs and positions 
    in Italian at various universities in Canada and the USA. Each panelist will be asked to make a 10 minutes presentation on the current situation with Italian studies in North America (5 pp. d.sp.) and then to engage in the discussion with other panelists and the audience so as to identify appropriate solutions and responses.

  • Italians Abroad in the Renaissance 
    This session will examine the presence and contributions of Italian artists, writers, politicians, ecclesiastics, business people, and spouses (male and female) in countries outside the Italian peninsula. The session will be jointly sponsored and organized with the Canadian Society for Renaissance Studies.

  • Italians in Canada  
    An examination of the history of Italians in Canada and their contribution to Italian-Canadian culture and language.

  • Inside and Beyond the Text: An Exploration of Leopardi's Zibaldone
    The recent publication of the first complete English edition of the Zibaldone by Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837) presents an opportune occasion for continued reflection on Leopardi's activity as writer, poet, and translator. Though a consideration of Leopardi's life and works, this panel focuses predominantly on the Zibaldone, his monumental 'diary'. The panel forwards the following questions: Can the Zibaldone still be considered a subtext of Leopardi's celebrated masterpieces? Is it an autonomous text with a definitive literary genre? Or should it be considered a hypertext, including other texts? Any Leopardian proposal of literary historical, and/or philosophical nature will be entertained.
    Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words as well as a brief biography (100 words) to Johnny L. Bertolio ( 

  • Italy in the 1970s: Between Lead and Flowers (seminar)
    The 1970 was an extremely turbulent and creative decade for Italy. Various domestic terrorist groups of the radical left and right instilled fear among people as they organized deadly attacks that were covered by all mass media, while the Oil crisis forced the common man to leave the car at home and reach the workplace by public transport. The acme of the decade was probably the Moro kidnapping and its aftermath. This panel seeks to investigate how literature (especially, but not only, graphic novels), cinema, visual arts, and historians' essays responded to or represented the 1970s or, more specifically, the Moro affair. Papers can analyze fiction and non-fiction literature published from the 1970s to today, on condition that they represented, illustrated, spoke of the 1970s decade. 
    Send a 200 words abstract by December 10th to Sciltian Gastaldi

  • Teatro italiano tra lingua e scena
    Si invitano papers - in italiano, inglese, e francese - che esplorino le questioni linguistiche e/o quelle performative del teatro italiano dal XV al XX secolo. Il panel intende esplorare la scena teatrale italiana dal Quattrocento al Novecento con particolare attenzione alla lingua da un lato e alle esigenze sceniche, o performative, dall'altro. Se la commedia dell'arte aveva nell'uso di vari dialetti uno dei suoi punti di forza, anche il teatro "premeditato" accoglieva istanze che cercavano di far coesistere lingua, dialetto e perfomativita'. Gli autori che scrivevano in dialetto o in toscano avevano sempre un'attenzione particolare per il binomio lingua-scena. Le implicazioni linguistiche, per altro, rendevano necessarie specializzazioni da parte delle attrici e degli attori. Inoltre, la problematica della lingua si estendeva all'opera buffa che tra Venezia e Napoli cominciava a divenire, nel Settecento, uno dei generi di maggior successo in cui sia il toscano/italiano che il dialetto avevano particolare importanza
    Inviare un abstract di 150 parole e un breve CV a Gianni Cicali
    Data di scadenza: domenica 1 dicembre.

  • Roundtable: North American Pop Culture in the Italian Classroom 
    The presence of Italian history and literature in North American contemporary popular culture is more ubiquitous than many realize. As Janice Leidl demonstrated at the Toronto Renaissance and Reformation Colloquium this fall, the popular series, “Game of Thrones” can function as a Machiavellian mirror for princes and echoes many of Machiavelli's reflections on the nature of power. The infamous Borgia family has captured a new generation of the popular imagination thanks to a recent television series, while Cesare Borgia is featured as a protagonist of the popular video game series “Assassin’s Creed.” How can we bring these myriad popular culture references into the classroom in productive ways? How can we use these references to garner greater undergraduate student interest in Italian Studies? This roundtable seeks to explore innovative pedagogical approaches to using North American popular culture in the classroom when teaching Italian history and literature. 
    Please send a 100-word abstract and a one-page CV to Bryan Brazeau, by December 1, 2013.

  • Nuove configurazioni della maternità 
    Questa sessione si propone di analizzare i molteplici volti della maternità nella letteratura, nel cinema e nella cultura italiana contemporanea alla luce dell?intensa riflessione filosofica e letteraria che si è sviluppata intorno alla figura della madre negli ultimi decenni. Tenendo conto dei notevoli cambiamenti avvenuti nella società italiana, si rifletterà sulle nuove configurazione del ruolo mateno sia nell?ambito letterario che nella cultura popolare. Particolare attenzione verrà riservata all'analisi della rappresentazione della
    madre in quanto soggetto attivo dell'azione e/o 
    della narrazione. 
    Inviare un abstract di 100 parole ed un breve CV a Marina Bettaglio, entro il 10 dicembre 2013.


