Italian Studies Colloquium

The Italian Studies Colloquium is a bi-weekly forum and seminar for an exchange of ideas and work of the community of Italian scholars at Brown and invited outside scholars. Graduate students enroll and present their work in progress, and engage the work of faculty and visitors.

Unless otherwise noted, meetings located at 190 Hope Street, Room 102 from noon - 1:30pm.

Fall 2019 Calendar:

September 6 - Title IX training meeting with Rene Davis for PhD candidates

September 27 - Luca Cottini, Associate Professor of Italian Studies, Villanova University, - “Italian Innovators: The Adventure of Academic Podcasting”  Abstract: Italian Innovators is an academic podcast, presenting figures of great modern Italians in the fields of music, design, fashion, education, and technology. The podcast, based on Dr. Cottini’s volume The Art of Objects (UTP 2018), aims at elaborating a new sort of academic discourse, open to a more general audience, and aimed at connecting the spheres of industry and culture. The talk will present some of the contents of the show and will examine the advantages and challenges of converting an academic book into a podcast format.

October 4 -  Daniela Calanca, Assistant Professor,  Department for Life Quality Studies, University of Bologna, - Abstract: The analysis of the documents in the Archive of Giovanni Battista Giorgini (Forte dei Marmi, 1898 - Florence, 1971) offers unprecedented research opportunities related to the development of artistic craftsmanship and the importance of trade in international relations during the twentieth century. The scion of an ancient and aristocratic family from Lucca, Giorgini was the first to perceive the economic value of Italian craftsmanship on the international market, especially in the US. Between 1944 and 1946, he managed a Gift Shop for the Allied troops in the centre of Florence. In 1947 the Museum of Modern Art in Chicago hosted an exhibition he curated. Entitled Italy at work, it showcased the best of Italian craftsmanship (glass, ceramics, textiles, leather). On February 12th, 1951, Giorgini organized in Florence the First Italian High Fashion Show for American buyers. The second edition of the show, in July 1951, marked the decisive consecration of Italian fashion in the US.

October  11 - Massimo Ciavolella, Franklin D. Murphy Chair in Italian Renaissance Studies and Director of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, UCLA -  “Dante and Cinema”. Abstract:  Dante’s fortune in cinematic adaptations goes back to the early years of the “sixth art” (later to become the seventh) as Ricciotto Canudo baptized the cinema, in 1911, the same year in which the blockbuster adaptation of  Inferno was released. Ciavolella will provide an excursus on this long history, focusing in particular on the 1908 and 1909-10 Francesca da Rimini, Inferno (1911), The Drums of Love by D.W. Griffith (1928), and a recent darkly satirical animated retelling of the Inferno for hand-drawn paper puppets and miniature sets by Birk-Mulroney (2007). Please, note change of venue for this colloquium: Pembroke 202

November 1 - Giulia Pellizzato, Visiting scholar in Italian Studies,  Brown University -"From Words to Covers: Metamorphoses of Italian Fiction in America (1945-1965)". Abstract: The years following World War Two saw an unprecedented growth in translations from Italian into English, half of which were published in America. Some books met resounding success, and even came to epitomize Italy, as the case of The little world of Don Camillo shows. While venturing into their new cultural context, literary works went through different sorts of alteration, involving the text, its exterior appearance, and its meaning. This presentation will focus on the interaction between these three levels, in relation to the coeval horizon of expectations of the general public in the United States.

November 22 - Pablo a Marca, Doctoral Student in Italian Studies, Brown university - "Have Fairy Tales Always Been Posthuman? Italian Fairy Tales, From Metamorphosis to Cybernetics". Abstract: In fairy tales, metamorphosis is a common trope that can entail the transformation of humans into animals and vice-versa, thus questioning the ontological categorization of the two. In recent times, posthumanism has started to reflect on this differentiation, showing how the boundaries between humans and animals are blurred, therefore advancing a type of thinking that can be described as post-anthropocentric. This paper compares metamorphosis with cybernetics in Italo Calvino’s “Body-without-Soul,” and argues that magic in this fairy tale can be seen as a way of already imagining a post-anthropocentric world.

Spring 2019 Calendar:

February 15. Suzanne Stewart-Steinberg, Director, Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women and Professor of Italian Studies and Comparative Literature: "Grounds for Reclamation"

March 1. Emanuela Patti, Senior Research Fellow, Royal Holloway University, London, UK: Opera aperta. The Italian Arts and the Digital” (“New Interdisciplinary Directions in Italian Studies” – Charles Colver Lectureship)

March 15. Emilio Sala, Associate Professor of Musicology and the History of Music, University of Milan: “Fellini, Rota, La Dolce Vita, and the Deja-Entendu Effect” (“New Interdisciplinary Directions in Italian Studies” – Charles Colver Lectureship)

April 5. Morris Karp, Doctoral student in Italian Studies, Brown University: “Leopardi and the Renaissance.”

April 26Daniel Rietze, Doctoral student in Italian Studies, Brown University: “Typing Her Way Up To God: Amelia Della Pergola's Literary-Religious Conversion.”