Reinterpreting ‘Italian’ for the 21st century


In 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.

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Monash LLCL Honours graduate lifts the lid on pedantry across the generations

Severin grammar prescriptivism

LLCL Honours graduate Allie Severin has two articles over at the Crikey language blog presenting findings from her research into grammar pedantry across the generations. The finding: young people can be just as finickity and pedantic about grammar as anyone else. Her articles are entitled “Grammar pedantry across the generations” and “When grammar gets mean: Prescriptivism in the 21st century“.

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Honours student’s research informs debate on the use of language skills in the workplace

Bashfield Australian

LLCL honours graduate Sam Bashfield was interviewed by reporter Bernard Lane from The Australian about the value of language skills in the workplace. Sam’s research looked at how recent graduates from Australian universities were using their language skills in the workplace and the ability of employees to capitalise on these skills.

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Monash LLCL Honours, the FIFA world cup, and corruption in Indonesian football

Flicker Inside Indonesia

In the wake of the FIFA world cup, former Monash student Tim Flicker has been using the expert insight he gained at LLCL Honours to add an informed perspective to the debate around corruption in Indonesian soccer.

Tim contributed to an ABC Radio National broadcast on Indonesian football, and a piece he wrote was featured on the Inside Indonesia. The ABC writes:

Brazil’s seven one loss to Germany broke the heart of a nation obsessed with football. But just over two years ago, Indonesia, a country that’s mad about the world game faced a similarly painful defeat, losing ten nil to Bahrain  in the World Cup qualifiers. Much like the case with Brazil, this loss was the country’s worst ever international defeat. Blame was heaped on the referee, but Tim Flicker who has written a thesis on Indonesian soccer, says corruption is keeping the country punching below its weight.  

Congratulations to Tim and all the other Monash LLCL Honours students who are bringing an informed and articulate voice to social and cultural issues in today’s world.


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Monash student goes to the United Nations

1ea6b39cfce9a2a1c6a267141e3589ec_nAlistair Bayley visited the United Nations in New York as one of the winners of the Many Languages, One World essay contest.  

The Monash Bachelor of Arts student, majoring in International Studies and Chinese Language was invited to the UN for the five-day Global Youth Forum, after his essay on multilingualism and global citizenship written in Chinese, won.  

Sixty winners – ten from each language of the United Nations – were selected and invited to participate in the Global Youth Forum, which was held in conjunction with Adelphi University.

The forum in New York was an extraordinary experience for Alistair.

“It was fantastic to visit the United Nations in New York, and I feel very privileged to have been able to attend,” Alistair said.

The students, who attended the forum on June 27, presented their ideas to the UN based on the principles of the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI).

UNAI, launched by the Secretary-General in 2010, is a global initiative that aligns institutions of higher learning and research with the United Nations.

The Many Languages, One World essay contest invited students from around the world to compose an essay in one of the six official languages of the United Nations – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian or Spanish – that was neither the student’s native language nor the language of instruction in the student’s pre-university study.

Many Languages, One World, organised by ELS Educational Services and the UNAI, had more than 4000 people from 128 countries participated in some phase of the contest. Contestants ranged from college freshmen to Doctoral candidates from universities all over the world, and their fields of academic study were very diverse.

For more information about Many Languages One World, please

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New Colombo Plan Scholar

Emma Moore with His Excellency General the Honourable Peter Cosgrove AC MC Governor General and Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Julie Bishop MP at the ceremony.
Emma Moore with His Excellency General the Honourable Peter Cosgrove AC MC Governor General and Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Julie Bishop MP.

Ms Emma Moore,  4th year Monash student in BCom/LLB and Diploma Languages (Chinese),  was awarded a New Colombo Plan Scholarship by His Excellency General the Honourable Peter Cosgrove AC MC Governor General and Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Julie Bishop MP on Wednesday 25 June .
Ms Moore will undertake an exchange to University of Hong Kong as one of 40 inaugural students selected from across Australia as part of the New Colombo Pilot into the Indo Pacific region.

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Learning the language of understanding

Dr Max Richter, MSI (centre) in Jakarta with senior managers from Indonesia’s Ministry of State Secretariat; Mr Robert McKelleher, DFAT (left of Dr Richter) and Mr Raymond Ash, President Director Austraining Nusantara (right of Dr Richter).
Dr Max Richter, MSI (centre) in Jakarta with senior managers from Indonesia’s Ministry of State Secretariat; Mr Robert McKelleher, DFAT (left of Dr Richter) and Mr Raymond Ash, President Director Austraining Nusantara (right of Dr Richter).

