Scerbanenco’s versatility as a popular fiction writer has marginalized him from mainstream critical analysis which, especially in the Italian academic context, has focused almost exclusively on literary and stylistics themes and ignored any connection between literature and its socio-historical context – Marco Paoli
On Wednesday 17 February Dr Louis Bayman (University of Southampton) will give a research seminar entitled ‘Eppur si commuove: Melodrama, the expression of feeling, and postwar Italian cinema’. The seminar will take place at 4pm in Rendall Building, Lecture Theatre 3.
Italian cinemas after the war were filled by audiences who had come to watch domestically produced films of passion and pathos. These highly emotional and consciously theatrical melodramas posed moral questions with stylish flair, redefining popular ways of feeling about romance, family, gender, class, Catholicism, Italy and feeling itself. This seminar will discuss the melodramatisation of post-war Italian cinema as a cultural response to a society undergoing thorough transformation.
It will pose questions regarding how we understand film history, and consider the relationship that melodrama institutes between popular culture and both neorealism and arthouse modernism. It will argue that melodrama places emotional expressivity at the centre of the dramatic universe, and by so doing, presents a reality into contact with both the Sacred and the everyday.
Robert Blackwood (French) and Stefania Tufi (Italian) have just published their book, The Linguistic Landscape of the Mediterranean French and Italian Coastal Cities.
This book explores the Linguistic Landscapes of ten French and Italian Mediterranean coastal cities, analysing the ways in which the public space is managed by different individuals and groups for a range of purposes. Engaging with scholarship on border studies, insularity, peripherality, cosmopolitanism, and social representations, Blackwood and Tufi test the ways in which research beyond sociolinguistics can meaningfully inform Linguistic Landscape studies. The authors privilege four specific perspectives, namely the visibility of national languages, the claiming of space for regional languages and dialects, the creation of transnational spaces for migrant languages, and the role of English in cosmopolitan place-making. Drawing on their own data from along the Mediterranean shoreline, Blackwood and Tufi provide the first in-depth and cross-referenced examination of written language use in the public space in Perpignan, Trieste, Nice, Monaco, Genoa, Palermo, Cagliari, Ajaccio, Marseilles, and Naples.
For a link to the publisher’s website, click here.
We would like to thank all tutors involved in our last Routes into Languages event of the 2014/15 academic year, which took place on the 19th of May. This was a Language Enrichment Event, aimed at Year 8 students. We welcomed 70 pupils from schools in the North West, who attended our language tasters and cultural sessions, and the feedback from the visiting students and teachers was excellent. Students got involved in a variety of activities. These included learning how to play a Basque song with Enara, order a “panino” in Italian with Rosalba, and play “La Rueda de la Fortuna” with Marina and Jordi. Students also particularly enjoyed their guided tour of the University, especially the language learning facilities. We got very positive feedback, as you can see from the letter we received from one of the teachers who visited us:
“I am writing to express our thanks to you for yesterday’s event. The pupils from SFX (in their red blazers) had a great time and were very positive about their experience. The sessions were great! Please keep the programme going! We need all the help we can get in encouraging pupils to maintain their languages studies after 14 years of age.”
This is definitely an event we will repeat in the future. We are already preparing the programme of events for Routes into Languages at the University of Liverpool in 2015/16. Soon we will keep you posted with more exciting news. For more information, please contact: Nelson Becerra firstname.lastname@example.org or Ana Almeida A.Almeida@liverpool.ac.uk “
Three researchers from the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures presented their work at the seventh international Linguistic Landscapes workshop at UC Berkeley at the start of May. Following meetings in Tel Aviv (2008), Siena (2009), Strasbourg (2010), Addis Ababa (2012), Namur, Belgium (2013), and Cape Town (2014), this was the first of the workshops to take place in the USA, and was organised by the Berkeley Language Centre.
The University of Liverpool was represented by Dr Robert Blackwood (French), Dr Stefania Tufi (Italian), and Will Amos (PGR in sociolinguistics). Robert Blackwood discussed the diachronic potential of Linguistic Landscape research, based on his fieldwork in Brittany and Northern Catalonia, whilst Stefania Tufi reflected on questions of linguistic citizenship, drawing on her work in Genoa, Naples, and Sicily. Will Amos tackled some of the methodological challenges he experienced during a recent project on Liverpool’s Chinatown.
