Saturday, August 11
I Piccoli Lettori
Join I AM Books for its Italian reading group for little ones! Children (0-4) and their parents will engage in multiple readings and games for a fun morning of Italian language and learning.
Saturday, August 11
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Dayna M. Kurtz
From the moment a baby is born, the world seems to focus on childcare, but what about Mothercare? From postpartum depression and “baby blues” to healing meals and postnatal exercise, Dayna Kurtz guides new and veteran mothers alike through the best practices to care for themselves during motherhood.
Dayna will join us for a meet-and-greet and book signing event on Aug. 11. Don’t miss it!
Saturday, September 22
Paola Bidinelli – bilingual book presentation
With poet Ani Gijka and flutist Elaine Huff
Italian author Paola Bidinelli presents her latest novel, Muta Celeste, with readings in Italian and in English. Reading in English by poet Ani Gijka, with musical accompaniment by flutist Elaine Huff.
Muta Celeste è una lunga pagina di diario. L’autrice, Costanza, protagonista delle vicende narrate, racconta la storia vera di una bambina abbandonata all’età di cinque anni dai suoi genitori e affidata alle cure degli zii adottivi. Celeste registra questa decisione come una punizione per lei e cresce alimentando dentro di sé un lacerante senso di colpa. Di lì a poco mostrerà i primi segni di carenza affettiva chiudendosi sempre più in se stessa fino a diventare autistica. La famiglia, di stampo borghese, vive questo disagio con forte senso di imbarazzo e Celeste viene internata in una clinica per malati di mente, dove ormai tredicenne le cure si rivelano inefficaci. Finisce per chiudersi nel mutismo assoluto. Costanza, che ha conosciuto Celeste quando entrambe avevano sei anni, ormai adulta e nel tentativo di ritrovarla e di recuperarla alla vita, dopo varie vicissitudini prima fra tutte il dissenso della famiglia, riesce a scoprire dove si trova e ad arrivare a lei. Una storia di silenzi, di nostalgie, di straordinaria amicizia.
Saturday, October 6
Built with Faith – Italian American Imagination and Catholic Material Culture in New York City
Over the course of 130 years, Italian American Catholics in New York City have developed a varied repertoire of devotional art and architecture to create community-based sacred spaces in their homes and neighborhoods. These spaces exist outside of but in relationship to the consecrated halls of local parishes and are sites of worship in conventionally secular locations. Such ethnic building traditions and urban ethnic landscapes have long been neglected by all but a few scholars. Joseph Sciorra’s Built with Faith offers a place-centric, ethnographic study of the religious material culture of New York City’s Italian American Catholics. Sciorra spent thirty-five years researching these community art forms and interviewing Italian immigrant and U.S.-born Catholics. By documenting the folklife of this group, Sciorra reveals how Italian Americans in the city use expressive culture and religious practices to transform everyday urban space into unique, communal sites of ethnically infused religiosity. The folk aesthetics practiced by individuals within their communities are integral to understanding how art is conceptualized, implemented, and esteemed outside of museum and gallery walls. Yard shrines, sidewalk altars, Nativity presepi, Christmas house displays, a stone-studded grotto, and neighborhood processions-often dismissed as kitsch or prized as folk art-all provide examples of the vibrant and varied ways contemporary Italian Americans use material culture, architecture, and public ceremonial display to shape the city’s religious and cultural landscapes. Written in an accessible style that will appeal to general readers and scholars alike, Sciorra’s unique study contributes to our understanding of how value and meaning are reproduced at the confluences of everyday life.