Prof John Foot (University of Bristol) Thursday 23 July

John-Foot
Prof John Foot

(University of Bristol, UK)
on
Milan since the Miracle. Space, Politics and History in Milan from the boom to the Expo

July 23, 6.30pm
Italian Cultural Institute,
233 Domain Rd, South Yarra

Milan has always been a key city in terms of Italian history and politics, and it has always been a city on the move. From fascism to the resistance to the economic miracle, Milan has played a key role (in both good and bad ways) in terms of Italy’s direction and her role in the world. This centrality was also seen in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s through the role of the Milanese judiciary (Tangentopoli) and the political and media power of Silvio Berlusconi. With the 2015 EXPO, Milan has an opportunity to re-invent itself (and Italy?) once again. This talk will look at the way Milan has developed and grown in the post-war period, and analyses the contradictory background to the EXPO.

Prof. John Foot is Professor of Italian at the Unviersity of Bristol (UK). He specialises in modern and contemporary Italy, his areas of research are: the History of Radical Psychiatry in Italy, 1960-2013, the History and Culture of Sport in Contemporary Italy, Divided and Fragmented Memories in Italy in the Twentieth Century. He has published very extensively in his field. Among his publications: The Republic of the Mad. Franco Basaglia and the Radical Psychiatry Movement,1961-1978 (Feltrinelli Editore, 2014), Modern Italy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), Italy’s Divided Memory (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), Pedalare! Pedalare!: A History of Italian Cycling, (Bloomsbury, 2011), Calcio. A History of Italian Football, (Harper Collins, 2007).

 

Dr Sestigiani on Writing Colonisation, June 11, 6.30pm

Cover18This paper will focus on Ennio Flaiano’s novel Tempo di uccidere (A Time to Kill), which was published in 1947. The novel is set in Ethiopia, in the late 1930s, at the time of the Italian Fascist colonial empire. The paper will discuss the novel’s depiction of the African landscape and indigenous people and will investigate the significance of violence in the colonial environment. The reading of the landscape through the European eyes is loaded with Christian projections which violate the landscape and its inhabitants. Flaiano’s biblical references, announced in the title of the book itself, drawn from the Book of Ecclesiastes, will be explored. The paper will argue that Flaiano’s portrayal of Italian colonialism is redolent of Orientalist devices of colonial representation: colonies are treated as a stage where Europeans can cast their anxieties and fears.
(The paper is drawn from S. Sestigiani’s monograph Writing Colonisation: Violence, Landscape and the Act of Naming in Italian and Australian Literature, NY: Peter Lang, 2014)

 

Dr Sambuco on Italian Women Writers (Thursday 14 May, 6.30)

Ballario chi ama 

Egypt, Jerusalem, Libya: Journeys through Italian Women’s Writings, 1890s-1930s

14 May, 6.30, Italian Institute of Culture (233 Domain Rd, South Yarra)

This seminar will take into consideration two Italian women writers, Matilde Serao and Pina Ballario, and their representation of people and nations outside Italy. At the beginning of the 1890s Matilde Serao travelled on her own to Egypt and Jerusalem and published a travel book on her journey, Nel paese di Gesù which enjoyed many reprints at that time. Pina Ballario during the fascist period writes a successful novel, Fortuna sottovento, set in colonial Libya. Both books represent the period of their time (pilgrimage and journeys to the Orient for Serao ,and fascist ideology for Ballario) and are now forgotten. The interest in these books however, is not only determined by the way they represent the reality of the time, but by what we can learn from the unsaid views of the authors. Their desire for a female identity no available within the culture of their time will emerge form the analysis of their work.

 

 

 

 

Dr Cicioni on foreign words in Italian (9 April)

Dr Mirna Cicioni  (Monash University)

201503300841menefrego_1a1

will talk on

Purists, Neo-Purists and Anti-Purists: Foreign Words in Italian, from the Fascist Campaigns to 2015

Thursday 9 April, 6.30pm

Italian Institute of Culture

233 Domain Rd, South Yarra

My talk is an examination of the attitudes to foreign words in Italian in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. My starting point is the 2014 documentary Me ne frego! Il fascismo e la lingua italiana, 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 . I then look at a number of 21st-century publications which express concern that contemporary Italian may be “flooded” and “swamped” by foreign words, most of which “unnecessary” and “snobbish”. My analysis is based on theories of lexical borrowing and on attempts to assess the actual use and comprehension of words from other languages by Italian speakers.

