Themed Semester

Lectures and Presentations

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Rooms with a View: Two Italian Journeys
1:00 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30, 2013
Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall
Admission: free
Speakers: Dr. Nanette PhilibertDr. William Kumbier

Two MSSU faculty members − Dr. Nanette Philibert, management; Dr. William Kumbier, English and philosophy − each spent part of the summer in Italy completing various projects of personal discovery and self-enlightenment. Dr. Philibert even attended the Il Sasso Language School in Montepulciano, a beautiful renaissance town that stands on a hill surrounded by vineyards and olive groves in southern Tuscany. You will learn how to get off the tour bus and enjoy a real Italian experience, such as digging for relics, throwing pottery, studying Italian cooking, and learning to speak like a native.

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Mafia Culture: History and Representation in Italy and Beyond
9:00 a.m. Monday, Sept. 9, 2013
Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: Monica Seger

The Italian mafia has long fascinated people worldwide. While we have developed certain associations thanks to Hollywood – think suits, cigars, and “sleeping with the fishes” – many elements of Italian mafia culture remain largely unexplored in the popular context. Originating in Sicily approximately 200 years ago, cosa nostra (“our thing”), as the mafia is known in Italian, is a complex and deeply rooted network. Since its inception, it has been tied to modern Italian life in ways both mundane and profound, from local garbage collection to illicit international trafficking. Still active in Italy to this day, the mafia has also had a presence in North America since the late 19th century. It has contributed to the development of Italian-American relations in key historical moments, such as World War II.

This session will address the history of the Italian mafia and related criminal organizations in both Italy and North America. It will pay particular attention to the socio-political circumstances surrounding the creation and development of the mafia, its effect on contemporary Italy, and its history of representation in the media.

Monica Seger is an assistant professor of Italian in the department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Linguistics at the University of Oklahoma. She serves as affiliate faculty in the department of Film and Media Studies, as well as that of International and Area Studies. She is also a contributing editor at World Literature Today. Dr. Seger holds an M.A. and Ph.D. (2010) in Italian from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She earned her B.A. (2002) in Modern Literature from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Her research interests include 20th and 21st century Italian literature and cinema, ecocriticism, and gender studies. She has published articles on writers Simona Vinci, Silvia Ballestra and Aldo Nove, and filmmakers Daniele Ciprì and Franco Maresco. She is currently at work on a book project examining post-industrial landscape representation in modern and contemporary Italian film and literature. Dr. Seger has spent extensive time in Italy over the years, most recently teaching a summer course in the Tuscan town of Arezzo on place and literature.

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Italian Film from Cabiria to Caeser Must Die
11:00 a.m. Monday, Sept. 9, 2013
Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: Monica Seger

With its rich artistic tradition, Italy was a natural location for the development of cinema upon its invention in the late 1800s. Starting with Filoteo Albertini’s short film The Taking of Rome in 1905, Italian directors have helped to shape the art of cinema as we know it today. Through both technical innovation and stylistic refinement, directors such as Giovanni Pastrone, Federico Fellini, and Roberto Benigni have contributed not only to a particularly Italian film culture, but to the culture of film throughout the world. At the same time, these directors and others have formed a canon of film that is uniquely tied to its place of origin. By tracing the history of Italian film, viewers are able to simultaneously trace the history of modern Italy, from the excitement of artistic and scientific innovation in the 1910s, through the adherence to class and family structure promoted in a fascist inter-war Italy, to the economically prosperous 1960s and beyond.

Moving in chronological order, this session will consider the Italian film industry over the past 100+ years. It will address early silent cinema, “white telephone films,” the development of Neorealism and Auteur cinema, Italian-style comedy and popular cinema, literary adaptations and historical epics, and, finally, new cinematic directions in an increasingly multi-cultural Italy.

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Neorealism: Material Conditions, Ideological Motivations and Lasting Effects
12:00 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9, 2013
Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: Monica Seger

Representing one of the richest moments in Italian film history, neorealism was most prominent in the late 1940s and early 1950s. It can best be defined as a cinematic movement dedicated to the honest depiction of social realities, and is directly tied to the experience of World War II. As Italy began the slow process of economic and social recovery post-war, filmmakers and film theorists felt that need for a new kind of cinematic art, one that related directly to the challenging conditions of contemporary life. As director Vittorio De Sica wrote, “The experience of the war was decisive for us all. Each felt the mad desire to throw away all the old stories of the Italian cinema, to plant the camera in the midst of real life, in the midst of all that struck our astonished eyes.” This often involved the use of non-professional actors, on-location shooting, natural lighting, and true to life subjects and plots. The films that resulted have become true classics of Italian cinema.

