LLC Italian American forum executive committee:
Ryan Calabretta-Sajder, 2020-25 Chair
Colleen Ryan, 2021-26

Delegate Assembly Representative:
Sarah Salter, 2020-23

Colleen Ryan – Candidate for Upcoming Executive Committee Elections

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    Colleen M. Ryan

    Fellow Colleagues of Italian/ Italian American / Italian Diaspora Studies ,

    My name is Colleen Ryan. I am Professor of Italian at Indiana University and currently serve as Secretary of the Italian American Studies Association. It is an honor for me to be a nominee to represent the MLA’s Italian American forum as an executive committee member, and I look forward to serving our community.

    My commitment to this forum has many components, first and foremost of which my regular attendance at the MLA convention and committee meetings each year. Next, I welcome the opportunity to meet, exchange ideas, and collaborate directly with as many members as possible, to gain first-hand knowledge of 1) our scholarly network, including the various research and teaching interests we represent, and 2) the extent to which graduate students know of and partake in this group.  I also believe the MLA forum to be an ideal space for affirming our national presence via guaranteed sessions and meetings, of course, but also via informal meet-ups and social networking opportunities that often lay the groundwork for important projects and forward thinking.   Finally, I will seek opportunities to increase our visibility and interactions with other critical disciplines ranging from race and ethnicity studies and gender and sexuality studies to global economics, folklore, the performing arts, etc.   One goal of fostering cross disciplinary pathways at the MLA is that of securing a permanent, dynamic, and ever-growing space for Italian American studies not only within the convention but also within academic departments, within the realm of international scholarship, and within civic spaces and institutions worldwide.   One recent and concrete instance of such fruitful crossroads was Gravano and Calabretta-Sajder’s MLA Italian American Working Group initiative. Having participated in the first such Working Group  last year, I saw how productive this interdisciplinary think-tank format would be for scholarship and collaboration. I also noted the potential impact of the Working Group’s dynamic for teaching.   Thus, as representative of the MLA Italian American forum, I will support these and other such collaborative initiatives, with additional emphases on pedagogy and graduate student training.

    Thank you for your attention and for your consideration,

    Colleen Ryan, Indiana University

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