Il Postino Fall 2022

Below you'll find Dr. Vettore's introduction to the Fall 2022 issue of Il Postino, the Graziadio Center's semesterly newsletter. To read the rest of this semester's issue, visit the Il Postino tumblr page!

A Letter on what’s new at the Graziadio Center

Dear friends of Il Postino,

Welcome to the Fall 2022 issue of our newsletter!

Since my last message, we at the Graziadio Center for Italian Studies have been quite busy organizing our Summer program in Recanati, Italy and preparing events for the Fall and the Spring Semester.  

So, what’s new at the Graziadio Center? Let’s start in an orderly fashion.

First, there has been a change in the Graziadio personnel: Joanna Tatro, our previous Program Assistant, has decided to focus on her next academic step. She is now studying Translation Studies at CSULB and teaching Italian while looking for her ideal graduate program, but the Graziadio baton has been officially passed on to Diego Brol Batres. Diego, who earned his MA in Italian Studies in the Spring 22 semester, is our new Program Assistant.  

Best of luck to you, Joanna, and welcome (back), Diego!

After a two-year delay, courtesy of COVID-19, we were able to send to our study abroad in Recanati a record number of students for the month of July. Forty students traveled to Recanati, the birthplace of famous Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi in the beautiful region of le Marche, in central Italy. They spent four intense weeks learning Italian language and culture, but still had time to explore the most beautiful places in Italy––and taste the best food and gelato, of course! We are very happy to report that the students enjoyed their time there and that our number of minors in Italian studies increased as a result!

This semester’s events started mid-September with visual artist Luci Callipari-Marcuzzo’s talk on her experience as the daughter of Calabrian immigrants in Australia. She explored the fascinating ways she reconnected with her past, culture, family tradition, and experiences as a woman through art and performance.

On November 28th, the Graziadio Center hosted Long Beach tailor Umberto Autore and his biographer, Mark Thompson, for a talk on Umberto’s life experience. From his childhood as an orphan in war-ravaged Italy to his move to New York as an immigrant tailor, Umberto had many stories to tell, including the fact that he became Frank Sinatra’s tailor! Some 40 people, in person and via Zoom, attended the event and enjoyed Umberto’s stories, understood better what it meant to be Italian in Los Angeles in the late 50s, and enjoyed some light banter between Umberto and Mark.

Next semester, the Graziadio Center is hosting the California Interdisciplinary Consortium of Italian Studies (CICIS) biannual conference, that will take place on February 24-25 at the Anatol Center. The theme of the conference is a timely one: hybridity, an important feature of our daily lives (work– and car–related) but also a reminder that when we allow things (or beings) to blend, the result is beautiful and exciting.

An event with award-winning Italian writer Gianrico Carofiglio, a former anti-mafia judge and now author of many detective novels, among other books, is scheduled for mid-April, 2023.

For the first time since I started directing the Graziadio Center, we have a short-term scholar guest, Chiara Sala. An MA student from the Università di Milano, Chiara has joined us to observe and gather information from our courses of Italian for Spanish speakers for her MA thesis project. Chiara has been sitting in our classes and learning more about our innovative pedagogical approach.  

Chiara will spend the entire Fall semester at CSULB. Her profile and interview, with more details about her research project, will be featured in the Spring issue of Il Postino. Benvenuta, Chiara!

Regarding our faculty and alumna spotlight, we are glad to have been able to interview Lecturer of Italian, Daniela Zappador Guerra, and alumna, Elizabeth Chan (MA, 2018). Daniela has worked with us for many years, and Elizabeth was an undergraduate student before enrolling in our MA program. You will certainly know them better and feel inspired after reading their profiles!

Moving onto our current graduate students: Mariana Barrios, Bria Pellandini, and Jorge Hernandez-Calderón have all brilliantly passed their comprehensive Master’s exams and will graduate at the end of the Fall 2022 semester. Heartfelt congratulations to all of you, and best of luck for your future!

While we are sad to say goodbye to our graduating MA students, we are glad to say welcome to Caitlin Craig, who has been admitted as a graduate student and will start attending our courses next semester.

Her profile will be features on the next issue of Il Postino. Benvenuta, Caitlin!  

And with this, our welcome letter comes to an end.

I wish you a beautiful end of the semester, and a great Holiday Season.  

Until the next time,