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  • 16 Jun 2020 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    Dear CAIS Members,

    Had it not been for the COVID emergency, last week we would have held our conference in Sorrento. During the AGM on Sunday, June 7th I would have officially introduced Professor Roberta Iannacito-Provenzano as the new President of CAIS for 2020-2023.

    My mandate as CAIS President is officially over as of last week. However, according to the changes in the CAIS constitution that we passed a year ago, the outgoing executive will function together with the new executive, in order to guarantee a smooth transition. Moreover, to ensure continuity, I will serve on the CAIS executive as Past President for the next three years.

    As President of CAIS, I am happy to report that our association is economically in excellent standing and that, in the past six years, we were able to further increase the reputation of our organization around the world as a beacon of scholarship and diversity.

    I am also pleased to report that during my tenure as President we reached some major milestones. Last year we changed the name of the organization from CSIS to CAIS, which became necessary in order to avoid any confusion with other Canadian organizations.

    Thanks to our webmaster, Andre Mohan, we also recently redesigned our web page, which now has a more modern look.

    We created the position of Communication Officer, which greatly improved our online presence and increased our numbers of followers. We now have around 1,300 followers on Facebook, almost 1,000 subscribers to our mailing list, and a few hundred followers on Instagram and Twitter. Our Communication Officer, Andrea Penso, will post his annual report on our web page soon.

    We also organized two important conferences. The one that took place on the Ottawa campus in 2018 was the best-attended conference in Canada to date for CAIS/CSIS, with 110 participants. On that occasion we welcomed famous anthropologist Franco LaCecla, among other illustrious guests.

    We also organized a conference in Orvieto and Ficulle in 2019. Among our guests we welcomed eminent political philosopher Giacomo Marramao. This was the most highly attended conference in terms of absolute numbers, with 280 participants.

    Both conferences were beautiful and well attended and I was proud to welcome our colleagues both in Ottawa and in Umbria, two places that are very close to my heart.

    If not for this year’s health emergency, our 2020 conference at Sant’Anna Institute in Sorrento would undoubtedly have been a great success. We are very sorry that we could not be there this week and I am grateful to the Sant’Anna Institute for being there for us every step of the way and for their support and friendship for all these years.

    Last but not least, we were extraordinarily proud to welcome Marco Paolini, renowned actor, playwright, and founder of Italian narrative theater, as our esteemed CAIS honorary member.

    The beginning of 2020 was dramatic both for Italy and Canada and deeply affected our scholarly communities around the world. My heart is filled with sorrow after what we have all been through, including the fear and the uncertainties of these dramatic times, and most of all, for the loss of so many lives. We cannot foresee the human and economic repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic, but I remain hopeful that we shall open a new chapter in the life of our countries and in the organization of our scholarly communities. For CAIS, I am confident that Professor Iannacito-Provenzano’s leadership will be vital to carry us through these difficult times. Professor Iannacito-Provenzano knows that she can always count on me as she takes on her role as President of CAIS, and I wish her all the best in this new adventure.

    On a personal note, looking back on my three years as President, along with the previous three years as Vice President, I feel enormous gratitude for the many ways in which CAIS enriched my life. It gave me great pleasure to personally meet so many of you and to create long-lasting collaborations and friendships. I am particularly thankful for my collaboration with past and present members of the executive, in particular Sandra Parmegiani, who is now Director of our journal, Quaderni d’italianistica. I am also grateful for the work and dedication that our Communication Officer, Andrea Penso, has given to CAIS. Finally, CAIS owes a great debt of gratitude to Andre Mohan, our webmaster, for his professionalism, knowledge, and unfailing availability.

    In closing, I wish us all a productive second part of this year, with continuous engagement with Italian studies and with all the other things that matter in our lives as scholars of the discipline. Let us all concentrate on our health and productivity in the coming year.

    It was a privilege to serve. Until we see each other again, I remain yours,

    Cristina Perissinotto

    Past President, CAIS

  • 21 Mar 2020 1:49 PM | Anonymous

    Dear Members and Friends,

    It is with a deep sadness that I announce that we are cancelling our Annual Conference in Sorrento at the beginning of June 2020. The CAIS Executive and I discussed it at length and, given the current health crisis around the globe, we decided not to go through with the plans to hold our June conference at the Sant’Anna Institute. We are all worried by the health emergency in Italy and by the appearance of COVID-19 in Canada and in other countries.

    Making this decision was not easy. We regret missing the opportunity for intellectual exchanges at the conference. I am deeply grateful to our partners at the Sant’Anna Institute for their patience, generosity and understanding. I thank the President of Sant’Anna, Cristiana Panicco, and the organizers, Olga Stinga, Marco Marino and Domenico Palumbo for their continuing support. We had great plans for this conference, and we are sure that we will be able to visit them again in Sorrento, either as professors participating in their study abroad program, or as participants in their future conferences.

    I also wish to thank the CAIS Conference Organizing Committee that kept working through these uncertain times: Andrea Penso, Aurora Cominetti, Julie Fox-Horton and Roberta Iannacito-Provenzano.

    Since a week or so ago we opened the registration, if you already registered in the conference you will be reimbursed. To request a refund, please send an email to our Treasurer, Roberta Cauchi Santoro, who will process the refunds.

