Tag Archives: cities

Places of the Italian Fantastic: cities, houses, mountains

nebbia_veneziaThe latest issue of ReadingItaly is devoted to the literature of the fantastic. Beatrice Sica (UCL) examines Bontempelli’s and Buzzati’s Milano fantastica in which Bontempelli imagined the Piazza del Duomo – ‘occupata non da altro che da basse capanne, in mezzo a suono di ferrame, perché tra le capanne s’aggiravano vasti guerrieri baffuti con risa oscene’ – as the warrior camp of Belloveso, the city’s alleged founder. Silvia Zangrandi (IULM) looks at the ways Venice – ‘suspended between reality and imagination … populated by angels … where streets spring up and dissolve overnight, new canals take the place of earth’ – has been portrayed in works by Marinetti, Morante, Winterson and Buzzati. Matthew Reza (Oxford) recalls Buzzati’s love of the mountains and dislike of the city – ‘bolgia infernale di perdizione e alienazione, regno dell’ipocrisia, della menzogna, dell’egoismo, dove i sentimenti e le angosce peggiori trovano il miglior terreno per attecchire’. Paola Roccella (Warwick) points to the ambiguities, thresholds and Gothic motifs in Landolfi’s Racconto d’autunno, drafted in a decaying manor in Pico Farnese in 1946.

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Diario etnografico Expo 2015 – Note dal Campo del 15/04/2015

Edda Orlandi   Università degli Studi di Milano

Ecco, lo sapevo che ne avrei combinata un’altra delle mie! Accidenti, ho fatto un altro errore proprio da etnografa pivella. Con tutte quelle domande sull’Expo sono stata scambiata per un’emissaria dei potenti Grandi Capi locali, forse persino per una spia dell’Amministrazione coloniale. Eh sì che tutti i manuali di metodologia mettono doverosamente in guardia l’aspirante apprendista etnografo: sempre chiarire che non si lavora a favore e per conto del Potere, ma solo e soltanto per Sete di Conoscenza. thumb_arancia

Ecco il perché di tutta quella reticenza tra i nativi?! Ad ogni modo ora mi sto dando un gran daffare per correggere questa falsa impressione sul mio conto, non sottraendomi quando necessario dal partecipare alla condivisione delle maldicenze sul Festival e sul suo sicuro fallimento (sempre, naturalmente, con la dovuta discrezione, come saggiamente raccomandava il Prof. del corso di “Ethnographic Research in Italy – Advanced”). Questi pronostici infausti sono proclamati con tono compiaciuto da quasi tutti i miei informatori, ma non capisco se si tratti davvero di reali speranze oppure di scaramanzia rituale.

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Diario Etnografico Expo 2015 – Note dal Campo del 18/12/14

Edda Orlandi   Università degli Studi di Milano

WP_20141218_10_32_41_ProImmediatamente dopo il mio arrivo ho subito notato la costruzione di due nuovi tipi di manufatti edilizi di cui non si trova traccia nella letteratura antropologica milanesiana. Si può dunque ipotizzare che si tratti di innovazioni recentemente acquisite dall’esterno grazie al contatto con ignote popolazioni straniere. Anche se mi sfugge il legame con l’Expo 2015 mi pare di intuire, dai discorsi dei nativi, che si tratta di migliorie intraprese nel gruppo dei villaggi di Milano che hanno qualche connessione con questo evento. Continue reading

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Viva l’Italia – by City and Region

51Bq6y5c+TL._SX385_An exhibition entitled Viva l’Italia. A Regional Romp through Italy is running from 11 June to 5 September 2014 (8.30-5.00 Mon-Fri) at the de Beer Gallery, Special Collections, University of Otago in Dunedin, NZ. It is constructed around images of Italian cities from a 17th century copy of Pietro Bertelli’s Theatro delle Citta d’Italia (1629). On display are books from the collections of Willi Fels, Esmond de Beer and Charles Brasch, including William ThomasThe Historie of Italie (1549); Thomas Martyn’s The Gentleman’s Guide in his Tour through Italy (1787); Alexandre de Rogissart’s Les Delices de l’Italie (1706); Henry Kipping’s Antiquitatum Romanarum, Libri Quatuor (1713); and Jean-Jacques Boissard’s Pars Romanae Urbis Topographiae & Antiquitatum (1597). D. H. Lawrence’s Sea and Sardinia (1921) and Samuel Butler’s Alps and Sanctuaries of Piedmont and the Canton Ticino (1923) also feature – all interspersed with works by Piranesi, carnival characters and Italian recipes.

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Blogs we like #7

The latest issue of ReadingItaly, the blog of the Reading University postgraduate forum in Italian Studies, is devoted to Naples.cropped-logoscritte-univ-01 It contains a discussion of Naples as a ‘rainbow city’ (Lorenza Gianfrancesco, RHUL, who has a particular interest in academies, printing and publishing) alongide a piece on Naples as an ‘ordinary city ‘ (Nick Dines, Roma 3, whose recent book on Naples is entitled Tuff City). Stefano Bragato (Reading) relives the progressive rock scene in the city in the 1970s – an interesting discussion to set beside Mathias Stevenson’s recent post on Italian reggae and its local roots. And Thomas Denman (Reading), studying early 17th century Neapolitan art and involved in the Italian academies project described in an earlier post, signals several recent books, conferences and workshops devoted to aspects of early modern Naples.

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Musicisti europei a Venezia, Roma e Napoli (1650-1750): musica, identità delle nazioni e scambi culturali

David Moss   ANU

For anyone working on the connections between music, the formation and career mobility of musicians, cultural exchanges and national identity this research project, under the auspices of the École francaise de Rome and other European research organisations, will be of interest. e85c73290cEven though dealing with an earlier period, many of its themes pick up questions raised in Roger Hillman’s earlier post on Verdi, Woody Allen and singing in the shower. The project’s website provides detailed information on the kind of comparative research undertaken, the individual projects of the team members and the events they organise. Even though the research deals with a specific kind of music, only three cities and a single century, many of the questions raised about culture, creativity and collectivities should be applicable quite widely.

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Ocio ciò

Andrea Rizzi   University of Melbourne

One of the most enjoyable aspects of teaching and researching Italian culture is taking students to Italy. There is something refreshing, exciting and unexpected about sharing with them the Italian civic rituals, the repositories of past cultures and memory such as museums and libraries, and the historical traces dotted around the Italian cities.800px-Collage_Venezia Every second year Catherine Kovesi and I spend a month in Venice with 22 students of all ages and walks of life. Venice is the easiest city to sell. It is such a unique, impressive, reserved and yet so public, and, most importantly, famous city that students immediately respond to the attraction of staying in a palazzo for a month only a stone’s throw away from the Canal Grande.
Venice is a cultural map, mental space, a hub for cultural commodification. It can be interpreted and consumed in an infinite number of ways. Continue reading

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Cultura, caffè, calcio: the Monash Prato experience

Luke Bancroft   Monash University

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La curva Fiesole, 2 December 2012

A colleague of mine once told me that I was the odd one out.  It was early one evening, about mid-way through my first semester of tutoring, and I was having a bit of a vent because my students weren’t as engaged as I had hoped they would be.  ‘Remember’, she said, ‘you can’t expect them to be as interested in it as you are…it’s what you do.’  It made perfect sense to me then, and ever since I have tried to be mindful of the fact that a good teacher/tutor/mentor/whatever must always consider the complexities of keeping their students engaged.  Surely having a happy and interested student is half the battle…right?  Whilst this may be a strange place to start a post on five weeks spent assisting forty-five students explore the Renaissance in Tuscany, there was definitely a lesson in those words that resonated.

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