Held in-person on the Campus of Georgetown University, Washington DC

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Keynote Address by Fred Kuwornu, filmmaker, activist, producer, educator

Workshop by Lourdes Ortega, Professor, Georgetown University, Department of Linguistics: Applying Social Justice Theory to the Language Classroom

The Department of Italian at Georgetown University, the Italian Cultural Institute in Washington D.C. and in New York are pleased to announce the fifth edition of the conference on teaching and research in the field of Italian language and culture. 

The theme of this year’s conference is “Connections.” Through this topic we want to highlight the challenges and the changes that have emerged in the last two years with regards to issues related to connecting physically and emotionally to others. Both the COVID-19 pandemic and the profound social unrest and awakening that have characterized this period have impacted us as teachers and researchers in unprecedented ways. The pandemic showed us the effects of isolation and physical separation and forced us to forge methodologies and pedagogical tools that would allow for those connections to take place in the context of virtual instruction. The social debates over disparities and unequal distribution of resources exacerbated during the pandemic, together with the emergence of new movements aiming at redressing social inequalities, also pushed us to ponder about our roles, our course content, and pedagogies. We want this conference to constitute a moment of reflection and exchange on these topics. In particular, our encounter will focus on the challenges to research and teaching that both the pandemic and the changing social climate have posed to us in the last two years as well as on the innovations that we implemented in our curricula and pedagogies. We want to discuss questions such as: How did we/Can we keep our students engaged in a remote modality during the pandemic? What other challenges did we face and how did we overcome them? What new topics did we implement in our curricula and research to respond to the demands of the current social climate? How do we promote human connections, intercultural competence, and social justice in our courses?  How do we incorporate skills such as creativity, collaboration, communication, and leadership into programs to improve our students’ preparation and to help them become better citizens? These topics will be at the core of the 2022 Italian Language and Culture Conference organized at Georgetown University as part of a series of events celebrating Italian Language Week in Washington D.C. The conference will provide a venue for educators to share their research and updated approaches and pedagogical strategies that have been successfully tested and adopted at both a course and program level in the high school and college classroom. The conference will be open to all languages in an effort to share experiences and create collaborations and dialogue among participants. 

We invite proposals from teachers and scholars who are experienced in data-driven research, designing interdisciplinary courses, creating new course formats, and developing curricula. 

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • investigating ways to address learning needs of students during and after the Covid-19 pandemic but also of those in superdiverse conditions
  • (re)tailoring course materials to better reach out to our students in diverse teaching modalities
  • offering new courses or teaching modules to promote intercultural competence, social justice, diversity and inclusion
  • developing interdisciplinary connections and multilingual approaches to researching and teaching language and culture issues
  • exploring the benefits of experiential learning
  • nurturing students’ interest in language from AP through College
  • updating testing methods to reflect students’ real-world language abilities (Tasks, IPA) and needs

Select peer-reviewed papers will be published in Georgetown’s open-access institutional repository: Digital Georgetown.

There will be a conference registration fee of $65 for presenters ($35 for graduate students and K-12 teachers)

Please send a proposal of 250 words for a 20-minute presentation or an 80-minute panel, and a brief CV to by May 31.