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Current events can be found at the Languages, Literatures and Cultures website.


Classical Revolutions is pleased to announce the formation of the Renaissance Latin Reading Group. The group will be reading and translating the Parthenopaeus, written by the prodigious and subtle humanist Giovanni Pontano (1429-1503). The Parthenopaeus is a collection of polymetric poems, which show a strong Catullan and Elegiac flare that reconstruct the generic scaffolding built by Roman poets of the Late Republic and Early Empire. The group will not only read and contextualize the text within its historical and literary frames, but also will provide the first English translation of this provocative and exciting work. All are welcome. Please contact Professor Gladhill (charles [dot] gladhill [at] mcgill [dot] ca) or Professor Soranzo (matteo [dot] soranzo [at] mcgill [dot] ca) for further information.






Grad ital lecture

Commedia dell'arte theatrical performance conversation and laguage support October 7, 2009

Council for European Studies 17th International Conference

Call for Papers

The Revenge of the European Model?
Montreal, Canada
April 15-17, 2010

A recent crisis of confidence has unsettled paradigms for economic, social and political governance: political identities, social allegiances, parameters of markets, cultural truisms, and religious truths are all in flux. Europe has long served as a model for the rest of the world - whether as object of admiration, forced exemplar, foil, or cautionary tale - and the present vacuum of certainty presents yet another moment of opportunity for scholars of "the old world." Are European experiments in economic coordination the solution to the excesses of unregulated capitalism -- is this the moment for the revenge of the European model?

For the 2010 conference, the Council for European Studies (CES) welcomes proposals for panels, roundtables, book discussions and individual papers on the study of Europe broadly defined. We encourage proposals in the widest range of disciplines; in particular, we welcome panels that combine disciplines, nationalities, and generations. The Committee will accept only two submissions per person. Members may also participate in a maximum of two sessions.

The Council for European Studies fosters and recognizes outstanding, multidisciplinary research in European studies through a range of programs, including conferences, publications, special events, and awards. The Council´s international conferences bring together scholars from a multitude of countries and a variety of fields for discussion and interdisciplinary exchange.

Proposals may be submitted from August 1 to October 15, 2009 via the URL: Proposals

More information on the conference will be available in upcoming issues of the CES newsletter. You may subscribe to the newsletter here: Newsletter

Participants will be notified of the Committee's decisions by December 1, 2009.


Paul Tana

The Siege of the Present: On the Current Cultural Revolution

Prof Claudio Giunta (Università di Trento),
Thursday March 12, 2009
4:00 p.m.
Birks Building, room 111

Prof Giunta's talk will investigate the relationship between popular and humanistic culture in contemporary Italy from an institutional and intellectual point of view.

Presented under the auspices of The McGill Institute for the Public Life of Art and Ideas, Italian Cultural Institute and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rome.

Italian Studies Speakers Series 2008-09

These lectures have been made possible through the generosity of the Italian Cultural Institute and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rome

What was not there before Dante

Prof Claudio Giunta (Università di Trento),
Tuesday March 10, 2009
2:30 p.m.
Arts Building, room 160

Prof Giunta's talk will investigate the relationship between popular and humanistic culture in contemporary Italy from an institutional and intellectual point of view.

Presented under the auspices of The McGill Institute for the Public Life of Art and Ideas, Italian Cultural Institute and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rome.

The Italian Renaissance and the Classics: Lorenzo Valla's Image of Aristotle

Prof Christopher Celenza (Johns Hopkins University),
Thursday March 26, 2009
4:00 p.m.
Arts Building, room 160

Prof Celenza's presentation, part of the Department's Speakers' Series, introduces the sizable body of Latin literature produced in Italy in the fifteenth century as a lost monument of western philosophical history. During it, he will focus on one important Italian thinker: Lorenzo Valla. This Renaissance humanist has been seen as emblematic of certain of Italian humanism's most important intellectual trends. How innovative was Valla? Did his innovative theory connect practically with early modern Europe's concerns? This talk will suggest answers to those questions by examining Valla's relationship to one of the fountainheads of western thought, Aristotle

Out of the Frame: The Art Beyond Art

Profs Alessandro Dal Lago and Serena Giordano (Università di Genova),
Friday October 10 2008
1:30 p.m.
Arts Building, room 160
Presented with the cooperation of the Department of Anthropology, Université de Montréal, and the assistance of the Italian Cultural Institute.

