Federico Fellini’s Centennial Marks a Busy Year for Dr. Pacchioni

Italian director Federico Fellini, arguably the most influential filmmaker worldwide, was born in the Adriatic town of Rimini in 1920. All around the globe, Fellini’s Centennial was celebrated this year in numerous online events, retrospectives of his films, and new publications.

For Dr. Pacchioni, author of groundbreaking studies on the cinema of Fellini and its legacy, 2020 was a busy year. He was invited to talk at specialized international conferences such as Fellini, Italy, Cinema 2020, co-organized by the University of Toronto and Università di Roma La Sapienza, as well as to broader audiences at events organized by the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles and Fondazione Italia.

During 2020, Dr. Pacchioni also finalized a number of new publications on the director of La dolce vita, clarifying the cultural context and the deeper aims of this extraordinarily influential artist. Dr. Pacchioni’s new scholarship appeared in two new volumes: The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Federico Fellini and The Total Art: Italian Cinema from Silent Screen to Digital Image, while two more articles are forthcoming in the Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies and in Toronto’s conference proceedings.

Furthermore, this fall, Dr. Pacchioni taught a monographic course titled The World of Fellini’s Cinema, thus building on the precious link between scholarship and teaching, and guiding Chapman students through the rich palette of events, talks, and celebrations unfolding this year around Fellini’s work.

Few artists have investigated the soul of Italians and manifested the peninsula’s artistic proclivity in new media as Federico Fellini has. Clearly, his films have now entered the realm of the classics and are bound to be remembered and re-experienced by generations to come.

“There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the infinite passion of life”
– Federico Fellini

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The success of Italian Studies major Briana Salatino in the art event industry

After graduating from Chapman in 2018 with a B.A. in Public Relations and Advertising, a B.A. in Italian Studies, and a minor in Sociology, Briana Salatino started her professional career with The Other Art Fair, a global artist fair offering visitors an opportunity to meet and buy directly from the best emerging artistic talent.

During her time with the company, Briana was instrumental in launching editions in Los Angeles and Dallas. She has worked with over 600 domestic and international artists for onsite special features, brand partnerships, and sponsorship deals. Her day-to-day involves communication with upcoming exhibitors, guiding them from the acceptance stage to onsite exhibition, all while navigating different timezones and language barriers (sometimes Italian).

Briana’s self-designed major in Italian Studies, and trips to Italy — including a semester abroad at The Umbra Institute in Perugia — have provided her with skills applicable to her current role.  “Learning a new language and immersing yourself into a culture different from your own challenges you to think on your toes, and differently from how you normally would,” says Briana. “In the events industry, contingency planning and creative problem solving are essential. I find that because of my experiences navigating a foreign country, practicing a foreign language and immersing myself in new ways of thinking, I’m able to pivot and adjust easily in a professional context. In the days of COVID-19, this skill has proven itself essential and allowed The Other Art Fair to expand into new territory when most are calling it quits.”

Not only did Briana’s experience with the Chapman’s Italian Studies program help boost her resume, but it also allowed her a deeper connection with her Italian heritage. In Briana’s words: “Taking the opportunity to really delve into Italian language through my self-designed major had great impact. It led to building relationships with members of my extended family living in Naples; reading books in the Italian language (L’amica geniale by Elena Ferrante, anyone?); translating my Nonna’s recipes as I transferred them from analog to digital for safekeeping; and feeling comfortable enough to spend three days traveling solo in Venice earlier this year. I wouldn’t have had any of those experiences if I wasn’t as comfortable as I am with reading, writing, and speaking Italian. I’m really grateful I took the plunge and took the extra step with my Italian education. A minor or major in Italian can be beneficial in your professional and personal development —it’s the gift that keeps on giving.”

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Italian Studies minor Massimo Lesti pursues promising career in wine industry

After graduating from Chapman in May 2018 with a BS in Business Administration and a minor in Italian Studies and traveling to Italy for six weeks for his post-grad summer trip, Massimo Lesti has been enjoying the start of a promising career at the Gallo Wine Company in Los Angeles. The E. & J. Gallo Winery is one of the world’s leading wineries and was recently ranked on Glassdoor’s “Top 50 Best Places to Work” for the fourth year in a row (in 2020).

Starting in October 2018 as a Wine & Spirits Sales Representative in South LA County, Massimo consulted with local businesses on how to maximize the sales revenue of their alcohol department. He focused on displaying select brands, educating customers on new products and digital advertising programs, and managing the overall business of his territory. In July of this year, Massimo was promoted to the Field Training Manager position, overseeing sales reps in Los Angeles and Orange County. In this role, Massimo is using his knowledge and experience in the industry to help Gallo Representatives grow and optimize their business in their respective territories.

