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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sopranos Symposium at Fordham University, Final Program, May 22-24, 2008

The Sopranos: A Wake

Fordham University, New York
Lincoln Center Campus– Lowenstein Hall
60th Street and Columbus Avenue

May 22nd-24th, 2008


Paul Levinson and Al Auster (Fordham University)
David Lavery (Brunel University, London)
Douglas Howard (Suffolk Community College)

->with special guest Dominic Chianese (Corrado "Uncle Junior" Soprano)<- Read the transcript of Dominic Chianese's interview! 
... See the video!


for up-to-date conference information, requests for interviews, etc. - email levinson.paul@gmail.com or call Paul Levinson at 718-817-4863

IMPORTANT ADVISORY: Some of the language in the following program, quoted from episodes of The Sopranos, may be offensive to some people. Please know that we intend no offense to anyone with any of the language. Indeed, to the contrary, we are endeavoring in this conference to discuss, in a scholarly forum, the use of this language in a multiple-Emmy-award-winning television series, and its impact on our culture. Similarly, we expressly do not endorse, and in fact disagree with, any ethnic or gender stereotyping that any individual or group may derive from any of the conference presentations, or this conference as a whole. Again, to the contrary, one of the very purposes of this conference is to assess and analyze ethnic and gender stereotyping on television.

The Sopranos: A Wake
Program at a Glance

All events at Fordham University, Lincoln Center
Lowenstein Hall, at 60th Street and Columbus Avenue

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

7:00 pm: Opening Session [Lincoln Center 816]
Housekeeping (Doug Howard)
Welcome (Paul Levinson, Fordham University)
Session 1: Opening Panel (Gary Edgerton, David Lavery)


Friday, May 23rd, 2008

8:00am-9:00am: Registration, Coffee [Pope Auditorium]

Track A: 9:00am-10:00am
Session 2a-Featured Speaker: Jason Jacobs [LL 310]
Session 2b—Featured Speakers: Kim Akass and Janet McCabe [LL 311]

10:00am-10:30am: Coffee [Pope Auditorium]

Track B: 10:30am-12:15pm
Session 3—Film Form and Filmmaking [LL 305]
Session 4—Therapy [LL 307]
Session 5— Ethnic Identities and the Italian Question [LL 310]
Session 6—Women and Gender I [LL 311]

12:15pm-1:45pm - Lunch Break

Track C: 1:45pm-3:30pm [Pope Auditorium]
Session 6a-A Conversation with Dominic Chianese (Corrado "Uncle Junior" Soprano) Read the transcript!

3:30pm-4:30pm: Coffee, Book Signing [Pope Auditorium]

Track D: 4:30pm-6:00pm
Session 10— Images of Justice and The Sopranos [Pope Auditorium]

Track C2: 6:15pm-8:00pm
Session 7—Dreams [LL 305]
Session 8—Journalism, Poetry, and Silence in The Sopranos [LL 307]


Saturday, May 24th, 2008

8:00am-9:00am: Registration, Coffee [Pope Auditorium]

Track E: 9:00am-10:00am
Session 11—Featured Speaker: Robin Nelson [LL 310]
Session 12—Featured Speaker: Martha Nochimson [LL 311]

10:00am-10:30am: Coffee [Pope Auditorium]

Track F: 10:30am-12:15pm
Session 13—Creating Narratives [LL 305]
Session 14—Intertextuality I [LL 307]
Session 15—Healthcare and Food [LL 310]
Session 16—Women and Gender II [LL 311]

12:15pm-1:45pm: Lunch Break

Track G: 1:45pm-3:30pm
Session 17—Intertexuality II [LL 305]
Session 18—Whiteness and Cultural Privilege [LL 307]
Session 19—Masculinity and Gender [LL 310]
Session 20—Role-Playing and Negotiating [LL 311]

3:30pm-4:00pm: Coffee [Pope Auditorium]

Track H: 4:00pm-5:00pm
Session 22—Featured Speaker: George De Stefano [LL 307]
Session 23—Featured Speaker: Jimmie Reeves [LL 311]

5:00pm-5:30pm: Coffee, Book Signing [Pope Auditorium]

Conclusion: 5:30pm-7:00pm
Session 24—Fade to Black: The Finale and The Sopranos Legacy [Pope Auditorium]
Featured Speakers: Maurice Yacowar, Doug Howard, Paul Levinson
Chair: David Bianculli


Detailed Program

The Sopranos: A Wake: Sessions
Fordham University, New York (May 22-24, 2008)

All events at Fordham University, Lincoln Center
Lowenstein Hall
60th Street and Columbus Avenue

