Oral Histories

Interview of Charles Speroni

Chair of the UCLA Department of Italian and dean of the UCLA College of Fine Arts.
Dean, Mentor, Colleague: Bridging Humanities and the Fine Arts at UCLA
Interviews not in a series, part one
UCLA and University of California History
UCLA Administration
UCLA Faculty
Biographical Note:
Chair of the UCLA Department of Italian and dean of the UCLA College of Fine Arts.
Galm, Bernard
Speroni, Charles
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interviews are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Speroni family history; education in Italy; elder brother offers to take him to the United States so he can study at the University of California; first impressions of America; the Berkeley campus; learning English; wins freshman prize; Professor Rudolph Altrocchi; Niccolò Tucci; major in French and Italian; decision to seek Ph.D.; trip to Mexico; offered position teaching Italian at UCLA; marriage to Carmela Speroni; Ernest Carroll Moore; Constantine Panunzio; Franco Averardi; dissertation, "Folklore in Dante's Divine Comedy"; Gustave O. Arlt; Charles S. Singleton; Wayland Hand; Archer Taylor; mono-graph on Charles Merbury; study of Book of the Courtier; Committee on Academic Personnel and university budgets; developing Italian curriculum; teaching Italian to American soldiers during World War II; Carlo Golino; return to Italy after war; buying books for the UCLA library; Lorenzo de'Medici; Luigi Pulci's Morgante Maggiore; Giuseppe Cocchiara; Pier Maria Pasinetti; Stephen J. Kayser; establishing the Department of Italian at UCLA; American Association of Teachers of Italian; appointed coordinator of UCLA's Education Abroad Program; appointed director of Office of Summer Sessions; Italian Wellerisms; UCLA's celebration of the centennial of Italian unification; the California Club; Franklin D. Murphy; teaching for Extension Division; Irving Stone commissions Speroni to translate Michelangelo's letters; Italian Quarterly; creation of College of Fine Arts; William W. Melnitz; Speroni named dean of the College of Fine Arts; relation of chancellor and council of deans; problems in the theater arts and art departments; Richard Diebenkorn; Frederick S. Wight; Gerald Nordland; UCLA Art Council and UCLA Art Galleries; Carmela Speroni's work to establish an endowed chair for the art department; Committee on Fine Arts Productions; Jan Stussy; curriculum changes in fine arts instruction; negotiations for a proposed Arnold Schoenberg Institute; creative arts awards; Henry Mancini; Carol Burnett; UCLA's motion picture and television archives; Speroni's books and principal articles.