 

Dr Carrieri on Jewish musicians in Fascist Italy (19 march, 5.30pm, Caulfield HB36)

la difesa della razza

Dr Alessandro Carrieri will talk on

Memory and resistance of Jewish musicians in Fascist Italy

19 March, 5.30pm, 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. After the announcement of racial laws by Benito Mussolini in Trieste on 18th September 1938, Jewish composers who continued to work in Italy during the two world wars were affected by racial (racist) laws. Prominent examples include Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Renzo Massarani, Vittorio Rieti, Aldo Finzi and Leone Sinigaglia. The situation for musicians and composers gradually worsened, they were excluded by theatres, orchestras and music conservatories. The works of Jewish composers were banned and they were defined as degenerate music.

In my presentation, I intend to analyse Aldo Finzi’s and Leone Sinigaglia’s musical experiences as an act of cultural and spiritual opposition to the Italian Fascist Regime. In fact, during the persecution of the Jews in Italy, their music was silenced as it was considered to be degenerate. Despite this, both Finzi and Sinigaglia continued their work as musicians clandestinely as an act of unarmed resistance. The activity of non-violent resistance should not be seen as a passive surrendering, but rather as one of the most authentic and profound forms of cultural and political opposition to Fascism.

Their music is a direct testimony of how Jewish musicians were able to resist the Fascist cultural policy through their art. Thus, their music becomes a historical document, a visual and auditory memorial of artistic resistance in Italy under Fascism.

 

Dr. Alessandro Carrieri is currently Teaching Associate in Italian Studies and Visiting Fellow at the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation at Monash University. In 2013-14 he was a Research Fellow at the Department of Political and Social Science at the University of Trieste. His latest publications are: Lagermusik e resistenza. Viktor Ullmann e Gideon Klein a Theresienstadt, Silvio Zamorani Editore, Torino, 2013 and The Voice of Resistance in Concentrationary Music in «Political Perspectives» 2013, vol. 7 (2), University of Manchester.

 

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

baranskiz

Prof 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”, in collaboration with the Med-Renaissance Seminar Series, Friday October 10, 11am, Clayton Campus room E561

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 is 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.

 

Prof Zyg Baranski (Professor of Dante and Italian Studies, Notre Dame University US, and Emeritus Serena Professor of Italian, University of Cambridge) is a world’s leading scholar on Dante, medieval Italian literature and poetics, as well as expert on modern Italian literature and film. He has published very extensively. Among his publications:

Petrarch and Dante. Anti-Dantism, Metaphysics, Tradition (Co-editor Theodore Cachey, 2009); “Chiosar con altro testo“. Leggere Dante nel Trecento” ( 2001); Dante e i segni. Saggi per una storia intellettuale di Dante (2000); Cambridge Companion to Modern Italian Culture (Co-editor Rebecca West, 2001); Pasolini Old and New. Surveys and Studies (1999); “Sole nuovo, luce nuova”. Saggi sul rinnovamento culturale in Dante (1996)

For any questions regarding Prof Baranski’s visit, please contact Dr Patrizia Sambuco (patrizia.sambuco@monash.edu)

 

 

Seminar by Prof Paolo Bartoloni (September 3)

