Flinders staff to present at Carnevale 2013

Two Flinders staff are presenting at the Association for Research betwen Italy and Australia (ARIA-SA) Fora at the 2013 Italian ‘Carnevale Festival’, at the Adelaide Showgrounds, on 9-10 February 2013.

Professor Marcello Costa, Professor of Neurophysiology will speak at 12.30pm on 9 February on “Science and Art in the Renaissance”. Science and Art have been intertwined throughout history, feeding and inspiring each other. In this special event we look back at one of the most pivotal moments in history and how science and art influenced each other through this period.

At 5.30pm his topic is “How Galileo changed the worlds of Art and Science”. Galileo revolutionised the way we see the Earth’s place in the universe and began a new understanding of astronomy. This change in understanding also inspired and opened up new opportunities for artists. Find out how this remarkable scientist changed the world. 

Cav Professor Des O’Connor, Professor of Italian, will speak 3.00pm on 9 February on “The Making of a Language: where did Italian come from?” Professor O’Connor will show how modern-day Italian had its origins in the spoken Latin of the Roman Empire, and emerged in fourteenth-century Italy as a model for writing works of literature, thanks to the prestige of the great Florentine writers such as Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio. Since Italian remained principally a written language until the Nineteenth Century, and so inaccessible to the vast majority of Italians, who had had no schooling, at the time of Italian Unification (1861) less than ten percent of the population could speak it, whereas the vast majority spoke only a local Italian dialect, which, like Florentine, had originated simply as a speech variety of spoken Latin. Today, for a number of reasons, not the least of which compulsory education and the influence of mass media, virtually all Italians either use solely the national language or are able to alternate with ease between Italian and dialect according to circumstance. Over its long journey since Roman times, as Professor O’Connor will illustrate, the vernacular has felt the influence of other languages, societies and cultures, from, initially, Christianity and the barbarian invasions of the Middle Ages, to French-mania in the Eighteenth Century and Fascist purism in the last century. Today the most conspicuous “invasion” being experienced by Italian is that of American-English, especially evident in the vocabulary of Italian business, politics and technology.

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