Reflecting on the impact of his studies at Chapman, Massimo said: “My minor in Italian Studies and several trips to Italy – including a semester abroad in Rome – were useful in learning more about the geographical origins and pronunciations of various wine varietals, as well as giving me the practical know-how to be independent and confident in running my own share of the larger business.”

Massimo is also involved in recruitment on the Chapman campus for Gallo Wine Co. and will be helping Juniors and Senior Panthers connect with the company to find summer internships and post-grad career opportunities. Any Junior and Senior-standing students interested in learning more should contact Massimo Lesti at Massimo.lesti@gallowineco.com

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Italian Studies minor Grace Montgomery is awarded 2020 Casola Prize

Grace Montgomery from Seal Beach, Calif. has been awarded the 2020 Casola Prize from the Patrons of Italian Culture. Grace Montgomery studies Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance.  She is also minoring in Italian as well as Business Analytics. Grace is currently serving as the President of the Italian Club at Chapman. She dreams to find a career that will mix both her passion for Business and Italian in the workplace.

The Casola Prize is a prestigiuos scholarship that supports the study of the Italian language and culture at the university level. The Patrons of Italian Culture is a nonprofit California Corporation that sponsors extensive programs and activities emphasizing the many aspects of Italian culture and heritage.

Congratulazioni, Grace! 


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Giving the Experience of Italy: The Marybelle and Sebastian P. Musco Endowment for Travel Courses in Italian Studies

The Italian Studies program at Chapman University is greatly pleased to announce the establishment of the Marybelle and Sebastian P. Musco Endowment for Travel Courses in Italian Studies.

The students’ ability to fully commit to their passions for learning Italian language and culture through travel courses is an essential step in their educational experience at Chapman University. Growing from its inaugural travel class in Sicily, the Italian Studies program developed a robust set of experiential learning opportunities across the peninsula, including Rome, Florence and the Gulf of Naples.

Paul and Marybelle Musco’s unwavering commitment to the university continues to be an inspiration to Chapman and the community. Their leadership through their funding of the Musco Center for the Arts, their tireless fundraising efforts as co-chairs of Chapman Celebrates, and their investment in Italian language and heritage through their endowment for the Sebastian Paul and Marybelle Musco Chair in Italian Studies are just a few of the many ways the Muscos impact our students, campus and community. The new endowment will support Chapman University students’ participation in Italian Studies travel courses, with preference toward students pursuing a degree in Italian.

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Celebrating the Vitality of Italian Poetic Language: Dr. Pacchioni’s Creative Writings Anthologized

Dr. Pacchioni has been included in the new online anthology of Italian poets, Ossigeno Nascente, realized by the Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna. This innovative digital publication project, aimed at demonstrating the vitality and diversity of Italian poetic language today, organizes contemporary Italian poets by geographical areas of the peninsula and abroad. Dr. Pacchioni’s poems have appeared in Italian Poetry Review, Gradiva, Sinestesie, Graphie and Neoteroi. In 2014 his first collection, La paura dell’amore was published by Raffaelli Editore.

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National Day of Italy

On the occasion of the National Day of Italy, the Ambassador of Italy to the United States, Armando Varricchio, and the Assistant Secretary of European and Eurasian Affairs of the Department of State, Philip T. Reeker, will be addressing the Italian and the Italian-American community.

Connect on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 at 11:30AM EST to the official Facebook page of the Italian Embassy in Washington DC.

For the occasion, you can also download the e-book “Piazze (In)visibili” in .pdf format or ePub.

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Congratulations to Sarina Welsh, Multiple Award Winner

Sarina Welsh, who is graduating this spring in the Italian track of the Global Communication and World Languages, was selected for the School of Communication 2020 Dean’s Awards of Excellence as well as the STAR student award. The STAR award stands for the principles of Service, Teaching, Achieving your personal best, and Respect. Congratulations, Sarina, in bocca al lupo!

Click here to watch Dr. Pacchioni’s video testimony on Sarina (minute 14:18).

Click here to watch the message from Dean Jennifer H. Waldeck:

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Dr. Pacchioni Invited to Speak on the Occasion of Federico Fellini’s Centennial

Master of Imaginative Synthesis: Federico Fellini at 100

A Live Online Webinar
in conjunction with the 2020 publication of
Wiley Blackwell’s
A Companion to Federico Fellini

6:00 P.M. PDT on Thursday, May 28, 2020

On the occasion of the celebrations for the Federico Fellini Centennial, Alessandro Ago, Director of Programming and Special Projects, USC School of Cinematic Arts, will moderate an online conversation about the great filmmaker with Frank Burke, Professor Emeritus, Department of Film and Media – Queen’s University (Canada); Thomas Harrison, Professor, UCLA Department of Italian; and Federico Pacchioni, The Sebastian Paul and Marybelle Musco Chair in Italian, Chapman University.

