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By striking the difficult balance in promoting and responding to the scholarly, intellectual and instructional needs of the University and by satisfying the cultural interests of the community.

Reviewing the history of the activities of the Center, it becomes evident that lectures, symposia, and international conferences are prevalent in each annual calendar of activities:

  1. The presentation of recently published books takes place with great frequency. New books bring to the public forum new knowledge and are the medium for disseminating fresh ideas. Such presentations not only offer authors the opportunity to reveal the fruits of many years of hard work and to share the excitement of their scholarly findings, they also provide the audience with the opportunity to interact with the writers and enter directly into the process of molding new ideas.
  2. Lectures by a variety of speakers (scholars, creative writers, journalists, representatives of different branch of government and judicial system, etc.) enrich our public forum with and create discussions on issues of great relevancy to a wider constituency.  
  3. Symposia and international conferences on a great variety of topics have become a trademark of the Center. From literature, to art, to music, to science, to international affairs, speakers from many parts of the world have come to Stony Brook to address issues of specific or broad nature.  Since 1985 the Center has organized over fifty conferences and has brought to Campus a long list of great personalities (Italian Minister of Justice Clemente Mastella, Italian Ambassador to the UN Francesco Paolo Fulci, Italian writer and intellectual Umberto Eco, President of the Council of Europe Giovanni Di Stasi, President of Italian Senate Paolo Grasso, New York  State Chief Administrative Judge Gail Prudenti, and many more).  The Idea of the Mediterranean: An International Conference to Explore What the Mediterranean Region Represented in the Age of Progress and What it May Represent in the Era of Geopolitical Realliances and Globalization brought  to Campus for three days twenty four leading experts on the Mediterranean from five different countries and four Ambassadors to the UN from four Mediterranean countries and had as the  keynote speaker Amara Lakhous, the very well known Algerian Italian writer.


The outreach program for community cultural enrichment is not less important:

  1. The Annual Concorso di Eleganza: A Celebration of Italian Vehicle Excellence and Beauty attracts students and members of our community.  It is a show only for Italian vehicles (FERRARI, LAMBORGHINI, MASERATI, ALFA ROMEO, LANCIA, FIAT AMONG OTHERS). It is a display of “art forms on wheels” to illustrate another form of Italian culture.
  2. The Annual New Italian Cinema Festival, in its  tenth year, presents between 6-8 movies  to the community. Scheduled on a weekend in fall, it attracts a large audience (being free of charge like every other events, it helps).
  3. Italian Language Classes for the community is another big draw. With a substantial donation from a member of the local community, the Center  has been able to include Italian classes for children.
  4. Exhibits and talks on Italian regions and cities always attract large audiences. The biggest event of this kind has been “Sicilian Crossings”, an arrangement of 120 panels, organized in historic sequence, that portrayed the history of Sicilian emigration. It was first opened at Ellis Island with the participation of President Shirley Strum Kenny, State Senator Kenneth LaValle, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, the President of  Regione Sicilia, and the Director of the Center for Italian Studies. When the exhibit was brought to Stony Brook, it became one of the most popular cultural events in the history of the Campus. 
  5. Outreach to the Local School Districts through assistance provided the American Association of Teacher of Italian (AATI), Long Island Chapter with its Annual Poetry Contest for Secondary School Students.  In   addition, the Center sponsors an Annual Essay Contest for Secondary School Students on Italian and Italian American Themes and Topics.