American Association for Italian Studies

A letter from Elena Past, AAIS Treasurer

Newly elected AAIS Treasurer Elena Past invites you to renew your AAIS membership for 2014, announces important news about the 2014 AAIS conference in Zurich, provides information about how to become part of the next issue of Italian Culture, renews the call for applications to the Travel Award Program, and more. See her full letter here: AAIS Colleagues and Friends.

A letter from Carol Lazzaro-Weis, AAIS President

Dear Colleagues:

As your newly re-elected President for an additional three-year term, it is my pleasure to write to you all with an update on the activities and initiatives of the AAIS. Many of you have recently returned from our very successful annual conference at the University of Oregon in Eugene. Our colleagues Massimo Lollini, Regina Psaki and Nathalie Hester, who were supported by a host of their colleagues and students, hosted the conference most graciously. Those who attended were treated to a wide array of sessions on a variety of topics and to excellent plenaries given by Franco Cassano, Albert Ascoli, Rosalind Kerr, Melania Mazzucco (via Skype) and Kenneth Stow. Attendance was at an all-time high and I am very grateful for your participation and support. Many of our members travelled to Eugene from Canada, Europe, the United Kingdom and Australia.

This year we also offered 600-dollar travel stipends to six dissertation students:

Outside of the U.S.:

  • Daniel Canaris: University of Sydney: “Augustine and Vico: teologia civile ragionata”
  • Enrichetta Frezzato: Oxford University: ‘Nordest noir: Genre as a way to engagement in the work of Massimo Carlotto’

U.S. Graduate Students:

  • Maria Elena D’Amelio: Stony Brook: “The pater familias: Amadeo Nazzari: Fatherhood and Melodrama in Matarazzo’s Movies
  • Gabriella Bellorio, Rutgers : “La letteratura cannibale venti anni dopo”
  • Elena Daniele, Brown University: “ Cannibals and Giants in Antonio Pigafetta’s Account of the First Voyage Around the World”
  • Domenico (Mimmi) Cangiano: Duke University: “A Border Skirmish: Weiniger and Slataper: Readers of Ibsen”

We will offer similar stipends next year to help your graduate students attend the conference.

While in Eugene, the Executive Committee announced a new initiative: recruiting regional representatives to organize AAIS sessions at regional MLA conferences. If you are willing to serve in this capacity, I ask you to write to both myself and Norma Bouchard stating which conference you will attend and what session you wish to organize. The AAIS can offer $350.00 in travel support to regional representatives.

The other newly elected officers of the Association are Norma Bouchard (Vice President), Dana Renga (Secretary), and Elena Past (Treasurer). The next elections will be held in January 2016.

As Vice President, Norma Bouchard chairs the committee on the AAIS Book Prize. This year two prizes were awarded. Award winners are Eleonora Stoppino, Genealogies of Fiction: Women Warriors and the Dynastic Imagination in the Orlando furioso, and Pierpaolo Antonello, Contro il materialismo. Le “due culture” in Italia: bilancio di un secolo. Information on how to apply for the 2013 Book Prize can be found on the Book Prize page. I would like to call your attention to the fact that Professor Bouchard’s current address for submission is Oak Hall East SSHB, 365 Fairfield Way, The University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269.

As many of you already know, our next conference will be in an international venue, the University of Zurich (May 23-25). Our host will be Tatiana Crivelli and our plenary speaker Rosi Braidotti. I urge you to start making plans now since this will be an exceptional opportunity to network with our colleagues in Europe who are doing very exciting research. I hope to see you all at this conference.

AAIS is also in the process of updating the by-laws, which are now outdated and in need of revision as we move forward in the 21st century. The committee, composed of professors of all ranks and graduate students from both the US and Europe, will be calling for suggestions in the coming months. There will be an online election in December for approval of their recommendations.

I wish you a pleasant and very productive summer and look forward to seeing you next year Zurich.

Carol Lazzaro-Weis

American Association for Italian Studies.

AAIS Travel Award Program

The American Association of Italian Studies is pleased to announce a call for applications for a Travel Award Program Award to support Doctoral students in Italian Studies who have submitted a successful proposal for a paper scheduled for delivery at the AAIS Annual Convention.

The program will provide 6 Awards of $500 to off-set costs associated to travel to the AAIS Annual Convention. Consistent with our memberships, two of these awards may go to students studying at institutions outside of the United States.

Awardees must meet the following requirements:

  • be enrolled in a PhD program in Italian Studies or with a focus in Italian Studies at an accredited Institution
  • have passed their PhD qualifying examination and be in either the research or writing phase of an approved dissertation
  • have submitted a successful proposal to present in any of the sessions scheduled for the AAIS Annual Convention
  • Be Members in Good Standing in the AAIS

All candidates should submit the following:

  • Cover letter
  • Full curriculum vitae
  • PhD project description outlining the scope of the project, its larger significance, methodology, and timetable for completion (2 pages)
  • One confidential letter of recommendation from the academic advisor, sent directly in electronic form from the referee with the applicant’s name in the subject line
  • Evidence of acceptance of proposal to present (i.e., e-mail for session organizer, printed schedule, etc.)

All applications must be sent electronically no later than January 30, 2014 to: Norma Bouchard (; Carol Lazzaro-Weis (