This session will look at neorealism in all its many angles. It will consider the movement’s literary origins, the material conditions of filmmaking in post-war years, and the ideological motivations of neorealist filmmakers. It will also consider the movement’s international recognition and lasting effects on the culture of Italian film. We will see clips from such well-known neorealist films as Rome, Open City; Bicycle Thieves; and others.

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A Taste of Italy

4:30-7:00 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013
Mayes Dining Hall
Admission: $6 plus tax
Speaker: Cody Hogan

A Taste of Italy

Join us for a full Italian meal prepared by Sodexo. The menu includes baked chicken parmesan, fettuccine, marinara, eggplant parmesan, Italian blend vegetables, Italian sausage sandwiches with peppers and onions, tossed chicken Caesar salad, Italian Panini sandwiches, bacon spinach Alfredo and tomato bruschetta flatbread pizzas, and gelato. Afterwards, join us for a showing of A Bicycle Thief at 7:00 p.m. in Cornell Auditorium in Plaster Hall.

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Stirring It Up − Italian Style
11:00 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013
Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: Cody Hogan

From the fashionably influential table of Catherine de Medici to the Mafioso table of Tony Soprano, the sensual appeal of Italian cuisine is undeniable. The variety of the foods of Italy is stunning. Owing to centuries of refinement and evolution, not to mention an enviable climate, the 20 regions of this geographically and culinarily diverse peninsula have given rise to some of the most popular dishes on the planet.

If you’ve ever wondered about Marco Polo’s pasta, Alfredo Di Lelio’s Fettuccine “Al Fredo,” or the secret of Nonna’s Sunday Sauce, Chef Cody Hogan may be able to answer your questions. He will certainly share his insight to the techniques and tastes of contemporary Italian cuisine and how they are shaping our Midwestern table. All this discussion of food is bound to make you hungry, so the chef will prepare a Wild Mushroom and Truffle Risotto during his talk for everyone to experience.

Cody Hogan, chef de cuisine of Lidia’s Kansas City, began working with Lidia Bastianich in 1998, opening her Kansas City restaurant as pastry chef. He also has the enviable position of being Bastianich’s traveling assistant, food stylist, and the studio chef for her Emmy-winning television program in which he occasionally appears on camera. Chef Hogan has been extremely active in promoting great local farms and products in our area, an early champion of high quality foods produced right in our own Midwestern backyard. Education about food, one of our most basic and potentially pleasurable needs, has been one of his primary goals. Hogan has taught for the past 13 years at the Culinary Center of Kansas City.

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Locating Renaissance Art
10:00 a.m. Friday, Sept. 13, 2013
Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: Rose May

What is Renaissance art? Was it really born in Italy and if so, why? How do I recognize it? Traditionally the Renaissance was believed to have originated in Florence in the late 14th century as the result of a booming economy and a wide distribution of wealth among the population. Modern historians have been rewriting this story. We now know that Florence was actually one of many Italian cities that benefited from an expansion of banking and trade and subsequently became flourishing artistic centers. This talk will highlight the art and architecture of three of these dynamic cities: Florence, Sienna, and Venice, demonstrating that there wasn’t just one Renaissance but many. We will also talk about where you might travel in the region to see examples of Renaissance art.

Rose May is head of interpretation at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. She visited Italy for the first time as a teenager with her parents, brother, and her Italian-American grandmother and was captivated by the art, architecture, people, and language of the country. This experience has led to a lifelong fascination with the country’s unique history and culture. Dr. May has since traveled to Italy many times to study the art and architecture of Tuscany and Rome, earning an M.A. from the University of Illinois and Ph.D. from Temple University − both with a specialization in the Italian Renaissance. Her research focuses on the art and architectural projects of the Spanish in Rome, which was one of the largest and most powerful expatriate communities in the city during the 16th and 17th centuries.

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Medieval Backwater to Caput Mundi: The Transformation of Rome in the 16th and 17th Centuries
1:00 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, 2013
Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: Rose May

From 1500 to 1700 Rome was the center of the European art world. Its ancient past as the center of the Roman Empire and its contemporary position as the capital of the Papal States led to great experimentation in art and architecture, which we now call the Renaissance and the Baroque. This talk with offer an overview of the transformation of Rome in this period and highlight the famous and infamous personalities like Michelangelo, Caravaggio, and Bernini, that made it happen.

