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

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Awards for Jo-Anne Duggan Prize 2019

ACIS is delighted to congratulate the winners of the Jo-Anne Duggan Prize for 2019 for Best Essay, Best Creative Work, and Highly Recommended. Rory McKenzie (PhD candidate, VUW, New Zealand) has been awarded the Best Essay prize for his project entitled ‘A translation stalemate: The Dark Horse in Italian‘.  Valentina Maniacco (PhD candidate, Griffith University) has been awarded the Best Creative Work prize for her entry ‘Translating the allusions in Tito Maniacco’s Mestri di mont (2007)’. And Nicole Townsend (PhD candidate, UNSW) has been Highly Recommended for her essay entry ‘The ‘enemy other’: Identity and belonging within the Italian-Australian community during the Second World War‘. The abstracts for each of the three entries can be found on the Winners page under Prize on our main menu above.

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Learning Italian in Australia

This month Channel View Publications/Multilingual Matters is publishing Identity Trajectories of Adult Second Language Learners: Learning Italian in Australia by Cristiana Palmieri (Italian Studies, University of Sydney). The book explores the motivations of adult second language (L2) learners to learn Italian in continuing education settings in Australia. It focuses on their motivational drives, learning trajectories and related dynamics of identity development triggered by the learning process. Also discussed is the role played by the Italian migrant community in Australia in making Italian a sought-after language to learn, highlighting the importance of taking account of L2 learning contexts. This link indicates the book’s contents and the positive international reviews it has received.

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ACIS postgraduate scholarships for 2019

ACIS is delighted to congratulate the three winners of the ACIS Cassamarca postgraduate scholarships for research in Italy in 2019. Julia Pelosi-Thorpe (MA, Italian Studies (University of Melbourne) awarded the Dino De Poli Scholarship for her project ‘Imitate da Ovidio: gender ventriloquism in the seicento epistole eroiche’; Andrea Pagani (PhD, Literary and Cultural Studies, Monash University) for ‘Beyond Pinocchio: Italian National Identity in Carlo Collodi’s Works for Primary Schools (1877-1890)’; and Margherita Angelucci (PhD, Literary and Cultural Studies, Monash University) for ‘A New Way of Being Italian through the Lens of Hip Hop’. The abstracts for each project will be available shortly on the Winners page on our Scholarships menu.

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Addio Bernardo Bertolucci (1941-2018)

Gino Moliterno   ANU

Now, with the ranks of veteran Italian film directors already depleted to single figures, Bernardo Bertolucci, in the words of Roberto Benigni “il più grande di tutti, l’ultimo imperatore del cinema italiano”, has also left us. Undoubtedly a giant not only of Italian but of world cinema, Bertolucci succeeded, in a career that spanned six decades and produced close to 20 major films, to achieve the almost impossible feat of moving with ease between an auteurist arthouse, at times even jarringly experimental, cinema and commercially successful big-budget Hollywood-financed mass entertainment. And perhaps what especially endeared him to Italians was that he managed to achieve full citizenship of the international community of world cinema without renouncing his social and cultural roots in provincial Italy. Continue reading

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Melbourne ACIS Postdoctoral Fellowship 2019-2020

ACIS and the University of Melbourne have established a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in Italian Studies, located in the School of Languages and Linguistics at the University of Melbourne, with a starting date of 1 February 2019. The Fellow will have the opportunity to build a research profile through the development of an original research project in any area of Italian Studies broadly defined, including, but not limited to, literature, linguistics, history, political studies, anthropology, and art history.  The Fellow is also expected to have a teaching workload of up to 25% in Italian Studies, European Studies or Italian language and culture at an undergraduate and/or Honours level.

To apply, candidates must have been awarded a PhD from an Australian or New Zealand university after 1 January 2012 in any area of Italian Studies and be either citizens or permanent residents of Australia or New Zealand. Graduates who satisfy the PhD requirements and currently live in Australia under the Temporary Graduate Visa (485) expiring after the end of 2020 will also be considered. Full details of the position and the application process can be found here.

The closing date for applications is 28 November 2018.

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Fellowship to honour Katthy Cavaliere

Cavaliere, nest, 2010

The estate of the artist Katthy Cavaliere (1972-2012) has announced that it will join the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), Sydney’s Carriageworks, and the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) to establish a fellowship, Suspended Moment: The Katthy Cavaliere Fellowship, in support of women artists. Next year three $100,000 grants will be awarded to female-identifying Australian artists working in performance and installation; together they will realize a project to be exhibited at the three institutions in 2020. Cavaliere was born in Sarteano, Italy, in 1972, moving to Australia with her family in 1976. She attended the University NSW School of Art and Design in Sydney and studied under Marina Abramović at the Accademia di Belle Arti at Brera in Milan. She was best known for creating art informed by her migrant experience and sense of displacement as a child, as well as by her grief for her mother who died of ovarian cancer in 2008. One such work, nest, 2010, shows Cavaliere sitting on top of a pile of her mother’s clothes at Clovelly Beach in Sydney, gazing out at the horizon. Katthy Cavaliere herself died of ovarian cancer in 2012.

