Welcome to ACIS, the Australasian Centre for Italian Studies – a connection-point for the specialised communities of Italianist scholars in Australasia and beyond.
‘Dopo 115 anni è arrivato il tempo di onorare la memoria di uomini, donne, madri, padri, figli e figlie che hanno perso la vita in uno dei più tragici incidenti della storia degli Stati Uniti’. Queste sono le parole del sindaco che accompagnono un Memorial Service per commemorare almeno cento immigrati italiani morti in un devastante incidente ferroviario a Seneca (Michigan) la sera del 27 novembre 1901. La notizia della tragedia fece subito il giro del mondo ma le vittime, sconosciute e di un numero imprecisabile per l’intensità dell’impatto e delle fiamme, finirono nell’oblio, i pochi resti sepolti in cinque bare in un angolo anonimo del cimitero locale. Ieri, il 24 settembre 2016, il sindaco del paese ha dedicato una scultura-monumento alla loro memoria accanto al posto dove furono sepolte.
The Italian Studies program within the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University seeks to fill a continuing position at Level D or Level C (Associate Professor or Senior Lecturer) to be taken up from July 2017. The appointee will be an established scholar with a significant record of research in one or more of the following areas: contemporary or 20th Century Italian cultural, literary or film studies; medieval and/or renaissance Italian cultural or literary studies; applied linguistics; translation and intercultural studies. Interdisciplinary approaches are particularly welcome. The full position description and information on how to apply (closing date: Sunday 30 October 2016) is available here.
How well do we really know those close to us? At a dinner party seven friends decide to find out. Each puts their phone on the table and agrees to make all texts and calls public in an attempt to prove they have nothing to hide… Perfect Strangers, Paolo Genovese’s film which opens the 17th Lavazza Italian Film Festival in Sydney on 13 September, explores what happens. The Film Festival, sponsored by Lavazza and driven by FIAT, will take place in seven Australian cities, 13 Sept – 19 Oct. The details of the films, cities, dates and session times can all be found here.
Registration is now open for the international conference Translators and Printers in Renaissance Europe: Framing Identity and Agency, to be held at the Institute for Modern Languages Research, School of Advanced Study, University of London, on 29-30 September 2016 (registration here). The European Renaissance witnessed a new significance accorded to the tasks of textual translation and the printing and dissemination of the resultant works—whether religious tracts, literary or historical works, or popular manuals of instruction. As a consequence, the same period saw a dramatic increase in the importance, even prestige, claimed by translators, both women and men, for their skills. Translators and printers made these claims in frontispieces, prefaces, letters of dedication, and the like. In their direct appeal to the reader, such framing devices yield rich information about the material culture of sixteenth-century books, and the scope of translators’ endeavours. The conference explores the self-presentational strategies of sixteenth-century European translators and printers, and the tensions and ambiguities therein. Through analysis of paratextual material, it aims to illuminate the self-views of sixteenth-century translators, and their own accounts of their role as authoritative agents of cultural exchange, national and transnational acculturation (paper abstracts here).
