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History & Politics, Italian American Issues, Literature

Martin Luther King Jr. An “Italian” Story

Paolo Naso and Angelica Pesarini, with Massimo Di Gioacchino

November 16, 2021
12:00 pm

Panel Discussion on Zoom

In collaboration with
NYU Department of Italian Studies

In order to participate, RSVP and you will receive an e-mail with your Zoom link
by November 15

If you don’t receive the e-mail by then, contact us at

Martin Luther King Jr.
An “Italian” Story

Paolo Naso, Università La Sapienza, Rome
Author of Martin Luther King. Una storia americana (Laterza, 2021)

in conversation with

Angelica Pesarini, University of Toronto

Moderated by
Massimo Di Gioacchino, NYU

The political activism of Martin Luther King Jr., from the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 to the Selma to Montgomery March of 1965, has notably shaped the public debate, and then later the federal legislation, on civil rights in the United States. Since 1966, his opposition to the War in Vietnam and his efforts to organize a “Poor People’s Campaign” started a new and controversial phase of the Civil Rights Movement. Outside the US, this “radical” King has often been neglected and re-shaped into the comforting icon of an American hero, minimizing the political and moral impact of his vision.

On November 16, 2021, Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò and the Department of Italian Studies invite you to the discussion on the intersection of the racial question in the United States and Italian history. Starting with the recent publication of Paolo Naso’s Martin Luther King. Una storia americana (Laterza, 2021), this event aims to discuss the reception and intellectual debate in Italy around the ideas and the public figure of Martin Luther King Jr. from the early 1950s to the killing of Jerry Masslo in 1989.

The event, moderated by Massimo Di Gioacchino (NYU), will bring together in conversation the author of the book, Paolo Naso (Sapienza University of Rome), and Angelica Pesarini (University of Toronto). An open discussion with the audience will follow the event.