This past academic year has been filled with activities and novelties, the highlight of the year probably being the historic move to a new building. After 25 years in the old house at 84 College Ave, the Italian Department moved to 15 Seminary Place, where we occupy one section of the 5th floor, which we share with the Department of Spanish & Portuguese. The other floors host French, German & East European Languages, Comp Lit, AMESALL (African, Middle Eastern, South Asian Languages & Literatures), and various Research Centers such as the Center for Historical Analysis and the Center for Cultural Analysis. We have more space and lots of light coming through the large windowpanes, and we are very happy to be in closer proximity to colleagues in other humanities units and to be able to organize and enjoy joint activities and events.
We are very pleased with the promotion of Carmela Scala to Assistant Teaching Professor and of Sheri La Macchia to Program Coordinator, and immensely proud of the many achievements of our undergraduate and graduate students. Indeed, once again, we have a Henry Rutgers Scholar in our undergraduate program (Carol Cofone) as well as a Voorhees Cejka Fellow (Jo Ana Rivera). Our graduate students distinguished themselves in different competitive initiatives: among others, Eleonora Sartoni received the Bevier Fellowship to complete her dissertation on the expressions and effects of urban transformation in Rome (1870 to the present), Andrew Robbins was selected to participate in the summer session of the Institute for World Literature in Copenhagen, and Giuditta Cirnigliaro was admitted into the summer workshop on The Art Historical Image in the Digital Age at the American Academy in Rome.
Our calendar of events was crowded with talks on contemporary issues of immigration, digital humanities, and avantgarde poetry, in addition to the Food for Thought Talk Series and the guests of the Italian Graduate Society. Carmela Scala and Daniele De Feo organized an extremely successful conference on “Italian as Communication and Literacy” (keynote speaker Robert Kern, Berkeley), which brought together distinguished scholars, directors of Language Centers, school administrators, and university and high school teachers in a productive and rewarding dialogue. Rutgers Day was a lot of fun, with guests identifying famous locations and Italian landmarks for a chance to win a patriotic Italian Department wristband, and stopping by to take pictures in Venice or to star in famous Italian movies. Finally, it was a great pleasure to see again many of our alumni at the yearly Reunion, where our graduate students were awarded distinctions and fellowships funded by our generous alumni and had the chance to hear from them about their past experiences
on the job market and in non-academic careers, as well, during the new Career Coaching Workshop. We hope that many more alumni will decide to visit next year, but, in the meantime, we wish a pleasant and productive summer to all. And do come and visit us in our new building!
Alessandro and Paola