The workshop was also the opportunity for the launch the new journal, Linguistic Landscapes, published by John Benjamins, and edited by Professors Elana Shohamy and Eliezer Ben-Rafael. The journal opens with a double issue, comprising reflections on developments in Linguistic Landscape studies over the past eight years.
The Liverpool researchers also revealed the plans for the LL workshop to come to Merseyside in 2016. The conference will take place in the spring, and the call for papers will be published in the coming months, with information currently available via the workshop’s Twitter feed.
On Saturday 28th of February Dr Rosalba Biasini will take part as speaker at an Italian Day School (“La rappresentazione delle nuove tendenze politiche italiane”) of the University of Oxford, Department for Continuing Education. This day event explores the representation of political trends and leaders in contemporary Italian media, literature and cinema. The speakers on the day will consider the following questions:
Which political figure can solve all Italy’s national problems? What is the true role of the media in Italian politics? How have the major Italian leaders and their politics been received by novelists and intellectuals? What are the uses and impact of the cinema on political communication?
Her lecture: “Lo scrittore e l’arte di governare: riflessioni sulla politica nel romanzo italiano contemporaneo” deals with the portrayal of political trends in contemporary Italian novels. She will consider how major Italian leaders and their politics have been received by novelists and intellectuals through an examination of the representation of political discourse in literary works.
To find out more, click here.
The Department of Modern Languages and Cultures is delighted to announce that 72% of our publications have been classified as 4* (world-leading) and 3* (internationally excellent), while 90% of our environment submission has been rated 4* and 3*.
Research in Modern Languages and Cultures at Liverpool is characterised by our wide-ranging interests in the national and global dimensions of language-based study, including a focus on France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Latin America as well as other Francophone, Hispanophone and Lusophone cultures and societies around the world.
Coherent cross-language themes structure our research. Our work places us at the cutting edge of fields such as colonial and post-colonial studies (including slavery studies), cyber-culture and digital transformations, and world cinema. Colleagues are fully engaged with the development of Modern Languages nationally, many playing leading roles in academic publishing, subject associations, and on behalf of major funding bodies.
Collaboration and engagement strongly underpin our activities, with researchers beyond our own department and disciplines, with our many cultural partners (especially Merseyside Museums) and in our interactions with non-academic communities. Distinctive public-oriented events include poetry readings with practitioners and audiences in Spain, a major exhibition in France in association with the multinational Tata Group, and a series of Holocaust-related events in the UK and Germany designed to enhance understandings of the sources and consequences of racism.
For more on the University of Liverpool REF2014 results, click here.
Thinking of studying Italian? Take a look at this video featuring one of our finalists, Eleanor Bermingham. She and other students and graduates explain why Italian is the language for them and how they got the most from their year abroad.
Here’s what she had to say about her time in Italy.
I was an intern at an organisation called Slow Food, whose aims, as you might imagine from the name, are to slow down the increasing industrialisation of our agriculture and to fight the presence of fast food as a staple in our daily lives. The organisation is based in Bra (always fun to explain), Piedmont, just an hour south of Turin, where its founder, Carlo Petrini, grew up, and where Slow Food has its international and Italian headquarters, as well as its publishing and promotions offices. Globally, Slow Food is present in over 150 countries, and is a members’ association. I was working in the International Communications Office with a team of colleagues from places as diverse as Germany, Kenya, Australia, etc.
Working from 9 to 6.30 was a harsh call to the reality of working life after a laid-back university timetable. But, I won’t lie, the hour and a half we were allowed for lunch was sweet. I got to work on translations and editing of all different types of Slow Food texts: printed materials, online content, and even emails corresponding with the members in India! Also, as the baby of the office, I was invited to work on Slow Food Youth Network, the branch of young food activists who I believe make the topic of food relevant, and even, dare I say it, cool. For me, this was an extreme learning curve as I knew little about the world of food before my time at Slow Food, and, now, I could give anyone a lesson on oyster farming! Food is a far more complex subject than many realise, tapping into history, politics and enterprise. Italians are always looking for people to join the debate, and Slow Food was an extremely interesting place to start.
Understanding and speaking Italian was key to getting the most out of my work placement and founding lasting friendships. I got to visit various parts of Italy too! Rome, Verona, Lucca, Milan and Padua… to name a few. Italy is rich in culture, each place has a unique history, and there is always something delicious to nibble on. I couldn’t recommend spending a year abroad in Italy more; it boosts your confidence, employability, and your waistline!