Lectures & Events

Fall 2017 Lecture Series Program

Tuesday, October 3

Gabriele Littera  

“The Sardex: a visionary and effective financial and social project”

The Sardex scheme was created in Sardinia in 2006 as a start-up by Gabriele Littera and three other young and unemployed graduates (oddly not in economics).They planned a new currency for their island. This money aims to improve local commerce which have been struggling because of both global, local and national economic problems. The Sardex is a monetary network that connects various businesses helping them to exchange services and products without using Euros or other state currencies, and outside the limits of barter. Each Sardex is worth one Euro: it is a hybrid form of money: it is an e-money and it is a local money used only in Sardinia. Sardex credits are not a currency and they don’t compete with the Euro.  In June 2016  there were more than three millions Sardex in circulation,  and this number is growing very fast.More than 800 firms participate in the Sardex program.


Tuesday, October 17

“Oxfam Hunger Banquet”

The Oxfam Hunger Banquet is an interactive event through this which Oxfam raises awareness for global poverty and hunger. It is meant  to simulate the imbalanced distribution of food in our world. Participants represent various countries around the globe and receive a meal that corresponds to that country’s economic status. The Hunger Banquet is an opportunity for our community to actively express solidarity with the poor around the world.


Tuesday, November 7

Roberto Baiocco

“Be as You Are”: Clinical and Research Experiences from an Italian University Centre that Promote the Well-Being of LGBT People”

In Italy, sexual orientation disclosure for LGBT people is still a challenging process since it may result in social rejection and objective discrimination.  Indeed, it is well known that heterosexism and homonegative attitudes are firmly rooted in Italian society and its institutions.  In this talk, I will start giving a general overview of the Italian context regarding LGBT issues highlighting those legal and social developments that inevitably have a profound influence on the well-being of sexual minority people.  Then, I will illustrate the clinical and research experiences in the “Be as You Are” University Centre, a Counselling Service in Rome for issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity.  Specifically, I will discuss our research and our clinical approach about the role of coming out from a systemic family perspective in promoting well-being for sexual minority youths.  From a systemic point of view, coming out process has been defined as a “whole family experience’’ and an “interpersonal phenomenon” since it is a salient event involving all family members.  The view of the family as a “system” allows us to understand and to work on the parental reactions to their children’s coming out.  Understanding the coming out process and the variables related to family responses is an important aspect for the design and delivery of services aimed to promote well being in sexual minority youth.​


Tuesday, November 14

Diana Presciutti

“In the name of the father: masculinity, slander, and the miracle of the speaking newborn”

This talk focuses on a bronze relief, crafted by Donatello around 1450, that represents the Franciscan Saint Anthony of Padua performing one of his more famous miracles, that of the speaking babe. Through the power of Anthony’s intervention, a suspicious husband is able to unlock the secrets of the womb, acquiring from the mouth of his newborn son miraculous confirmation of his paternity. I examine here how Donatello’s version of the story constructs the social problems of infidelity and slander, as well as how its original audience of Paduan elites and Franciscan friars might have interpreted the imagery. The flexibility of Anthony’s pictorial hagiography, particularly in the Paduan context, allowed for an exploration of the uncomfortable questions raised by the miracle story; Donatello, I argue, embraced these ambiguities, marginalizing the husband and forging a new family unit between miracle-working saint, scorned mother, and speaking child.


Unless otherwise noted, all lectures begin at 6:20pm and are held in Rm. 13 of the Villa Rossa, Piazza Savonarola, 15.