The Pluralism and Diversity program and the Modern Languages Department at the College of Staten Island/CUNYpresents two lectures in honor of Italian American Heritage Month, this October. 

Prof. Laura Benedetti of the Italian Department at Georgetown University will discuss “Celestine V: Between History and Legend,” on Wednesday, Oct. 7 in Building 2S, Room 221 from 5:00pm to 6:20pm.

Pope Celestine V led the Church for only a few months before he resigned, but his decision to choose his conscience over worldly power had enormous resonance. From Dante to Ignazio Silone, writers have been fascinated by a figure whose life seems to epitomize the contradictions of the Middle Ages, a time of holiness and intrigue, of celestial longings and brutal realities.

On Thursday, Oct. 8, Prof. Benedetti will give a lecture entitled, “Beyond April 6, 2009: Rebuilding L’Aquila, Italy,” in the Campus Center (Building 1C), Room 211 from 1:30pm to 2:30pm.

The earthquake that struck the capital of the Abruzzi region on April 6, 2009 is a human and cultural catastrophe of exceptional magnitude. The historical center has been closed off and its population forced to relocate. L’Aquila was born in the Middle Ages out of the desire to bring together the communities of the surrounding mountains and valleys, this tragic turn of events has turned the clock back, scattering the Aquilani far from their homes.  The solidarity of the Italian American community can play an important role in the reconstruction.

Prof. Benedetti joined Georgetown University’s Italian Department in 2002, as the first Laura and Gaetano De Sole Associate Professor of Contemporary Italian Culture.  She is the founder and director of the Georgetown University L’Aquila Summer Program that enhance students’ understanding and appreciation of Italian culture.

Prof. Benedetti’s visit is funded by the Campus Activities Board using Student Activity Fees. Both lectures are CC CLUE events.

Call the Pluralism and Diversity Program at 718.982.2597 or visit us in Building 2A,Room 208 for more information.