Research in Italian Studies in Melbourne (RISM)

is pleased to invite you to a seminar by

Paolo Bartoloni  (National University of Ireland, Galway)

on

Fictional Objects in Svevo’s Zeno’s Conscience

ultima-sigaretta

It is one hundred years since Zeno Cosini, the narrator and protagonist of Italo Svevo’s modernist masterpiece Zeno’s Conscience, started writing his autobiographical confession. He did it in 1914 in preparation for a psychoanalytic treatment, that is five years before Svevo commenced work on the novel. The complex structure and temporality of Svevo’s Zeno’s Conscience, and the intermingling of story time, narrative time and the time of the actual writing, struck James Joyce as emblems of Svevo’s novelty and originality. What Joyce did not notice as he first read the novel, is that Svevo, not unlike Joyce himself, constructed a narrative in which knowledge and conscience are the result of a situated cognition, that is the relation that the subject entertains with the material world. Together with the cigarette, the thing par excellence of Zeno’s Conscience, writing and the body themselves turn into things and objects that are employed to probe and pierce the bourgeois conventions and traditions of a changing and transforming Europe. This talk will focus on the friendship between Joyce and Svevo, and their literary affinities as well as differences by looking at the “things” that make Zeno’s Conscience.

 

 

Paolo Bartoloniis Established Professor of Italian Studies at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Previously he taught in Italian and Comparative Literature at the University of Sydney where he was Founding Director of the program in International and Comparative Literary Studies.

He has published extensively on continental theory and philosophy, especially the works of Giorgio Agamben, Walter Benjamin, Martin Heidegger, Gianni Vattimo, and Mario Perniola, and their impact on the reception of authors such as Blanchot, Calvino, Caproni, and Svevo.

Bartoloni is ACIS Honorary Research Associate. His visit in Australia was made possible also thanks to the contribution of the University of The Sunshine Coast.

 

Reinterpreting ‘Italian’ for the 21st century

Monash Warwick Alliance Joint PhD student, Goffredo PolizziIn an era when millions of people living in countries other than Italy  identify themselves as Italian – it is the fifth most claimed ancestry in Australia – the question of what that actually means becomes a complex one.

In research that will take him to Italy, England and Australia, Mr Goffredo Polizzi, one of the first students to receive a coveted Monash Warwick Joint PhD scholarship, is examining how Italians form their identities in light of changing cultural influences.

Goffredo is examining how gender, race, sexuality and class contribute to Italian identity formation. He said his research could result in a new understanding of identities and more inclusive forms of citizenship for Italians in their home country and abroad.

“The field of Italian studies is undergoing profound changes as the notion of what it means to be Italian and Italian culture is questioned,” Goffredo said.

“I’m examining various literary and cinematic pieces to determine how Italians now perceive ‘Italianness’ and how Italian emigrants identify with their heritage from afar.”

Goffredo applied for the Monash Warwick Joint PhD because he believed it offered an excellent opportunity to develop his research skills under the guidance of two universities with highly regarded translation and Italian studies departments.

“Both Monash and Warwick universities are at the forefront of the critical effort being made to understand Italian cultural changes,” he said.

“Although I am only eight months into my PhD, I feel optimistic about my research because my supervisors have provided exceptional support and insight,” Goffredo said.

Associate Professor Rita Wilson from the Monash School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, and Associate Professor Loredana Polezzi from the Warwick Department of Italian are supervising Goffredo’s research.

“Goffredo’s research is making a valuable contribution to understanding not only how, historically, emigration has shaped Italian culture but also how contemporary immigration is impacting on current notions of cultural identity and citizenship,” Professor Wilson said.

Goffredo is currently gathering data in Italy before returning to the University of Warwick later this year. He will spend 2015 at Monash and then return to Warwick to complete his PhD in late 2016.

Introduced at the end of 2013, the Monash Warwick Joint PhD is a three-year program in which students spend at least one year at each university.

The Alliance is growing its PhD cohort to support its increasing research efforts, particularly in the areas of sustainable chemistry, nanomedicine, advanced imaging and materials, and understanding cultures.

Supervisors from Monash and Warwick in any of the Alliance’s key research areas are encouraged to identify and support potential Monash Warwick Joint PhD candidates. The next Monash Warwick Joint PhD application round closes 31 October 2014 (for Monash students). More information about the Joint PhD and how to apply can be found on the Monash Warwick Alliance website.

The Monash Warwick Alliance is an innovative approach to higher education that is accelerating the exchange of people, ideas and information between Monash and Warwick Universities.

