Welcome to ACIS, the Australasian Centre for Italian Studies – a connection-point for the communities of Italianist scholars in Australasia and beyond.
The latest Special Issue (40:2) of the Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, entitled ‘Flourishing in Italian. Positive Psychology approaches to the teaching and learning of Italian in Australia‘ and edited by Antonia Rubino (Sydney), Antonella Strambi (Flinders) and Vincenza Tudini (South Australia), presents innovative applications of a Positive Language Education perspective to the teaching and learning of Italian in Australia. The issue is based on papers presented at the ACIS Conferences in Adelaide (2013) and Sydney (2015), which highlight a shared interest in the contribution of L2 teaching and learning to students’ pychological, emotional, and social wellbeing, referred to as flourishing (Seligman, 2012). This Special Issue demonstrates the innovative power and responsiveness of Italian language teaching and research to international trends in education; it offers examples of how Positive Psychology can address the widespread concern for student wellbeing by informing L2 teaching and learning and by constituting a solid research framework. Continue reading
In the latest issue (8 February 2018) of the London Review of Books there’s a long review of Iris Origo’s The Merchant of Prato. Daily Life in a Medieval Italian City, first published in English in 1957, translated into Italian with an introduction by Luigi Einaudi in 1958 and now republished in English as a Penguin Classic. Its republication accompanies the reappearance of several of Origo’s books in 2017 thanks to the Pushkin Press: her well-known War in Val d’Orcia (1947; translated into Italian in 1968 with a preface by Piero Calamandrei), the previously unpublished A Chill in the Air dealing with the years 1939-1940, and her autobiography Images and Shadows: Part of a Life (1970). Those three books convey brilliantly not only her family ancestry in Ireland and the USA but also her life in Italy; she grew up in Fiesole and moved to La Foce in southern Tuscany when she married Antonio Origo in 1924. La Foce was an unpromising half-ruined estate in the Val d’Orcia, 3500 hectares cultivated by mezzadri in 57 poor farms, which she and her husband determined, successfully, to revive. Her books on Bernardino da Siena, Byron and Leopardi may have slipped from sight; but the accounts she left of her wartime years in La Foce are a lasting testimony to survival and solidarity in conditions of capricious power, lawlessness and extreme danger.
The Australian National University will appoint a Lecturer in Italian Studies (Level B, fixed term 3 years) who has an active research agenda in one or more of the following areas: translation studies; film and media studies, Italian literature, theatre and/or cultural studies, or cross-cultural communication. The position is located in the School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics; the capacity to teach into the School’s other Modern European Language programs may be an advantage. The appointee will be expected to take on the role of Convenor of Italian Studies and contribute to the School’s teaching programs in Italian Studies and in his or her area of specialisation at all levels (undergraduate, Honours, MA and PhD). The closing date for applications, submitted online here, is 18 March 2018. Continue reading
Andrew Frisardi Independent scholar
My edition and first fully-annotated translation of one of Dante’s ‘minor’ works, Convivio: A Dual-Language Critical Edition, has recently been published by Cambridge University Press. It is hard to explain in a few words what the Convivio, composed by Dante in exile between 1304 and 1307, is like since it is as unique as most of his works. Let me just say that Dante as the quintessential poet-scholar is his truly unpredictable poet-scholarly self in this book. He gives prose commentaries on three of his own long poems, which are in the book as well, and is mind-bogglingly innovative and visionary with what he does with that. I highly recommend it for an experience of what the poetic intelligence can do when it is operating on all levels, as well as for getting closer to Dante’s thought in the Divine Comedy. Continue reading
The 10th ACIS Biennial Conference will take place on 7-10 February 2019 at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, on the theme Navigazioni possibili: Italies Lost and Found. Separated by oceans and continents, with profoundly different cultures, histories and languages, what connects Italy, its antipodes, and points in between? Even within Italy, how do those who inhabit the peninsula also inhabit its many pasts? What does it mean to navigate these spatial and temporal distances and how might we reimagine Italian Studies and its cultural, historical and linguistic reference points across them? The organisers invite paper and panel proposals that consider these and related questions from a wide range of disciplines and perspectives within the broad field of Italian Studies. Continue reading
Catherine Kovesi University of Melbourne
In reportage of Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace and the arrival of Meghan Markle and her fiancé Prince Harry, worldwide news focused on the item of jewellery worn by Princess Michael of Kent. Immediately branded as a ‘racist’ piece of jewellery in so-called ‘blackamoor’ style, many of these reports were also at pains to emphasise Princess Michael’s father’s association with the SS and to portray this fashion statement as a blatant affront to Harry’s choice of bride, a woman of part African-American heritage. Princess Michael hastily apologized for wearing the piece and said she would not wear it again. But this explosion of journalistic outrage obscures a much more interesting story …… Continue reading
The Italian discipline in the School of Languages and Linguistics, University of Melbourne, is seeking to appoint a part-time Lecturer (level B, 0.5 FTE) in Italian Studies. The successful applicant will contribute to undergraduate teaching in Italian and European Studies subjects and will be active in supervising honours and graduate research. The full position description and selection criteria can be found here. The closing date for applications is 30 January 2018.
ACIS is very pleased to congratulate the winners of the ACIS Cassamarca scholarships for postgraduate research in Italy in 2018: Darius Sepehri (PhD, University of Sydney), “Reading the Renaissance anew: Giovanni Pico della Mirandola and his Islamic sources”; Lana Stephens (MA, Monash University), “Theologia ficinianum: intellectual exchange and spiritual renewal in Late Quattrocento Florence”; and, as winner of the 2018 Dino De Poli Scholarship, Madeleine Regan (PhD, Flinders University), “Archival research and transnational resources for establishing family market gardens and transplanting Veneto community in the western suburbs of Adelaide, 1920s–1970s”.
Marinella Caruso University of Western Australia
What is one of the most challenging and neglected aspects of second language pedagogy and at the same time a key component of acquisition? Despite Krashen’s (1981) early discoveries that comprehension is at the centre of the language acquisition process, listening continues to be treated as the ‘Cinderella of the four macro-skills’ (Flowerdew and Miller 2005, p. xi). Recently a group from the University of Western Australia published its research into ways of using technology for the development and assessment of listening skills in Italian L2 in the Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice (2017,14,1), available here. Having conceptualised listening as a process rather than a product, they designed a set of online quizzes to teach ab initio students how to listen. Continue reading
As part of a week of events marking the 60th anniversary of the publication of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s Il gattopardo (1958, The Leopard 1960) a symposium, Sicily, Italy and the Supranational Cultural Imaginary, convened by Mark Nicholls, Gregoria Manzin and Annamaria Pagliaro, will be taking place at the University of Melbourne on November 12-14, 2018. The convenors are therefore calling for papers on any aspect of the novel, Luchino Visconti’s 1963 film or interdisciplinary discussion of the political, social and cultural contexts related to them. Particularly welcome are also papers that consider what Il gattopardo and the discourse surrounding it has to say about trans-historical issues of political and social unity and cohesion in the face of contemporary cultures of ideological fragmentation, digital age tribalism, devolution and identity politics. The deadline for submission of proposals is 30 June 2018; the organisers are happy to receive them earlier. Possible topics include ….. Continue reading