Hosted by the Italian Cultural Institute, L.A.
In Memory of Marguerite Waller


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Chapman Professors’ Voices Resonate in Italy, Making the Case for a Balanced Reopening of Society

Two Chapman University professors are published in one of the oldest, most prestigious publications in Italy—La Stampa. Argyros School of Business and Economics Professors, Dr. Gabriele Camera and Nobel Laureate in Economics Dr. Vernon Smith addressed their views on the long-term impact of policymaking in the response to COVID-19. Here is a brief summary of their article.

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Sarina Welsh’s Journey Through the New Global Communication and Italian B.A.

My name is Sarina Welsh and I’d like to share my experience with the Global Communication and World Languages (Italian Track) B.A. program. In this new major, students pursue fluency in a chosen language while infusing their course of study with communication theory and research. Coming into college, I had an interest in Italian because of an exchange program that I took part in when I was in high school. Initially, I wasn’t sure how this interest could tie into my future career, but I was able to take classes and find opportunities that tied both Italian and Communication together.

When I first came to Chapman, I declared Communication Studies as my major. However, I missed speaking Italian and the Italian culture so I decided to take more Italian classes. I took a language test since I already had some proficiency in Italian and after speaking with Professor Pacchioni, I was able to take advanced Italian classes. Some of the classes I took were Business Italian, Italian Literature, and a class about Italian immigration. While I was able to improve and practice speaking and writing in Italian, these classes also gave me a better understanding of Italian culture and history.

Sarina with her students at Higher Ground

In 2018, the Global Communication and World Languages major was created. I switched into this major in order to integrate my Communication classes with my Italian classes. This switch in major also gave me space to add a minor in Leadership Studies. While I was trying to figure out what I can do with my major and my passion once I graduate, I had the opportunity to create an Individual Study course with Professor Pacchioni. For this individual study, I taught a course at Higher Ground, an after school program for kids at risk in Anaheim. The course I developed was about Italian Food and Culture. I created lesson plans, activities, and games to introduce the kids to the Italian language. The children I taught ranged from second to fifth grade. I really enjoy cooking during my free time, especially Italian food, and I wanted to share this hobby with the students in my Higher Ground class. I thought cooking would be a fun way to introduce them to the Italian culture and I integrated a few activities where I taught them how to make risotto and cannolis. It was very fulfilling to see how much the kids learned throughout the semester and it gave me insight into teaching as a possible career path.

I am originally from Bangkok, Thailand and during the summer before my senior year, I went back home. I used this time to decide if I wanted to go back to Thailand after I graduate or stay in America. While I was back in Thailand that summer, I got an internship at the Thai-Italian Chamber of Commerce. I was the assistant to the Deputy Secretary-General and my role was to coordinate and assist Italian companies that came to develop businesses in Thailand. I also acted as an interpreter during meetings when needed. This was hard and frustrating for me at times but I’m also glad I did it because I was able to challenge myself and use Italian in a business context, which is something I’ve never done before. Through this experience, I was also able to grow my resume and gain new skills and experiences.

Sarina during her summer internship in Thailand

During my time at the Italian Chamber of Commerce, I was able to truly see the different ways cultures communicate and how culture affects the dynamics and conversations, especially in a work environment. It reminded me of all the concepts and theories I learned in my Communication classes such as high/low context cultures and the different power distances in each culture. Besides practicing my Italian language skills with Italian business people, I was also able to have conversations with them about various topics. I was able to apply what I learned in my Italian classes about Italian history and culture. It was an eye-opening experience and it reaffirmed why I chose to major in Global Communication and World Languages in the first place. This experience really bridged my Communication and Italian courses.

Throughout my years at Chapman and thanks to the constant support of my family and professors, I was able to do an internship in Marketing Strategy for Fondazione Italia, do a travel course in Sicily, study abroad in Rome, tutor Italian on campus, and intern at the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce West. I also helped coordinate our upcoming annual event on campus called Italian Perspective with this year’s focus on Italian food and culture. Having specific knowledge about a culture and language, and knowing how to communicate with people from different cultures have been valuable skills that others have sought after.

The connections I have made while studying Global Communication and World Languages have opened up many opportunities for me. I am currently thinking about working in Italy because I have enjoyed my experiences at my previous internships and because I feel prepared to function in that culture. I am also thinking about staying in America and working for an Italian company or perhaps going back to work at the Thai-Italian Chamber of Commerce.

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Students Receive Outstanding Italian Studies Awards

Every spring the Department of World Languages and Cultures selects outstanding graduating minors in each language. The award stands for consistency and quality of academic achievements, intellectual curiosity, engagement in the Italian experience as well as contribution to the university’s Italian Studies community. The Italian Studies faculty is delighted to announce that this year the recipients of the award are Avery Cardosi and Sophia Vidali.

