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.
“Immigration, Media, and Community Engagement: A Conversation with Journalist Clelia Pettini”
The talk is going to revolve around her book Anime Sospese (Hanging Souls), which collects interviews with migrants and social workers living and working in reception centers in Grosseto, Tuscany. Because the book collects first-hand experiences of the process of immigration, the book is a useful instrument for classes that aim at interacting with and deciphering a contemporary event while it is happening. Our speaker is going to talk about how some local high schools and middle schools adopted the book to help students understand and reflect on a complicated phenomenon affecting the contemporary society. The book was published amidst the peak of the emergency connected to migrants in Italy and when the mainstream media were paying attention only to certain aspects of migration: the travel by sea, the reception in specific structures, the discontent of part of the population, and the antagonism of some political parties. Therefore, this talk encourages teachers to select contemporary events through the lenses of local stories in order to discuss complicated phenomena and guide students through connections with other historic events. The perspective of the book and the school projects also promote caring and understanding of the local community and can inspire new projects of community engagement in our department.