3rd IASA International Symposium in Italy

                                                                    Call for Papers

                                                                   May 27-30, 2021

                                                                 Fondazione Campus

                                                        Via del Seminario Prima, 790

                                                                         Lucca, Italy


                                              Italian Diaspora(s): The Manifestations and 

                                                           Dynamics of Cultural Change

                                      Submission Deadline: Saturday, February 1, 2021

Guidelines for proposals:

All sessions will be 75 minutes, and we will ask presenters to limit their remarks to 15-20 minutes each so that there is ample time for Q&A and discussion. Proposals may take one of three forms.

● Individual presentation, paper, or talk

● Complete panel session, round table, or workshop, featuring multiple presenters (we particularly encourage thematic groupings of presenters from diverse disciplinary fields or methodological approaches, see above for more information)

● Performance, reading, or screening of creative work

Topics include, but are not limited to:

Connectivity and Technology: impact of television, radio, smart phones, the internet, social media, and other modes of connection on the Italian / Italian-American diasporans

Economics: Employment and financial security for diasporic communities

Education and Pedagogy: how diaspora and education mutually inform each other; experiences of diasporans (emigrants in movement) in the classroom; how diaspora is taught or not being taught

Generational Issues: intergenerational challenges faced by aging diasporas; differences in diasporic experiences among (grand)parents and children; how age and generational differences impact the ways in which the diaspora self-identifies and represents itself to others

Home: ideas of what constitutes home and belonging or being at home; “homing”; relationships between diaspora communities and so-called homelands

Identity and Representation of Diaspora: including through memory and witnessing; literature; music; performance; film, television, and other visual media

Impact of Intersectionalities: entanglements/tensions relating to language, race and ethnicity, nationality, culture and other diasporic diversities on relations within and between diaspora communities–and how those relationships are discussed

Legacies: Influence of diaspora on evolution of languages, genetic traits, geographical boundaries, etc.

Policy and Law: non-governmental organizations, charities and government agencies that provide assistance to diasporans; political agency and activism of diasporans; impact of diaspora on foreign policy; approaches to recognizing and protecting rights of diasporans

Post-colonialism and Decolonization: how discourses around diaspora shifts vis-a-vis evolving politics of post-colonialism and decolonization, particularly in relation to the ways in which “here” and “there” have traditionally been constructed within colonial language

Power and Voice: liminality and in-betweenness, marginalization, (in)visibility, and relations of and to power as it pertains to diasporan fluidity

Sex, Gender, and Sexuality: how differences in sex, gender, and orientation produce differing perspectives on what constitutes diasporic identity

For more information, please visit the Italian American Studies Association’s website: https://www.italianamericanstudies.net/cpages/2020-symposium

The 53rd Annual IASA Pittsburgh Conference October 21-23. 2021.

Mining the Diaspora: Italian-American Materialities, Archaeologies, and Intersections

Submission Deadline: Friday, May 1, 2021

The Italian American Studies Association (IASA formerly the American Italian Historical Association AIHA) celebrates its fifty-third year of academic inquiry into all things Italian and Italian American. We welcome independent thinkers, scholars, and academics, past and present, to participate in its annual conference.

The conference will focus on the intersections of local, glocal (characterized by both local and global considerations), and transnational settings, with particular emphasis on the connections, collaborations, and contestations that exist between and among Italians, Italian Americans, and other multi-ethnic and -racial groups. The conference aims to draw attention in equal measure to small cities, suburban areas, and rural enclaves, a broadened focus that will complement and enrich a field that has long trained its lens on the Italian-American experience in larger urban settings. Addressing this diverse demographic landscape, conference participants are invited to explore questions of materiality; belonging; the processes and products of oral and written family and community histories; labor communities, trajectories, and archaeologies of all kinds; material and digital expressions of these histories, communities, trajectories, and archives. Interventions may see these themes as interpreted through collections housed in historical societies, museums, universities, libraries, archives, homes, private collections, etc., or in virtual or digital forms.

All presenters, respondents, and discussants must be members in good standing of the Italian American Studies Association by August 30, 2021.

IASA encourages proposals in diverse formats, including round tables, debates, workshops, teaching sessions, and performances. In addition to individual paper proposals, we encourage the submission of abstracts and/or fully-formed sessions; we also encourage submission of individuals who would prefer to moderate or to comment. If this is your interest, please submit a CV and statement of areas of interest and expertise. We especially encourage interdisciplinary panels and roundtables that provide a structure for creating dialogue at the intersection of creative, social, and humanistic thought, and across diverse disciplinary fields and methodologies. The conference committee will consider proposals that do not specifically address but may complement this year’s conference theme.

