Canadian Association for Italian Studies (CAIS)

2019 Conference

Orvieto (TR) Italy

June 13-16

Session Proposals


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Blended Learning in L2/LS and Culture Instruction

In recent years, digital learning has become a permanent feature in the landscape of Italian Studies-related pedagogy, where it has been implemented in different forms and applied to a variety of contexts. Instructors have been increasingly trying to integrate an ever-growing array of (free) digital tools and state-of-the-art online learning strategies into ‘traditional’ Italian language, literature and culture courses worldwide, to the point where technology-enabled blended learning has become a pivotal pedagogical mode in the field.

By means of digital tools, instructors can devise highly engaging activities and design interactive learning environments, which facilitate dialogical exchanges and negotiations in the target language. Different forms of blended learning can be, and have been used to complement more ‘traditional’ pedagogical solutions, and to create blended spaces where students can learn about the target culture while developing their language skills, and even act upon their own sociocultural contexts as a result of following such technology-enabled learning pathways.

This session offers a platform for discussing hybrid/blended modes of instruction in Italian language, literature, and culture courses in global settings. We also welcome approaches of a more theoretical nature.

As we did for all our recent initiatives (i.e. AAIS/CAIS 2017, AAIS 2018), we will endeavour to arrange a publication venue. Publication options may vary depending upon contingencies.

Please submit via email a 200-300-word abstract of the presentation, a brief bio-blurb, and requests for audio-visual equipment to and by February 28th, 2019.


Anita Virga, Lecturer, Brian Zuccala, Post-Doc. Fellow

University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa);

Session’s Chair: Samuele Grassi, Università di Firenze

Epos 2.0: mito e miti nell'Italia del XXI secolo

La presente sessione intende esplorare il fervido legame tra mito e cultura contemporanea, focalizzandosi sulle modalita' in cui quest'ultima e' in grado di declinare/rielaborare - in chiave post-moderna - le figure esemplari classiche (Ulisse, Edipo, Fedra…) e post-classiche (Tristano, Faust, Don Giovanni…) e i loro exempla, attraverso la letteratura, il cinema, la musica, il teatro. L'epos di riferimento e' quello greco-romano ma non saranno trascurate le storie bibliche,  le narrazioni orientali, le saghe nordiche. In particolare, sono benvenuti interventi che esaminino come tale "eredita'" sia oggi rappresentata, esaltata, criticata, superata, negata.

Si prega di inviare un abstract (in italiano o inglese) di non oltre 250 parole a Marco Marino ( entro e non oltre il 20 febbraio 2019.


Marco Marino and Laura Nieddu

Sant’Anna Institute (Marino), Université "Lumière Lyon 2" (Nieddu),

The Affirmative Biopolitics of Roberto Esposito

According to Roberto Esposito, there is an emancipatory potential within biopolitics that is yet unrealized. Whereas Foucault, in Il Faut Défendre la Société, links biopolitics to the rise of racism and the state management of the population, Esposito believes biopolitics also provides opportunities for an affirmative politics of life. This session will focus on the meaning and implications of Esposito’s thesis.


Tim Christiaens, Joost De Bloois, Stijn De Cauwer

KU Leuven, University of Amsterdam, KU Leuven,,

Session's Chair: Monica Jansen (University of Utrecht)


Tim Christiaens, KU Leuven

Affirmative Biopolitics from Canguilhem to Esposito

Joost De Bloois, University of Amsterdam

The Thing with Community: Esposito’s readings of Lacan & Freud

Stijn De Cauwer, KU Leuven

The possibilities and limitations of Roberto Esposito's theories about biopolitics

Redefining Epic, Romance and Novel in Italian Culture

This panel seeks to continue the fruitful dialogue about the intertwining of epic, romance and novel in Italian culture we started at the AAIS-CSIS 2017 Conference in Columbus, Ohio.

In order to further the scholarship of Bakhtin, Jameson, Doody, and Fusillo among others, we welcome investigations of the widespread presence and reciprocal influence of these three literary forms in the Italian linguistic and cultural space from the Middle Ages to the present day. What motivates their contaminations? What emerges from the collisions of these different styles and worldviews within the Italian context?

We welcome contributions that explore these synergies and contradictions throughout the history of Italian literature as well as different forms of representation including (but not limited to) visual arts, cinema, theatre, television and folk culture.

The primary goal of this panel is to gather innovative contributions on epic, romance and novel (alongside those we already welcomed in 2017) for a collection of essays on the topic.

Please submit a 250-words abstract, biographical information, and technical requirements to Lucia Gemmani ( and Andrea Privitera ( The deadline for submission is February 28th, 2019.


Lucia Gemmani, Andrea Privitera

University of Iowa, University of Western Ontario, Università di Padova,

Contact Us

Contact's Name

Prof. Mary Watt - CAIS Secretary

University of Florida

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

2014 Turlington Hall

PO Box 117300

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