Italian Heritage Month Presents Lectures, Music and More

October 5, 2017

Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) celebrates Italian Heritage Month with two days of special events.

These include a Faculty Book Club Discussion on Tuesday, October 17 from 12 noon to 1 p.m. in the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Scholarship (CETLS), Room S-510D at 199 Chambers Street, and a full day of presentations on Tuesday, October 31 in Richard Harris Terrace.

Discussion of a linguistic memoir

The Faculty Book Club Discussion on October 17 in Room S-510D will focus on the memoir “In Other Words” by Jhumpa Lahiri. This event will be facilitated by BMCC Modern Language Professors Tom Means and Kristina Varade.

Donna Seaman describes “In Other Words” as “a richly meditative, revealing and involving ‘linguistic autobiography’ about language and the self, creativity, risk, and metamorphosis.”

All faculty are welcome to attend this discussion. For more information, email

A day of cultural celebration

The full day of presentations on October 31 will open with a continental breakfast at 9 a.m. in Richard Harris Terrace and extend through 5 p.m.

They will include the talks “Masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance: from Giotto to Michelangelo,” by Dr. Rocky Ruggiero of Cultural Programs for the Arts, and “How We Learn Languages: Examples from Italian,” by BMCC Professor Tom Means.

These will be followed by “Bilingual Performance of Italian Poetry from Dante through Leopardi,” performed by professional actor Alessio Bordoni, and “Taste the Difference between Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Tuscany v. Sicily Like a True Italian with Our Eatalian Storyteller!” by Eataly in downtown NYC.

The afternoon will continue with an Italian lunch.

Next will be “An Afternoon of Italian Music,” featuring BMCC Music majors accompanied by Professors Jee Eun Ahn and Eleonora Rotshteyn on the piano, and then a talk, “Viva Italia! BMCC’s Summer Study Abroad to Italy,” presented by BMCC Professor Kristina Varada.

BMCC Professors Patrizia and Comello Perry will present “The Three Fathers of the Italian Language: Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio” and Mario Giacalone of BMCC TPAC will present a performance, “Italian and Italian-American Music.”

The day will close with a game of Italian Jeopardy including prizes, led by Professors Means and Varade.

For more information on Italian Heritage Month, contact Professor Tom Means, 

share this story »


  • Italian Heritage Month presents a book discussion, poetry performances, Italian music and more
  • The book discussion is Tuesday, October 17 and other events take place all day on Tuesday, October 31
  • BMCC Professors Tom Means, Kristina Varade, Jee Eun Ahn and Eleonora Rotshteyn are among the presenters

share this story »