This presentation draws upon the meaning of the term “transformative” to examine the philanthropic endeavor of an Italian American family whose donations made possible the creation of a Culinary Sciences Center at Auburn University, a land-grant academic institution located in Alabama. It examines the intersection between Italian American gardening traditions for self-sufficiency and the historical involvement of black Alabamians in farming as practice for self-sustenance. In addition, it connects these cultural traditions to academic institutions’ efforts to increase under-represented populations in their student body, as well as the role of outreach in their mission.
The lecture is open to members of the Notre Dame community. Registration is required.
Rosetta Giuliani Caponetto is Associate Professor of Italian at Auburn University. Her areas of academic interests include Italy’s colonialism in East Africa, African diaspora literature and film of Italy, the Italian American diaspora, studies on nostalgia, food movements and activism. She is the author of Fascist Hybridities. Racial Mixing and Diaspora Cultures under Mussolini (Palgrave, 2015).
Originally published at italianstudies.nd.edu.