A delegation of 25 officials from Indonesia’s Ministry of State Secretariat is visiting Monash to develop capability in translation and interpreting as part of the Australian Government’sAustralia Awards Fellowship program. The Ministry of State Secretariat (Republic of Indonesia) provides technical, administrative and analytical support to the President and to the Vice-President. 

The new 10-week interactive program was developed by the Monash Sustainability Institute (MSI) in partnership with the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics (SLLCL). The visiting fellows, who are drawn from across the Indonesian archipelago, are responsible for providing translation and interpreting services to various Indonesian government agencies.

The MSI’s Dr Paul McShane said the Institute’s work in knowledge management had prompted the initiative.

“Language offers a window to culture and aligning culture and policy is important in promoting sustainable development,” he said. “Links to key Indonesian agencies through this program will reinforce MSI’s and Indonesia’s shared interests in linking research to policy, for example in responding to climate change.”

Monash is the only Australian university to be a member of Conference Internationale d’Instituts Universitaires de Traducteurs et Interpretes (CIUTI), the world’s oldest and most prestigious international association of tertiary institutions offering degrees in translation and interpreting. It is also the only Australian university to be listed on the directory of the International Association of Conference Interpreters.

Head of SLLCL Associate Professor Rita Wilson welcomed the opportunity to engage with Indonesia.

“Our school offers professional training in translation and interpreting targeted to the Government of Indonesia’s needs,” she said. “A combination of theoretically informed seminars and practical workshops with Australian Government departments and industry partners will provide real-world opportunities for the fellows to develop their skills. While the Indonesian fellows learn from us, we will gain a deeper understanding of the socio-cultural aspects of language services across the archipelago in Indonesia, reinforcing the international reach of our school.”

The current program is expected to be the first of many supported by an enduring collaboration between Monash University and Indonesia. The Indonesian fellows are at Monash until the end of August.



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Kishi Fellow to Japan announced

Written by Jason Emmanuelle – Bachelor of Arts – Languages (Major in Japanese and Linguistics)

On the 25th of June, 2014, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop announced the inaugural recipients of the New Colombo Plan at an awards evening in Canberra. The New Colombo Plan Scholarship recipients will travel across the four pilot countries – Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore – to undertake an exchange program and internship. The program aims to develop people-to-people relations across the region as a means of promoting bi-lateral aid and cultural and language literacy. The day’s proceedings allowed for the scholars to become acquainted with each other, discussing their intentions to study a variety noble causes such as law, paramedicine, engineering and mechatronics. Each had been selected after an almost five-month-long, rigorous selection process that involved university screening, shortlisting of written applications and an interview at the Department of Foreign Affairs building in Canberra. The forty successful applicants will be departing over the next six months for their international destinations.

 The awards night was attended by distinguished guests, politicians and business representatives, some of who sat on our interview panels just a month prior. I had the honour of sitting between Australia’s previous ambassador in Japan and the group general manager of the ANZ bank, just to give an example of the high-level company we were in. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop shared the story that lead to the fruition of the program, detailing how she realised the value of the original Colombo Plan and conceived the idea to create a New Colombo Plan eight years ago, when she was still the Minister of Education. Her speech concluded on the personal note of how her own exchange experience allowed her to grow as a person – an experience we will all soon come to share.

 The Foreign Minister continued to introduce the four Fellows, that is, the top representative for each country, and I was formally announced as the Kishi Fellow, taking the name from previous Prime Minister Kishi, for Japan. The title is a representation of both past achievements and future ambitions. Thanks only to the support I received, particularly from Global Engagement team at Monash University, was I able to realise the importance of this opportunity and fully apply myself with the intention to attain the title of Fellow.

 I will begin my study this October at Osaka University through an exclusive immersion program, allowing me to take a full study load of linguistics units in Japanese classes. I am interested in future cross-linguistic research, hoping to specialise in second-language acquisition. Additional to this, I aim to make strong connections from both within my host institution as well as externally through my internship component. Upon graduating from Monash, I intend to find employment at a Japanese business firm seeking international expansion. My studies at Monash have lead me to understand the importance of exchange programs in cultivating international awareness, cross-cultural understanding and a skillset that fuses foreign exchange and domestic education as business throughout the world continues to evolve into a global enterprise.”

