News Page


Visiting Rooney Scholars Help Celebrate 150th Anniversary of Italy’s Unification

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pittsburgh -- An Italian filmmaker and an expert in Italian language and literature will help Robert Morris University celebrate the 150th anniversary of modern Italy as the next Rooney International Visiting Scholars.

Writer, actor, director and producer Luca Guardabascio will reside at RMU’s Moon Township campus through Dec. 7. He will be joined Oct. 24 by Catherine Ramsey-Portolano, the chair of Italian Studies at the American University of Rome, who will stay at RMU through Nov.4. 

Luca Guardabascio picGuardabascio’s interests and expertise include neorealist cinema, comedy/screenplay, Italian cinema in the world, political cinema made in Italy, New Italian cinema, and documentaries in Italy. 

Guardabascio will present “History Though Cinema: Italy’s Unification and Italians from Garibaldi to Mussolini” on Wednesday Sept. 21. His presentation will begin at noon in the International Suite of Sewall Center and last until 1:30 p.m.

Ramey-Portolano has been teaching Italian language, literature, and culture for 15 years. Her research includes gender studies, 19th and 20th century Italian women, and Italian film. Ramsey-Portolano was awarded her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, her M.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her B.A. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Ramsey-Portolano will present “Americana: Elio Vittorini;s Controversial Love for EverythingDr. Catherine Ramsey-Portolano pic American”  on Wednesday Oct. 26. Her presentation and lunch will begin at noon and last until 1:30 p.m. in the International Suite of the Sewall Center.

The Visiting Rooney Scholars program, established in 2004 by Patricia R. Rooney and her family, seeks to enhance the richness and diversity of RMU. The scholars are expected to perform presentations, seminars, or workshops to the faculty, students, and staff at Robert Morris.

Robert Morris University, founded in 1921, is a private, four-year institution with an enrollment of approximately 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The university offers 60 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs. An estimated 22,000 alumni live and work in western Pennsylvania.