Welcome to ACIS, the Australasian Centre for Italian Studies – a connection-point for the specialised communities of Italianist scholars in Australasia and beyond.

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Prof Zyg Baranski (Notre Dame University, US and Cambridge University, UK) is Visiting Scholar at the Italian Studies program at Monash University


zyg_baranski_for_web-5Prof Zyg Baranski (Professor of Dante and Italian Studies Notre Dame University, US, and Emeritus Serena Professor of Italian, University of Cambridge, UK), a world’s leading expert on Dante, medieval literature and poetics, and expert on modern literature and film, is Visiting Scholar at the Monash Italian Studies program. During his visit he will give three lectures. Everybody invited!

“Transforming Propaganda: Roberto Rossellini’s Un pilota ritorna“, Thursday October 9, 6.30pm, Italian Institute of Culture (233 Domain Rd, South Yarra). This public lecture is part of the RISM seminar series organized by Monash Italian Studies in collaboration with the Italian Institute of Culture.

This seminar examines the ways in which Rossellini’s 1942 film undercuts its apparent propagandist aims by drawing on a wide range of cinematic genres and by introducing marked shifts and contrasts in its structure. Indeed, rather than serve fascist war aims, Un pilota ritorna calls into question various aspects of fascist policy, granting primacy to ethics over politics, and recognizing the importance of pluralism.

“Language as sin and salvation in Dante: Inferno XVIII”, Friday October 10, 11am, Clayton Campus room E561, in collaboration with the Monash Med-Renaissance Seminar Series.

On account of its sexual overtones and scatological references, Inferno XVIII has caused considerable embarrassment to Dante scholars, who have tended to offer partial and reductive readings of the canto. The present lecture aims to establish Inferno XVIII’s key role in the structure of the Commedia, not only as regards its function as ‘prologue’ to one of the most original sections of Dante’s afterlife, the richly stratified circle of fraud Malebolge, but also as the canto in which the poet addresses two of the major controversial questions relating to the form of his great poem, namely, its status as ‘comedy’ and its linguistic eclecticism.

“La formazione intellettuale di Dante”, Thursday October 16, 6.30pm, Italian Institute of Culture (233 Domain Rd, South Yarra). This seminar is conducted in Italian and open to students and academics of all the universities of Melbourne and to the general public.

Dante, dove ha imparato e letto le cose che sapeva? A prima vista la domanda può sembrare banale, persino ‘inutile’. Eppure, è la domanda che, negli ultimi anni, i dantisti si sono posti con sempre maggior insistenza. La lezione prende in considerazione questioni come l’educazione di Dante, la situazione culturale di Firenze alla fine del Duecento, i rapporti di Dante con Bologna, gli effetti dell’esilio e le simpatie ideologiche del poeta.

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Il Paroliere: Italian Word of the Week-59

1555457d1330462598-risparmiatori-alitalia-traditi-dai-politici-briciole‘La bocca l’è minga stracca se la sa nò de vacca’. ‘Mica l’ho capito, sa. Non va punto bene’. ‘El gh’ha el dun de Dio de capì nagott. Alura, scarliga merlüss che l’è minga el tò üss’. ‘Milordino, brìsa fèr l’èsen’. Francesco, puoi dare una mano linguistica a questi due poeracci?

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Burning emotions: Giovanni Tarantino at the Museo Italiano, Thursday 25 September 2014, at 6.30 pm

image001For about ten years now there has been talk of history having taken an “emotional turn”. If the scholars of the Annales School were aiming to write history from the bottom up, the historians of emotions aim “to write history from the inside out”. They try to recover the history of men and women’s subjectivity, focusing on diaries, private correspondence, gravestones, memorial monuments, ballads, relics, clothes, recipes, textiles, and visual sources. In Burning Emotions: Concepts, challenges, cases for the History of Emotions, a talk at the Museo Italiano in Carlton on Thursday 25 Sept at 6.30 pm, Giovanni Tarantino, from the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions at the University of Melbourne, will discuss how different attempts to extinguish a fire consuming a multi-storey pagoda as represented in a late 18th century Japanese hanging silk scroll recently added to the permanent collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts reveal how cultural differences and cultural encounters deeply affected early modern emotional (and technical) responses to burning cityscapes and the enduring memories associated with them.

