2:00 – 2:15     Welcome and introductions

2:15 - 2:35      Professor Gaetano Cipolla, What Makes a Sicilian?

2:35 - 2:55     Avinoam Shalem

3:00- 3:20     David Winkler

3:30 - 4:00    Gallery tour of Due South

4:00 – 4:45    Panel discussion led by Marianne Bernstein

4:45 - 5:00     Audience Q & A

5:00 - 6:00    Sit-down dinner

Sunday, April 23, 2-6 PM

Free Symposium (registration required)
$25 Suggested Donation for Dinner (registration required by April 20)

The Delaware Contemporary presents: Tumbling the Jewel: Sicily, a Symposium featuring nationally and internationally renowned speakers who will examine and discuss the multi-ethnic contributions and current global issues facing Sicily and contemporary art today. Sicily has been referred to as the “jewel” of the Mediterranean because of its dazzling characteristics:  natural beauty, rich volcanic soil, and strategic position. As such, its entire history has been “tumbled” by violence and change as conquering cultures of the world’s greatest civilizations invaded and left their mark. Tumbling the Jewel will include several socially engaged and scholarly activities, such as a multicultural dinner, three research presentations, a panel discussion, and a question and answer period.

The Symposium was planned in conjunction with Due South, a major exhibition in The Delaware Contemporary's three main galleries, featuring work by thirty artists from America and Italy/Sicily who have created new works in all media about Sicily, offering insider and outsider perspectives. Due South features leading American/International and Italian/Sicilian artists such as Isaac Julien, Marinella Senatore, Andrea Modica, Jane Irish, Massimo Vitali, Loredana Longo, and others.

Tumbling the Jewel will feature prominent national and international panelists, including academics, critics, and artists, who will discuss the current state of global concerns such as the refugee crisis, xenophobia, fear, and unrest through the lens of Sicily past and present. A discussion of contemporary art in Sicily will be deepened through the art historical lens of its rich and turbulent history. Scholars will speak about the contributions of three major faiths during the Middle Ages in Sicily; a period of relative calm and tolerance where Muslims, Jews, and Christians worked together to produce complex and multicultural artistic masterpieces. From 1000-1400 when the Normans ruled, magnificent works of art were created by Muslims, Jews, and Christians co-existing in relative harmony, their customs, contributions, and talents respected and employed. Understanding the present through the lens of the past is especially timely and important.

Organized by Marianne Bernstein, curator of Due South.


Professor Gaetano Cipolla, PhD / St. John’s University / Author of What Makes a Sicilian? / Presenter
Professor of Italian and Chairman of the Department of Modern Foreign Languages at St. John’s University in NYC. He received his Bachelor of Science from New York University, Master of Arts from Hunter College, and his PhD from New York University. Professor Cipolla has written numerous scholarly articles on Dante, Petrarach, Tasso, Pirandello, Calvino, and others. He serves as the President of Arba Sicula, a nonprofit organization that promotes the language and culture of Sicily.

Avinoam Shalem, PhD / Riggio Professor of the History of the Arts of Islam, Columbia University
Specialist in late Medieval Sicilian history, particularly the global context of the visual cultures of the world of Islam, mainly in the Mediterranean, Near East, North Africa, Spain, South Italy, and Sicily, and medieval aesthetic thoughts on visual arts and craftsmanship. Shalem holds a PhD from the University of Edinburgh.

David N. Winkler,  PhD /Assistant Professor of Italian at the University of Delaware
Specialist in Italian Jewish history. Winkler will speak to Jewish contributions in Sicily with a focus on Federick II’s court in Palermo from 1215-1250.

Marianne Bernstein / BA from Vassar College and the University of Michigan in English and Film Studies / Guest Curator and Symposium Organizer
Bernstein has served as an artist and curator for 35 years and has received project support grants from the NEA, Leeway Foundation, and the Andy Warhol Foundation. Bernstein is the Due South curator, producer, and Symposium organizer.

Francesco Panteleone / Gallery owner of Francesco Pantaleone Arte Contemporanea / Palermo (FPAC)
Panelist for the group discussion.