Welcome to ACIS, the Australasian Centre for Italian Studies – a connection-point for the specialised communities of Italianist scholars in Australasia and beyond.
At the Museo Italiano, Carlton, at 6.30 pm on 11 November Richard Freadman will launch A Soul for Australia? Reading Fosco Antonio’s My Reality, edited by John Gatt-Rutter and Peter Willis. Fosco came to Australia from Italy as a child in the 1950s. His book reflects on the mutations of Australian culture since that time, on the experience of having Catholic roots in a largely secular society, on the search for meaning without God, and on the transformative power of emotional crisis. The book is also an affectionate narrative of Melbourne – its geography, its cultural topography, and its own proud version of post-war radicalism. His text, My Reality, is republished in this volume, accompanied by six essays, ranging from the supportive to the dismissive, which seek to open up debate on the issues which he poses.
‘Oi, Ody, wind’s up.’ ‘Yeah, get the boat out then and drag that idle bunch of sailorin’ no-goods out of the tavern. And tell Penny to pack us some sangers and the cab sav.’ ‘Where we going, Ody?’ ‘Back of Bourke, mate, Troy or somethin’, bloke said.’ ‘Whatya gonna do with young Tele then?’ ‘Strewth, mate, I dunno. Concetta, ya got any ideas?’
La BiGLLI (Bibliografia Generale della Lingua e della Letteratura Italiana) è adesso online, con accesso gratuito fino al 14 dicembre 2014. Registra tutti i materiali editi in Italia e all’estero: edizioni di testi, indagini critiche e storiche, note filologico-linguistiche, saggi, monografie, recensioni e rassegne bibliografiche, ecc., interessanti l’intero arco storico della letteratura italiana, dalle origini della lingua e della letteratura scritta ai giorni nostri, fornendo indicazioni circa i contenuti, l’articolazione dei temi trattati, i riferimenti a temi secondari. Di fatto, un censimento della diffusione e della circolazione della cultura italiana nel mondo.
Keen to keep pace with scholarship on the Risorgimento? The latest issue of Modern Italy (vol.19, issue 3, 2014) has a substantial section of reviews by leading scholars of recent books on several of its aspects. They follow a group of articles on Fascism and nature (sample title: ‘Making Italians out of rocks: Mussolini’s shadows on Italian mountains’), covering Italy and its African colonies, parks, the environment and leisure. The official encouragement in 1939 to get people to do more by way of ‘sweaty exertions’ in skiing and swimming, to be practised in full combat gear, did not fall entirely on deaf ears but failed to generate the levels of skill thought necessary for adequate defence of the patria on land and sea.
Coinciding with the XIV edition of the Settimana della Lingua Italiana nel Mondo, the Stati Generali della Lingua Italiana nel Mondo is taking place in Florence this week (21-22 October) with the theme L’italiano nel mondo che cambia. As a basis for the discussions, statistics on the current global position of Italian language teaching have been produced and documents on strategies for the future have been presented. The Accademia della Crusca has simultaneously launched an e-volume, L’editoria italiana nell’era digitale, which examines the history of the book and publishing in Italy and contains interviews with Italy’s major lexicographers (including Tullio De Mauro and Raffaele Simone). In Australia the place of Italian in schools and universities has recently been discussed by John Hajek and Joe Lo Bianco who examine the reasons for the current decline in its popularity and suggest strategies to reverse it.
The University of Melbourne is advertising a 4-year fixed term position at Lecturer B level in Italian Studies to replace Andrea Rizzi who has been awarded a Future Fellowship to work on his project The Power of the Translator: a New History of Cultural Change and Communication. The full details of the position can be found HERE. The deadline for applications is 20 November 2014.
Last week’s TLS (Oct 10) carries a long review by Lucy Hughes-Hallett, author of a prize-winning biography of D’Annunzio, of the new English translation by Frederika Randall of Ippolito Nievo’s Le confessioni d’un italiano (1857-8, published posthumously in 1867). The protagonist of this fictional autobiography, Carlo Altoviti, drifts hither and thither like Tristram Shandy: ‘You will have noticed’, he says to the reader, ‘that among all the professions I’ve dedicated myself to, my own free will directed me to none of them.’ Since in the 1850s the idea that there might be an ‘Italian’ with confessions to share was considered dangerously revolutionary, the book was first given the title Le confessioni di un ottuagenario. Nievo died in 1861 aged 29.
Aureliana Di Rollo WAAPA/Monash University
At this time a year ago I was about to submit my Ph.D. thesis with the title ‘Literary representations of mothers and daughters in contemporary Italian women writers’. It was a relief. Not only had I completed my degree but I would finally be able to read and talk about something else. But it didn’t happen that way. Yes, I have been awarded my degree, but when I speak at seminars, I am still the extravagant lady who digs out and deals with matricidal daughters, eccentric and dysfunctional mothers and tries to write a reasonable paper variously combining these ingredients. In my thesis I engaged with the tradition of writing about the mother in the works of Italian women writers. Within that tradition, I decided to investigate the literary representation of the mother-daughter relationship, a recurring trope in women’s narratives during the 1980s as illustrated by the novels of Francesca Sanvitale, Fabrizia Ramondino and others.
Caterina Sinibaldi University of Manchester
Over 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.
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.