Category Archives: Culture and Society

ACIS – Save Venice fellowships for 2019

ACIS is very pleased to announce that Jen McFarland and Emma Barron have been awarded ACIS – Save Venice Fellowships for 2019.

Jen McFarland’s project, Pizzochere and public presence in late fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Venice, is a study of pizzochere (lay religious women), examining their identity, social status, and activities and drawing on material in the Archivio Storico Patriarcale di Venezia and the Archivio di Stato di Venezia, as well as painting cycles in the Gallerie dell’Accademia. Pizzochere groups held a significant social and charitable function in sixteenth-century Venice, offering vital spaces of assistance and agency for women of varied (but mostly vulnerable) social backgrounds.

Emma Barron’s project, Popular access to ideas about the modern world through mass culture in post-war Italy, examines social change and media coverage of the Venice Art Biennale and Venice Film Festival in the late 1960s, using materials from the Archivio Storico della Biennale di Venezia, Archivio dello Stato and the Biblioteca della Fondazione Querini Stampalia. She will analyse ideas about Venice as a site of glamour, wealth and film-stars and the events that led to Venice becoming a site of protest during the 1968 student demonstrations at the 34th Venice Art Biennale and the 29th Venice Film Festival.

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ACIS scholarships for postgraduate research in Italy in 2020

ACIS is offering UP TO THREE scholarships worth $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 2020. For one of the awards, the Dino De Poli Scholarship, preference may be given to applications for research on any aspect of the culture, history and society of North East Italy. The scholarships are available to students who are currently enrolled, full-time or part-time, in Master by research or PhD degrees in a university in Australia or New Zealand and who are engaged in research projects in any of the following areas of Italian Studies: archaeology and classical antiquities, language, literature, culture, history, politics and society, including migration studies. Full details of the scholarships, eligibility, and the application process can be found here. The deadline for submission of applications is SUNDAY 13 OCTOBER 2019.

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Lavazza Film Festival 2019

Palace Cinemas ha annunciato alcuni degli highlight della ventesima edizione del Lavazza Film Festival dedicato al cinema italiano. A partire dal 17 settembre saranno presentati 26 tra i migliori film italiani recenti e alcune gemme del cinema classico, accompagnati da Special Presentations, aperitivi, ricevimenti e galà. Tra i film ci saranno Pavarotti di Ron Howard, Bangla, che racconta la storia di Phaim, un giovane musulmano di origini bengalesi nato in Italia, Momenti di trascurabile felicità di Daniele Luchetti, e anche una retrospettiva dedicata a Bernardo Bertolucci, che includerà Novecento e Il Conformista. Il Festival sarà presentato nelle seguenti città: Sydney (17 settembre – 16 ottobre), Melbourne (19 settembre – 16 ottobre), Canberra (24 settembre – 16 ottobre), Brisbane (25 settembre – 16 ottobre), Adelaide (1 – 23 ottobre), Perth (2 – 16 ottobre), Hobart (17 – 23 ottobre), e Byron Bay (26 settembre – 13 ottobre). Il programma completo (film, luoghi di presentazione, orari, città per città) è qui.

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Andrea Camilleri (1925 – 2019)

Mercoledì mattina è mancato all’età di 93 anni Andrea Camilleri, regista, attore, docente, ma conosciuto soprattutto come creatore in più di venti libri del commissario Salvo Montalbano e delle sue indagini nella Sicilia sud-orientale. Sia in Italia che all’estero Camilleri ha goduto di uno straordinario successo editoriale, giunto in età avanzata (scrisse il suo primo romanzo con Montalbano quando aveva quasi 70 anni). In un’intervista a SBS Barbara Pezzotti (Monash University), analizzando i diversi motivi di quel successo, ha riassunto il carattere del protagonista così: “Il commissario Montalbano è un personaggio molto particolare: se pensiamo c’è tutta una tradizione del giallo in cui il detective è triste, isolato, preda a grande disperazione, molto spesso alcolizzato, tossicodipendente… qui invece ci troviamo di fronte ad un secondo filone della crime fiction, che è un filone in realtà moltissimo amato, che è dell’ispettore che ama la vita, pensiamo a Maigret per esempio, a Vásquez Montálban: è un ispettore che ama la vita, ama mangiare, ama la bellezza, ha molti difetti, quindi non è perfetto, non è atletico, non è un superuomo, quindi possiamo identificarci con lui… ma è fondamentalmente una persona onesta, a volte burbero, però ha una grande sensibilità e una grande empatia nell’affrontare le sue indagini”.

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Silk, Gold, and Renaissance Masculinity

Timothy McCall (Villanova University) will be giving a lecture, ‘Velvet Goldmine: Silk, Gold, and Renaissance Masculinity‘ on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 in the North Theatre (room 149), Old Arts Building, at the University of Melbourne (free but registration required here). The ruling men of Renaissance Italy wrapped themselves in silks and jewels, feathers and pearls. To dazzle the eye, they wore cloth-of-gold and cloth-of-silver, but sometimes the gems were made of paste, intended to deceive observers. All that glittered was not necessarily gold. Building from a study of material extravagance and the symbolic economy of male court fashions, this lecture explores the shining surfaces and things which adorned lords’ bodies and turns a critical eye to material fictions of luxury.  Continue reading

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Looking at the girl with an ermine