The Renaissance Idea of Refinement: The Uncensored Versions of Castiglione's 'The Book of the Courtier' (1528)

Prof Olga Pugliese (University of Toronto),
Thursday October 23 2008
2:30 p.m.
Arts Building, room 160

Machiavelli and Machiavellism... an 'Ongoing Affair': Political Realism versus Political Philosophy

Dr Cesare Cuttica (Fondazione Luigi Einaudi, Turin),
Thursday November 13 2008
2:30 p.m.
Arts Building, room 160

Recent Events

L’Italia e gli stranieri

una conversazione con

Prof Alessandro Dal Lago, Prof Salvatore Palidda, Prof Serena Giordano Università di Genova
Venerdì 10 ottobre, 2008
Ore 10 a.m.
688 Sherbrooke St. W, sala 465

Superamento della modernità nella situazione letteraria attuale

The Department of Italian Studies and Department of Classics, Modern Languages and Linguistics, Concordia University present Prof Francesco Muzzioli (Università di Roma La Sapienza),
Monday, September 29, 2008
10:30 a.m.
688 Sherbrooke St West, room 1025


The Project on European Cinemas, with the collaboration of the Departments of German Studies, English, Italian Studies, the Faculty of Arts, the Goethe Institute in Montreal, as well as the Cinémathèque québécoise, presents an international conference to be held at McGill University, September 17-20, 2008.


Italian Studies Speakers Series 2007-08

The Department's extremely successful and exciting Speakers Series continued this year with the following lectures:

The Long Fracture: Cultural and Political Movements in Italy in the Seventies and the New Writers of the Eighties

Enrico Palandri (University College London, Department of Italian),
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
5:30-7:00 p.m.
Room 1041, 688 Sherbrooke St W

Wu Ming, Italy and the Latest Wave of Historical Novels: or How and Why the Wu Ming Group of Writers Set Out to Disrupt Italian (nay, European) Literature and Popular Culture

Wu Ming 1 (Wu Ming Foundation, Bologna),
Thursday, March 27, 2008
5:30-7:00 p.m.
Room 1041, 688 Sherbrooke St W

Dante in the 'Comedy'

Lino Pertile (Harvard University),
Thursday 15 November 2007.
5:00-7:00 p.m.
Arts Building, room 260

Professor Pertile is currently Harvard College Professor, Carl A. Pescosolido Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, and Master of Eliot House, Harvard University. He has published essays on the French and Italian Renaissance, in particular on Montaigne and French travelers to Italy. His research has focused on the Latin and Italian Middle Ages (Dante), the Renaissance (Bembo and Trifon Gabriele), and 20th century Italian literature (Pavese and the contemporary novel).

This lecture is made possible by the generosity of the Istituto Italiano di Cultura of Montreal.

Catholic Cultures and Italian Politics

Alberto Melloni (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia)
Thursday 18 October 2007.
5:00-7:00 p.m.
Thomson House
3650 McTavish St, room 404

Cinema: Modernity in Question (Again)

The Department of Italian Studies, the Italian Cultural Institute and the Centre de recherche sur l'intermédialité are pleased to present the first lecture in this year's Speakers Series by Professor Francesco Casetti

"This presentation will explore the close relationship between film and 20th century Modernity. Is it true that film, in dialogue with its time, has experimented more than any other art with the new forms of vision that subsequently became common patrimony? If so, what forms of vision did it privilege? And on what basis did it elaborate these forms? How did film make them part of the everyday experience? We will focus on the idea of film as the Eye of the 20th century, a concept which arises from the fact that film recorded a large part of the events and dreams of the age, and, by doing so, defined the manner in which they were to be received."