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International Early Career Research Fellowships at the ARC Centre for the History of Emotions

Opportunity600x250As part of its international research collaboration, the ARC Centre for the History of Emotions will fund excellent international Early Career Researchers in the field to visit one or more of the Australian nodes for a period of two months in 2015-16 to work with members of the Centre on a research program of their choice. Since the object of the Early Career International Research Fellowships is primarily to promote collaborative research, the Fellows will not be required to undertake any undergraduate teaching but will be required to deliver at least one paper or lecture.

Fellows will be provided with a return airfare from their home to Australia, accommodation and a contribution to living costs for their stay in Australia, and travel between Australian nodes of the Centre.

For further details on eligibility and how to apply (by 31 Oct 2014), click HERE.


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Il Paroliere: Italian Word of the Week-58

pulizie-di-casa-parte-seconda“Andai a fare un esame e dissi che ero preparatissimo su Bergman. Il professore – mio padre – mi chiese tutto su Georg Wilhelm Pabst: non sapevo niente e mi bocciò. Io gli dissi “Ma papà stai scherzando?” e lui rispose “Mi dia del lei!” (Carlo Verdone). Ah, quei babbi severi di una volta! I patri che sapevano comandare! [Ed: Babbiate. Voglio sentire invece John...]

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Writing and Translating Crime Fiction during Italian Fascism

Caterina Sinibaldi   University of Manchester

Donna LeonOver the last twenty years, Italian crime fiction has attracted growing scholarly attention, both in Italy and in the Anglophone world. If, on the one hand, this is due to a renewed interest in previously neglected areas of ‘letteratura popolare’, on the other it cannot be denied that Italy itself has become a central theme in crime fiction. Not only have contemporary Italian authors, such as Carlo Lucarelli and Andrea Camilleri, gained international success, but also British and North-American authors (Michael Dibdin and Donna Leon, just to mention two) have chosen to set their detective stories in Italy.

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Call for panel and paper proposals: ACIS 8th Biennial Conference, Sydney, 1-4 July 2015

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Italian culture and society have long been suffused by a powerful sense of place. Whether one thinks of the waves of diasporic Italians who have journeyed to encounter new cultural vistas around the globe, or of the even larger numbers of women and men who have remained in the places where their families have lived for centuries, Italians have always been acutely sensitive to their spatial and physical settings.

The organisers of the 8th Biennial ACIS ConferenceFertile Spaces, Dynamic Places: Mapping the Cultures of Italyto be held at the University of Sydney, 1-4 July 2015, invite participants to consider the myriad ways in which Italians have been influenced by – and left their mark upon – the spaces and places around them. We welcome papers on any period in the general areas of: Italian Art History, Cinema, Cultural Studies, Economics and Business, History, Italians in Australia, Language Teaching and Acquisition, Linguistics and Socio-Linguistics, Literature, Migration Studies, Politics and Sociology and Anthropology.

Please submit panel sessions or proposals for individual papers (250-300 words in Italian or English) by 31 January 2015 to:


Proposals for panels should contain: the panel title; name of the convenor; brief description of the theme; indication of the participants and the provisional titles/contents of their papers. Confirmation of acceptance of proposals will be sent out by 31 March 2015.

Details of registration, accommodation and the programme will be posted in due course on the conference page and here on this site.

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ACIS Cassamarca scholarships for student research in Italy in 2015

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ACIS and the Cassamarca Foundation are offering UP TO TWO scholarships worth $5000 each for research in Italy in 2015 by masters by research and doctoral students. You will find the criteria of eligibility and the guidelines for making an application on the page ‘Scholarships for 2015‘ under the menu Scholarships above.

The deadline for applications is FRIDAY 31 OCTOBER 2014.


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