A Guide to AFS Annual Meeting Events Sponsored by the Mediterranean Studies Section

Annual Meeting News
stylized weave of 4 wavy red lines interwoven with 4 more red wavy lines

The Mediterranean Studies Section is sponsoring the following sessions at the 2022 Annual Meeting of the American Folklore Society.

The section is also hosting an information table and silent auction in the Exhibit Room in Promenade A (hours: Thursday and Friday, 8:00 am–6:00 pm; Saturday, 8:00 am–1:00 pm), and holding the Mediterranean Studies Section Business Meeting, Saturday, 11:15 pm–2:15 pm, in Oklahoma North.

03-13 Engaging the Personal in the Cultural Politics of Italian Migrations

Thursday, October 13, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm
Director 4

Chair: Laura E. Ruberto (Berkeley City College)

2:30 pm
From Auto-Ethnography to Global Politics: A Personal Journey through the Italian Diaspora
Luisa Del Giudice (Independent Scholar, Los Angeles)

3:00 pm
Migration, Cultural Memory, and a Scholarship of Praxis
Laura E. Ruberto (Berkeley City College)

3:30 pm
The Cultural Politics of the Presepio: Autoethnography, Artistry, and Protest from the Italian American Imaginarium
Joseph Sciorra (Queens College, City University of New York)

In this panel three scholars working on aspects of ethnography, oral history, and material culture discuss their individual work as it concerns the cultural politics of transnational migrations to and from Italy. The presenters offer self-reflections on their community-based scholarship conducted at the intersect of local, national, and transnational contexts as specifically activist acts highlighting and problematizing Italian identities that address contemporary concerns of social inequities surrounding increasingly policed and surveilled environments. Together these papers offer personal and scholarly insights into how ideological perspectives inform the work of folkloristics in the intimate praxis of ethnography, collective projects, and creativity.

04-13 Inventing Italy from Its Edges

Friday, October 14, 8:30 am–10:00 am
Director 4
Chair: Michele Segretario (University of California, Berkeley) and Luisa Del Giudice (Independent Scholar, Los Angeles)

8:30 am
Italian Radio Broadcasting in the U.S. during the Interwar Years
Michele Segretario (University of California, Berkeley)

9:00 am
Indigenized Italian Identity in the Postcolonial Somalia of the 1950s
Mariagrazia  De Luca (University of California, Berkeley)

9:30 am
Inventing Italian America through the Photograph
Lauren Bartone (University of California, Berkeley)

This panel employs ethnography, narrative study, visual analysis, and more to examine how notions of center and periphery fluctuated between Italy and its diaspora during the 20th century. From the tensions that emerged between Italian fascist radio propaganda and the process of Americanization promoted by the U.S government in the 1940s to the multifaceted and conflicting identity of Italians of Somalia in the post-World War II period, and photographic representations of Southern Italian immigrants and their children in the mid-20th century in the United States, we aim to cast light on how periphery-center narratives still impact today’s transnational Italy.

09-02 A Tribute to Anna Lomax Wood

Saturday, October 15, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm
Tulsa North

Forum participants:

Joseph Sciorra (CHAIR – Queens College, City University of New York)
Luisa Del Giudice (Independent Scholar, Los Angeles)
David Marker (City University of New York)
Lamont Jack Pearley 
Christine F. Zinni (State University of New York, Brockport)

This year Anna Lomax Wood retired as the Association for Cultural Equity’s executive director after 26 years. This event is an occasion to pay tribute to Anna’s accomplishments and contributions as an anthropologist, folklorist, and ethnomusicologist by bringing together in conversation colleagues working within different cultural communities. Over several decades Anna has dedicated her life’s work to documenting, preserving, and restoring the cultural legacy of folk artists in the United States and abroad. In turn she has mentored and served as an inspiration for the next generation of scholars and cultural workers who follow in her wake.

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