AISNA (Associazione Italiana di Studi Nord-Americani) is the American Studies Association of Italy, founded in 1973. It brings together scholars, teachers, students, and professionals inside and outside the world of academia who have an interest in the study of North-American literature, history, arts, culture, society, and institutions.
The institutional function of AISNA is promoting research and teaching in the field of American Studies in Italy, and encouraging contact and exchange among its members as well as between AISNA members and American Studies scholars and associations all over the world.
To that end, AISNA organizes a meeting every year and an International Conference every other year, to which international scholars are invited as speakers and welcomed as participants. Recent conference topics have been “Translating America: Importing, Translating, Misrepresenting, Mythicizing, Communicating America” (Torino, 2009), “Democracy and Difference: The US in Multidisciplinary and Comparative Perspectives” (Trento, 2011), “Discourses of Emancipation and the Boundaries of Freedom” (Trieste, 2013). The proceedings of these conferences are published and sent free of charge to members; the contents of individual volumes can be consulted online on the AISNA website.
Starting in 2005, AISNA has also added to its previous activities a number of Seminars in collaboration with Centro di Studi Americani in Rome and the Fulbright Commission. The Interdisciplinary Seminar of American Studies, held in the Spring of every year, is addressed to advanced undergraduate and graduate students from all over Italy and is aimed at providing them with opportunities for exchange and debate with renowned national and international scholars, as well as among themselves. Recent topics of the Interdisciplinary Seminar have been “American Studies: State of the Art” (2011), “Turning In and Out of the American Century” (2012), “American Families: An Ongoing Debate on an Everchanging Institution” (2013), “The First Twenty Years of The Century: 1900/2000” (2014).
Over the last few years, AISNA and Centro di Studi Americani have also jointly organized a number of Seminars on “State of the Art in American Studies,” during which prominent American Studies scholars from the United States have lectured to and debated with Italian graduate students and younger faculty. AISNA publishes a journal, RSA (Rivista di Studi Americani), established in 1981; the first issue of the new series came out in 1990. The Journal’s policy changed in 2006-2007, accepting contributions by both members and non-members. The print version of the journal is shipped to all contributors and all AISNA members; the electronic version is available online on the AISNA website. Recent issues include: “Mapping American Popular Culture” (24/2013), “Transcultural Perspectives on Tennessee Williams” (25/2014), “American Life and Literature into Film” (26/2015). Submissions must be in English.
Information about the activities and publications of AISNA and of its individual members, as well as other relevant information regarding American Studies events and publications in Italy and internationally, is regularly circulated by the AISNA secretary via the Association mailing list and posted on the Association website. AISNA is a member of EAAS, the European Association of American Studies, and of IASA, the International American Studies Association. Its archives are held at the Centro di Studi Americani in Rome.