  •   Knotty Grammar Today’s Italian Studies conferences inevitably include sessions proposing innovative pedagogical techniques to present language to students of Italian. Technology has contributed immensely to diversifying presentation and so too has the shift towards a more communicative-based approach in the classroom. The contributions from these have become practical learning sessions for language instructors, and an excellent opportunity for exchange of in-class ideas. These presentations tend to focus on the more obvious grammar structures such as the present indicative, the "passato prossimo" versus the "imperfetto", the conditional, etc. For good reason, given the frequency and ease with which students use these structures and their adaptability to greater in-class activities. This session seeks papers that propose innovative ways to introduce “knottier” grammar structures without recourse necessarily to the “fun” component. Complex grammar structures require deeper learning and understanding; how can this be combined with engaging activities? Some grammar concepts might include but are not limited to: "ci" and "ne", "pronomi doppi", relative pronouns, the "congiuntivo". Paper topics may also choose to investigate textbooks that present complex grammar structures in particularly new ways. Please submit 100-word abstracts and one-page CV to and by December 10. 


  • Bringing the Past to the Present: Renaissance Literature Courses The Renaissance and the works produced during this historical period remain an interest of study for undergraduates. Sometimes, however, the interest does not transcend the period itself. This panel seeks papers that propose ideas for extending the Renaissance and the production during this time to the present. Film and television series have helped to make the Renaissance more visible, but how can we encourage deeper thinking of the period among our students? Can we help to cultivate an imagined relationship between a past writer and a modern reader? How can the universal human dimension be emphasized in the study of the Renaissance so that students imagine past human motivations, values and goals as similar to their own? What questions can be asked? What activities can be conducted in class? What Renaissance literary works are better suited for achieving these goals? Can instructional technology help?Please submit 100-word abstracts and one-page CV to and by December 10.


  •  Il Barocco in Italia, in Europa e nel mondo.


Il barocco, oggi, è accettato come un concetto di "epoca" (Maravall) ma anche di

"estetica". In altre parole, il periodo che va circa dal 1580 al 1650 si può senz'altro

definire epoca barocca e si può parlare di un gusto barocco, di una letteratura barocca,

etc. Ciò non solo a livello europeo, ma mondiale (in America latina, con un arco di

tempo naturalmente più esteso). Questo risultato è il punto di approdo di una lunga

tradizione critica, che ha recuperato il barocco come oggetto di studio dopo che, in

accordo all'estetica classicista, lo si era negletto e trascurato. Ancora oggi, però, si

sottovaluta il ruolo che l'italianismo (parola tematica: il culto per la lingua e la cultura italiana, visti come modelli da imitare, la fortuna dei classici italiani e di Petrarca in particolare, anche sul lungo periodo e così via) ha avuto in questa temperie. Anche qui le ragioni riguardano la tradizione critica (De Sanctis, Croce).

Si può quindi affermare che la definizione di questa epoca e di questo gusto artistico dipendono in larga parte dal trionfante italianismo, non solo nelle arti, come è noto (Caravaggio, Bernini, Borromini), ma anche in letteratura: circolazione di scrittori, libri e idee dall'Italia all'Europa nel Seicento; la perdurante fama del Rinascimento come epoca di inimitabile raffinatezza e prestigio culturale. ll 1550-1650 è quello che il grande storico Fernand Braudel chiamava "Il grande secolo italiano" per il grado di penetrazione della cultura italiana in tutte le corti d'Europa. Assi proposti: 1) In Francia il Barocco fu respinto proprio perché, rispetto al classicismo di Racine, Molière e compagnia, era di gusto italiano. La corte di Parigi in epoca barocca è italiana: Maria de' Medici, Concino Concini, etc. Fortune e magistero letterario di Marino.2) La letteratura barocca per eccellenza, quella spagnola, in realtà ha modelli italiani: Petrarca per Quevedo, Marino per Gongora. 3) L'enorme fortuna del barocco italiano non è limitata all'Europa. Scritture e riscritture barocche nel XVII secolo e in epoca moderna. Inviare un abstract di 150 parole ed un breve CV a Sebastiano Bazzichetto,  entro il 4 dicembre 2013.


Papers are to be 20 minutes in length (except for the round-table presentations that must be no more than 10 minutes in length) and can be delivered in English, French, or Italian.


Proposals should include:

            the name of the speaker
            the speaker’s academic affiliation (or “independent scholar”, as applicable)
            the title of the paper
            a 100 words abstract
            full contact information for the speaker (name, address, telephone, email)
            and a one-page CV for the speaker.

In the case of session proposals, this information is to be repeated for each presenter.

Proposals should be emailed to both conference organizers:

                        Prof. Konrad Eisenbichler (

                        Prof. Sandra Parmegiani (

Deadline for submission: Sunday, 15 December 2013.

Presenters and participants at the conference will need to be paid-up members of the Canadian Society for Italian Studies for the year 2014 ($60 regular/ $35 students) and will be required to pay both the CSIS conference fee ($40/$20) and the CFHSS conference fee (ca. $160/$60).

For further information on the conference and on the society, visit the CSIS web pages

For further information on the Congress or the Niagara region, please visit Brock University Congress 2014


For additional information, please contact either one of the conference organizers:

Prof. Konrad Eisenbichler <>

Prof. Sandra Parmegiani <>

Contact Us

Contact's Name

Prof. Mary Watt - CAIS Secretary

University of Florida

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

2014 Turlington Hall

PO Box 117300

Gainesville, FL. 32611-7300


(352) 392-2230
(352) 392-3584

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