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Gockel International Symposium
Roads Less Traveled: Italian Immigrants in America
9:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013
Taylor Performing Arts Center
Admission: free
Speaker: Vincenza Scarpaci

Between 1880 and 1914, close to four million Italians came to America for work, adventure and opportunity. A large proportion repatriated because they achieved their goal, or rejected the way of life they encountered in their new surroundings. While most immigration studies follow well-trodden paths leading to America’s urban/industrial areas, few examine the roads less traveled. The experience of Italians on the land and Italians in lesser-known locations remained in the shadows. Even so, the role of Italian farmers in raising and distributing vegetables they introduced to the American table represents a significant contribution. In addition, a description of interactions between Italian immigrants and their neighbors, especially the “in-between” role they served in America’s segregated South, adds to the picture.

The prevailing story lines, contained in many family histories, published memoirs, and in popular, mass-produced overviews, tend to focus on the “cinderella” aspect of newcomers who struggle and experience setbacks but eventually achieve a quality of life they enjoy. The immigrant’s failure to adjust, dysfunctional behavior, and family discord often fall through the cracks in most narrative records, leaving us with an incomplete understanding of cultural and family dynamics. Examining these problems unlocks the attic door for second- and third-generation Italian Americans and allows us to appreciate more fully the textured history of immigrant experiences. Considering these issues anew allows us to supplement and correct prevailing story lines.

Quo Vadis? Recent U.S. census figures show increasing numbers of Italian Americans claiming ethnic identity, larger than any other European ethnic group. Being “Italian” is trendy. Today, the continuity of Italians living in suburbia and Sunbelt locations highlights an evolving demographic picture that invites even more questions about their road less traveled.

Italian American author and historian Vincenza Scarpaci was born in Brooklyn into a lively Sicilian family and enjoyed the usual flavor of a neighborhood where the butcher sliced veal into cutlets that were translucent, the shoemaker salvaged worn shoes, and the baker made braided Sicilian bread resplendent with sesame seeds. After majoring in history at Hofstra University, she discovered in graduate school at Rutgers University that immigration history was a legitimate area of research. With the help of Rudolph Vecoli, a pioneer in the field of Italian American studies, she learned how her family and other immigrants fit into the larger pattern of immigration and gained an appreciation of how each ethnic group met the challenges of becoming American according to their transported culture and values.

Dr. Scarpaci went on to earn a Ph.D. at Rutgers and then taught at Towson State University in Baltimore from 1968-80. She recorded the history of Baltimore’s Little Italy and then after moving to San Francisco discovered an Italian community dominated by northern Italians, and where she co-authored (with A. Baccari and G. Zavattoro) SS Peter and Paul Church 1884-1984: The Chronicles of the Italian Cathedral of the West. She also taught U.S. immigration history at Sonoma State University. Dr. Scarpaci now lives in Eugene, Oregon, where she is intrigued by the phenomenon of how the descendants of Italian immigrants retain a strong identity with their heritage although they live in communities where they constitute a small portion of the population. Currently she is researching the story of the Italian immigrants in Walla Walla, Washington.

Dr. Scarpaci has written three other books: The Journey of the Italians in America (Pelican Publishing, 2008); A Portrait of Italians in America (Scribners, 1982); and Italian Immigrants in Louisiana’s Sugar Parishes: Recruitment, Labor Conditions and Community Relations, 1880-1910 (Arno Press, New York Times, 1980) and published articles on Sacco/Vanzetti, Italians on the land, and Italians in the labor/working class. She was a founding member of the American Italian Historical Association.

Resources:
Roads Less Traveled References

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Gockel International Symposium
American Injustice: The Legacy of Sacco and Vanzetti
1:00 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013
Anderson Public Safety Center auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Vincenza Scarpaci

The lives of two Italian immigrants, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, have inspired the imagination and provoked analysis and debates among the legal, literary, historical, and political communities for over 85 years. These men, dedicated anarchists, were tried, convicted, and executed for the murder of two people during a holdup and payroll robbery at a shoe factory in South Braintree, Massachusetts, on April 15, 1920. During the six years dating from their conviction in 1921 and through a series of appeals to their execution on August 23, 1927, their fate became the focus of intense debates about American justice, the capitalist system and governmental ethics.