Can learning a second language contribute to first-year university students’ psychological, social and emotional well-being? This question led LCNAU members Dr Antonella Strambi and Dr Ann Luzeckyj, both from Flinders University and Assoc Prof Antonia Rubino, from The University of Sydney, to develop the Flourishing in a Second Language (FL2) project – a language curriculum for first-year university students which integrates positive psychology, transition pedagogy and Content-and-Language-Integrated Learning (CLIL) principles. As part of this project, a series of free workshops in September are being conducted around the country, to which LCNAU members are warmly invited. In each workshop (details and downloads below), the team will share information about the FL2 project, and provide opportunities for participants to be actively involved in reflection, discussion and creation of materials that integrate positive psychology, transition pedagogy and CLIL principles. Continue reading
Between 1945 and 1983 some 400,000 Italians, usually unskilled and with limited education, came to Australia as ‘permanent and long term arrivals’, most arriving between 1952 and 1970. Thereafter the annual intake fell steadily. However, in recent years Australia has become a destination for a new generation of migrants from Italy – this time young highly-educated Italians seeking fresh opportunities. The earlier wave has been exhaustively studied by demographers, linguists and sociologists but little is known or understood about the recent migrants. While their small numbers hardly indicate a new ‘boom’ time (pace Dalla Bernadina, Grigoletti & Pianelli, 2013; Grigoletti & Pianelli, 2014, Marchese, 2014), their experiences are nonetheless worthy of investigation. To this end, we used surveys and focus groups to examine the temporary and permanent migration from Italy to Australia over the period between 2004, when the so-called Working Holiday Arrangement between the two states was agreed, and 2016 (Armillei & Mascitelli, 2016). Continue reading
ACIS is calling for submissions – essay or creative work with exegesis – for the biennial Prize in memory of Jo-Anne Duggan to be awarded in 2017. Jo-Anne was a talented photo-media artist and scholar whose engagement in original ways with Italian culture and history won great admiration. Her work, viewable at The Colour Factory and illustrated by the backdrop to our home page, dealt in particular with Italian Renaissance material culture seen through what she called her ‘postcolonial eye’. The Prize is worth $1000 for the best essay or creative work with exegesis and $250 each for up to two runners-up. It is open to early career researchers, postgraduates and undergraduates from Australia and New Zealand and will be awarded for essays or creative work on a topic which draws on Jo-Anne’s work and inspiration. The deadline for submissions is 3 March 2017. Full details on eligibility and submissions, as well as guidelines for creative works and their exegeses, can be found under Prize on the ACIS menu.
The Australian Journal of Crime Fiction has just published a special issue, ‘Place and Culture in Italian Crime Fiction‘, edited by Barbara Pezzotti and Brigid Maher and available free online (vol.2, no.1, 2016). The editors discuss the ways that authors have used crime fiction to depict, criticise or endorse features of local and national society; they also note the shifting meaning of ‘impegno’ and its historically controversial application to the genre. Andrea Camilleri is the central figure in several contributions: Emilio Lomonaco examines the relation of his style to traditions of Sicilian story-telling; Giuliana Pieri interviews him on the nature of European and his own crime fiction; and Alistair Rolls explores issues of translatability through the English version of La forma dell’acqua (1994). Margie Michael identifies the sense of placelessness that characterises works by Roberto Costantini and the New Zealand author Paul Cleave; and Piera Carroli unravels the multicultural complexities of Marilù Oliva’s trilogy set in Bologna: Tù la pagaras!, Fuego and Mala suerte (2010-12). Finally, capturing in her title the protagonist’s equal interest in toxicology and designer handbags, Brigid Maher offers a translation of the first two chapters of Alessia Gazzola’s L’allieva (2012).
The Australasian Centre for Italian Studies (ACIS), supported by the Cassamarca Foundation (Treviso), is offering UP TO THREE scholarships worth A$6,000 each to provide postgraduate students at an Australian or New Zealand university with the opportunity to work on a research project in Italy in 2017. For one of the awards, the Dino De Poli Scholarship which honours the President of the Cassamarca Foundation, preference may be given to applications for research on any aspect of the culture, history and society of North East Italy. Details of eligibility and the application procedure are available here, accompanied by guidelines for describing projects. The closing date for applications is Friday 14 October 2016.
The 9th Biennial ACIS conference, Scontri e incontri: the dynamics of Italian transcultural exchanges, hosted in association with the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, Monash University and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University, will be held at the Monash University Centre in Prato, Italy, on 4-7 July 2017. The conference will explore sites of contact, connection and exchange in the Italian context. Some can be understood as open sites of interaction and juxtaposition in which people, goods and ideas from across the globe come and go and which are shaped by important trajectories of trade or distinctive histories of colonialism, imperialism or globalisation. When encounters occur in contexts of asymmetrical relations of power, no exchange or contact is present without an inherent confrontation. Language is used to create or manipulate perceptions that are formed when worlds collide. It turns contact into an uneven exchange, such as colonisation, modern warfare and even gender relations. What are the repercussions of such uneven exchanges? How can examining these notions and their representations help illuminate common debates around identity (politics), ideology, globalisation and crisis, human rights, memory and history, the environment, and individual bodies, among others? Conversely, how can we better understand the potential of modern diasporas to connect cultures and lead to collaboration and renewal, through the establishment of wider-ranging networks and positive forms of exchange? The organisers are now calling for paper and panel proposals, to be submitted here, by 31 October 2016.