Francesco Casetti is one of the best-known film theorists in the world. He is professor of film studies at the Università Cattolica of Milan, where he also chairs the Department of Media and Performing Arts. He is member of the Editorial Board of «Comunicazioni Sociali» (Università Cattolica of Milan), «Iris» (Université de Paris III - la Sorbonne Nouvelle and University of Iowa), «Cinema&Cie» (Università di Udine- Université del Paris III) and other reviews. He is General Editor of the series "Spettacolo e comunicazione" for the publishing house Bompiani, Milan. In addition to his activities with many professional associations, Professor Casetti is a member of several prominent research centers, among them CISF (International Center of Family Studies, Milan), Institute "Gemelli- Musatti" (Milan) and of "Centro Sperimentale di cinematografia" (Rome).

Tuesday, September 18, 2007
5:00-7:00 p.m.
688 Sherbrooke St West, room 1041

Italian Studies Speakers Series

The Art of Executing Well: Execution Rituals in Renaissance Italy

Nicholas Terpstra, University of Toronto,
and Sheila Das, Vanier College
Date: Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Time: 16:30
Place: room 1025, 688 Sherbrooke St. West

"United in diversity": Italian Constitutional Traditions and European Values in the Protection of Fundamental Rights

Marta Cartabia, Università di Milano - Bicocca,
Date: Thursday, March 29, 2007
Time: 16:30
Place: 3650 McTavish Avenue (Thompson House)

Moving Cultures: Language & Technological Mediated Interactions among Canadian and Italian Teenagers

André Caron, Université de Montréal and Letizia Caronìa, Università di Bologna
Date: Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Time: 16:30
Place: room 1041, 688 Sherbrooke St. West

Enudatum. Estienne vs Vesalius and Leonardo vs Michelangelo: Contrasting Concepts of the Nude in 16th-century Anatomy

Domenico Laurenza, Università di Firenze
McDonald-Currie Lecture, sponsored by the Faculty of Arts.

Dr. Laurenza first trained as a medical doctor, then obtained a PhD in Historical Sciences with a dissertation supervised by a world renowned Leonardo scholar, Carlo Pedretti. His research work, with its interdisciplinary scope, has centered on the visual representations of the body and increasingly on the iconographic aspects of scientific thought in the European Renaissance. He has a special ability and interest in linking the drawings he studies to philosophical debates of their time, which contributes to both the depth and breadth of his work. Professor Laurenza is currently an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Arts in New York City.

Date: Thursday, February 15, 2007
Time: 18:00
Place: Leacock Building, room 232

La nozione di armonia tra arte e scienza: Leonardo e il Rinascimento

Domenico Laurenza, Università di Firenze (this year's MacDonald-Currie lecturer)
Mercoledì 14 febbraio 2007
ore 16.30
688 Sherbrooke St W, aula 495

Annibale Carracci, Portraiture, and the Matter of Blindness

Bronwen Wilson, University of British Columbia
Date: Thursday, February 8, 2007
Time: 16:30
Place: room 1025, 688 Sherbrooke St. West
Please consult this document for Brief Biography and Abstract [.doc].

Reflections on the "Italian Difference"

Gianni Vattimo, Università di Torino
Date: Monday, January 29, 2007
Time: 16:30
Place: 3650 McTavish Avenue (Thompson House)


The Commedia - Student Production

The Department of Italian Studies is proud to present: NON C’È DUE SENZA TRE, a play written and performed by the students of the course ITAL330 La Commedia dell’Arte and directed by Talya Rubin
Time: Wednesday, November 22, 2006, 8:00 p.m.
Place: Leacock Room 132
Everyone is welcome! Admission is free


Transforming the Game into a Living Thing: Beyond the Culture of Interpretation

Italian Studies Lecture Series inaugural event.
Prof Francesco Erspamer, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University, will deliver a talk on Wednesday, November 22, 4:30 p.m.
Room 1025, 688 Sherbrooke St. W.
All welcome

Che cos' è la cultura?

