Tag Archives: Fascism

New Honorary Research Associates

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ACIS is very pleased that Josh Brown and Alessandro Carrieri have accepted appointments as Honorary Research Associates. Dr Brown has interests in language in both historical and contemporary contexts. Using materials from the archives of merchants, he has analysed variations in language use in 14thC and 15thC Milan; he has written on the life and letters of a cardinal in mid-19thC Western Australia; and he has explored factors in Italian language enrolments in current tertiary education. Dr Carrieri, whose doctoral research was on music, memory and resistance among Jewish musicians in concentration camps and ghettos, has been a Visiting Research Fellow in Holocaust Studies at the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation (Monash). His current research concerns the history of the persecution and expulsion of Italian Jewish musicians and composers from conservatories and theatres during Fascist rule; he has recently organised a conference in Trieste on that topic.

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Italian Jewish Musicians and Composers during Fascism

9885024_origThere are voices of musicians that still remain unheard but will remain alive forever. This is the case of Jewish musicians and composers in Fascist and Nazi-Fascist Italy who were excluded from theatres, orchestras and music conservatories and whose compositions were banned as ‘degenerate music’. Their experiences and their fate (exclusion, persecution, emigration) will be the theme of an international conference, Italian Jewish Musicians and Composers during Fascism, organized by the Festival Viktor Ullmann and the University of Trieste with the collaboration of the Fondazione Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi, to be held on 26 October 2015. Scholars from different disciplinary fields will examine the relation between the racist phases of Fascism and the lives and works of Jewish composers and musicians. The conference will also host a round table with relatives and students of the persecuted musicians and composers, who will offer their direct testimonies and memories. Continue reading

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Purists, neo-purists and anti-purists: attitudes to foreign words in Italian

8f71921e-8f7c-43f3-9a7b-7e41dbea2cedMirna Cicioni (Monash University) will give a talk in English, ‘Purists, neo-purists & anti-purists: foreign words in Italian from the fascist ‘language campaigns’ to 2015′, at the RISM seminar to be held at the Italian Cultural Institute, 233 Domain Road, South Yarra, Melbourne on Thursday 9 April at 6.30pm. The talk’s starting-point is the linguist Valeria Della Valle’s documentary Me ne frego! Il fascismo e la lingua italiana (directed by Vanni Gandolfo, 2014), which shows how between 1929 and 1943 linguists and journalists close to the Fascist government participated in various campaigns for what was then called l’autarchia della lingua. Continue reading

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RISM seminar (19 March): Alessandro Carrieri on Jewish musicians in Fascist Italy

la difesa della razzaAs the first contribution to the RISM/Italian Studies in the Community seminars for 2015 Alessandro Carrieri will talk on Memory and resistance of Jewish musicians in Fascist Italy on March 19 at 5.30 pm at Monash Caulfield Campus, Building H, Room HB36.

There are voices of resistance that are little heard but will remain alive forever. This is the case of Italian Jewish musicians and composers in Fascist Italy. The announcement of racial (racist) laws by Benito Mussolini in Trieste on 18 September 1938 covered Jewish composers, notably Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Renzo Massarani, Vittorio Rieti, Aldo Finzi and Leone Sinigaglia. Their situation gradually worsened, they were excluded by theatres, orchestras and music conservatories, and their works were banned as examples of ‘degenerate music’.

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Recent Risorgimento scholarship

cmit20.v019.i02.coverKeen to keep pace with scholarship on the Risorgimento? The latest issue of Modern Italy (vol.19, issue 3, 2014) has a substantial section of reviews by leading scholars of recent books on several of its aspects. They follow a group of articles on Fascism and nature (sample title: ‘Making Italians out of rocks: Mussolini’s shadows on Italian mountains’), covering Italy and its African colonies, parks, the environment and leisure. The official encouragement in 1939 to get people to do more by way of ‘sweaty exertions’ in skiing and swimming, to be practised in full combat gear, did not fall entirely on deaf ears but failed to generate the levels of skill thought necessary for adequate defence of the patria on land and sea.