This seminal event in U.S. and world history continues to resonate in popular culture, literature, songs, opera, both fine and folk art, the performing arts, and in law school curricula. Many aspects of this famous trial and its aftermath come to life in Peter Miller’s award-winning documentary Sacco and Vanzetti. The film will establish a baseline for Vincenza Scarpaci to provide a broader appreciation of how Sacco and Vanzetti’s story specifically impacted America of the 1920s through the 1950s and continues to serve as a measure in our contemporary world of Homeland Security, Guantanamo Bay, and the expansion of the category of terrorism to encompass tree-sitters and Green Peace advocates as well as freedom fighters.

Resources:
Sacco and Vanzetti Bibliography

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Gockel International Symposium
American Injustice: The Legacy of Sacco and Vanzetti
2:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013
Anderson Auditorium in Anderson Public Safety Center
Admission: free
Speaker: Vincenza Scarpaci

The final 45 minutes of Peter Miller’s documentary Sacco and Vanzetti will be shown, followed by Vincenza Scarpaci discussing the legacy – the body of work stemming from the case – Upton Sinclair’s Boston, Ben Shahn, the “revisionists,” Frances Russell’s account, Nunzio Pernicone’s Carlo Tresca: Portrait of a Rebel followed by Q&A and concluding comments from Dr. Scarpaci.

Resources:
Sacco and Vanzetti Bibliography

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The Italian Comedy
9:00 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013
Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: Jim Lile

Dr. Jim Lile is your guide to the crazy world of Commedia dell’Arte, a form of improvisational comedy that dates from the Italian Renaissance. It was a popular entertainment that influenced both Shakespeare and Moliere. Characters in the Commedia include gullible old men, learned fools, braggart cowards, and clever servants who all inhabit an exaggerated world of masks, trickery, and slapstick. Aspects of the Commedia continue to resonate today helping us to keep our lives in perspective by showing us how ridiculous we can be!

Dr. Jim Lile is an associate professor of theatre and head of the Theatre Department. He teaches Theatre Appreciation and Theatre History. Dr. Lile’s primary research interest is 19th century American theatre.

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Italy as a Nation State, from the Risorgimento to World War II
10:00 a.m. Monday, Sept. 30, 2013
Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: Alessandro Brogi

“We have made Italy. Now we must make Italians,” famously wrote Italian patriot Massimo d’Azeglio after national independence was extended to the entire peninsula in 1861. By the mid-19th century, the Italian peninsula, mostly under foreign rule, featured about a dozen states. The term “Risorgimento” (or “resurgence”) describes the cultural and political drive that inspired Italian patriots to bring Italy back, as a unified nation, to its former position of prominence in Europe.

This lecture looks at the idealist tradition that made Italy a model not only for modern nationalism but also for liberal internationalism. It then analyzes the Italian rulers’ Machiavellian style of diplomacy, which, in contrast to the idealist tradition, helped the country attain its independence. The unification, accomplished through a top-down approach more than through popular uprising, limited the country’s prospects for genuine democratic expression. From the late19th century, Italy diverted popular discontent toward imperialist ventures. Dr. Alessandro Brogi will argue that it was not the excess of democracy (including left-wing radicalism), but rather the self-imposed limits of that democracy that allowed the rise of Fascism in the early 20th century. The Italian Fascist regime tried to build ideological consensus by erasing markers of regional difference and revamping terms for an imaginary national identity. Its failure in World War II proved the limits of that endeavor, but it also opened the path for the democracy of the modern Italian republic.

Alessandro Brogi received two Ph.D.s (from Ohio University in 1998 and from the University of Florence in 1993), and is now a professor of history at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. His principal area of research is U.S. strategic and cultural relations with Western Europe during the Cold War. Brogi authored three books and several articles in prime journals: his first book, titled L‘Italia e l‘egemonia americana nel Mediterraneo (Italy and American Hegemony in the Mediterranean) was finalist for the Acqui Storia national award (Italy’s most renowned academic prize), and a finalist for the OAH foreign book prize. His second book, titled A Question of Self-Esteem: The United States and the Cold War Choices in France and Italy, 1944-1958, illustrates how considerations of rank or prestige informed many of France’s and Italy’s international actions as well as the United States’ handling of the two allies. Dr. Brogi’s latest book, analyzing Communist power in France and Italy and U.S. reactions to it, is titled Confronting America: The Cold War between the United States and the Communists in France and Italy. The book won the Charles Smith award by the Southern Historical Association.

Dr. Brogi was at Yale as a lecturer and John Olin Fellow in international security studies in 1999-2002. At the University of Arkansas since 2002, he also held a position as visiting professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, Bologna Center, Italy. His awards include a resident research fellowship by the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo (Spring 2007) and a George Marshall/Baruch scholarship (2003-04).

