The talk series “Global Italy: Bringing the Contemporary Society in Class” will virtually bring to campus four speakers with the goal of enriching the colleagues’ expertise in topics that are currently re-shaping the Italian study field and beyond, such as immigration, gender equality, inclusive language, and the LGBTQ+ community. Each speaker is going to offer a talk on one of these contemporary topics that affect the global society, not just Italy, and a reflection on how to implement these topics in Italian classes (and beyond) starting from language classes. The structure of each talk includes a first part where the guest speaker presents their topic in a lecture modeling how to integrate this kind of material in class, and, then, a second part where the guest speaker addresses the pedagogical implications of the topic selected.
Professor Gaoheng Zhang (Associate Professor of Italian Studies, University of British Columbia):
“Chinese Migrant Culinary Culture in Italy” analyzes several recent media, artistic, and cinematic representations of Chinese migrant cuisines in Italy, the first non-Italian, non-European cuisine that became widely available in the country. In particular, the talk reveals how the COVID-19 pandemic sparked public debates about how to relate with the Chinese migrant community in Italy.
“Reflections on Teaching ‘Italian Food Cultures’” talks about the critical and pedagogical considerations that went into Professor Zhang’s design and teaching experience, in particular food cultures that are associated with migrations, colonialism, and globalization. He also showcases examples of students’ final projects that demonstrate these pedagogical outcomes.