Call for Papers: Sabato Rodia’s Watts Towers in Los Angeles: Art, Migrations, Community Development

Submission Due date:  July 20, 2009

As a follow-up to an international conference that took place April 2-5, 2009, at the University of Genova in Italy on the theme of art and migration as they relate to Sabato (Simon) Rodia and the Watts Towers, an independent group of scholars (partly in formation) has announced that it is ready to consider submissions for a volume of selected papers related to the themes of the Genova conference.  From the announcement:

The tentative title of the collected essays will be: Sabato Rodia’s Watts Towers in Los Angeles:  Art, Migrations, Community Development.  The volume will seek to treat the monument and its maker from a diverse spectrum of disciplinary perspectives and cover these areas: 1) The Community of Watts and its Monument:  Physical, Socio-Economic and Political Realities; 2)  Art Environments, Vernacular Traditions, and their Imaginaries; 3)  Italian Migrations:  Literary, Artistic, and Visual Legacies; 4)  Reproducing Nola (the Watts Towers vis-a-vis the Gigli of Nola).  Consult subjects 1 – 4 below for further details.  Please reply immediately with your intention to contribute (include your name, essay title, one-sentence description).  Submit your essay contribution for consideration by July 20.  All submissions will be peer-reviewed by an editorial advisory committee with expertise in the publication’s subject areas:

1.  Migration
– The life of Simon Rodia in the context of 19th to 20th-century Italian immigration
– Italian immigration as bridge between two worlds
– From Nola to Watts:  material culture traditions
– Oral history, oral culture and the Watts Towers
– Watts Towers and migration studies

2.  Art & Architecture
– Varieties of artistic definition:  e.g., Outsider Art, Folk Art, Visionary, etc.
– The Watts Towers and the Architecture of personal fantasy and genius
– Engineering, Construction, Conservation of the Towers

3.  Literary and Visual Legacies
– Los Angeles, the Towers, literature, film, music, etc.
– Visual documentation

4.  Socio-Economic and Political Realities
– Economic underdevelopment and renaissance:  yesterday and today
– In their shadow:  cultural politics and the Watts Towers
– Watts Towers Art Center:  arts education and community activism
– Italy as the New America:  immigrant art and literature in Italy

Submit:  Digital copy of your 20 – 25 page, double-spaced, essay (as an email attachment, Microsoft Word .doc file please).  Please follow the Chicago Manual of Style (
Appropriate critical apparatus (notes and bibliography), as well as illustrations, encouraged.

Send materials to volume editor:

Luisa Del Giudice, Ph.D.
P.O. Box 241553
Los Angeles, CA 90024-1553

Tel.:  (310) 474-1698

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *