The Valentine Giamatti Speakers

L'Aquila Earthquake Presentation, 2018

Laura Benedetti

Our 2018 event to honor the memory of Professor Valentine Giamatti took place on Thursday, 25 October 2018, in Gamble Auditorium.

On the eve of the tenth anniversary of the disastrous L’Aquila earthquake and following another disastrous hurricane season in the United States, we invited Georgetown University Professor Laura Benedetti to talk about her edited volume “Cultural Responses to Natural Disasters”. In 2015, Professor Benedetti organized a conference in the city’s ruins. The theme was Rebirth. An edited volume followed this conference.

We followed Professor Benedetti’s talk with an interdisciplinary panel discussion with three experts who will reflect on trauma after natural disasters (Amber Douglas, Mount Holyoke College), seismic activity in Italy (Jack Loveless, Smith College) and the importance of conservation and reconstruction after such events (Nicola Camerlenghi, Dartmouth College).

MHC Supporting Faculty: Ombretta Frau, Morena Svaldi and Martino Lovato

Amara Lakous, 2017 Giamatti speaker (1 hour, 22 minutes)

Amara Lakous describes his experience as a multilingual novelist exploring identity in the immigrant experience in a talk organized by
Ombretta Frau, Martino Lovato, and Morena Svaldi.

Jhumpa Lahiri, 2016 Giamatti Speaker (1 hour, 37 minutes)

Pulitzer prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri's intense desire to learn Italian inspired a bold decision. Seeking true immersion, she moved to Rome in 2012 with her Family. Her non-fiction debut, "In altre parole", is a provocative exploration of the power of language to transform—and reinvent—one's voice and sense of self. In spring 2016, Ms. Lahiri visited our campus and this is her interview with Professor Ombretta Frau.

The Valentine Giamatti Lecture has been given since the late-1980s in honor of Dante scholar Valentine Giamatti, a professor of Italian at Mount Holyoke for more than 30 years.

Italian Journalist Annunziata, 2012 Giamatti Speaker

Lucia Annunziata

Lucia Annunziata made headlines when her questions led Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to walk off set in protest.