Alessandro S. Crisafulli was a faculty member in the Department from 1935 to 1976. He taught several hundred students in his long and distinguished career and served as Chair of the Department for many years. He was an inspiration to all. In 1994, the Crisafulli family created and endowed a fund in honor of him to encourage the study and appreciation of the languages taught in the Department. The generosity of the Crisafulli family has offered three distinct kinds of support:

  • an annual lecture series by distinguished scholars in the fields of French, German, Italian, and Spanish;
  • financial support for graduate students to read papers at national and international conferences; and
  • travel grants for outstanding undergraduate language majors to study abroad in order to enhance their language proficiency and their understanding of the culture in which they will be living.

2019 Crisafulli Lecture

"The Racialization of International Law in the Aftermath of the Haitian Revolution: The Holy See and National Sovereignty" by Dr. Julia Gaffield

April 3, 2019, 5:00 p.m., Vincent P. Walter Room, Curley Hall

Past Lectures

  • 1996

    April 16, 1996: Dr. Davy Carozza, Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee: “Tasso Tintoretto Monteverdi: Tancredi and Clorinda in Three Art Forms.”

  • 1997

    April 8, 1997: Dr. Pierre Verdaguer, University of Maryland, College Park: “French Detective Fiction: The Evolution of a Genre from Popular to AvantGarde.”

  • 1998

    April 23, 1998: Dr. Symour Menton, University of California, Irvine: “Latin America’s New Historical Novel Revisited: Two Sets of Non-Identical Twins

  • 1999

    March 29, 1999: Dr. Franco Fido, Harvard University Cambridge, Massachusetts: “‘A Scoundrel, Certainly, but Profound’- France, Macchiavelli and the Philosophes.”

  • 2000

    April 17, 2000: Dr. Sylvere Lotringer, Columbia University: “Doing French Theory in America.”

  • 2001

    November 15, 2001: Dr. Thomas Harrison, UCLA. “Anti-Aestheticist Modernism.”

  • 2002

    March 25, 2002: Dr. Margaret Rich Greer, Duke University: “Framing the Tale: Maria De Zayas in the Novella Tradition.”.

  • 2003

    March 12, 2003: Dr. Brigid Doherty, Princeton University: “Revolution and the Reality of Body in Bertolt Brecht’s Drums in the Night.”

  • 2004

    March 12, 2004: Dr. Chantal Del Sol, Université de Marne La Vallée: “Modernity or ‘Everything is Possible’.”

  • 2005

    April 13, 2005: Dr. Daniela Bini, University of Texas, Austin: “Retinence: A Rhetorical Strategy in Othello/Othello: Shakespeare, Verdi-Boito, Zeffirelli.”

  • 2006

    April 7, 2006: Dr. James Parr, University of California, Riverside, Presidentelect, Cervantes Society of America: “Don Quixote: Telling the Tale.”

  • 2007

    March 29, 2007: Dr. Sharon Kinoshita, University of California, Santa Cruz: “Changing Frames: Old French Literature and New French Studies in the Medieval Mediterranean.”

  • 2008

    March, 31, 2008: Dr. Marianne Kalinke, University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign: “Culture Transfer in the Norse World or What it Takes to Win a Bride.”

  • 2009

    February 16, 2009: Dr. Christopher Celenza, Johns Hopkins University: “The Italian Renaissance and the Classics: Lorenzo Valla’s Image of Aristotle.”

  • 2010

    October 25, 2010: Dr. Ana Patricia Rodriguez, University of Maryland, College Park, MD: “‘Los 30’: Documenting Thirty Years of the Salvadoran Diaspora, 1980-2010.”

  • 2011

    October 3, 2011: Dr. Alice Kaplan, Yale University: “Susan Sontag’s Imaginary Paris 1957-1958.”

  • 2012

    March 14, 2012: Dr. Jill Suzanne Smith, Bowdoin College: "From the Balkans to Berlin Courtroom Drama, Cross- National Romance."

  • 2013

    November 14, 2013: Dr. Michael Ugarte, University of Missouri-Columbia: "Madrid Deals with the African Subaltern."

  • 2015

    April 8, 2015: Dr. George R. Trumbull IV, Dartmouth University: "Narrating Space in the French Colonial Sahara: Water and its Histories in Desert Algeria."

    December 1, 2015: Dr. Amara Lakhous, New York University: "Global Italy, Multiculturalism as Instrument of Narration."

  • 2016

    December 1, 2016: Dr. Evan Torner, University of Cincinnati: "Myths of Multicultural Meritocracy in East German Science-Fiction Films."

  • 2018

    March 22, 2018: Dr. Mireya Loza, National Museum of American History (NMAH), Smithsonian Institute: "Escúchame in production: Documenting Spanish Language Television at the National Museum of American History."