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

IASA awards this annual fellowship to the author of the year’s outstanding Ph.D. dissertation or MA thesis proposal in Italian American studies. We welcome all approaches to the field of study.


Graduate students in any discipline whose work focuses on Italian American culture are eligible and encouraged to apply; graduate students  in good standing in their own home institution's graduate program  (i.e., fully enrolled, degree-seeking; completing work in a timely manner; no academic probation, etc.). Prior candidates are especially encouraged to resubmit previously non- funded applications.

Students applying for the annual conference travel grants are also eligible. Please note: Qualifications, seniority, and quality of application will be considered in decision making. The fellowship award is decided by an Italian American Studies Association committee selected via the Executive Council.



  1. Cover letter: Briefly describe your dissertation research project and your progress toward completion.
  2. Project description: A description of dissertation or thesis work completed or in-progress; format should be three double-spaced pages maximum using a standard 12-point font with 1-inch  margins. If the project is a Master’s Degree thesis or Doctoral dissertation, indicate that and describe its scope. It is important that you clearly explain the significance of your research and how it contributes to the advancement of knowledge in the field of Italian American studies.
  3. Curriculum vitae: Include recent professional activities, awards, honors, courses you have taught, and research publications and presentations. Also, please include current mail address, e-mail  address, and telephone number. Maximum length not to exceed two pages.
  4. Copy of unofficial transcripts: (as proof of good standing).
  5. Two letters of reference: preferably from an academic advisor, committee member, and/or dissertation director, addressing the relevance of your project to the furthering of Italian American studies.

Please submit Documents 2 and 3 as WORD.doc attachments. Unofficial transcripts should be scanned as a PDF document; letters of reference must be sent as scanned documents in PDF form with a signature and on official letterhead.

For any questions about the application process, please contact: Dr. Ryan Calabretta-Sajder: rcalabretta@gmail.com 

DEADLINE: September 25, 2020

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. The fellowship recipient will be notified via email and will also be announced at the annual IASA conference.

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. (Please note: This is a separate application process from the Memorial Fellowship application guidelines. You may certainly apply for a fellowship and also travel funds if you choose; the awarding of the  Fellowship and the decisions about travel grants are made separately).  The funds will be assigned by an Italian American Studies Association committee whose members are selected via the Executive Council. Travel grants are open to full-time graduate students at any level of study.

Please note: Qualifications, seniority, travel distance from conference location, previously assigned grant, and quality of application will be considered in decision making.


Graduate students accepted to present a paper at the Italian American  Studies Association conference for the year funds are being requested are eligible to apply. Graduate students in good standing in their own home institution's graduate program (i.e., fully enrolled, degree-seeking; work in a timely manner; no academic probation, etc.). Prior applicants are encouraged to resubmit previously non-funded  applications. Students applying for the Memorial Fellowship are also eligible.


Please Submit the Following Documents:

  1. Cover letter: including title of accepted paper; travel route; and grant amount requested as well as  amount secured through other sources (department, college, etc.). Again, please remember to include amount of funding, if any, already secured.
  2. Copy of unofficial transcripts: (as proof of good standing). Please scan as a PDF document and submit as an attachment.
  3. Proof of paper presentation on panel: Acceptance of your  presentation via email from the IASA conference organizers is considered valid. Please upload that with your funding request.

For any questions about the application process, please contact: Dr. Ryan Calabretta-Sajder: rcalabretta@gmail.com 

DEADLINE: Friday, September 25, 2020

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. Recipients of travel awards will be notified via email in early October. Please note: awarded funding will be sent in the form of a check by regular mail  after the conclusion of the conference.

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.

The Italian American Studies Association