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Mona Lisa Covergirl

Emma Barron’s just-published Popular High Culture in Italian Media, 1950-1970 (Palgrave, 2018) is an essential and engaging contribution to the study of Italian mass culture. The book’s subtitle, ‘Mona Lisa Covergirl’, points to the originality of its theme: how Italian high culture was deployed to create a distinctive form of mass culture in the post-1945 expansion of television and popular magazines. Pasolini and Quasimodo providing advice to readers of Tempo (Pasolini: ‘The letters are enjoyable: some of them even give me a profound joy, even if as brief as a flash’),  Mike Bongiorno promoting knowledge of the classics through Lascia o raddoppia? (15 million viewers weekly), Il barbiere di Siviglia as the first opera to be transmitted on Italian tv (1954, conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini), Giacomo Puccini endorsing Odol mouthwash (‘Lodo l’ODOL, LO DOLce licor che LO DOLore del dente scaccia di sovente’), Shakespeare’s lines used to sell pasta (Barilla), liquor (Amaretto di Saronno) and chocolates (Baci Perugina), I promessi sposi drawing mass tv audiences (19 million) and readerships (magazines, fotoromanzi, comics) – this study of the intertwining of the classic and the contemporary provides a fresh and productive account of the development of Italian mass culture.

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The Leopard at 60

The 60th anniversary of the publication of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s The Leopard will be celebrated at the University of Melbourne on 12-14 November 2018. On 12 November the writer Simonetta Agnello-Hornby will give an open public lecture, The North and South in 20th Century Italy and the Effect of ‘The Leopard’ in Sicily and in Europe, examining the impact of di Lampedusa’s major work, in book and film (Visconti, 1963) form, in Sicily itself and on European views of Sicilians. The lecture, 5.30-6.30pm in the Forum Theatre (North Wing), Arts West Building (153), at the University of Melbourne, is the prelude to a 2-day symposium, Sicily, Italy and the Supranational Cultural Imaginary, convened by Mark Nicholls (Melbourne), Gregoria Manzin (La Trobe), Annamaria Pagliaro (Monash) and Agnese Bresin (Melbourne and La Trobe) on 13-14 November, 10.00am-5.00pm at the Interactive Cinema, Arts West 353, at the University of Melbourne. The symposium, open to all, will cover many aspects of di Lampedusa’s work, along with analyses of Visconti’s film  and a variety of Sicilian texts, art works and historical events. Registration for the lecture is here. For further information on the lecture and the symposium, contact Mark Nicholls.   Continue reading

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Beauty and Beast: Venice and the rhino

In 1751 Pietro Longhi painted this portrait of the rhinoceros, Clara, brought to the Venice Carneval that year. He depicted the animal eating quietly, indifferent to its owner (carrying the horn which had rubbed off) and to the masked and other spectators in the casotto behind it. Nearly three centuries later the rhinoceros returns to Venice in the form of a symposium, Beauty and the Beast: Venice and the Rhino, on 24 November and an accompanying exhibition, Rhinoceros: Luxury’s Fragile Frontier, 24 November – 21 December, both at the Palazzo Contarini Polignac. The exhibition title reveals the central theme. Both Venice and the rhinoceros are now luxury objects and both are threatened by the desire they evoke. The symposium brings together artists, conservationists, poets, writers, and historians to explore the unexpected intersections between these two endangered objects of luxury consumption. The exhibition presents the works of two artists concerned about issues of fragility and identity in relation to their personal and wider worlds and that of the rhinoceros. Their sculptural creations will be framed against the background of a ‘demand reduction’ marketing campaign which targets the consumption of rhino horn.

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Ricordando Maria Bentivoglio

Laura Mecca racconta qui la vita di Maria (poi Marie) Bentivoglio. Italiana, nata a Torino nel 1898, emigrata in Australia ancora in fasce, Maria si laureò a Sydney in chimica e geologia e nel 1921 fu la prima donna australiana a ricevere una borsa di studio all’Università di Oxford dove ottenne un DPhil. Dopo, la sua vita fu dedicata allo studio, all’insegnamento (universitario ma anche corsi di inglese per gli immigrati italiani in New South Wales) e alla ricerca. Teneva corsi di lezioni all’Università di Sydney e in diverse università statunitensi. Nel 1936 si stabilì a New York con il marito appena sposato (di origini nobili da San Remo) dove rimase, lavorando nell’industria chimica, per vent’anni. Tornò prima in Italia e poi, dopo la morte del marito nel 1961, in Australia. Nel 1994, a novantasei anni, in riconoscimento dell’importanza delle sue ricerche le fu conferito un dottorato onorario di ricerca dall’Università di Sydney. Un suo ritratto, opera di Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo, è esposto alla Manly Art Gallery.

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