The Conflicts of Immigration Past and Present: The Position[ing] of Italians and the Diaspora

deadline for submissions: 
April 27, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Italian American Studies Association (IASA)

51st Annual IASA Conference at the University of Illinois, Chicago


— Call for Papers —

“The Conflicts of Immigration Past and Present:

The Position[ing] of Italians and the Diaspora”


Date: October 18-20, 2018

Location: University of Illinois, Chicago

Submission Deadline: Friday, April 27, 2018

Upload/submit proposals to Submittable:

 For inquiries, please contact the conference committee at:

The Italian American Studies Association (IASA), formerly the American Italian Historical Association (AIHA)*, celebrates its fifty-first year of academic inquiry into all things Italian and Italian American. This year’s conference theme will address (teaching) the conflicts and tensions in the diaspora, and especially about bringing attention to collective phenomena and how the Italian Diaspora intersects with other diasporic communities. The call is for papers that examine, interrogate, or reflect on the broad themes of the Italian Diaspora that move scholarship forward.

Possible presentation and panel topics may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Italian Chicago as the gateway to migrant expansion
  • Italian Chicago, the churches, and sainthood
  • Italian Chicago and organized crime
  • Historiography of the Italian Diaspora
  • The Diaspora in the community: bureaucracies, institutions, power, leadership
  • Urban neighborhoods and other spatial formations
  • The changing models of the immigrant/migrant experience through time
  • The Italian Diaspora in relationship to other ethnic and racial diasporas
  • The narrative quest for the American Dream (as seen in the media, sports, film, literature, etc.)
  • The Italian Diaspora as seen through creative expression
  • Italian Diaspora from the perspective of the behavioral and social sciences
  • Whiteness, blackness, and identities in diasporic communities

The conference is interdisciplinary in its perspective and methodology. IASA welcomes scholars from all disciplines (including, but not limited to: political science, urban studies, film, literature, women and gender studies), especially those interested in the ethno-historical, religious, and psychological ramifications of migration as well as creative writers (novelists, poets, and memoirists) and visual-media artists. The conference committee will consider proposals that do not specifically address but may complement this year’s conference theme.  

You must email an abstract of your individual presentation or panel proposal and include a brief biography (150 words max.) and academic affiliation, if applicable. For panel proposals, attach a biography of all presenters as well as their affiliation. The abstract should not exceed 500 words. Include requests for audiovisual equipment or special accommodations.  

We encourage the submission of organized panels of no more than three presenters, not including the chair and respondent, and creative writers and artists of three or more presenters. All presentations are limited to 15-20 minutes based upon the number of people on the panel. Participation is limited to 3 presentations; this may include academic papers, creative readings, and/or as a part of round table or respondent. If you are willing to serve as chair, please indicate that willingness in your cover letter. This is separate from your presentation(s).

All presenters, respondents, and discussants must be members in good standing of the Italian American Studies Association by September 1, 2018. Dues are for the calendar year.

For further information, please visit 

IASA encourages proposals in diverse formats, including round tables, debates, workshops, teaching sessions, and performances. We prefer fully formed sessions, although we also encourage people to submit individual presentations, as well as we encourage submission of individuals who would prefer to moderate or to comment. If this is your interest, please submit a CV and statement of areas of interest and expertise. We are especially interested in linking scholars across fields and we welcome participants from multiple disciplines, roles, and backgrounds.

Guidelines for Proposals:

Sessions will be 75 minutes, and we will ask the presenter to limit her or his remarks to 15-20 minutes each, so there is ample time for Q&A and discussion. Proposals may be for one of three forms:

  • Individual presentation, paper, or talk.
  • Panel session or workshop, featuring multiple presenters.
  • Performance, reading, or screening of creative work.

Proposals should include:

  • Proposal title and a brief (250-word description)           
  • Suggested topic category (see list above)      
  • Brief biographical statement, affiliation, and e-mail     
  • Technology needs, if any.