Category Archives: Culture and Society

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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Nella nebbia di Milano: uno studio ciclo-etnografico – Note del 09/03/2018

Edda Orlandi   Università degli Studi di Milano

Qui in Milanesia la stagione delle nebbie è quasi giunta al termine, e presto si celebrerà l’inizio della stagione delle zanzare (che coincide più o meno con l’inizio della nostra primavera). Durante questa stagione si intensificano i viaggi rituali in bicicletta (noti come La Biciclettata Della Domenica) verso i più remoti confini dell’arcipelago milanesiano. IMG-20170404-WA0003L’inizio della stagione delle zanzare segna però, ahimé, la scadenza per inviare il mio primo report al comitato finanziatore, seccante ma necessaria incombenza al fine di ottenere i necessari contributi economici per proseguire la mia ricerca. Contributi economici tanto più necessari per il mio aver incautamente reclutato un assistente di ricerca sindacalizzato, che, appena assunto, ha subito proclamato uno sciopero della ricerca precaria per ottenere un aumento della preventivata retribuzione di mezza michetta al giorno, con minestra di verze domenicale.

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Terra matta returns to Australia

The autobiography of Vincenzo Rabito (1899-1981), 1027 closely-packed pages of vivid description in a mix of Italian, Sicilian dialect and rabitese, has appeared in versions for the page (Terra matta, Einaudi 2007), stage (directed and performed by Vincenzo Pirrotta) and screen (terramatta;, directed by Costanza Quatriglio with a script by her and Chiara Ottaviano), presented in Australia in 2013 and 2015. A second, very different, version for the stage, by the actor-director Stefano Panzeri, will be performed in Melbourne on Tuesday  13 March  2018  at 6:30pm at the Museo Italiano in Carlton (free entry; RSVP essential). It will also be presented, under the title Oltreoceano, in Sydney on Friday 16 March at 6.30pm at the Canada Bay Club, incorporating not only extracts from Rabito’s text but also the stories of emigration offered by Italian members of the audiences at Panzeri’s performances in Europe and Latin America.

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Translators in Quattrocento Italy

A recent study by Andrea Rizzi, Vernacular Translators in Quattrocento Italy: Scribal Culture, Authority, and Agency (Brepols, 2017), explores the role of translators in the literary culture of 15th century Italy, covering not only superstars such as Leonardo Bruni but also obscure writers from throughout the Italian peninsula. It offers a novel history of the use of the Italian language alongside Latin in a period when high culture was bilingual; it sheds light on Renaissance self-fashioning and on the patronage system (far less studied in literature than in art); and it addresses the question of how translators went about convincing readers of the value of their work in disseminating knowledge that would otherwise be inaccessible to many. The book will be launched by Professor Brian Richardson (Leeds) on Wednesday 14 March 2018 at 6.15pm in the Arts Hall, Old Arts, The University of Melbourne. It is a free event (RSVP here) and refreshments will be served. For further information, contact Trudie Molloy.

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Flourishing in Italian: approaches to teaching and learning

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

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