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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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ACIS Conference, Victoria University of Wellington, 7-10 February 2019

The conference pages for the ACIS 10th Biennial Conference at Victoria University of Wellington, NZ, 7-10 February 2019 are available here. They provide details for submission of the paper proposals, registration and accommodation in Wellington. The deadline for submission of paper and panel proposals has been extended until 30 July 2018.  Anyone with an urgent query is very welcome to contact Sally Hill or Claudia Bernardi from the organising committee via the Conference email.

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Ermanno Olmi (1931 – 2018)

Gino Moliterno   ANU

Less than three weeks after the death of Vittorio Taviani the Italian cinema has lost another of its great veteran filmmakers – Ermanno Olmi who died on May 7. With a strong attachment to his peasant origins and his rural Catholic background, both of which were amply reflected in his major works, for the last 60 years Olmi had come to occupy a unique position within mainstream Italian cinema through a series of films that were remarkable for their honesty and authenticity and for their profound commitment to validating the ordinary lives and daily experiences of common people.  Continue reading

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Work and culture among sessional staff in language departments

Although not specifically concerned with Italian, a recent article in the Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice (2018, 6, 1, 19-27), ‘Managing Expectations: A Case Study of Sessional Staff in Languages and Cultures Education in Australian Universities‘ by Josh Brown and Federica Verdina, provides valuable insights into the largely unresearched work patterns and culture of casual/sessional staff. The survey they conducted across language departments indicates that although most staff appear to be satisfied with the work itself, the further issues in short-term contracts – academic recognition, opportunities to engage in course innovation, possibilities for promotion –  are largely ignored by universities despite the high academic qualifications and intellectual commitment of most sessionals.

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ACIS – Save Venice Fellowship 2018

ACIS is very pleased to announce that Dr Angelo Lo Conte has been awarded the inaugural ACIS – Save Venice Fellowship. He will spend 3 months in Venice in the second half of 2018 to work at the Biblioteca Marciana, the Fondazione Giorgio Cini and the Galleria dell’Accademia on the extensive literature about, and drawings of, three artists originally from Bologna: the brothers Camillo (b.1564),  Carlo Antonio (b.1571) and Giulio Cesare (b.1574) Procaccini. Both the stylistic and commercial aspects of the family bottega established in Milan in the late 1580s played a significant role, artistic and practical, in the transition from Mannerism to the Baroque.  The project will define and illustrate the ways in which the Procaccini were the most important family of painters working in northern Italy in the first part of the 17th century.

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Vale Vittorio Taviani (1929-2018)

Gino Moliterno   ANU

Sadly, the front ranks of the veteran Italian film directors continue to diminish. Only two years after the disappearance of Ettore Scola, 88 year-old Vittorio Taviani has also folded up his director’s chair and passed on. For six decades, always and indissolubly joined at the artistic hip with his slightly younger brother, Paolo, Vittorio had formed the vital half of a prolific filmmaking duo who produced some of the most memorable films of the Italian postwar cinema.  By their own account – and they have always spoken with a single voice – the Taviani brothers first discovered their passion for filmmaking as teenagers, skipping school one day and chancing to catch a screening of Roberto Rossellini’s Paisà. Sons of a vehemently anti-fascist lawyer who had also taken up arms as a partisan, the boys had had direct experience of the recent war and now were struck by the power of film to represent reality. As they left the cinema they resolved that they would be filmmakers.     Continue reading

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Hidden Lives: Australia’s Italians 1939-45

A dark chapter in Australia’s wartime history has often been minimised or overlooked in mainstream accounts. Hidden Lives: War, Internment and Australia’s Italians (2018), edited by Mia Spizzica, contains scholarly essays and testimonials which offer  new insights into the experiences of Italian Australians during World War 2. It is the first such compilation by authors from northern, central, and southern Italian provinces and from five Australian States. Although each story is unique, the authors share language, history, values and a profound sense of Italianness, as well as a connection to their Australian selves. These essays and narratives consider the often-unintended negative consequences of war and show our commonalities through personal struggles and a fundamental human resilience.