 

Seminar by Mirna Cicioni on Primo Levi

JE_PrimoLevi2-853x1024‘Dirty Secrets’? Primo Levi and the Resistance, April 2, 6.30pm Italian Institute of Culture, Dr Mirna Cicioni, April 2, 6.30pm, Italian Institute of Culture Melbourne, 233 Domain Rd, South Yarra.

Abstract

It is well known that Primo Levi was deported to Auschwitz as a Jew, but was arrested (on 9 December 1943) as a member of one of the first Resistance units in the Val d’Aosta. I look at some debates which took place in Italy in early 2013, after the publication of two books whose main focus is a ‘dirty secret’ of Levi’s partisan unit: the trial and execution of two young members of the unit. My discussion is mainly in the context of Levi’s work, but it also touches on other literary accounts of “partisan summary justice” and on what the British historian John Foot calls Italy’s “divided memory”, namely the tendency for conflicting narratives (personal, public, cultural) to emerge from crucial moments of Italian history.

 

Mirna Cicioni has taught Italian at La Trobe and Monash. She has published widely on Primo Levi and other post-WWII Italian Jewish writers. She is currently working as a freelance community interpreter, but hasn’t stopped reading and writing. For catering purposes please, please book sending an email to bookings.iicmelbourne@esteri.it

Free event.

The seminar is presented by RISM.

 

 

Italian Consul General Marco Maria Cerbo visits the Italian Studies program at Monash (April 9)

Console Monash 1Italian Consul General in Melbourne Marco Maria Cerbo visits the Italian Studies program at Monash.

Consul General Marco Maria Cerbo, who has recently taken his position in Melbourne, was invited by the Italian Studies co-ordinator Dr Patrizia Sambuco to meet staff and students of the Italian Studies program at Clayton. It was an opportunity for the Consul to get to know the work done in Italian Studies and in the Arts Faculty at Monash and for the students to listen to his view on the role of Italy in the world. The event was attended by students and staff of Italian Studies, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts Professor Rae Frances and the Head of the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, Associate Professor Rita Wilson.

As a tribute to the Consul and to Italian culture, two students of Italian, Lisa Parker and Peter Sergi, beautifully performed two opera arias in Italian. Italian opera and culture were not the only elements touched to discuss the role of Italy in the world.

In a dynamic exchange with students, Consul Cerbo revealed a number of Italian inventions that are used by everyone in our daily life. It was surprising to know that objects such as the plastic bottle cap that we use every day is an Italian invention, not to mention that high-heeled shoes were for the first time created in Italy during the Renaissance. Students and staff had also the opportunity to ask the Consul about his work, the role of Consulates, and about his initiatives for closer relationships between Italy and Australia.

The event was inspiring and much appreciated by all people involved.

 

 

‘Gestualista’ Luca Vullo at Monash (April 4)

Luca Vullo met students of Italian Studies to talk about his documentary La voce del corpo and to work with them in a series of role-plays centred on the relevance of body language in Italy and in particular in Sicily.

IMG_0618-2

 

 

Seminar by Dr Mirna Cicioni on Primo Levi (Wednesday April 2)

JE_PrimoLevi2-853x1024 Research in Italian Studies in Melbourne (RISM) is pleased to invite you to a seminar by

Dr Mirna Cicioni

on

‘Dirty Secrets’? Primo Levi and the Resistance April 2, 6.30pm Italian Institute of Culture, Melbourne 233 Domain Rd,

South Yarra

Abstract

It is well known that Primo Levi was deported to Auschwitz as a Jew, but was arrested (on 9 December 1943) as a member of one of the first Resistance units in the Val d’Aosta. I look at some debates which took place in Italy in early 2013, after the publication of two books whose main focus is a ‘dirty secret’ of Levi’s partisan unit: the trial and execution of two young members of the unit. My discussion is mainly in the context of Levi’s work, but it also touches on other literary accounts of “partisan summary justice” and on what the British historian John Foot calls Italy’s “divided memory”, namely the tendency for conflicting narratives (personal, public, cultural) to emerge from crucial moments of Italian history.

