More than 260 delegates from the U.S., Europe and Canada are expected to attend the annual conference of the American Association of Italian Studies at the College of Charleston on May 3-5.

Dr. Giovanna De Luca, associate professor of Italian Studies at the college, is the conference’s host.

The keynote speech by John Dickie, a professor from the University College London, is open to the public and will be at 5:30 p.m. May 4 in the New Science Building on C of C’s campus.

Dickie has authored several books, including “Cosa Nostra: A History of the Sicilian Mafia” and “Mafia Brotherhoods: The Rise of Italian Mafia.” He has published widely in academic journals on various topics in Italian history and has written extensively for the press in the United Kingdom, Italy and other countries.

The 30-year-old organization has a membership of more than 400 scholars of Italian, hailing from universities in North America and Europe.

For more information about the 2012 conference at the College of Charleston, visit http://aais2012.cofc.edu.