Prof. Robert Viscusi

GEI Luncheon in honor of Prof. Robert Viscusi, Scholar – New York, July 22, 2014

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(Photos courtesy of Stefano Spadoni – Stefano’s Network and Radio Monte Carlo)

Remarks by GEI President Lucio Caputo:

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Before I begin, I want to bring your attention two people with us today who will soon be departing for Italy to take up new, important positions. They have both been coming to GEI events for years now, and have always shown support and been actively involved in our organization and the Italian community in New York in general. Please join me in giving a warm farewell to Vice Admiral Alessandro Picchio of the United Nations and Mrs. Lucia Pasqualini of the Consulate General of Italy. You will both be missed by all of us here at GEI and we hope to see you in New York again soon.

Today I am very pleased to welcome to GEI, Dr. Robert Viscusi, Professor of English and executive officer of the Wolfe Institute for the Humanities at Brooklyn College, president of the Italian American Writers Association, novelist, critic, and scholar of Italian-American literature and culture.

Born in 1941 in Brooklyn to a family of Italian immigrants, Dr. Viscusi received a Ph.D. from New York University. He has published many significant works on Italian-American literature and culture that have earned him national recognition.

His writings include a critical study entitled Max Beerbohm, or the Dandy Dante: Rereading with Mirrors, published in 1986; the novel Astoria, published in 1995; and The Three Rules of IAWA.

Dr. Viscusi is also widely recognized for his poems, especially a performance poem titled An Oration upon the Most Recent Death of Christopher Columbus, published in 1993, A New Geography of Time, published in 2004, and the internet epic Ellis Island in 2012.

In 2006, he published Buried Caesars, and Other Secrets of Italian American Writing, in which he took a comprehensive look at Italian American writing by exploring the connections between language and culture in Italian American experience and major literary texts.

He is the chief editor of the American edition of ItaloAmericana: The Literature of the Great Migration, which was published last April and has already received high acclaim from critics, including Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. This book brings to an English-speaking audience a definitive collection of classic writings on, about, and from the formative years of the Italian-American experience.

Indeed, his writings have earned him many prestigious awards, including the American Book Award, the Premio Giuseppe Acerbi in Italy, and the Brooklyn College Faculty Creative Writing Award.

He is a professor of English and executive officer of the Wolfe Institute for the Humanities at Brooklyn College, and president of the Italian American Writers Association. In addition, Dr. Viscusi is a fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities and of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute.

Therefore, I am very pleased to present Robert Viscusi, on behalf of GEI, with the “GEI FRIENDSHIP AWARD” in recognition of his many scholarly achievements.

The luncheon was held on July 22, 2014 in the Stella Private Room

of Le Cirque restaurant in New York City. Please click on the link to our website’s PRESS ROOM for a full article by America Oggi on this event.