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Queer Ph-Italy: Navigating LGBTQIA+ Histories In [Philly’s] Italian American Culture

Temple University, Philadelphia, Pa
Organization: Italian Studies
Categories: Comparative, Interdisciplinary, Popular Culture, Gender & Sexuality, Women's Studies, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Classical Studies, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Food Studies, History, Philosophy
Event Date: 2024-10-19 to 2024-10-20 Abstract Due: 2024-05-31

Conference Date October 19-20, 2024 (Tentative, Format: Hybrid)

Location Temple University, Center City Campus, Philadelphia, PA

In celebration of October as LGBTQIA+ History Month and Italian American Heritage Cultural Month, we invite submissions for our upcoming conference, “Queer Ph-Italy.” This event aims to explore and celebrate the intersections of LGBTQIA+ experiences within Italian American literature, culture, and media, focusing uniquely on Philadelphia.

Conference Theme: We invite scholars and researchers to submit proposals examining the varied connections between LGBTQIA+ identities and Italian American narratives. Contributions are encouraged to emphasize the diverse ways in which the queer Italian American community expresses, represents, and negotiates its experiences.

Multidisciplinary Approach: We welcome submissions from diverse disciplines to contribute to a comprehensive exploration of LGBTQIA+ narratives within Italian American culture. In addition, an edited volume will be produced, capturing the varied perspectives and insights shared during the conference. 

Historical Context – Philadelphia: We especially encourage submissions that examine the experiences of queer Italian Americans in Philadelphia, drawing inspiration from historical events such as the Rizzo era. This exploration is paramount in understanding the nuanced evolution of LGBTQIA+ communities in the city, emphasizing the resilience, challenges, and triumphs that have shaped the narrative. Significant organizations like the William Way LGBT Community Center and the Mazzoni Center serve as living testaments to the city’s vibrant LGBTQIA+ history, making Philadelphia an integral backdrop for our collective exploration.

  • William Way LGBT Community Center: Established in 1975, preserves and celebrates local and regional LGBTQIA+ information and culture. We welcome submissions on the center’s archive, exhibitions, and community support.
  • The Mazzoni Center: A leading LGBTQIA+ healthcare provider and advocate in Philadelphia, has been crucial in supporting the community. We invite submissions to explore the Mazzoni Center’s history and contributions to the LGBTQIA+ Italian American experience.

Additionally, we encourage contributions that explore experiences of queer Italian Americans in other US cities as well as the broader LGBTQIA+ history of Philadelphia.

Topics: We welcome proposals that bring fresh perspectives and actively engage with the conference’s overarching theme, embracing the diverse spectrum of LGBTQIA+ experiences within Italian American culture. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • LGBTQIA+ representations in Italian American literature, film, and media
  • Historical perspectives on queer Italian American experiences
  • Intersectionality
  • Activism and advocacy within Italian American LGBTQIA+ communities
  • Identity formation and expression
  • Comparative studies of LGBTQIA+ experiences across different Italian American communities
  • LGBTQIA+ themes in Italian American visual and performing arts

Submission Guidelines:

Abstracts should be at most 300 words.
Include a concise 100-word biography.
Email your proposal to cgalati@temple.edu and pmelzer@temple.edu by May 31, 2024

Important Dates:

Submission Deadline: May 31, 2024
Notification of Acceptance: June 30, 2024 
Conference Date: October 19-20th, 2024



Carmelo A. Galati