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Victor and Maria Rudewych Donate $1.52 Million to Support Ukrainian Studies

Victor-and-Maria-Rudewych-smallOn 25 June 2014 Victor and Maria Rudewych, sponsors of many community and educational initiatives, announced their donation of $1.52 million to the Ukrainian Studies Support Fund (USSF) of the Association of Ukrainians in Victoria. The USSF is the granting body from which the Mykola Zerov Centre for Ukrainian Studies at Monash University has received much of its research funding in recent years. The gift is the largest single philanthropic donation that Australia’s Ukrainian community has seen to date.


In an arrangement to be formalised in a memorandum of understanding, the donors have stipulated that $300,000 of their gift be earmarked to finance, over three years, up to four PhD scholarships in Ukrainian Studies or in interdisciplinary areas involving Ukrainian Studies.

A further $220,000 is to be reserved for an expansion of the existing Monash Rudewych Ukrainian Language Scholarships in the years 2015-2019. Initially established in 2008 to encourage school students in Australia to take Ukrainian language as a Year 12 subject, provision was made last year to extend such encouragement to students from Year 7 onward. The current further expansion means that eight flagship Year 12 scholarships, valued at $2500 each, will be available each year for the duration of the present arrangement, while $24,000 per annum will be available for the scholarships in more junior years.

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Language Placement Tests

Chinese Chinese placement questionnaire and test

The Chinese Studies Program conducts online diagnostic placement tests to ensure that new students who have studied Chinese before enrol at the level most appropriate for their current language proficiency. Students with no previous Chinese language background are not required to take a placement test and may enrol without approval at Introductory level.

  • If you are an absolute beginner you may enrol without approval in Chinese Introductory 1 ATS1001.
  • If you have completed IB or VCE L2 (Basic stream) Chinese Units 3/4 you may provisionally enrol in Chinese Intermediate 1 ATS2003. You are required to take the placement test to confirm your entry level.
  • If you have completed IB or VCE L2 (Advanced stream) or VCE L1 Chinese Units 3/4, or if you have studied Chinese overseas, you may provisionally enrol in Chinese Proficient 1 ATS2005. You are required to sit the placement test to confirm your entry level

For further information you may contact any of the following Chinese Studies staff:

or telephone the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics general office on 9905 2223

French Studies See French Studies website for information on placement tests which can be taken at any time:
French placement test
German German Studies, undergraduates
The diagnostic test for first year German students will be administered as a self-assessment tool. Students are required to access the Goethe Institute website at

The test comprises 30 questions. Students are required to follow the prompts and record their score out of a total of 30. Students with a score of 25 or above are encouraged to enrol in level 7 (ATS1097), 20-24 level 5 (ATS1095) and less than 20 in level 3 (ATS1093). Maximum time allowed is 20 minutes. Supporting materials – dictionaries, grammar guides, word lists etc. – are not permitted.

Please note that it is in the student’s interest to follow the test guidelines. A distorted score as a result of external assistance will result in incorrect placement.

For further questions students may contact any of the German Studies staff –

Spanish and Latin American Studies For more information, and to take an online placement test, see:
Spanish placement test
Indonesian Indonesian placement test

Indonesian placement interviews consist of a) a general online survey – approximately 15-20 minutes and b) an interview which can be done in pairs or individually – approximately 10 minutes. Both are conducted in Indonesian.

Contact email:

Italian Italian placement test

Students who have studied Italian previously are required to take an online placement test.

  • Beginners enter at level 1 ATS1221
  • Intermediate students (post beginners or students with an intermediate knowledge of Italian without VCE) enter at ATS2223
  • The entry point for students who did VCE Italian is level 5 ATS2225
Japanese Go to the following website to find out which Japanese level you will enrol in:
What level of Japanese should I enrol in?
Korean Korean placement test

Students who have studied little or no Korean would normally enrol in ATS1171 Korean 1 and ATS1172 Korean 2. If you are a beginner in studying Korean, you do not need to take a placement test. However, you must take the test if you have studied Korean before.

Ukrainian Ukrainian undergraduate, Monash Handbook

Students with little or no knowledge of Ukrainian enrol in ATS1211 and ATS1212.

Students who have studied Ukrainian to Victorian Certificate of Education level, or can demonstrate an equivalent level of competence, enrol in ATS1215 and ATS1216.


Champions of the13th Chinese Bridge competition

unnamedThe School is proud to announce the success of Monash students, Shahzad Billimoria and Stephanie Tsiros, in the 13th Chinese Bridge competition held in RMIT last Saturday, 24 May. Competitors from 4 universities in Melbourne participated in this competition.