 

Mirna Cicioni has taught Italian at La Trobe and Monash. She has published widely on Primo Levi and other post-WWII Italian Jewish writers. She is currently working as a freelance community interpreter, but hasn’t stopped reading and writing. For catering purposes please, please book sending an email to bookings.iicmelbourne@esteri.it Free event RISM is an initiative of the Italian Studies

 

BENVENUTI!

 

Italian travel scholarship applications closing soon

vcdonors-1-199x300
Top L-R: Professor John Nieuwenhuysen and Professor Ed Byrne, President and Vice-Chancellor, Monash University
Bottom L-R: The Hon Sir James Gobbo AC CVO and Mr Vincent Volpe AM, President, Italian Services Institute

What is the Italian Service Institute Travel Scholarship?

The Italian Service Institute was established to provide education and welfare services to disadvantaged persons of Italian descent who are Australian residents and who would otherwise not have access to such services.

As a part of this service, the Institute is now proud to offer travel scholarships to Italy to support disadvantaged Monash students of Italian descent in Australia to study at the Monash Prato Centre or another university institution in Italy.

The travel scholarship on offer is to the value of $3,000 to support students with study and to provide them with a cultural experience in Italy.

It is anticipated that the first scholarship recipients will be awarded for courses and travel in 2014.

Am I eligible to apply?

Studying in Italy will allow you to gain valuable international experience and enrich your understanding and connection to your Italian cultural heritage. In this regard, it is essential that you have a strong desire to travel and study in Italy when making your application for the Italian Services Institute Travel Scholarship.

To apply, you must be a Monash student of Italian descent who would otherwise find it difficult to finance study in Italy.

You must also meet the following criteria:

  • Current enrolment at a Monash campus in Australia
  • Be approved by Faculty and Monash Study Abroad to undertake a credit bearing overseas study program at the Monash Prato Centre or other university institution
  • Be experiencing financial hardship

Scholarships will be awarded to eligible students based on financial needs, and on merit and academic performance.

Application details

Hurry, applications close October 31, 2013!

To apply visit https://applicant.connect.monash.edu.au/connect/webconnect

For more information on this scholarship and application process or visit http://www.monash.edu.au/students/scholarships/italian-travel-bursary.html

Prato information session

You may also like to attend a Prato Information Session scheduled for Monday, 28th October in R1, Building 8 at Clayton at 1-2.30 pm

Find out more:

 

Public Lecture by Prof Martin McLaughlin (University of Oxford), Tuesday October 1

‘Calvino, Eco and the transforming power of world literature’, Prof Martin McLaughlin (University of Oxford), Tuesday October 1, 5.30pm, Monash Caulfield Campus S/S230. (See campus map: http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/maps/2-Caulfieldcolour.pdf)

Italo Calvino and Umberto Eco wrote many essays on world literature, so much so that they would both have been major literary critics even if they had not written any novels.  Both authors were also influenced by many non-Italian writers in their creative works.  However, the way they interpreted and were inspired by texts from other literatures was different.  This seminar seeks to compare these two major Italian writers in terms of both their criticism of world literature and the different ways their fiction was transformed by it.  What emerges is Eco’s privileging of medieval texts as opposed to Calvino’s love for Ariosto, and in the modern era their differing reactions to major figures such as Joyce and Borges.  What they have in common is their capacity to draw creative inspiration even from texts that are very remote from their own poetics.

 

Public Lecture by Martin McLaughlin (University of Oxford)

‘Calvino, Eco and the transforming power of world literature’, Prof Martin McLaughlin (University of Oxford), Tuesday October 1, 5.30pm, Monash Caulfield Campus S/S230. (See campus map: http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/maps/2-Caulfieldcolour.pdf)

Italo Calvino and Umberto Eco wrote many essays on world literature, so much so that they would both have been major literary critics even if they had not written any novels.  Both authors were also influenced by many non-Italian writers in their creative works.  However, the way they interpreted and were inspired by texts from other literatures was different.  This seminar seeks to compare these two major Italian writers in terms of both their criticism of world literature and the different ways their fiction was transformed by it.  What emerges is Eco’s privileging of medieval texts as opposed to Calvino’s love for Ariosto, and in the modern era their differing reactions to major figures such as Joyce and Borges.  What they have in common is their capacity to draw creative inspiration even from texts that are very remote from their own poetics.

