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12. Enemies into Friends: Naples’ Liberation in the News. 

Presenter: Paola Gambarota, Rutgers University 


Naples was the first European city to fall in the hands of the Allies on October 1, 1943, after their armistice with Italy (September 8, 1943). The inconsistent terms of the armistice (conditional/ unconditional surrender), discussions of Italy’s status as co-belligerent, and highly problematic military guidelines concerning the relations with local people complicated the encounter between the Neapolitan population and a markedly diverse Allied contingent. 

In my talk I compare the representations of Liberation Day in Naples in the American, British, and Italian media of the time in order to understand how their accounts contributed to the ways in which this historical event has been memorialized. 

Indeed, the Allies’ arrival in Naples on October 1, 1943 has been remembered in many different ways, but its public memory soon consolidated in a monochromatic story about cheering crowds applauding the foreign liberators. Based on newsreels shot by the Allies and on newspaper headlines, this story turned into a genre piece in the hands of special war correspondents such as John Steinbeck and Herbert Matthews, who witnessed Naples’ liberation, and since then, has been often retold, especially in public media. Yet this successful narrative flattened an intensely charged picture, made of mismatched accounts, and has ultimately obscured the challenges and conflicting sentiments that filled that day. 

Parallel to this transnational narrative runs the local historical account of the Quattro giornate, the Neapolitan uprising that preceded the Allies’ arrival and forced the Germans to withdraw and the Fascists to escape or go underground, thus sparing the Allies urban house to house combat. This is a story of self-liberation, annually commemorated in the city but somewhat ossified in an epos of street kids’ fights and general popular solidarity (neglecting the Neapolitan fascists shooting at their own fellow citizens). 

By revisiting the sources of these two parallel narratives of liberation (foreign and autochthonous) we come to experience the ways in which hostile feelings were channeled or repressed and more importantly we can explore the origin of a double narrative that became the matrix for later accounts of the liberation of all main European cities (Rome, Milan, Paris) from the Nazi yoke.

11. The Spanish Transfer Process in the Learning of Italian as a Third Language 

Presenter: Cristina Carnemolla (,University of Oregon 


The learning of Italian as a foreign language within a university program in the United States presents a peculiar range of difficulties, such as late exposure, the complexity of tackling the demand of gender, how to ensure the agreement of words, and the different usage of prepositions (to name but a few). These difficulties assume a more intricate aspect when considering a specific group of students of Italian whose mother tongue is English and who have already learnt Spanish in their previous studies. This particular group of learners has rarely been taken into consideration in language learning literature and presents a set of diverse learning challenges, such as a major transfer from their second language, i.e. Spanish, into the learning of their third language, i.e. Italian.  

This study is based on data collected at the University of Oregon. From the analysis of the exams completed by second year students of Italian, a stronger transfer emerges from Spanish rather than from English, their native language. 

The thesis proposed in this study endeavors to exhibit the most frequent errors of transfer made by this group of learners in the morphology (gender of the nouns and of its article and plural forms, incorrect usage of adverbs - bene/male -, usage of the relative pronoun “chi” instead of “che”, auxiliary verbs - essere/avere- and prepositions) and in the lexical area (incorrect spelling of the words)1.  

Moreover, it will be discussed that this transfer happens for different reasons; on the one hand, the similarities in morphology, phonology and vocabulary that make the students feel more confident in the learning of Italian (affective factors)2. On the other hand, the learning of Italian if Spanish is not mastered and systematized could be more difficult and lead to a hypergeneralization between the second and the third language. These difficulties will be disseminated at length in the proposed thesis. 

10. Neapolitan Proverbs in Pompeo Sarnelli’s Posilecheata 

Presenter: Daniela D’Eugenio ( , CUNY Graduate Center 

Fifty years after the posthumous publication of Giambattista Basile’s Lo cunto de li cunti, overo lo trattienimento de’ peccerille (1634-1636), Pompeo Sarnelli, under the pseudonym of Masillo Reppone de Gnanopoli, published a collection of fables in the Neapolitan dialect entitled Posilecheata. His collection included five fables, along with a prefatory letter to “li vertoluse lejeture”, an introduction or “commito d’ammice fatto a Posileco” and a “scompetura” to the collection. 

