Alberto Lo Pinto is a doctoral candidate in the PhD in Literature program. The Nanovic Institute awarded Alberto a Graduate Professional Development Grant to present at a conference at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Alberto recently wrote about his experience:
On October 17th -19th, 2013, I attended a conference on Federico Fellini held at the University of Toronto. The event was organized by the Department of Language Studies at the University of Toronto Mississauga in order to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the death of Federico Fellini, one of the greatest Italian directors and one of the most important writers of the history of cinema. Many first-class scholars of Federico Fellini and Italian Film Studies joined in what was a very rich and fruitful event. This conference allowed me to network with specialists in Film and Italian Studies, which I am certain will be helpful in my future career. During the three days of conference, I was also able to meet the faculty members of the Italian Department and we promised each other to work together in the near future.
The environment at the conference was very pleasant. The heterogeneous group was made up of scholars from Canada, the U.S., and Italy, and this provided for very productive discussions in each and every panel. The Department of Italian Studies at the University of Toronto was very generous and thoughtful in providing both the participants and the speakers multiple occasions in which it was possible to interact with each other and further develop interesting topics related to our fields of study.
The paper I presented, titled “Federico Fellini e l’Eur: il lunapark di Federico,” made a good impact on the audience and elicited a series of questions, comments, and congratulations. Vincenzo Mollica, one of the keynote speakers of the conference and a renowned journalist in Italy, approached me to congratulate me for my work and to further discuss the topic of my paper. To take advantage of this opportunity, not forgetting his close friendship with the late director, I asked him for his contact information to have the possibility of interviewing him in the near future. His comments and the ones of other participants helped me to further develop my work – with the hopes that I will be able to publish it in the near future. Furthermore, the topic of the paper is linked to what I would like the topic of my dissertation to be, namely the representation of the urban space of Rome, and the feedback I received will also help me on this project.
The conference took place at the University of Toronto, a beautiful environment in the heart of the city, full of unforgettable Romanesque and contemporary structures very well combined together. Along with this, as one of the speakers at the conference, I was also invited by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura for a dinner in a very nice old building, in which I had the chance to introduce myself to a series of very important scholars in residence there. This was a unique and unforgettable experience both for my professional development and for my personal life. It was the first time I presented a paper, and I would like to thank the Nanovic Institute for giving me the opportunity to participate in this event.