Ryan Calabretta-Sajder, a visiting assistant professor of Italian in the Department of World Languages, Literatures & Cultures in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences was recently awarded one of four Fulbright, Fondazione CON IL SUD (Foundation for Southern Italy) awards.
“This award is an incredible honor,” Calabretta-Sajder said. “And it will allow me to pursue my research interests, including intersections of critical theory, particularly queer and feminist theories, with Italian and Italian American literature and cinema.”
Calabretta-Sajder will spend the spring of 2017 in Italy. He said the Fulbright award will also allow him the time to finish his second manuscript, Beyond the Margin or Within the Canon: The Novels of Amara Lakhous.
His forthcoming book Divergenze in celluloide: Colore, migrazione e identità nei film gay di Ferzan Özpetek with Mimesis editore will also be released this year. Calabretta-Sajder has published various articles on Italian cinema and literature in edited volumes and in the journals Italica and Italian Culture.
The University of Calabria, Arcavacata will be hosting Calabretta-Sajder, where he will offer two courses in the Laurea magistrale program (master’s program). The University of Calabria is the first and only Italian university requiring students to enroll in a course on Diaspora Literature for the Masters.
Calabretta-Sajder’s first course, titled Queering Italian Americana, explores LGBTQ Italian American authors and their struggles with gender, cultural, and social class identity issues. His second course, Realismo Nella Letteratura Italiana, considers realistic characters and moments in Italian history as represented through literature.
Additionally, Calabretta-Sajder will join the faculty of the three-week Italian Diaspora Studies Summer Seminar co-sponsored by the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute and the University of Calabria.
The seminar, organized in a similar fashion to the NEH Summer Programs, is open to graduate students and faculty at all levels who are interested researching and/or teaching Italian American culture, literature and cinema.
Calabretta-Sajder will also be a visiting scholar at the prestigious University of Gastronomic Sciences before arriving in Calabria for his teaching assignment.