    As far as the research you already did for your presentation, the Director of Quaderni d’Italianistica, Sandra Parmegiani, has an important message for our participants:

    "We invite delegates who were going to present their research in Sorrento to consider submitting their articles to Quaderni d’italianistica for peer review and publication in the Canadian Association for Italian Studies official journal. If you decide to do so, please follow the editorial policies of Quaderni. The annual conference represents an opportunity for the editorial team to spend time with colleagues from all over the world and to discuss their current and future research. We deeply regret to miss this opportunity for mutual enrichment in 2020." – Sandra Parmegiani

    My mandate as President of CAIS will end in June; it has beena great pleasure and an honor to serve. This year we did not manage to elect a Vice-President but I am very grateful to Roberta Iannacito-Provenzano for accepting the responsibility that the position of President of CAIS requires. Since we will not hold an AGM this year, the Executive is at the moment discussing how to formally handle the transition. I will be in touch in June to announce our decisions, and to say goodbye to all of you.

    To end on a hopeful note, I am pleased to announce that our next conference will be held at York University in Toronto (date TBA), and that the organizer will be our new President, Roberta Iannacito-Provenzano.

    I wish everyone a smooth end of the semester, an easy transition to online teaching, and good health.


    Cristina Perissinotto

    President, Canadian Association for Italian Studies

  • 10 Mar 2020 9:07 AM | Anonymous

    Dear Colleagues,

    It is with great pleasure that I announce the new President of CAIS, Roberta Iannacito Provenzano. She was the only candidate for the post and is therefore elected by acclamation.

    Dr. Roberta Iannacito-Provenzano is Associate Professor of Italian Studies at York University in Toronto and Associate Dean (Faculty Affairs) in the same university.

    Roberta Iannacito-Provenzano’s appointment will start with the next Annual General Meeting, which will be held during our annual conference.

    Please join me in wishing me Prof. Iannacito-Provenzano an easy and productive term in office, and buon lavoro.

    VICE PRESIDENT OF CAIS:  As there were no nominations for the post of Vice-President, the Executive of CAIS is exploring the possibility of appointing an interim Vice-President until new elections can be run.


    Prof. Cristina Perissinotto


    Canadian Association for Italian Studies

  • 09 Mar 2020 3:46 PM | Anonymous

    Dear Members and Friends of CAIS,

    The CAIS Executive and the Sant’Anna Institute are closely monitoring the developments connected to the coronavirus epidemics in Italy.

    As of now, the Executive of CAIS and the Organizing Committee are continuing to plan for the Annual Conference to be held at the Sant’Anna Institute in Sorrento in June. We still have hopes to hold the conference, barring a worsening of the situation in Southern Italy, or any injunctions from the region of Campania or from the Italian Government to cancel large gatherings for that time period.

    For this reason, CAIS will soon open conference enrollment on the CAIS web site. Should we decide to postpone our conference this year, we will let you know immediately.

    As far as your plans to come to Sorrento are concerned, we suggest that you book your accommodation, provided that the booking is fully refundable, and that you wait to book your flight until you are sure that it is safe for you to come to Italy.

    Should you become unable to travel, CAIS will issue a refund of the conference fees.

    For information on the situation in Campania members are invited to contact the Sant'Anna Institute, or visit their web page:, which is updated weekly.

    To respond to a growing need for critical reflection, we also decided to organize a round table entitled Pandemics in Italian History and Literature to be held at the conference. It will be a way to discuss this emergency and to put it in historical and theoretical perspective.

    If you wish to participate in the round table, please send an email to

    Wishing everyone good health and safe travels,

    Cristina Perissinotto


    Canadian Association for Italian Studies

    Cristiana Panicco


    Sant’Anna Institute, Sorrento

  • 30 Jan 2020 10:43 AM | Anonymous

    Dear Colleagues,

    The panel submission deadline for the 2020 annual CAIS conference to be held in Sorrento in June 2020 has been extended to Friday, February 14, 2020. Colleagues can submit panel proposals by filling out the form that can be found on this page:

    Colleagues wishing to submit a single paper can submit an abstract directly to the panel chairs. A full list of panels can be found here:

    Those colleagues who can’t find a suitable panel on that list may submit their paper proposal directly to this address:

    For more information please visit the CAIS conference webpage:

    We look forward to seeing you all in Sorrento!

    For the Organizing Committee

    Prof. Cristina Perissinotto

    University of Ottawa


    Care Colleghe e cari Colleghi,

    la scadenza per la proposta di panel per il convegno annuale CAIS 2020 che si terrà a Sorrento nel giugno 2020 è stata prorogata a venerdì 14 febbraio 2020. Chi volesse presentare proposte di panel può farlo compilando il modulo che si trova a questo indirizzo web:

    Chi desiderasse presentare un paper singolo può inviare un abstract direttamente agli organizzatori di sessione. Un elenco completo dei panel già proposti è disponibile qui:

    Coloro che non hanno trovato in tale elenco una panel adatto alla loro proposta possono inviare il loro abstract direttamente a questo indirizzo email:

    Per ulteriori informazioni, si prega di visitare il sito del convegno:

    Al piacere di rivedervi tutti a Sorrento!

    Per il Comitato Organizzatore

    Prof. Cristina Perissinotto 

    Università di Ottawa

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