Call for Papers: Bambini, Ragazzi, Giovani Children and Youth in Italy and the Italian Diaspora

April 24-25, 2015
Queens College, City University of New York
25 West 43rd Street, 17th floor (between 5th and 6th Avenues), Manhattan

The Italian family has been a quintessential subject for scholarly research and creative work in
Italy and among various diasporic communities, with matters relating to children and youth
receiving significant exploration. In the United States, notable inquiries concerning youth issues
include sociologist William Foote Whyte’s urban ethnography Street Corner Society (1943) and
educator Leonard Covello’s The Social Background of the Italo-American School Child (1967).
The twenty-first century brings new lines of inquiry as well as new issues, such as changing
family structures, Internet culture, and increased migratory movement.
Novels like Edmondo De Amicis’s Sull’oceano (1889) and Melania Mazzucco’s Vita (2003)
explore children immigrating to the Americas, while the memoirs Nero di Puglia (1980), by
Antonio Campobasso and The Skin Between Us (2006), by Kym Ragusa movingly discuss the
childhoods of their bi-racial authors. While scholars have discussed youth culture and their
media depictions, e.g., Guidos and Jersey Shore, little work has been done on such topics as
consumer culture targeting children—from picture books to Disney films to video games—that
use Italian and Italian ethnic characters.
Working from interdisciplinary and transnational and perspectives, this conference seeks to
expand and update knowledge concerning historical and contemporary childhood and youth in
Italy and among the diaspora and former colonial sites.
 Children as immigrants
 Second-generation youth between two worlds
 Youth as a target for adult interventionist initiatives, from assimilation efforts to youth
gangs of the 1950s to contemporary travel programs of ethnic heritage
 Youth as a target for language acquisition, e.g., as immigrants, as ethnics learning Italian
 Pedagogical concerns and initiatives
 Issues concerning children of immigrants (“Seconda Generazione”) in Italy
 Alternative family structures, e.g., adoption
 Youth and political life, e.g., anarchism, fascism
 Youth and religion
 Violence, e.g., pedophilia, war
 Play and creativity
 Children-focused cultural practices, e.g., La Befana, nursery rhymes
 Expressive cultures, e.g., doo wop; and forms of self-identification and organization, e.g.,
Ginos, Wogs, centri sociali
 Media representations, e.g., Knock on Any Door, Jersey Shore
 Youth and literature, e.g., picture books, bildungsromans, memoirs
The official language of the conference will be English. All presentations are to last no longer
than twenty minutes, including accompanying audio and visual illustrations. NOTA BENE:
There are no funds available for travel, accommodations, or meals.
Abstracts for scholarly papers (up to 500 words, plus a note on technical requirements)
and a brief, narrative biography (no CVs) should be emailed as attached documents, by
September 12, 2014, to calandra@qc.edu, where all inquiries may also be addressed.
Prospective presenters may expect to be advised of their acceptance or otherwise by
December 8, 2014.
We encourage the submission of organized panels (of no more than three presenters).
Submission for a panel must be made by a single individual on behalf of the group and
must include all the paper titles, abstract narratives, and individual biographies.
In addition to scholarly papers and panels, this conference is open to presenting creative
work such as memoir and fiction, as well as documentary film. Submissions of written
creative work shall include the completed work and be a maximum of ten pages (double
spaced). Films and videos submitted for consideration shall be no more than twenty
minutes long and emailed as a link to a URL or file-sharing site or mailed as a DVD or
Blue Ray disc to Calandra Institute, Conference Committee, 25 West 43rd Street, 17th
floor, NY, NY 10036. Discs will not be returned. A brief, narrative biography (no CVs)
must also be included.
The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, Queens College, is a university-wide research institute of the City
University of New York, dedicated to the history and culture of Italians in the United States.

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