(to be given in Italian)

Prof Francesco Erspamer, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University

Mercoledì, 15 novembre, 1:00 p.m. Sala 465, 688 Sherbrooke St. W.
Tutti sono benvenuti


Giornata Italo Calvino


The department presented a conference on Italo Calvino on Friday, October 14, 2005. Admission is free and all are welcome.

Please see first page [.pdf]and second page [.pdf] of the conference program.


Dante in America

This Symposium explored the diverse and far-reaching ways in which Dante’s work has been treated by American intellectual and popular culture. In addition to McGill faculty from the departments of English, Islamic Studies, as well as our own department (please see attached program for Dante in America [.pdf] ), a distinguished scholar from the University of Toronto, Amilcare Iannucci, Director of the Humanities Centre and Professor of Comparative Literature and Dr. Giovanni Pillonca from the Istituto Italiana di Cultura took part.

McGill University, Friday, April 1st, 2005, 2:00 p.m.
McLennan Library Building, Ground Floor,
School of Library Science, MS-24
3459 McTavish Street (corner of Sherbrooke, one block east of Peel)

Televisione e cambiamenti del rapporto fra società e cultura in Italia

Prof. Franco Monteleone: Storia e critica della radio e televisione Università di Roma III

Giovedì 17 marzo, ore 11.30

Poetry as Sculpture: Michelangelo’s Poetics of the Real

The department presents Dr. Nicola Gardini, University of Feltre
on Thursday, March 10, 13:05, in Room 150, Arts Building

While advocating a Platonic perspective, Michelangelo’s poetry resulted in a powerful disclaimer of all ideals and, like his sculpture, in a largely incomplete opus. However, Michelangelo’s famous “non finito” is less the outcome of an artistic defeat than the expression of a ground-breaking aesthetic discovery: the superiority of the body over the Form. A new poetic tradition was born, whose modern representatives rank among such poets as Verlaine and Rilke.

Pace guerra, soggetto donna

Il Dipartimento di italiano della McGill University, il Centro donne italiane e l’Istituto italiano di cultura sono lieti di annunciare la conferenza di: Lidia Menapace
Lidia Menapace, femminista e pacifista italiana, discuterà dei seguenti temi: la Carta mondiale delle Donne per l'umanità; il concetto di pace esaminato dal punto di vista giuridico, storico e politico; la necessità di costruire un altro percorso e altre forme di presenza internazionale del Movimento delle Donne; aspetti politici giuridici e culturali derivanti dalla presenza delle Donne sulla scena mondiale.
Lunedì 14 marzo, ore 15.00
McGill University
688 Sherbrooke Ouest
Room 1041 ( 10th floor)
Per informazioni: (514) 849-3473

Nicola Gardini is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Feltre, Italy, and Visiting Professor of Italian Literature at Columbia University and at New York University in Florence. He is coeditor of the literary monthly “Poesia” (Milan, Italy) and editor of the online magazine “Il Calzerotto marrone.” He has published five books of literary criticism, as well as numerous articles on ancient and modern poetry, and translations of Latin, Greek, English and French authors. He has published four collections of verse and a novel, Così ti ricordi di me. His new novel is due to be published by the end of this year.

Commmedia dell'Arte

Approximately 200 people attended the performance at which the following photographs were taken. The students of the department's course ITAL330 - Commedia dell'Arte worked many hours with their director, Talya Rubin, and with the assistance of their instructor, Jen Wienstein, and editor Sabine Minsky, writing, designing, making costumes and sets, rehearsing and then performing a play in the tradition of the Commedia dell'Arte.

Arlecchino Capitano Spavento Pantalone e figlia Quattro Pulcinella - designed and performed by students of the course Commedia dell'Arte in fall 2004 Commedia rehearsal


Florence on the Eve of the Renaissance

The department welcomed speakers from Europe and North America October 22-23, 2004, to discuss "Florence on the eve of the Renaissance." The conference explored the conditions, reflected in the art, literature and morals of the time, particularly among the merchant class, that provided the ground for the vast movement that became known as the Renaissance.

Please consult the conference program Programma [.doc] for more information.