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Italy: A Difficult Democracy? (1945-Present)
12:00 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30, 2013
Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: Alessandro Brogi

Italy’s 2013 national elections featured a list of 49 parties. This may be a sure sign of an open, thriving democracy. But the story of what led to this fragmentation is far more complex than the mere development of political pluralism. This presentation by Dr. Alessandro Brogi explores the strengths and weaknesses of the Italian modern state since 1945. The political system was characterized by 40 years of Christian Democrat rule and strong Communist opposition. But the apparent government instability (counting a succession of 63 cabinets since 1945) also concealed a great deal of stagnation, as a few leaders, trading cabinet posts, kept holding power. Political and economic corruption, while thriving during the Cold War years, became fully exposed at the end of that era, once the justification of anti-Sovietism disappeared and a more complex system of global interdependence opened the inner workings of Italian politics to closer international scrutiny. The political events of the Italian republic were interlaced with the success of the country’s economic growth and social modernization, peaking during the “Italian miracle” of the 1950s-60s. But the relationship between tradition – best expressed by the Catholic Church − and social progress – represented by a spectrum from centrist libertarians to Marxists − remained tense. This tension led to extreme countercultural expressions, which spawned left-wing and right-wing terrorism and, until the mid-1980s, stronger attacks on the institutions than anywhere else among Western democracies. But while Italy may have struggled with modernity, its economy now ranks eighth among the world’s industrial powers, and its culture has become profoundly secular and diversified.

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Barriers to Italian Economic Growth: Debt, Bureaucracy, and the Black Market
9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013
Cornell Auditorium in Plaster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: Nicholas P. Nicoletti

Recently several nations in the southern region of the European Union have experienced turbulent economic conditions including large amounts of public debt, higher interest rates on borrowing, and increased unemployment. This presentation will explore the case of Italy; specifically outlining three important factors which impede Italian economic growth. There is a fundamental link between economic freedom, bureaucratic constraints, and the black market. It is estimated that 20% of Italy’s economy consists of a powerful black market. The size of the black market is a function of market failures brought on by public policy. This presentation will discuss the nexus between the major causes of Italy’s economic turmoil.

Nicholas P. Nicoletti is an assistant professor of political science at Missouri Southern State University (MSSU). He received a Ph.D. in political science from the University at Buffalo, SUNY and a master’s of international studies and an M.B.A. from St. John Fisher College. His research interests focus on the relationship between domestic political processes and international relations. He is also the organizer of the international conference, The European Union and World Politics: The EU, Its Member States, and International Interactions and the editor of a self-published volume of the same name.

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Inside the Vatican
10:00 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013
Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: The Most Reverend James V. Johnston, Jr.

Vatican City is a 108.7-acre tract of land that is both the world’s smallest nation and the center of the Roman Catholic Church, the world’s largest religious body. Located in the heart of the city of Rome, the Vatican’s history is unique. Come hear of its history, the work of the Holy See (church government), and how this small parcel of land and those who live and work there affect the lives of Catholics and many others around the world. If nothing else, come hear an explanation of one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world!

The Most Reverend James V. Johnston, Jr. has served as bishop of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau since 2008. In 1985, he left his occupation as an engineer to pursue a call to the priesthood. He obtained his Master of Divinity degree from St. Meinrad College and School of Theology and was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Knoxville, Tennessee on June 9, 1990, at Holy Ghost Church in Knoxville, his home parish. He obtained a Licentiate in Canon Law in 1996 from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Bishop Johnston has had the privilege to visit the Vatican on several occasions. He met Pope John Paul II when he visited Rome as a seminarian and again as a priest in 1996. Then, as a new bishop in September 2008, he met with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. His most recent visit to the Vatican was in March 2012 for his Ad Limina apostolorum visit. The Ad Limina apostolorum visit, which translates “to the threshold of the apostles,” is a requirement for every bishop from around the world to go to the Vatican for meetings with the various dicasteries of the Holy See as well as the Pope. Not only are these visits a time for bishops to meet personally with the Holy Father and update him on the affairs of his diocese, it is also a time of pilgrimage to the tombs of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Bishop Johnston anticipates his next Ad Limina visit in 2017 when he will have the opportunity to meet with Pope Francis.

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The Road to the Papacy
11:00 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013
Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: The Reverend J. Friedel

With the recent election of the new Pope Francis, many watchers from around the globe followed with fascination as leaders of the Roman Catholic Church gathered to select a successor to the seat of St. Peter. How is a new pope selected? What is the business with the white smoke? How does this person become the leader of the world’s smallest nation? What can we expect of a new pope? Come and ask your questions about the process and the leader of the world’s largest religious body.