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

7:00pm: Opening Session [Lincoln Center 816]
Housekeeping: Doug Howard (Suffolk Community College)
Welcome: Paul Levinson (Fordham University)
Session 1
Featured Speakers:
Gary Edgerton (Old Dominion U), “The Sopranos as Tipping Point in the Second Coming of HBO”
David Lavery (Brunel University), “Made Men to Mad Men: What Matthew Weiner Learned from David Chase”


Friday, May 24, 2008
8:00am-9:00am: Registration, Coffee [Pope Auditorium]

9:00am-10:00am Track A

Session 2a [LL 310]—Featured Speaker: Jason Jacobs (U Queensland), “Christopher, Osama and AJ: Contemporary Narcissism and Terrorism in The Sopranos”

Session 2b [LL 311]—Featured Speakers: Kim Akass and Janet McCabe (Manchester Metropolitan U), “ ‘Blabbermouth Cunts’: The Sopranos and the Feminist Dilemma”

10:00am-10:30am: Coffee [Pope Auditorium]

10:30am-12:15pm: Track B
Session 3 [LL 305]—Film Form and Filmmaking
Chair: Cameron Golden
Jody Malcolm (U West Florida), “The Final Analysis: Epiphany and the Possibility for Redemption in The Sopranos and ‘A Good Man is Hard to Find’”
Cameron Golden (Independent Scholar), “The Producers: The Dangers of Filmmaking in The Sopranos”
William Siska (U of Utah), “The Sopranos as Art Cinema”

Session 4 [LL 307]—Therapy
Chair: David Pattie
Matthew Leporati (Fordham U), “ ‘Sometimes what happens in here is like taking a shit’: Confession and Identity in ‘The Test Dream’”
Bruce Plourde (Rowan U), “Tony and Dora: Mastering the Art of Counter-Transferrance”
David Pattie (U Chester), “ ‘Whatever happened to stop & smell the roses?’: The Sopranos as Anti-Therapeutic Narrative”

Session 5 [LL 310]—“Ethnic Identities and the Italian Question”
Chair: Frank Tomasulo
Jonathan J. Cavallero (Penn State U), “Honoring Our Ancestors: Using The Sopranos to Mobilize Italian/American Ethnic Identity”
Laura Cook Kenna (George Washington U), “ ‘I can’t turn the other cheek on this . . . My father was a Knight of Columbus’: ‘Christopher’ and the Contested Construction of Italian American Identity”
Frank Tomasulo (Florida State U), “The Gangster as Guinea Hero: The Complex Representation of Italian Americans in David Chase’s The Sopranos”

Session 6 [LL 311]—Women and Gender I
Chair: Joseph Walker
Andrée Betancourt (Louisiana State U), “The Rise and Shine of Claire Fisher and Meadow Soprano: Good Mourning Daughters”
Marisa Carroll (Independent Scholar), “ ‘When it comes to daughters, all bets are off’: Meadow Soprano and the Question of Familial Determinism in The Sopranos”
Joseph Walker (Independent Scholar), “ ‘What’s Different Between You and Me’: Carmela, the Audience, and the End”

12:15pm-1:45pm: Lunch Break

1:45pm-3:30pm: Track C
Session 6a [Pope Auditorium]
A Conversation with Dominic Chianese (Corrado "Uncle Junior" Soprano) with Paul Levinson and David Lavery

3:30pm-4:30pm: Coffee, Book Signing [Pope Auditorium]—Akass, Bianculli, Creeber, De Stefano, Edgerton, Jacobs, Lavery, Levinson, McCabe, Nelson, Nochimson, Peacock, Yacowar

4:30pm-6:00pm: Track D
Session 10 [Pope Auditorium]—Images of Justice and The Sopranos
Chair: Barbara Villez (U of Paris 8)
Antonio Ingroia (Prosecutor Palermo, Italy)
Fabio Licata (Prosecutor Palermo, Italy)
James Keneally (Criminal Lawyer, New York)
special presentation: Phil Scala (retired FBI organized crime squad supervisor): “The Real-Life Sopranos: The Crime Family in New Jersey upon which The Sopranos Was Based”

6:15pm-8:00pm: Track C2
Session 7 [LL 305]—Dreams
Chair: Cynthia Burkhead
Terry Carney (Butler U), “From Mafioso to Kevin Finnerty: The American Way”
Sven Weber (Independent Scholar), “The Sopranos: Asleep—The Dream Sequences and Their Reflection on Television Structure and Complexity”
Cynthia Burkhead (U North Alabama), “Fishes and Football Coaches, Oh My! The Narrative Necessity of Dreams in The Sopranos”