Timothy McCall (Villanova University) will give a talk, Leonardo da Vinci’s portrait of a Milanese courtesan: new light on Cecilia Gallerani, the Girl with an Ermine, on Monday 29 July 2019, 6.15pm at the Forum Theatre, level 1 – Arts West, The University of Melbourne (registration here). He focuses our attention anew on Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Girl with an Ermine (1489-1490), a depiction of Cecilia Gallerani, mistress of the duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza, examining the artistic representation of Cecilia both within conventions surrounding Renaissance mistresses at court and in relation to visual imagery celebrating her and her lord Ludovico’s identities. New evidence from an overlooked letter and technical analysis of the painting reveals that the relationship between the two began earlier than scholars have presumed (Cecilia was barely a teenager) and provides a fresh perspective on her connection with Leonardo da Vinci and her advertisement of that connection throughout her life.  Continue reading

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‘La notte nuda’ di Mariano Coreno

Il poeta Mariano Coreno sarà presente ad una serata di letture dal suo ultimo lavoro, La notte nuda, a 199 Faraday St, Carlton, martedì il 23 luglio, dalle 18.30 alle 20.00. Nato in Italia nel 1939 e residente in Australia dal 1956, Mariano Coreno collabora a svariati giornali e riviste in Italia e in Australia. Tra il 2001 e il 2017 ha pubblicato cinque raccolte di poesie (Stelle passanti; Sotto le stelle; L’ombra delle rose; Un albero per ombrello; Canto la vita mia). Dagli anni 70 in poi i suoi versi sono stati inclusi in antologie inglesi, italiane e australiane. La serata sarà introdotta da Gregoria Manzin (La Trobe University), autrice di Torn Identities: Life Stories at the Border of Italian Literature (Trobadour, 2013) e di pubblicazioni su argomenti di traduzione, studi di genere e studi migranti, postcoloniali e transnazionali.

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Women and violence in Italian literature

The journal Spunti e Ricerche has published Women and Violence in Italian Literature (2018, vol.33), a special issue edited by Gregoria Manzin and Barbara Pezzotti. The nine contributions draw on examples mainly from 20th century novelists (Maraini, Albinati, Patti) but include discussions of a play (Dacia Maraini’s Passi affrettati) and poetry (the works of Margherita Guidacci). Also addressed is the place of gender violence in Federico De Roberto’s novels (I Viceré, L’imperio, Ermanno Raeli)  the portrayal of violence in religious schools in colonial Somalia by postcolonial Italo-Somali authors (Scego, Ali Farah), and  the representation of female characters in the crime fiction series by Scerbanenco, Lucarelli, and Verasani. Although the contributors don’t neglect the socio-political context of the works they analyse, their primary emphasis is mostly on the texts themselves – the narrative strategies employed, the embedding of violence in the relations between male and female protagonists, the ways in which the representations of particular acts – the delitto del Circeo, the bombing of Bologna railway station – depict the general role violence plays in everyday life. Overall, the discussions contain valuable insights into the descriptive and often deceptive powers of Italian fiction; they also push us to understand the implications – and perhaps the consequences – of literary treatments of violence better than we have been able to grasp so far.

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Cycling in Italy, past and present

Great Rivalries. Cycling and the Story of Italy by Kevin Andrews with a Foreword by Simon Gerrans will be launched at 199 Faraday Street, Carlton on Tuesday 28 May 2019 at 6.30pm. It is the story of Gino Bartali, Fausto Coppi and the champion Italian cyclists who preceded them but it is also about the place of cy­cling in a nation emerging from division, an agrarian past, wide­spread impoverishment, and competing vi­sions about cre­ating a modern state. Kevin Andrews, who will be at the launch, began working as a sports commen­tator and race caller from the age of 17. For a dec­ade, he called many sporting events before pursuing a career in the law and public life. He has written about sport for a number of publications and has been a guest commen­tator for track cycling. He is a keen recreational cyclist and intermittent Masters’ competitor. His youngest son rides for a UCI Conti­nental Team.

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Romantic adventures; the Free Cinema movement; and an 18th century duel

This week’s TLS (March 29) is a special issue devoted to European culture which includes three very informative pieces on Italian writers. David Robey reviews the first two volumes of the eventual four volumes on Emilio Salgari (1862-1911) by Ann Lawson Lucas. Salgari’s adventure romances, Robey suggests, all contain the defining features of the genre: ‘heroes of exceptional strength and prowess and heroines of remarkable beauty; idealised passionate love; plots made up of travel, chance events and physical conflict or struggle’ (features generated exclusively by Salgari’s imagination and his life in the library stacks since he never left Italy and had to spend all his time writing). Then Anna Coatman reviews the English translation of the lively London diaries of the film director Lorenza Mazzetti (she announced ‘I’m a genius’ when she first arrived at the Slade School of Fine Art from work on a potato farm and the Slade’s director invited her to come back the next day). She became one of the founders of the Free Cinema movement (‘Perfection is not an aim. An attitude means a style. A style means an attitude’) along with Karel Reisz, Lindsay Anderson and Tony Richardson. Finally, Joseph Farrell describes the duel (‘Pistols for two and coffee for one’) fought, or at least performed, in 1766 between Giacomo Casanova and Count Franciszek Branicki. Branicki was the more seriously wounded but the duellists continued to exchange good wishes daily for their respective recoveries.

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