The international conference titled Remembering the Past, Inventing the Future: Italian American Artists and Writers between Nostalgia and Dream, organized by Professor Francesca D’Alfonso, Director of the University Center for Italian American and Canadian Studies (CUSIAC), aims to explore how Italian American artists and writers have imaginatively manifested their bond with their roots. In its complex and varied manifestation, this phenomenon implies a discourse that must be considered both in terms of socio-historical roots and – for those born in the United States – through an identity forged by behavioral codes, linguistic traces and folk tales understood as part of familial context and ethnic-regional tradition.

Although the critique of Italian American literature is a terrain that has already been widely explored, it must be said that there is still significant space for further exploration of the phenomenon, especially when analyzed from a culturological perspective.  In this respect, the conference aims to highlight how, in recent years, research is uncovering and rediscovering personalities, hidden narratives and less well-known, if not completely forgotten, aspects of the Italian American literary and artistic tradition. At the center of the conference promoted by CUSIAC are innovative and stimulating readings, analyses and methods that, from a variety of perspectives, will address the paradigms of nostalgia and dream as declined by writers, poets, painters, and musicians from the American continent (United States, Canada, Latin America) profoundly connected to Italy.

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