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Prof Zyg Baranski (Notre Dame University, US and Cambridge University, UK) is Visiting Scholar at the Italian Studies program at Monash University

 

zyg_baranski_for_web-5Prof Zyg Baranski (Professor of Dante and Italian Studies Notre Dame University, US, and Emeritus Serena Professor of Italian, University of Cambridge, UK), a world’s leading expert on Dante, medieval literature and poetics, and expert on modern literature and film, is Visiting Scholar at the Monash Italian Studies program. During his visit he will give three lectures. Everybody invited!

“Transforming Propaganda: Roberto Rossellini’s Un pilota ritorna“, Thursday October 9, 6.30pm, Italian Institute of Culture (233 Domain Rd, South Yarra). This public lecture is part of the RISM seminar series organized by Monash Italian Studies in collaboration with the Italian Institute of Culture.

This seminar examines the ways in which Rossellini’s 1942 film undercuts its apparent propagandist aims by drawing on a wide range of cinematic genres and by introducing marked shifts and contrasts in its structure. Indeed, rather than serve fascist war aims, Un pilota ritorna calls into question various aspects of fascist policy, granting primacy to ethics over politics, and recognizing the importance of pluralism.

“Language as sin and salvation in Dante: Inferno XVIII”, Friday October 10, 11am, Clayton Campus room E561, in collaboration with the Monash Med-Renaissance Seminar Series.

On account of its sexual overtones and scatological references, Inferno XVIII has caused considerable embarrassment to Dante scholars, who have tended to offer partial and reductive readings of the canto. The present lecture aims to establish Inferno XVIII’s key role in the structure of the Commedia, not only as regards its function as ‘prologue’ to one of the most original sections of Dante’s afterlife, the richly stratified circle of fraud Malebolge, but also as the canto in which the poet addresses two of the major controversial questions relating to the form of his great poem, namely, its status as ‘comedy’ and its linguistic eclecticism.

“La formazione intellettuale di Dante”, Thursday October 16, 6.30pm, Italian Institute of Culture (233 Domain Rd, South Yarra). This seminar is conducted in Italian and open to students and academics of all the universities of Melbourne and to the general public.

Dante, dove ha imparato e letto le cose che sapeva? A prima vista la domanda può sembrare banale, persino ‘inutile’. Eppure, è la domanda che, negli ultimi anni, i dantisti si sono posti con sempre maggior insistenza. La lezione prende in considerazione questioni come l’educazione di Dante, la situazione culturale di Firenze alla fine del Duecento, i rapporti di Dante con Bologna, gli effetti dell’esilio e le simpatie ideologiche del poeta.

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Alice’s Adventures in Fascist Italy

Caterina Sinibaldi   Universities of Warwick and Bath (U.K.)

 

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Front and back cover of Lewis Carroll, Alice nel paese delle meraviglie, transl. by Mario Benzi (1935). Copyright Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, Florence.

When I mention the hostility faced by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland during the Italian Fascist regime (1925-1943), people usually react with surprise. How could such an innocent, harmless tale be perceived as a ‘moral threat’ by Fascist authorities? Surely they must have been too concerned with silencing political opponents and maintaining their grip on the country to care about a naïve children’s story.

Scholars who have been studying Carroll’s masterpiece from a variety of disciplinary perspectives (including mathematics, philosophy, and literary studies) have drawn attention to the complexity of Alice, whilst also highlighting its innovatory aspects. Continue reading

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Portelli, ‘a life in progress and the stories of oral history’

Francesco Ricatti   University of the Sunshine Coast

Harlan CountyAlessandro Portelli recently retired from his position as Professor of American Literature at the University of Rome La Sapienza. Portelli has been highly influential in the development of oral history. Follow the link to listen his recent lecture at Royal Holloway University of London, which marked the launch of the Public History Centre. In it, Portelli highlights some of the experiences that have contributed to the development of his oral history methodology. Continue reading

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