This event is presented by RISM.

 

Seminar by Peter Howard (Monash University)

‘Charting Cultural Transformation through Renaissance Preaching’, A/Prof Peter Howard (Monash University), Monday September 2, 6pm, Italian Institute of Culture, 233 Domain Rd, South Yarra

How did the artists of the Sistine Chapel wall frescoes develop and execute a complex programme in an amazingly short period of time? How do we explain the configuration of public space in early Renaissance Italy? Who authorized the magnificent display that characterizes Renaissance Florence? These are just some of the questions on which light is shed if an expansive role is assigned to preaching in late medieval and early renaissance Italy. This argument is a reversal of the image of the mendicant “penitential preachers” that Burckhardt constructed a century and a half ago but that still prevails, even among some scholars. Most commonly, the historiography identifies the humanists as the innovators of the day and as the disseminators of a renewed classical culture. This can be overemphasized. I argue that evidence suggests that a traditional medium such as the sermon was just as, if not more, responsible for a new historical and social vocabulary which equipped Florentines in particular to meet the demands of a rapidly changing society.

This event is presented by RISM.

 

Seminar by Andrea Rizzi (University of Melbourne)

‘Authority and Translation in Early Renaissance Italy’, Dr Andrea Rizzi (University of Melbourne), August 7 2013, 5.30, Italian Institute of Culture, 233 Domain Rd, South Yarra

In ancient Rome, translation between languages was always free and aggressive. It was only with the translation of the Bible into Latin that the notion of faithful translation was introduced. Fifteenth-century Italian translators went back to the ancient Roman understanding of translation as aggressive appropriation of the source text and culture. As a result, early Renaissance translators such as Bruni, Poliziano and Filelfo saw translation as an opportunity to displace the Greek culture that was being rediscovered while at the same time imitating and surpassing the Latin culture of antiquity. Through an analysis of translators’ prefaces, this paper shows that Italian Renaissance scholars rewrote and displaced classical and medieval texts and effectively became the new authors of their past culture.

 

Seminar by Sabina Sestigiani (Swinburne University)

‘Leonardo Sciascia & Peter Robb: a discordant view on the anti-mafia pool in Palermo in the 1980s’, Dr Sabina Sestigiani (Swinburne University), June 9 2013, 5.30, Italian Institute of Culture, 233 Domain Rd, South Yarra

This seminar analyses Leonardo Sciascia’s sceptical opinions in regard to the anti-mafia pool in Palermo in the 1980s and Peter Robb’s portrayal of the mafia and anti-mafia phenomenon in his Midnight in Sicily. Sciascia’s famous article “I professionisti dell’antimafia” published in the Italian daily Il Corriere della sera in 1987, and the sensation it caused in Italy will be discussed. The seminar revisits Sciascia’s controversial article through Robb’s critical analysis of Sciascia and his fierce attack on the anti-mafia movement of the 1980s. 

This event is presented by RISM.

 

Seminar by Brigid Maher (La Trobe University)

“From one moment to the next we are no longer ourselves” The 1980s as a decade of transformation in Nicola Lagioia’s Riportando tutto a casa, Brigid Maher (La Trobe University), April 30 2013, 5.30pm, Italian Institute of Culture, 233 Domain Rd, South Yarra

 The 1980s brought considerable change to Italy: greater affluence in some sectors of society, the advent of commercial television, increased globalization and Americanization, and some significant technological developments. In this talk I will explore how these different kinds of transformation are portrayed and critiqued in Nicola Lagioia’s 2011 novel Riportando tutto a casa. Starting out with the arrival in Italian homes of the television comedy show Drive In (“the laughter that was to bury us all”), the novel depicts the period as one of both personal transformation – these are the narrator’s formative years – and societal transformation, as new sources of wealth and status coalesce with historically rooted phenomena such as a culture of favours and the problem of organized crime. I will also touch upon some of the challenges that come up in translating this cultural and historical milieu into English.

This event is presented by RISM.