A native of Florissant, Missouri, the Rev. J. Friedel, M.A., M. Div., was ordained a priest for service in the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau in December 1986. He served as associate pastor at two parishes in Springfield prior to becoming pastor of a large mission territory (three parishes, roughly three counties, 4,000 square miles) in the Piedmont/Van Buren/Williamsville region of the state. In 1993, he was appointed director of Catholic Campus Ministry at Southeast Missouri State University, where he served for 13 years. In 1997, Fr. J. added classroom time to his duties at the university, teaching part-time in the Department of Political Science, Philosophy and Religion.

In the summer of 2006, Fr. J. was named director of vocations and seminarians for the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau and was assigned as pastor of St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Joplin. He also continues to serve as the diocesan director of campus ministry for his diocese, since as part of his duties as a pastor Fr. J. has become the director of the parish-based Catholic Campus Ministry at MSSU.

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Pagliacci: An Introduction
11:00 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013
Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: Jim Lile

Learn a bit about Ruggiero Leoncavallo’s famous opera before you come to see it. Dr. Jim Lile will present an orientation to the opera including production history, famous musical selections, characters, and some of the great performers who have appeared in Pagliacci.

Dr. Jim Lile is an associate professor of theatre and head of the Theatre Department. He teaches Theatre Appreciation and Theatre History. Dr. Lile’s primary research interest is 19th century American theatre.

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Inside and Outside Cinecittà: Italian Film-Making and its Global Influence
11:00 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013
Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: Alessandro Brogi

“The artist is the medium between his fantasies and the rest of the world.” So did the renowned Italian film director Federico Fellini explain his own notion of making a movie, holding the director’s centrality as almost an article of faith. Together with France, Italy has led the way in the “film d’auteur,” also influencing post-Hollywood era American movie-makers ranging from Martin Scorsese to Quentin Tarantino. This presentation will entertain the audience, commenting, through lecture and film clips, the evolution of Italy’s film industry, with a particular focus on the rebirth of Italian cinema during the age of “neorealism” and the “commedia all’italiana.” More than any other leading national film industry, the Italian one has produced movies that reflected the social evolution of the country, from the difficult years of post-World War II reconstruction to the rise of consumerist trends. But Italian movies also combined messages and entertainment of universal appeal. Mutual influences between Italian and American film industries persisted, and became even stronger when, starting from the 1960s, Italian movie-makers such as Michelangelo Antonioni, Sergio Leone, and Bernardo Bertolucci created successful multinational productions, ranging from “Spaghetti Westerns” to films such as “The Passenger” and “The Last Emperor.”

Alessandro Brogi received two Ph.D.s (from Ohio University in 1998 and from the University of Florence in 1993), and is now a professor of history at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. His principal area of research is U.S. strategic and cultural relations with Western Europe during the Cold War. Brogi authored three books and several articles in prime journals: his first book, titled L‘Italia e l‘egemonia americana nel Mediterraneo (Italy and American Hegemony in the Mediterranean) was finalist for the Acqui Storia national award (Italy’s most renowned academic prize), and a finalist for the OAH foreign book prize. His second book, titled A Question of Self-Esteem: The United States and the Cold War Choices in France and Italy, 1944-1958, illustrates how considerations of rank or prestige informed many of France’s and Italy’s international actions as well as the United States’ handling of the two allies. Dr. Brogi’s latest book, analyzing Communist power in France and Italy and U.S. reactions to it, is titled Confronting America: The Cold War between the United States and the Communists in France and Italy. The book won the Charles Smith award by the Southern Historical Association.

Dr. Brogi was at Yale as a lecturer and John Olin Fellow in international security studies in 1999-2002. At the University of Arkansas since 2002, he also held a position as visiting professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, Bologna Center, Italy. His awards include a resident research fellowship by the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo (Spring 2007) and a George Marshall/Baruch scholarship (2003-04).

