Spring 2018

Ribelli e rivoluzionari: The Role of the Artist in Italy


This year the fourth-semester language study at Notre Dame, ROIT 20202 – Language through Lyrics: Rhyme, Rock and Romance, will continue with its exciting new format using the context of Italian song. This course, taught by Professor Lesley Marcantonio, traces the history of poetry, song, and music in Italy from the end of World War II to the present. The highlight of the course will once again be an evening of Italian music, the third of its kind at Notre Dame.

Voci Italiane 2017 39 Preview


In the spring of 2016, faculty members of the Italian program at Notre Dame organized a concert, Intensitalia: An Evening with Mina, a truly unforgettable concert that saw decades of Italian popular music, history and culture come alive on stage. The overwhelming success of this event brought about the development of this new course for fourth-semester language students. In addition to the coursework inside the classroom, the 202 students were involved in every aspect of organizing last year’s concert, Voci italiane – Singing the History of Italy, which expanded the repertoire to include other Italian singer-songwriters, such as Rita Pavone, Luigi Tenco, Lucio Battisti, Adriano Celantano, and Lucio Dalla, who remain icons in Italy still today. “The goal of the concert is two-fold,” explained Professor Marcantonio, “First, to share with Italian language students the music that has moved generations of Italians, and to place it within its historical context to show how it reflects – and in many cases, caused – major shifts in the history of Italy. And second, to use song as a tool for language learning. The concert isn’t intended solely as a performance, but also as an opportunity for our students to sing along to songs that young Italians today are just as passionately moved by as the generations before them.”



Because of popular demand and last year’s sold-out concert, this year’s concert was moved to one of Notre Dame’s beautiful facilities, the Leighton Concert Hall in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. This year’s concert, Ribelli e rivoluzionari: The Role of the Artist in Italy, will see the return of many of the same core band of musicians – Prof. Anne Leone, Prof. Lesley Marcantonio, Prof. Patrick Vivirito and accompanied by Prof. Joseph Rosenberg and three students from the ND jazz band. An exciting new feature of this year’s concert is the participation of the 2nd-graders of Darden Primary Center, a local South Bend elementary school, whose students have been working with Notre Dame Italian students throughout the year and learning an Italian children’s song. The Darden students and their families will be our special guests both on stage and in the audience of this year’s concert. It will truly be a special evening of song enjoyed by 300+ Italian language students at Notre Dame and Italophiles of the South Bend community!

Stay tuned for information about this spring’s concert on Friday, April 13, 2018 at 7pm in the DPAC. Tickets will be free, but we recommend reserving them in advance because of demand.

Community-Based Outreach to be Included in Italian Language Program



This year, the ROIT 10102 – Elementary Italian II classes at Notre Dame has been revamped to include a community-based outreach element in the curriculum. During the fall of 2016, the Special Professional Faculty members in Italian participated in an International Night for students of Harrison Primary Center, a local elementary school in South Bend, IN. This successful event, which focused on presenting the students with some typical children’s music, treats, cultural information and brief engagement with the language, convinced the Italian faculty of the possibilities of an ongoing partnership with a local elementary school and its students.


All this year, Notre Dame Italian language students in the second level, under the direction of Profs. Tiziana Serafini, Patrick Vivirito, Alessia Blad, Katie Boyle and Lesley Marcantonio, have visited Darden Primary Center, another South Bend elementary school, to teach the students some children’s songs in Italian. We have seen the benefits of music in our program through the great success of our spring Italian concerts and view music as the perfect way to introduce the students at Darden to the Italian language and culture. And in fact, these students will join us on stage to perform their songs at our next spring concert on April 13, 2018!


The Italian program looks forward to welcoming the Darden 2nd-graders and their families to campus and this wonderful celebration of Italian music.

Christopher G. Wagstaff Italian Film Collection at Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Library

Hesburgh Library


The Christopher G. Wagstaff Italian Film Collection was formally incorporated into the Hesburgh Library Collections on Thursday, April 6, 2017. The centerpiece of the event was a talk by Professor Chris Wagstaff, formerly of the University of Reading in the UK, whose kind donation of his film collection has substantially enriched Notre Dame’s Italian film holdings. As a result, the Hesburgh Libraries now houses one of the foremost international collections of Italian films.


The Christopher G. Wagstaff Italian Film collection encompasses more than two thousand Italian films and television programs. Amassed over many years by Professor Wagstaff, the collections spans over one hundred years of Italian film history from Inferno (1911), the first feature-length film to be produced in Italy, to La grande bellezza (2013), winner of the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film. The collection also includes international productions from England and the United States as well as Italian TV movies such as the Rai-produced Il commissario Montalbano series. Additional content includes rare interviews with Italian actors, directors, and scholars, documentaries, movie extras, and commercials.


Individual films are currently being described within the Hesburgh Libraries’ catalogue. While this work is ongoing, there is a list indexing all films’ titles and directors. Please contact Tracy Bergstrom, Italian Studies Librarian, for further information about this collection at tbergstr@nd.edu.


For more information about the newsletter or to contribute to future editions, please contact Prof. Katie Boyle.