Regarding my current research, I am working on rhetorical strategies used by the writer Leonardo Sciascia during the last decade of his life (he died in 1989). I am especially interested in one of his last works, Porte aperte (“Open Doors”), which deals with the death penalty. Porte aperte was transformed into a film, and I was invited to speak of the novel and the film by the Dante Alighieri Society of Michigan. Based in Birmingham, MI, the society offers a variety of ways that local residents can connect with Italian language and culture. I addressed the Dante Society on March 26th giving my review of the novel and film.
On March 30th, we had a guest speaker, Dr. Maurizio Albahari, come from Notre Dame to speak about an extremely “hot” topic, the refugee crisis in Europe. His lecture outlined the emergence of the Mediterranean Sea as the world’s deadliest international border for refugees. He illustrated how the political separation between Northern Europe and countries on the Mediterranean, like Italy, constitute a state of affairs that come at a very high cost.
In May and June, I’ll direct RCS’s study abroad program in Florence, Italy. While in Europe, I will give three invited talks, all on different aspects of my Sciascia research project. In May, I’ll be at the University of Calabria in Italy, and the University of Rome at Tor Vergata. In June, I’ll speak at the University of Kent in Great Britain.