Shahzad Billimoria (currently studying Chinese Proficient 1) won the first prize and Stephanie Tsiros (currently studying Understanding Modern China and Chinese Advanced 3) won the second prize. They will represent Australian universities at the finals in China in July.

Shahzad and Stephanie performed very well at the competition. Apart from their speeches in Mandarin, Shahzad played skillfully Chinese Kongfu called Taiji Fan. Stephanie performed a beautiful traditional Chinese dance called The Spirit of a Bird. Both performances were highly praised by a large audience.

Congratulations to the lecturers in the Chinese program for the success and involvement in training of the students for this competition.

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Emerging Writers’ Festival – Translation Nation

angelaListen to Angela Tiziana Tarantini’s talk about Translation Nation with Triple R here:

Translation might be a mystery to most, but it’s an essential part of our literary tradition and the world of writing. Ever wanted to see exactly how it works? At this unique event, you’ll have a chance to watch a single text in English being translated into multiple languages – Chinese (Mandarin), Italian, Indonesian and Spanish.   Read more.

Angela Tiziana Tarantini is a PhD candidate in Translation Studies at the Monash
University in Melbourne, Australia. She has published articles in literary journals,
and co-translated into Italian of the novel Playing in the Light by Zoë Wicomb,
which was published as In Piena Luce by Baldini Castoldi Dalai, Milan, in 2009.
She obtained two MAs (in Foreign Languages and Literatures, and in European
and American Languages, Literatures and Cultures) at the Università degli Studi
del Piemonte Orientale Amedeo Avogadro in Vercelli – Italy. She worked as English
Language Assistant at the Department of Humanities of the Università degli Studi
del Piemonte Orientale Amedeo Avogadro in Vercelli – Italy, at the University
Institute of Science and Technology Politecnico of Turin – Italy, at the Faculty of
Economics of the Università degli Studi Milano – Bicocca in Milan – Italy, and as
Adjunct Professor of English at the Department of Humanities of the Università degli
Studi del Piemonte Orientale Amedeo Avogadro, and at the Faculty of Education of
the Università degli Studi Milano – Bicocca in Milan – Italy. She currently works as a
sessional tutor for English-Italian translation at Monash University.


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Talking so they listen: How the commercial world uses semiotics

On 2 May 2014 the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics hosted a symposium led by one of the School’s corporate partners, The Lab. The Lab is a brand strategy and market research agency that helps shape the stories of Australia’s leading brands, from Australia Post, to Bird’s Eye, to The Age.

The symposium began with a presentation by Mr Paul Labagnara from The Lab. Paul introduced his firm’s approach to cultural analysis grounded in academic methods, focusing on the emergent field of Commercial Semiotics. He explained how Commercial Semiotics seeks to apply the semiotic theories developed in academic contexts as tools to formulate easily digestible cultural narratives that can be harnessed by brands.

The presentation was followed by a round-table discussion featuring Paul’s colleagues Mr Daniel Bluzer-Fry and Ms Sarah Lorimer, together with LLCL academics Dr Howard Manns, Dr Louisa Willoughby and Dr Chris Worth. The panel shared their ideas about how semiotics work across academia and business to help shape the stories of Australian culture.

All participants then formed groups to engage in a workshop involving the construction of ‘semiotic squares’, a basic tool of analysis in Commercial Semiotics. The groups produced squares unpacking the symbols and messages behind several themes from popular culture and marketing.

This symposium is part of an ongoing collaboration between The Lab and the School of LLCL which encompasses joint research projects, consulting and internships for students.

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Visitors from the University of International Business and Economics, Beijing

The Dean, Professor Lifei Wang and the Director, Mr Wei Zhang from the School of International Studies, University of International Business and Economics, Beijing will be visiting the School to hold discussions regarding current cooperation between Monash University and University of international Business and Economics and the further development of Monash Chinese Language Study Abroad Program. They will be arriving on Wednesday 14 May 2014 to meet with the members of Faculty, School and the LLCL team.

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International Recognition of Linguistics Research at Monash

The School, home to the discipline of linguistics, is pleased to announce that the ranking of Monash linguistics in the world has been improved, from 19th in the world to 17th in the world. Here is the link to 2014 ranking:

Congratulations to all our linguistics researchers!

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Honours information session semester 1 2014: slides

If you missed the LLCL Honours information session this week and are interested in finding out more about applying for Honours to commence in 2015, here are the slides from the session.