Organized panels should feature no more than three presenters, (or creative writers or artists, as the case may be) not including the chair and respondent. All presentations are limited to 15-20 minutes based upon the number of people on the panel. If you are willing to serve as chair, please indicate that willingness in your cover letter. This is separate from your presentation(s).

Guidelines for Proposals:

Sessions will be 75 minutes, and we will ask the presenter to limit her or his remarks to 15-20 minutes each, so there is ample time for Q&A and discussion. Proposals may be for one of three forms:

  • Individual presentation, paper, or talk.
  • Panel session or workshop, featuring multiple presenters.
  • Performance, reading, or screening of creative work.

Proposals should include:

  • Proposal title and a brief (250-word description)
  • Suggested topic category (see list above)
  • Brief biographical statement, affiliation, and e-mail
  • Technology needs, if any.

The conference interventions will gravitate around three main groups of keywords/phrases and their associated questions or problems:

  1. Materiality of diaspora
  • archives: material, visual, digital-born, conceptual
  • artifacts, cultural production (broadly understood), and folk materiality
  • images: photographic, cinematic, and otherwise
  • oral histories, written personal histories, family histories
  • spaces and places, including structures, infrastructures, and negative spaces
  • community and institutional structures
  • commodities, marketplaces, and other transactional spaces
  • tools of the trade/s
  • philanthropy: its products, its structures, and its intersections with labor, cultural production, power structures, inter-ethnic dynamics 
  • 2. Archeology of labor
  • tools of the trade/s
  • infrastructure
  • labor narratives
  • labor activism
  • industry growth and decline
  • migrant/itinerant labor/ers
  • structures of labor power, internal and external to the community
  • science and technology
  • narratives of Italian-American identity as embedded and differentiated in urban, suburban, or rural landscapes 
  • 3. Ethnic intersections
  • Inter-ethnic marriage and other familial configurations
  • Labor sites (e.g., coal mines, steel mills) as sites of multi-ethnic and multi-racial collaboration and community
  • Structures of labor power, internal and external to the community
  • Cosmopolitanism and philanthropy that works across (elite?) ethnic and national groups
  • Multi-cultural neighborhoods
  • Commemorations and mappings of “little Italys” and other spaces identified with diasporic communities, whether currently visible or not
  • Italian-American flight (and white) in the aftermath of the Civil Rights movement


In an effort to defray some of the traveling costs for graduate students attending the Italian American Studies Association annual conference, the association has set aside limited funds for student travel. 


Full-time graduate students at any level of study whose papers have been accepted for presentation at the Italian American Studies Association conference for the year in which funds are being requested. 

Graduate students must be in good standing (i.e., fully enrolled, degree-seeking; with proof of working in a timely manner on degree requirements; no academic probation, etc.) and, if they do not win one year, may reapply in subsequent for subsequent conferences. 

N.B. This is a separate application process from the Memorial Fellowship. Qualified graduate students may apply for both. 

Decisions will be based on the following:

  • Proof of acceptance for presentation at the upcoming IASA conference;
  • Evidence of good standing and timely progress toward degree requirements;
  • Previous IASA travel awards; 
  • Travel distance between home institution and conference location;
  • Quantity of funding secured from other sources; and
  • Quality and originality of abstract 




● Cover letter: Please include home institution/primary professional affiliation, year and program of study, and dissertation title or details about your area of specialization. Then include the title of your accepted paper, your travel plan, full budget, requested amount for the award, and proof of financial support received from home institution or outside sources. 

● A scanned copy of your unofficial transcript as proof of your good standing. 

● Forwarded email with the IASA presentation acceptance from panel organizer.

● Conference abstract.

For any questions about the application process, please contact Fellowship/Award Committee, Colleen Ryan at ryancm@indiana.edu

DEADLINE: TBD (based on confirmation of our next in-person conference in the US or abroad)

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. Recipients of travel awards will be notified via email and the award funding will be sent in the form of a check by regular mail.

Benvenuto. Thank you for your interest in joining the Italian American Studies Association. There has never been a more important time to join IASA. Your IASA membership will benefit your career as well as your profession. Benefits of membership include access to the IASA members' database (visible to all registered members only) and access to free PDF versions of AIHA proceedings on our website.

We are pleased to offer the student membership dues rate. Please complete the student verification form (https://www.italianamericanstudies.net/cpages/membership) in order for your registration to be processed. Please note, that your registration is not complete until this form is received by IASA (ryancm@indiana.edu) and confirmation of your student status is emailed back to you. You can fill out the form and upload it here in submittable, so that the process for your student membership can begin. 

Again, thank you for your interest and devotion to the interdisciplinary study of the culture, history, literature, sociology, demography, folklore, and politics of Italians in America.