The University of New England is preparing to participate in an international celebration of Italy’s outstanding contributions to the arts, science and technology.
This week (19 – 25 October) is the ninth annual Settimana della lingua italiana nel mondo (“Week of the Italian Language in the World”).
In widening its scope to include science and technology, the annual celebration of Italian language and culture is recognising, among many other things, the 400th anniversary earlier this year of the first recorded astronomical observation using a telescope – by the great Italian scientist Galileo Galilei.
The full-day UNE event, which will be open to the public, will be on Friday 23 October, beginning at 9.30 am, in Lecture Theatre A2 in the Arts Building. It will include informative talks, presentations of Italian poetry and music, and – after lunch-time refreshments – a screening of the Italian film Nirvana, directed by Gabriele Salvatores.
The Director of the Italian Institute of Culture in Sydney, Dr Alessandra Bertini Malgarini, will travel to Armidale for the event, and will give a short address at the end of the morning’s program of talks. The subjects of those talks will include Galileo, Leonardo da Vinci, the thirteenth-century Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, and the contemporary poet Valerio Magrelli. There will also be a talk titled “Punctuation and printing in Italy 1501-1503: the first use of the apostrophe”.
Brennan Wales, UNE’s Convener of Italian, will present a reading of poetry of the “Sicilian School”, which flourished under the patronage of Frederick II. A student of Italian at UNE, Sam Payne, will give a recital of Italian arias of the Baroque period, and, during lunch-time refreshments, the UNE String Quartet will play Italian music.
A welcome from the Head of UNE’s School of Arts, Professor Jennie Shaw, will begin the day, and the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alan Pettigrew, will give a vote of thanks.
Dr Mario Inglese, a lecturer in Italian at UNE sponsored by the Italian Government, said the Settimana della lingua italiana nel mondo was a project of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the Accademia della Crusca, Italy’s foremost institution for the study and promotion of the Italian language. (The Accademia della Crusca was founded in Florence in 1582.) “This year’s theme encourages us to celebrate the Italian genius for scientific discovery as well as for artistic expression,” Dr Inglese said, “and for uniting scientific and aesthetic principles in a range of technological masterpieces – from Roman aqueducts to modern sports cars.”