A few words from Sophia: “I am honored to be receiving the Italian Studies Minor Award and am grateful to all my professors and friends that I have met in the Italian Studies Program. I have always wanted to connect with the Italian side of my heritage so studying Italian has been very personal for me. I am thankful that I chose a university like Chapman University where I could fully explore and enhance my Italian skills as well as my cultural knowledge due to the amazing program we have here. Never did I think I would find such a tight knit community where we can all celebrate our Italian heritage here in America. Since I am also a music major with the emphasis in vocal performance, my Italian classes have really helped me find a deeper understanding to all the arias I sing as well as all the Operas I study for my Music History courses. Taking classes like Songs of Italy, Italian Theater as well as studying literary masterpieces by Dante and Petrarca have all made me a well rounded student and performer. My goal is to live and perform in Italy were Opera was invented, therefore I plan to pursue a masters degree in vocal performance and continue studying Italian. As soon as the opportunity arises, I hope to participate in music summer study abroad programs in Italy and apply what I have learned as a music major and Italian Studies minor. I have had the most memorable experience at Chapman University because of the Italian Program, and I know I will never forget what I have learned for the rest of my life.”

A few words from Avery: “I decided to take Italian as my language requirement when I came to Chapman so I could continue the tradition of Italian speaking in my family. I assumed that my encounter with Italian would end after three language classes, but what I could not have expected was how much the Italian department would shape my experience at Chapman. My incredible instructors encouraged me to pursue further study in Italian, and my decision to do so resulted in some of my most memorable experiences in college. From studying abroad in Sicily and Rome, to exploring the world of Fellini’s cinema and deepening my understanding of Italian immigration policy within my classes, to becoming the president of the Italian club for my sophomore and junior year, pursuing a minor in Italian studies has not only expanded my knowledge of the Italian language, but the Italian culture and community as well. I hope to continue my Italian studies post-undergrad at law school by studying international law, and by connecting with my family in Italy once possible. I am incredibly honored to be a recipient of this award, and could not have done so without the help and patience of my peers, and my wonderful instructors and advisors Dr. Pacchioni, Dr. Paduano, and Professor Booker.”

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The Traditional Puppet Theatre of Italy Revived in Dr. Pacchioni’s New Book

In his new book, The Image of the Puppet, Dr. Pacchioni identifies and interprets the aesthetic and cultural significance of the different traditions of the Italian puppet theater in the broader Italian culture and beyond. Grounded in the often-overlooked history of the evolution of different Italian puppetry traditions –the central and northern Italian stringed marionettes, the Sicilian pupi, the glove puppets of the Po Valley, and the Neapolitan Pulcinella– this study examines a wide spectrum of visual, cinematic, literary, and digital texts representative of the functions and themes of the puppet. A systematic analysis of the meanings ascribed to the idea and image of the puppet provides a unique vantage point to observe the perseverance and transformation of the deeper spiritual and humanistic values linking premodern, modern, and contemporary contexts. With the current advancement of cybernetics, avatars, animation, and virtual reality games, a thorough understanding of how the puppet metaphor originates from specific theatrical practices and media can be relevant today.

Click here to view Publisher’s webpage.

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Food and Culture: An Italian Perspective – Get Your Ticket Today!

Don’t miss the fifth edition of the Italian Perspective series. This year, Food and Culture: An Italian Perspective will be a thought-provoking celebration of Italian food culture, featuring talks by influencers, scholars and chefs, access to a tasting pavilion from local Italian restaurants and food producers.

A lively schedule of presentations, conversations, and demonstrations will take you through the exploration of topics such as: the cultural complexities of the peninsula’s cuisines; the transformation of culinary traditions within the unique context of the Italian-American experience; the predominance of Italian food in today’s global media; and Italian food as the embodiment of a special relationship with nature, people, and history.

April 4, 2020, 10am-12pm, outdoor activities to follow.
Musco Center for the Arts, Chapman University.
Get your ticket here!
* A portion of the ticket will go towards supporting Italian Studies.
* A complementary parking pass will be emailed to you when purchasing the ticket online. 

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Interdisciplinary Chapman Italian Studies in Rome

The new year begins boldly for Chapman Italian Studies. In partnership with the University Honors Program and Italiaidea School in Rome, Dr. Pacchioni is leading a field research course in the Eternal City. This travel course brings together students from a wide varieties of disciplines–philosophy, religious studies, music, environmental sciences, filmmaking, business, and education–each advancing unique research and creative projects. While in Rome, students engage in collective and self-directed tours and activities. Below a picture from the first city walk in Campo dei Fiori and the first research design workshop, bringing together CU students and peers from the University of Roma La Sapienza.

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