Session 8[LL 307]—Journalism, Poetry, and Silence in The Sopranos
Chair: Steven Peacock
Bastiaan Vanacker (Loyola U, Chicago), “Journalism in The Sopranos: Don’t Shoot the Messenger”
Rebecca Bobbitt (Middle Tennessee State U), “Slouching Toward Jersey: The Sopranos and Yeats”
Steven Peacock (U of Hertfordshire), “Silence in The Sopranos”


Saturday, May 24th, 2008

8:00am-9:00am: Registration, Coffee [Pope Auditorium]

9:00am-10:00am: Track E
Session 11 [LL 310]—Featured Speaker: Robin Nelson (Manchester Metropolitan U) “Author(iz)ing Chase: Questions of Worth in Valorizing The Sopranos”
Session 12 [LL 311]—Featured Speaker: Martha Nochimson (Cineaste), “The Sopranos, Relatively Speaking”

10:00am-10:30am: Coffee [Pope Auditorium]

10:30am-12:15pm: Track F
Session 13 [LL 305]—Creating Narratives in The Sopranos
Chair: Sean O’Sullivan
Robert Piluso (California State U Fullerton), “ ‘Funny about God, and fate, and shit like that’: The Imminent Unexpected in David Chase’s The Sopranos”
Ilaria Bisteghi (U of Bologna), “The New Serial Television: The Sopranos and The Relay Race-Like Text Structure”
Sean O’Sullivan (Ohio State U), “Episode Five, or When Does a Narrative Become What It Is?”

Session 14 [LL 307]—Intertexuality I
Chair: Al Auster
Lindsay Coleman (U Melbourne), “ ‘Echoes in Eternity’: Gladiator and The Sopranos”
Kenneth T. Rivers (Lamar U), “Carmela in Paris: Culture Shock and Architecture in the ‘Cold Stones’ Episode of The Sopranos
Al Auster (Fordham U), “The Sopranos and History”

Session 15 [LL 310]—Healthcare and Food
Chair: Michael Grynbaum
Dianna Lipp Rivers (Lamar U), “Hospital Scenes, Nursing, and Healthcare in The Sopranos”
Kathleen LeBesco and Peter Naccarato (Marymount Manhattan College), “A Family That Eats Together, Kills Together: Food as Metaphor in The Sopranos”
Michael Grynbaum (Harvard U), “Mangia Mafia! Food, Punishment, and Cultural Identity in The Sopranos”

Session 16 [LL 311]—Women and Gender II
Chair: Nancy Roche
Elizabeth Mauldin (Oglethorpe U), “Carmela Soprano as Emma Bovary: European Culture, Taste, and Class in The Sopranos”
Lyndsey Lefebvre (California State U Fullerton), “Carmela Soprano: Fighting Our Battle?”
Nancy Roche (Middle Tennessee State University), “The Last Temptation of Melfi”

12:15pm-1:45pm: Lunch Break

1:45pm-3:30pm: Track G
Session 17 [LL 305]—Intertextuality II
Chair: Paul Wright
Paul Wright (Cabrini College), “Half a Wise Guy: Paulie Walnuts, Meet Tom Stoppard”
Carl Wilson (Brunel U), “ ‘Even Brendan Filone’s got an identity and he’s dead’: Christopher Moltisanti and the Reflexive Subjectivity of the Constructed Self”
Glen Creeber (U Wales Aberystwyth), “Comfortably Numb? The Sopranos, New Brutalism and the Last Temptation of Chris”

Session 18[LL 307]—Whiteness and Cultural Privilege
Chair: Christopher Kocela
Renee Curry (California State U, Monterey Bay), “ ‘Bianca isn’t black; she’s pretty tan’: Desire, Repulsion, and Whiteness in The Sopranos”
Andrea Dottolo (Worcester State College), “Wops and WASPS: Using The Sopranos to Teach about Race and Racism”
Christopher Kocela (Georgia State U), “ ‘All Caucasians Look Alike’: Dreams of Whiteness at the End of The Sopranos”

Session 19 [LL 310]—Masculinity and Gender
Chair: Paul Lumsden
Paul Lumsden (Grant MacEwan College), “Tony and the Bear”
Melinda Di Condio and David Thierring (Independent Scholars), “Christopher’s Arc: The Existential Search of the Generation Y Gangster”

Session 20 [LL 311]—Role-Playing and Negotiating
Chair: Sarah Swan
Frieda Pattenden (University of Munich), “Role-play Reading The Sopranos: “ ‘You are all white professional males between 25 and 45’”
Sharon Sutherland (U of British Columbia Faculty of Law) and Sarah Swan (Independent Scholar), “ ‘It’s not a negotiation’: Getting to Yes with Tony Soprano”

3:30pm-4:00pm: Coffee [Pope Auditorium]

