UWA Italian Studies Lecture Series

General Public, Faculty/Staff, Students, Alumni

Rome City

Celebrating the 90th Anniversary of Italian Studies at UWA

2019 marks the 90th anniversary of the teaching of Italian language and culture at The University of Western Australia.

In 1929, Francesco Vanzetti, an idiosyncratic and popular Venetian, offered the first courses in Italian. This was the first appointment of a lecturer in Italian in any Australian university.

This lecture series, supported by the Institute of Advanced Studies and by Italian Studies in the UWA School of Humanities, celebrates aspects of Italian language and culture, past and present.

Public Lectures - Semester One

14 May

Venice and the Ottomans: a visual artistic journey between the Serenissima and Istanbul
Speaker: Dr Stefano Carboni, Director, Art Gallery of Western Australia

The celebrated Venetian painter Gentile Bellini was sent by the Serenissima Republic to spend two years at the court of Mehmet II the Conqueror in Istanbul in 1479. This important moment in the cultural and artistic relationship between Venice and the Ottomans ushered in an Orientalist phase in Venetian painting and also inspired Turkish artists to portray Ottoman courtly figures in the “European” manner. No other city or European power from the Medieval and Renaissance periods can claim the complex and mutual closeness to the Islamic world that Venice enjoyed for many centuries. Progressively losing control over the Mediterranean waters that were to become the “Ottoman lake” and becoming sidelined by the new profitable transoceanic trade routes, Venice eventually became more closely aligned with the other European powers, losing her unique connection with the southern and eastern Mediterranean countries. The 15th and 16th centuries, therefore, represent a true “moment of vision” in the fecund relationship between two distant cultures.

Venue: Murdoch Lecture Theatre, UWA Arts Building | 6pm-7pm

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18 June

Missing Magnificence: tracing Catherine de Medici’s hidden cultural legacy
Speaker: Professor Susan Broomhall, History, UWA

2019 is also the 500th anniversary of the birth of Catherine de Medici. As queen consort, regent and queen mother, Catherine dominated sixteenth-century French political life. Embracing her Medici heritage, her cultural projects, from palaces and artworks, to ceramics and exotica, were widely reported (and critiqued) in her lifetime. But where can we see it today? This lecture explores Catherine's extensive cultural patronage and its legacy in Europe today, often hiding in plain sight.

Venue: Woolnough Lecture Theatre, UWA Geology Building | 6pm-7pm

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