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Columbus - History and Myth - October 25 - 26



Columbus - History and Myth - October 25 - 26

Columbus - History and Myth


Registration required on both days. Limited capacity. Guests will be asked to show proof of vaccination upon entry.

The Seminar will be recorded and broadcasted on “Stanze Italiane”, the web platform of the IIC-NY


Live on ICI YouTube Channel


In the United States, Christopher Columbus is the subject of an ongoing broader debateregarding American history, which affects inter alia the sense of identity of the Italian-American community. The seminar Columbus - history and myth on one side will address the mythical-legendary uses of Columbus, on the other side will try to look at his controversial figure through the lenses of historical evidence, fostering a discussion among several historians and academics with different perspectives and viewpoints.




October 25

2:15pm. Opening remarks

Mariangela Zappia, Ambassador of Italy to the United States

2:30pm. Welcome

Fabrizio Di Michele, Consul General of Italy

Fabio Finotti, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute


2:45pm-4:15pm: Columbus and the Italian Identity (in English)

Moderator: Anthony Tamburri, Dean of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute and Distinguished Professor of European Languages and Literatures, Queens College, CUNY

William J. Connell, Professor of History and La Motta Endowed Chair in Italian Studies, Seton Hall University: Columbus and Italian Identity: Between Irony and History

Joseph Sciorra, Director, Academic and Cultural Programs, John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, Queens College, CUNY: “Il monumento al cafone”: Obfuscation of Class and Race and the Mythologizes of Italian American Columbus Commemorative Landscapes

4:30pm-6:00pm: Redesigning Columbus in the perspective of migration, mobility, culture contact, and decolonization (in English)

Moderator: Alessia Valfredini, Fordham University

Laura Ruberto, Humanities Program, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies - Berkeley City College (web connected): Columbus Monuments of the 1950s, Contesting Knowledge in Decolonial Times

Graziella Parati, Paul D. Paganucci Professor of Italian Language and Literature - Dartmouth College: The Discovery of America Christopher Columbus

Federico Rampini, Writer and Journalist – La Repubblica: When History becomes a fairy tale: the criminalization of the White Man, the beautification of All The Others


October 26

9:00am-11:00am: Columbus History and Legend (in Italian with subtitles – web connection)

Luciano Formisano, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei: Colombo e le strategie della comunicazione

Giulio Busi, Freie Universität – Berlin: Il marinaio dei segreti

Franco Farinelli, Direttore del Dipartimento Filosofia e Scienze della Comunicazione dell’Università di Bologna: La Terra, la sfera, la mappa: Cristoforo Colombo e la natura della modernità

11:30am-12:15pm Columbus legacy (in English)

Moderator: Fabio Finotti, Director, Italian Cultural Institute - New Yok)

Elise Bartosik-Velez, Dickinson College: Christopher Columbus and His Legacy in the United States

Carla Simonini, Paul and Ann Rubino Endowed Associate Professor and Founding Director of Italian American Studies Program – Loyola University, Chicago: Sailing Through Treacherous Waters: My Journey with Christopher Columbus Through the Cultural Wars of Chicago

Scientific committee: Luciano Formisano – Academia Nazionale dei Lincei; Fabio Finotti – IIC-NY.




Date: Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Organized by : IIC-NY

Entrance : Free


Istituto Italiano di Cultura - NY