Affiliated Faculty

ADVISORY GROUP for the Minor in Italian Studies:

Chiara De Santi (Lecturer, Modern Languages) – Coordinator of the Minor and Chair of the Advisory Group

John Arnold (Associate Professor, History)

Raymond Belliotti (Professor, Philosophy)

Alex Caviedes (Associate Professor, Politics and International Affairs)

James Ivey (Professor, Theatre and Dance)



Dr. Chiara De Santi (Lecturer, Department of Modern Languages) – Coordinator of the Minor in Italian Studies
2104 Fenton Hall

An Italian native speaker from Tuscany, Chiara De Santi studied at the University of Florence, Italy, where she earned her degree (M.A. equivalent) in Russian language and literature with a secondary specialization in French and history. She holds a Ph.D. in Italian from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. and a Masters of Research in History and Civilization from the European University Institute. Her specializations span from contemporary Italian literature, cinema, culture, and history, to Italian as a second language, while she also has extensive knowledge of Soviet and Central Asian history. Actively presenting at conferences in the US and abroad and publishing on Italian literature and cinema and on Soviet history, Dr. De Santi is working on her research manuscript, Privet Comrade! Italian Intellectuals Traveling to the U.S.S.R. in the 1950s. She joined Fredonia in the fall of 2009, and she teaches Italian language courses, courses in Italian literature (often cross-listed with Women’s and Gender Studies), Italian cinema, Italian culture and civilization, Italian history and culture (for the Honors Program), and Freshman Seminars (for the Liberal Arts Program). Beyond being the Coordinator of the Minor in Italian Studies, Dr. De Santi is currently the advisor of the student club, Unione Italiana, and member of the local organization C.I.A.O. (Chautauqua Italian-American Organization). For further information about Dr. De Santi, please visit her personal website:

Dr. John Arnold (Associate Professor, Department of History)
E319 Thompson Hall

John Arnold holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville with research specializations in late antique and early medieval Christianity and Church history. Dr. Arnold carries on an active research agenda and, since his recently published The Footprints of Michael the Archangel: the Formation and Diffusion of a Saintly Cult, c. 300-c. 800, he has turned his attention to Mont Saint-Michel. Since joining the faculty of SUNY-Fredonia in 2002, Dr. Arnold has taught numerous courses in ancient and medieval history. Many maintain an important focus on the history of Italy, including HIST 302 (Roman Republic/Empire), HIST 303 (Middle Ages I), HIST 304 (Middle Ages II), and HIST 305 (Europe in the Era of the Renaissance).

Dr. Raymond Belliotti (Distinguished Teaching Professor, Department of Philosophy)
289 Fenton Hall

Raymond Belliotti received his undergraduate degree from Union College in 1970, after which he was conscripted into the United States Army where he served three years in military intelligence units during the Vietnamese War. Upon his discharge, he enrolled at the University of Miami where he earned his Master of Arts degree in 1976 and Doctorate in 1977. After teaching stints at Florida International University and Virginia Commonwealth University, he entered Harvard University as a law student and teaching fellow. After receiving a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School, he practiced law in New York City with the firm of Barrett Smith Schapiro Simon & Armstrong. In 1984, he joined the faculty at Fredonia. Dr. Belliotti is the author of 15 books, including Niccolò Machiavelli: The Laughing Lion and the Strutting Fox (2008); Roman Philosophy and the Good Life (2009); and Dante’s Deadly Sins: Moral Philosophy in Hell (2011). He has also published 70 articles and 25 reviews in the areas of ethics, jurisprudence, sexual morality, medicine, politics, education, feminism, sports, Marxism, and legal ethics. For six years he was faculty advisor to the undergraduate club, Il Circolo Italiano. Dr. Belliotti has been the recipient of the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, the William T. Hagan Young Scholar/Artist Award, the Kasling Lecture Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship, and the SUNY Foundation Research & Scholarship Recognition Award. He is also a member of the New York State Speakers in the Humanities Program.

Dr. Alexander Caviedes (Associate Professor, Department of Politics and International Affairs)
E388 Thompson Hall

Alexander Caviedes earned a Ph.D. and an M.A. in Politics and International Affairs from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a J.D. from the University of Florida, and an LL.M.eur in European Community Law from the University of the Saarland in Germany. In 2002, he spent a semester as visiting researcher at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, while now he returns almost yearly to Italy for family reasons. He has taught at Fredonia since 2006. His interests include the politics of Western Europe and the European Union, in particular immigration and labor migration. He is the author of the book Prying Open Fortress Europe: The Turn to Sectoral Migration (Lexington Books) and co-editor of the volume Labour Migration in Europe (Palgrave Macmillan), both from 2010. His course on Western Europe casts particular attention upon Italian politics, while his course on International Migration frequently draws on the Italian-American migration experience. His current research focuses on news portrayals of immigration, and as part of that project, he has worked together with students at Fredonia, translating and coding articles from Italian newspapers, which are then compared to media coverage of immigration in England, France, Germany, and Spain.

Ms. Laurie Detenbeck (Instructor, Department of Modern Languages) –
2115 Fenton Hall

Dr. James Ivey (Professor, Department of Theatre & Dance)
220 Rockefeller Arts Center

Dr. James Ivey joined the faculty of theatre and dance at Fredonia in the fall of 2000. Professor Ivey teaches acting, directing, theatre history and commedia dell’arte. His career at Fredonia has been highlighted by productions of The Learned Ladies, The Cherry Orchard, Our Town, Candide, The Wizard of Oz, The Farndale Avenue Christmas Carol, Hansel and Gretel, Marat/Sade, Sophocles’ Electra, The Venetian Twins and Stage Door. Dr. Ivey completed his bachelor’s degree in theatre at the University of Kansas in 1978, his master’s degree in theatre history from the University of Illinois in 1980 and his doctoral studies in performance theory and directing at Texas Tech University in 1991. Dr. Ivey moved to Abilene, Texas upon the completion of his Ph.D. where he was head of the department of theatre at Hardin-Simmons University. Dr. Ivey’s interest in commedia dell’arte, the improvised Italian performance style, took him to the Dell’Arte School of Physical Theatre in Blue Lake, California for study in 1994. He has subsequently trained with Antonio Fava, a recognized master of the commedia form, at the Scuola Internazionale dell'Attore Comico in Reggio-Emilia, Italy in the fall of 2006. Dr. Ivey teaches a performance class in commedia for the theatre and dance department and he happily ventures to Italy each summer to assist his wife, Emily with “The Arts of Italy” course.

Ms. Julie Newell (Distinguished Teaching Professor, Music)
2150 Mason Hall

Mr. Peter Tucker (Associate Professor, Department of Visual Arts and New Media)
315C McEwen Hall

Dr. Birger Vanwesenbeeck (Associate Professor, Department of English)
237 Fenton Hall

A native from Belgium, Birger Vanwesenbeeck holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University at Buffalo and frequently teaches courses in European Literature for the Department of English, including ENGL 205 Epic and Romance; ENGL 300, European Literary Landmarks; ENGL 327 Modern European Literature; and ENGL 389 Greek and Roman Literature. Among the Italian and Latin authors covered in these classes are Italo Svevo, Virgil, Horace, and Catullus. He also likes to talk about the vast literary legacy of his favorite Italian city, Trieste. His current research project is a comparative book-length study tentatively entitled "The Work of Mourning in the Age of Its Outsourcing" that focuses on the depiction of grieving (or the lack thereof) in canonical post-war texts from the US, the Netherlands, and France.

World Languages and Cultures Department Office

2113 Fenton Hall
State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
(716) 673-3380