Title: Social Scientist, Cultural Historian, Professor Emeritus, Author
Company: Ausonia Press
Location: Sarasota, Florida, United States
Joseph Polizzi, Publisher at Ausonia Press, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in the field of philosophical studies.
Upon graduating from Aquinas Institute in 1956, Polizzi pursued a Bachelor of Science at St. John Fisher College, during which he was a recipient of a Rochester Rotary scholarship for study at the United Nations in New York. After earning his Master of Arts from Fordham University in 1962, he commenced studies at Cornell University and, as a Fulbright Scholar from 1963 to 1964, completed academic and research work at the University of Perugia and the University of Naples, Italy, eventually earning his doctorate in 1967. In 1965 he joined the faculty of his alma mater where he taught for 23 years, retiring emeritus in 1988.
Following the publication of his doctoral thesis, Southern Italian Society, Its Peasantry and Change, Dr. Polizzi wrote treatises on issues of modernization in developing countries and other topics, delivered at international conferences and subsequently published in prestigious European journals. Under the auspices of the Ausonia Press of which he is the publisher, Dr. Polizzi has authored works on diverse topics, among such: Illustrissimo Palladio: Architect of the Veneto and the World; The New Flowering: A Cameo of Women in Ottocento Italian Art; an extensive essay on the history of Italian formal pleasure gardens; and a romantic novel, The Golden Orrery, a story based in part, on the life experiences of an Italian ancestor.
Dr. Polizzi is best known in Sarasota as the author of Lady of Asolo: A Pictorial History of the Life and Times of Queen Caterina Cornaro, a renaissance figure associated with the historic Asolo Theater Complex at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Nationally, his earliest work, My Grandmother Used to Say, continues to enjoy popularity now in its fifth printing.
For many years, Dr. Polizzi’s home, “Villa Perla,” in suburban Pittsford, New York, was the setting for academic benefits and the goals of The Ausonia Heritage Preservation Foundation, Inc, an entity Dr. Polizzi served as an energetic and visionary vice president. In this period, he was an important instrumental force in the creation of the Casa Italiana, the center for Italian Studies, at Nazareth College of Rochester. In Sarasota, he has served as the cultural director and president of the Ausonian Society for more than 20 years.
For many viewers’ delight, Dr. Polizzi has designed Italian art exhibits and shows, both in the Florida Gulf Coast area and in his native city, Rochester.
An accomplished musician and arts advocate, in 1990 Polizzi donated to the Sarasota Music Archive and the Eastman School of Music, an extensive collection of rare opera-related memorabilia from the personal library of Monsignor Dante del Fiorentino, the personal friend and biographer of the composer, Giacomo Puccini.
Presently, Dr. Polizzi serves on an international team of scholars and forensic scientists studying and authenticating Italian Old Master Paintings, including recently discovered works by Giorgione and Leonardo da Vinci. Pioneering a new path, Dr. Polizzi recently published a children’s story, The Court of Winter Roses, which he has set to the music of an early 20th Century American composer, for eventual production as an operetta or a ballet in either the classical or modern style. Outside of his professional responsibilities, Dr. Polizzi enjoys reading the literary works of the ancients and renaissance thinkers, collecting antiques, brief travel excursions and playing baroque compositions on his old grand.
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