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The Foreign Policy of a Middle Power: Italy, NATO, and the EU since 1945
1:00 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013
Anderson Public Safety Center auditorium
Admission: free
Speaker: Alessandro Brogi

Italy’s experience in the Cold War has traditionally been described as that of “submissive” ally, limited by an overbearing American influence on every level, political, economic, and cultural. But this judgment is misleading. Italy, though vanquished in World War II, and suffering economic, diplomatic, and political limitations – including a bipolarized confrontation between the ruling Christian Democrats and the strongest Communist party in the Western alliance – resisted America’s most intrusive pressures, forging a modern identity and diplomacy of its own. Loyalty to the Atlantic alliance did not limit Italy’s opportunities. In fact, more than the process of European integration (of which Italian statesmen were leading protagonists), it was NATO and the transatlantic tie with Washington − the “distant” hegemon of the Western alliance − that offered Italy its best diplomatic leverage toward the aspiring “regional” hegemons of Europe. This pattern continued, perhaps even more strongly, after the end of the Cold War. Italy’s modernization ultimately consisted of a hybrid between American and European models. Analyzing U.S. strategies to affect Italian politics, particularly against the Italian Communists, Dr. Brogi further illustrates the power as well as the limits of American influence in Italy, and in Europe in general.

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The Grandeur of the Aqueduct; Roman Technology & Engineering
9:00 a.m. Friday, Oct. 25, 2013
Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: Jeff Schramm

The Romans were master builders and engineers. From the Coliseum to fast food, this talk examines the technologies that the Romans used to build and maintain their empire and enhance their daily lives. Beginning with monumental public works such as temples, arenas, and public baths, this talk then goes on to examine the more mundane aspects of Roman engineering including aqueducts and roads. While Roman civil engineering was spectacular, this talk goes beyond looking at ruins to examine metal working, food preparation and cooking, and other technologies. Finally, the presentation briefly explores what all these technologies can tell us about the Romans, and, perhaps, ourselves.

Dr. Jeff Schramm is an associate professor in the history and political science department at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla. An Illinois native, he is an alumnus of Missouri S&T, having received a B.A. in history in 1992. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 1995 and 2003. He teaches courses in the history of technology, architecture, and science. He has been recognized for his exceptional teaching with several teaching awards. Primarily an historian of industrial technology, his scholarly research to date has been on technological change and the 20th century railroad industry. His book, Out of Steam: Dieselization and American Railroads, 1920-1960, was published in 2010. His current major research project is a history of the scientific and technological research activities of the United States Bureau of Mines. Dr. Schramm is the special assistant to the provost for eLearning and the S&T UM Faculty Scholars coordinator. He is the Region 8 Coordinator for National History Day in Missouri and is an advisor for several student organizations including Kappa Kappa Psi and KMNR 89.7 FM, the student radio station. Occasionally he even takes over the airways as a DJ.

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Italian Science and Technology from Galileo to Ferrari
11:00 a.m. Friday, Oct. 25, 2013
Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: Jeff Schramm

Italy holds a special place in the history of modern science and technology. Beginning with the groundbreaking (or is it earth-moving?) revelations of Galileo all the way up to the technological and artistic creations of Ferrari and Lamborghini, Dr. Jeff Schramm’s talk examines the science and technology of Italy since the Renaissance. Not only will scientific and technological discoveries and achievements be examined, but these events and developments will be placed in a broader context, both in the history of science and technology and more broadly in modern European history. The unique Italian contributions to both science and technology are examined, from Galileo to Volta and his battery to the automobiles of FIAT and the Pendolino high-speed tilting train. By examining Italian science and technology this talk also draws larger conclusions about both the nature of science and technology and about Italian society and culture.

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Experiencing Cultural Diversity in a Small Southeast Kansas Community
1:00 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013
Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: John Battitori

The speaker will be sharing the experience of a second generation Italian-American son growing up in a culturally diverse community in the coal fields of southeast Kansas. In this presentation, the audience will be introduced to the influences, both good and bad, of European immigrants and their descendants. How they wove their “Old Country” customs into the fabric of life in the area that came to be known as the “Balkans.”

The story of an Italian immigrant family will be told as they leave their home in the Dolomite alps of northern Italy and travel to the new world in hope of finding a better life and greater opportunities for themselves and their children. It is the intent of Dr. John Battitori to convey to the audience an understanding and appreciation of the influences and contributions of not only the Italians, but of all the Europeans who immigrated to southeast Kansas. How many in this day and age would uproot their family, travel thousands of miles across an ocean to a country where they did not speak the language, know the customs, and in some cases weren’t always welcomed with open arms. The proud people of the Dolomites did!

Dr. John Battitori was born in West Mineral, Kansas, to first-generation Americans whose parents immigrated to the United States in the early 1900s from the Trento region of northern Italy. This area is also referred to as “The Tyrol.” These Tyrolean immigrants were fiercely independent mountain people who wanted a better life for their children. Both of Dr. Battitori’s grandfathers went to work in the deep-shaft coal mines of southeast Kansas. One was severely injured in a cave-in but survived; the other was killed in a rock fall in the Stone City Mine near West Mineral. Dr. Battitori’s father went to work in the deep-shaft coal mines at the age of 12.