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Many Languages, One World Essay Contest in the Chinese Language

graphic oneworldFollowing Alistair Bayley‘s win of the World Champion title of the Chinese Bridge competition last year, he once again, won the Many Languages, One World Essay Contest in the Chinese Language organized by United Nations Academic Impact, ELS Educational Services. His essay (in Chinese) is one of 60 chosen as winners out of nearly 1500 submissions by individuals from 128 countries. Only 10 winners were selected to represent each of the six official languages of the United Nations – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.

The award was for AliAlistair Bayleystair’s inspiring work, ELS has invited him to attend the Many Languages, One World Global Youth Forum, to be held from June 25 to June 29, 2014 in New York. He will participate in a carefully planned schedule of events that includes a Global Youth Forum on the principles of the United Nations Academic Impact, multilingualism and global citizenship at the United Nations Headquarters, preceded by a preparatory students’ conference. Sightseeing and cultural excursions will also be arranged by ELS.

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Prof. Kayoko TAKEDA: Faculty Distinguished Visiting Scholar

takedaLLCL’s Japanese Studies and Translation and Interpreting Studies will host a visit by Professor Takeda Kayoko, who works in the area translation and interpreting studies at the Rikkyo Graduate School of Intercultural Communication, from 12 to 16 May 2014.

 Professor Takeda’s research interests cross translation studies and history: she is interested in the role of the translator and interpreter in areas of conflict, and particularly in the context of war crimes trials. She has written Interpreting the Tokyo War Crimes Trial: A Sociopolitical Analysis (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2010), and has translated Francesca Gaiba’s The Origins of Simultaneous Interpretation: the Nuremberg Trial as ニュルンベルク裁判の通訳 (Tokyo: Misuzu shobō, 2013). She is also pursuing research interests in the conviction for war crimes of Taiwanese interpreters working for the Japanese Imperial Army in local war crimes trials in the wake of World War II.

 While at Monash, Professor Takeda will present her research on translation and interpreting during war crimes trials in a public lecture in the evening of Thursday 15 May. She will also discuss her research in a joint seminar on war crimes trials with Marc Orlando and Beatrice Trefalt on 14 May, and conduct a master class for postgraduate students in translation and interpreting studies on 13 May.

Enquiries about Professor Takeda’s visit can be directed to Dr Beatrice Trefalt (, in Japanese Studies.

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Lecturers and Honours students shoulder to shoulder in LLCL seminar

Part of the privilege of working or studying at a research university is that we become integrated into a diverse and vigorous community of learning. In the spirit of fostering and celebrating our shared commitment to research in LLCL, lecturing staff and Honours students in the school come together every fortnight during semester to share short presentations about our work in progress, discuss each other’s research, make new links between projects across different disciplines and incubate ideas. As well as providing a valuable training opportunity for our Honours students and a chance for staff to keep abreast of colleagues’ newest work, the seminar demonstrates our commitment to fostering a common community of learning and inquiry across all members of the school, lecturers and students alike.

The pictures below are from a recent seminar which brought together Prof. Sue Kossew‘s latest work  on gendered violence with a group of Honours students working on gender issues across different disciplines.

All members of the school are welcome at the seminars, the dates and times of which can be found on the LLCL school calendar.

photo 2

photo 1

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Exploring perceptions of Europe in Italian Australian cultural productions

ElianaDr Eliana Maestri (University of Warwick) visited Melbourne recently to conduct interviews with second and third-generation Italian-Australian artists and writers as part of a research project funded by the European and EU Centre at Monash and carried out in collaboration with Associate Professor Rita Wilson in the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics. The project builds on Eliana’s 2012 EUOSSIC Erasmus Mundus postdoctoral project in which she concentrated on the current debate on Europe in Australia by focusing on perceptions of Europe among Sydney-based Italian-Australians. This current MEEUC project aims to broaden the scope of her investigation so as to include Italian-Australian cultural, artistic and literary productions of migration from a wider socio-cultural, economic and political perspective that places Australia in the postcolonial/European and global context. While her earlier research focused on second and third-generation Italian-Australians of different social backgrounds, her present focus is on Melbourne-based second and third-generation Italian-Australian artists and writers, so as to obtain a more inclusive geographical and socio-artistic understanding of Italian communities in Australia. Dr Maestri’s research responds to the European Union’s call for an exploration of perceptions of Europe outside its formal borders by exploring young Italian Australians’ conceptualization of the centrality and/or marginality of Italy and Australia within (post)colonial maps of Europe and of the European ‘subject’ in the face of constant reshaping of borders vis-à-vis national versus supra-national political arrangements.

During her stay in Melbourne, Dr Maestri was interviewed by SBS Radio.

Interview link:

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