The Ferrucci Institute for Italian Experience and Research hosted its first talk in the Windows to Italy series with a lecture by Dr. Thomas Harrison, a professor of Italian Studies at UCLA, whose lecture explored how the concept of bridges is a staple in Italian history.

Introducing the series’s concept, Institute Director Dr. Federico Pacchioni (World Languages and Cultures) said: “We are all familiar with the symbol of the window, omnipresent on the Chapman campus, known by the Latin word fenestra. Fenestra now turns into the Italian fenestra as we come together to intellectually glimpse new Italian vistas and, simultaneously, ideas that can help us return to humanistic and interdisciplinary teaching and learning with a fresh pair of eyes.”

Dr. Harrison explained how Italy itself acts as a cultural bridge in a geographical sense, as it connects European countries together fostering prosperity. Through his use of personal examples, factual evidence and even movie excerpts, Dr. Harrison portrayed ongoing  the impact that Italian culture has on society today.

(Photo by: Ava Brandt)

The lecture “facilitated conversation about different cultures and the development of Italy as it is today”, explains Camille Burkey, a first-year student attending the lecture for her Italian Studies class.

The Windows to Italy series, organized in partnership with the Leatherby Libraries, consists of four annual talks alternating renowned scholars from outside Chapman and Ferrucci Institute Fellows who are interfacing with Italy from their disciplinary angles.

“It [the lecture/series] is important for the community, students and facility because it exposes them to different perspectives and ways of thinking that open our minds to the possibility of understanding,” said Dr. Kevin Ross, Dean of Leatherby Libraries.

Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences’ Ferrucci Institute cultivates opportunities for cultural programming and curricular innovation that sheds light on the richness of Italian culture.

Future lectures include: The Global Italian Diaspora: Texts and Contexts on October 18 with Dr. Norma Bouchard, Chapman University Provost and Ferrucci Institute Fellow; What do Stories do? The Added Value of Italian Entrepreneurship on February 21, 2024, with Dr. Luca Cottini from Villanova University; and A Place in the Sun: Jews and the Italian Empire on March 27, 2024, with Dr. Shira Klein, Ferrucci Institute Fellow and Associate Professor of History. Learn more!

(Header photo by: Ava Brandt)