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Call for entries: Jo-Anne Duggan Prize 2019

We are now calling for entries for the Jo-Anne Duggan Prize 2019 which honours Jo-Anne’s memory and work. She left one of the richest and most compelling collections of photographs by any Australian artist to engage with Italian culture, history and art. Her work, exemplifying what she called her ‘postcolonial eye’, demonstrates remarkable breadth, covering public spaces/places of Italian diaspora in Australia, enquiries into the re-contextualisation and museification of Renaissance art, Australian archives of Italian migration, and complex case studies on the legacy of the Gonzagas. The guidelines for entries for the 2019 Prize can be found here, accompanied by guidelines for the exegesis for creative works, a list of links to Jo-Anne’s writings, and her CV which includes a list of her exhibitions. The deadline for entries for the Prize is 29 October 2018. All enquiries should be directed to Catherine Dewhirst (USQ).

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Literature, Culture, Communication: Research Workshop: Call for Papers

 

The first event organised by ACIS’s Literature, Culture and Communication Research Group will be a 1.5-day workshop devoted to Exploring and Translating Stratified Multilingual Landscapes. The workshop, free to participants, will be held at the La Trobe University Collins St Campus in Melbourne on 10-11 August 2018. Its focus  will be on asymmetrical translingual and transcultural exchanges, and on non-mainstream, non-standard or localized responses to transculturality in the Italian context. Our invited speaker will be Carol O’Sullivan (Translation Studies, University of Bristol) who will speak about bilingual subtitling experiments from Italian into both English and Irish. We now invite proposals for 15-minute discussion papers on topics related to the workshop theme. We welcome works in progress, proof of concept presentations, as well as panels and roundtables, with contributions from a wide range of disciplines and sub-disciplines, including but not limited to literary studies, cultural studies, linguistics, film studies, language teaching, translation studies, anthropology, and migration studies. Participation by postgraduates and early-career scholars is encouraged; we expect to make a small amount of travel funding available to postgraduate students whose papers are accepted. Abstracts (max. 300 words), with a short biographical note, should be sent to Brigid Maher by FRIDAY 1 JUNE.

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Spunti e Ricerche vol.32 (2017)

Volume 32 (2017) of Spunti e Ricerche has just been published, edited by Gregoria Manzin, Annamaria Pagliaro and Antonio Pagliaro. It includes articles by Cristiano Bedin, Gianluca Cinelli, Giulia Guarneri, Stefania Lucamante, Marilyn Migiel, Christian Moretti, Emanuele Occhipinti, Patrizia Piredda, Daniela Shalom Vagata and Anita Virga, as well as book reviews. The Table of Contents can be viewed here.  Print and/or electronic copy of the whole volume, or electronic copies of individual articles, can be purchased via the website.

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A Renaissance Royal Wedding 1518-2018

From 17 March to 13 May 2018 Oxford’s Bodleian Library’s new Weston Building will host an exhibition entitled A Renaissance Royal Wedding, marking the 500th anniversary of a landmark sixteenth-century match. On 18 April 1518 the Italian princess Bona Sforza married Sigismund I, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, in Cracow cathedral. The lavish nuptials forged links of politics and kinship between the Jagiellonian dynasty of Central Europe and the top families of Renaissance Italy, opening up new channels of communication between the Polish capital and the cities of Italy’s far south – a dynamic exchange of people, books and ideas which continued for decades. Bona Sforza (1494-1557) was a Milanese-Neapolitan princess, from 1518 queen of Poland and from 1524 duchess of Bari, in Puglia, and thus Italian ruler in her own right. King Sigismund (1467-1548) was the scion of a large royal house which, at its peak c. 1525, ruled half of Europe, from Prague to Smolensk. Their wedding was attended by dignitaries and scholars from across Christendom, and their five children – who later ruled in Poland-Lithuania, Sweden and Hungary – presented themselves throughout their lives as Polish-Italian royalty. Bona herself remains a controversial, high-profile figure in Polish memory to this day.

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