Dr. Battitori received a B.A. from Wichita State University, an M.S. from Fort Hays State University, an Ed.S. from Pittsburg State University, and an Ed.D. from Oklahoma State University. He was superintendent of schools in Coffeyville, Kansas, from 1984-88, and in Girard, Kansas, from 1988-2000, where he still resides.

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Pressed for Time: Olive Oil 101 (canceled due to speaker's surgery)
9:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: Mindy Lindeman

It’s no surprise that Italian olive oil is generally regarded to be the best in the world. But have you ever thought about where your olive oil comes from, what kind of olives are in your olive oil, and how it is pressed? All of these things make up the taste and quality of olive oil. Do you know what is a fused versus infused olive oil? Why do you store olive oil in a dark green bottle? What are the three things that hurt olive oil? And do you know about all the health benefits − heart health, antioxidants, skin? and hair? It is amazing what one little olive can do. We haven’t even touched on cooking! Marinades, baking, and finishing oils. We will touch on all of these questions and also talk about balsamic vinegar and why it is all the rage. Mindy Lindeman and her team will also be doing tastings of oils and vinegars at the end of her presentation.

Mindy Lindeman owns and operates Olive Tree Fine Oils and Vinegars in Overland Park, Kansas. Olive Tree is a specialty olive oil and balsamic vinegar boutique that carries extra virgin and infused oils and naturally flavored balsamic vinegars as well as a large selection of smoked and flavored sea salts. The store currently stocks more than 30 olive oils and more than 30 balsamic vinegars. Its products come from all over the world and are of the utmost quality.

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From Reality to Novel: The Making of In the Sea There Are Crocodiles
9:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013
Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: Fabio Geda

In early 2000, Enaiatollah Akbari, a 10-year-old hazara, is threatened by a Taliban man due to an hypothetical debt contracted by his father. Enaiat’s mother, fearing for his life, leads him across the border. So began Enaiat’s five-year journey, trekking across bitterly cold mountains, riding the suffocating false bottom of a truck, steering an inflatable dinghy in violent waters. Travelling through Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, and Greece, he eventually reaches Italy where he finds a new family and gets the status of political refugee. His story was told by Fabio Geda in the book In the Sea There Are Crocodiles.

Born in Turin, Italy in 1972, Fabio Geda is an Italian novelist who used to work with children under duress before devoting himself to storytelling. His first novel, Per il resto del viaggio ho sparato agli indiani, published in 2007, was shortlisted for the prestigious Premio Strega prize. His non-fiction novel, In the sea there are crocodiles, based on the true story of Enaiatollah Akbari, has been translated in more than 30 countries. He collaborates with several Italian magazines and newspapers, and teaches creative writing at the Italian school of storytelling, Scuola Holden.

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No Country for Superheroes: A Short History of Comics in Italy
7:00 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013
Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: Fabio Geda

From Dec. 27, 1908 − traditionally considered the date of birth of Italian comics − to today, the “fumetto” has gone through different genres: adventure, comedy, sci-fi, horror, noir, nonsense, satire, etc. Everything but the superheroes. For some reason, men and women with superhuman powers, costumed crime fighters, and masked vigilantes are believable among the skycrapers but not in the streets of an Italian city. They can fly over the American suburbs but not over the hills of Tuscany. In describing a century of Italian comics, from Bilbolbul to Gipi passing through Bonelli’s format, Fabio Geda will try to explain why.

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The Art of Listening: Catching Stories and Transforming Them Into a Novel
10:00 a.m. Friday, Nov. 8, 2013
Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall
Admission: free
Speaker: Fabio Geda

There are different kinds of writers, but some of them refer to themselves as a kind of radar. They are air-traffic controllers tuned in to stories flying around them. Speaking about his personal experience − especially the one of writing In the Sea There Are Crocodiles − Fabio Geda will talk about the importance of being aware of the world around us, about listening to people, catching stories and making them circulate again, and, consequently, about the importance of storytelling.

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Book Signings and Q&A with Fabio Geda
11:00-11:30 a.m. and 1:00-2:00 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013
8:30-9:45 a.m. Friday, Nov. 8, 2013
Third floor of Spiva Library (by the fireplace)
Admission: free

Author Fabio Geda will sign copies of his In the Sea There Are Crocodiles and answer your questions in these informal sessions.

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