4:00pm-5:00pm: Track H
Session 22 [LL 307]—Featured Speaker: George De Stefano (Independent Scholar), “A ‘Finook’ in the Crew: Vito Spatafore, The Sopranos, and the Queering of the Mob Genre”
Session 23 [LL 311]—Featured Speaker: Jimmie Reeves (Texas Tech U), “Tony Soprano as Feral Father: Patriarchy in the Age of Hybridity”

5:00pm-5:30pm: Coffee, Book Signing [Pope Auditorium]—Akass, Bianculli, Creeber, De Stefano, Edgerton, Jacobs, Lavery, Levinson, McCabe, Nelson, Nochimson, Peacock, Yacowar

5:30pm-7:00pm: Conclusion
Session 24 [Pope Auditorium]—Fade to Black: The Finale and The Sopranos Legacy
Chair: David Bianculli (tvworthwatching.com)
Featured Speakers: Maurice Yacowar (U Calgary), “Unpredictable but Inevitable: That Last Shot”
Douglas Howard (Suffolk County Community College), “No Justice for All: The FBI, Cut to Black, and David Chase’s Final Hit”
Paul Levinson (Fordham U), “The Sopranos and the Closure Junkies”



Presenters by Session

Akass, Kim—2b, signings
Auster, Al—14
Betancourt, Andrée E. C.—6
Bianculli , David—24, signings
Bisteghi, Ilaria—13
Bobbitt, Rebecca—8
Burkhead, Cynthia—7
Carney, Terry—7
Carroll, Marisa—6
Cavallero, Jonathan J.—5
Chianese, Dominic, 6a
Coleman, Lindsay—14
Creeber, Glen—7, signings
Curry, Renee—18
De Stefano, George—22, signings
DiCondio, Melinda—19
Dottolo, Andrea—18
Edgerton, Gary—1, signings
Golden, Cameron—3
Grynbaum, Michael—15
Howard, Douglas—24
Ingroia, Antonio—10
Jacobs, Jason—2a, signings
Kenna, Laura Cook—5
Kenneally, James—10
Kocela, Christopher—18
Lavery, David—1, 6a, signings
LeBesco, Kathleen—15
Lefebvre, Lyndsey—16
Leporati, Matthew—4
Levinson, Paul—6a, 24, signings
Licata, Fabio—10
Lumsden, Paul—19
Malcolm, Jody—3
Mauldin, Elizabeth—16
McCabe, Janet—2b, signings
Naccarato, Peter—15
Nelson, Robin—11, signings
Nochimson, Martha P.—12, signings
O’Sullivan, Sean—13
Pattenden, Frieda—20
Pattie, David—4
Peacock, Steven—8, signings
Piluso, Robert—13
Plourde, Bruce—4
Reeves, Jimmie—23
Rivers, Dianna Lipp—15
Rivers, Kenneth T.—14
Roche, Nancy—16
Scala, Phil-10
Siska, William—3
Sutherland, Sharon—20
Swan, Sarah—20
Thiering, David—19
Tomasulo, Frank—5
Vanacker, Bastiaan—8
Villez, Barbara—10
Walker, Joseph—6
Weber, Sven—7
Wilson, Carl—17
Wright, Paul—17
Yacowar, Maurice—24, signings

Useful links:

The Sopranos' End and the Closure-Junkies

The Sopranos and Hamlet

The Sopranos, or the Tiger?

The Sopranos Ninth of Nine Finale: The Anti-Ending Ending

The Sopranos as a Nuts-and-Bolts Triumph of Non-Network TV

and Sopranos podcasts....

the conference widely anticipated in the press:

Andrew Sullivan's blog ... New York Magazine blog ... Sports Illustrated blog ... CollegeOTR ... widely quoted article in the New York Post, in which I compare The Sopranos to Shakespeare and the Beatles ... American Bar Association Journal ... Alan Sepinwall in the Newark Star Ledger ...

the conference attended and reported by the press:

AP story carried in hundreds of newspapers and news reports on television and radio
... Joan Acocella's article in The New Yorker ...

controversies about the conference reported in the press:

Bianculli's Blog ... Courier Mail (Australia) ... response by Queensland Univ. professor to Courier Mail story


And coming in Summer 2011: The Essential Sopranos Reader  (University of Kentucky Press) ... papers and essays from the May 2008 Sopranos Symposium at Fordham University


Jessica Knapp said...

Carmela Soprano as Emma Bovary!?! I want to go. Seattle should move closer to New York. Or maybe I should move closer to New York. That sounds like a great conference.

Paul Levinson said...

We'd love to have you back here!

Anonymous said...

I plan on being there although I cant imagine any discussions of the ending will be better than this:


This guy nailed it. Part II is brilliant.

Paul Levinson said...

I look forward to reading the article and talking about it with you at the Symposium - thanks for the comment.