This paper highlights the specific literary and linguistic features of the proverbs and proverbial expressions that Sarnelli employs as recurrent elements throughout his work and as a means of interpreting, commenting, and offering a comic or ironic view on reality, language, and society. In the treatise-like ambience of the prefatory letter, the popular dimension of the introduction, and the fairy-tale atmosphere of the five fables, proverbs convey linguistic irony, set a realistic and popular tone in Neapolitan language as opposed to Tuscan, become comic elements to advance the narration, and resonate the hyperbolic Baroque spirit at the time. 

One of the comic situations concerns the appraisal of the Neapolitan language over Tuscan in the prefatory letter. Another comic moment—that of the banquet amongst friends—depicts the diastratic dimension of the Neapolitan region. The final comedic space is provided in the fables and is achieved by means of humorous modifications in the traditional structure of a proverb. In these sections, Sarnelli allows himself room for a Neapolitan explosion to the greatest degree, satisfying the Baroque idea of fascination “suitable for the plurilingual early-seventeenth century courts for which it [Posilecheata] was intended” (Haller, The Other Italy, 1999, p. 253).

9. “A Promethian Pedagogy: Authority vs. Independent Thinking in Tommaso Campanella's Syntagma

Presenter: Sherry Roush ( Penn State University

Tommaso Campanella's slim volume, De libris propriis et recta ratione studendi syntagma (1642), has been variously read as an autobiographical sketch, an assessment of other writers, and as a bid to be recognized as a philosopher ("riconosciuto come filosofo," as Armando Brissoni states in the presentational prose on the inside front cover of his 1996 edition of the work published by Rubbettino). In my proposed paper, I argue that this work is also and perhaps first and foremost a manifesto for intellectual education. I emphasize Campanella’s focus on the optimal order of the study of the ancients and moderns, his prerequisites and the "best practices" of good scholarship, and especially his insistence on the need to study one's object of inquiry from every conceivable angle, testing one's sources for reliability. However, Campanella’s curriculum, which rests to some extent on his authority, earned through auto didacticism and the production of more than a hundred books in a wide range of disciplines, represents – perhaps quite inadvertently – an inherent tension between the exactitude of his learning program and the fundamental injunction in it to question everything.

This analysis is part of my next monograph, which shall explore Campanella's unique place in Italian early modern poetic, rhetorical, and metacritical studies. It follows on my previous research pertaining to Campanella's approach to autocommento in Hermes’ Lyre: Poetic Self-Commentary from Dante to Tommaso Campanella (The University of Toronto Press, 2002) and my edited, translated, and annotated volumes of his Selected Philosophical Poems, published by The University of Chicago Press and Fabrizio Serra Editore (both in 2011).

8. Donne che restano: mogli e madri di emigranti nelle opere di alcuni autori calabresi

Gisella Murgia (, Università per Stranieri Dante Alighieri

La relazione intende analizzare, prendendo spunto dalle opere di alcuni autori calabresi, un particolare aspetto del fenomeno migratorio, quello che ha coinvolto le donne dei migranti, le madri ma, più spesso, le mogli. Una prospettiva, dunque, diversa dalle solite che concentrano per lo più la loro attenzione sugli uomini che partono, per i quali, come dice Vito Teti, antropologo calabrese, la storia ha assegnato un’unica alternativa: o essere briganti o essere migranti. Donne che restano, dunque, che attendono il ritorno, protagoniste di quella “spettanza” che è stata per decenni il leitmotiv, della loro vita di mogli e di madri.

Da calcoli effettuati sulla base dei passaporti rilasciati dalle prefetture, furono circa 900.000 i calabresi che tra il 1876 e il 1915 lasciarono la loro terra in cerca di fortuna. A partire furono intere famiglie, ma più spesso solo gli uomini. Nel primo periodo (Ottocento- Primo Novecento) gli uomini che emigrarono rappresentavano l'85% e le donne solo il 15% del totale. Nel secondo periodo (destinazione europea) si passò al 65 % di uomini e al 35 % di donne.

Quasi tutti gli emigranti mutarono il loro status economico, ma l’afflusso di denaro, oltre a creare nuovi ricchi, causò, tra le altre cose, anche il sorgere di un vero e proprio dramma sociale, quello delle vedove bianche. La donna che restava era “obbligata alla fedeltà e alla preservazione dell’onore“. In caso contrario l’intera civiltà patriarcale ne era sconvolta, reagiva con azioni infuocate. “Ecco che l’America portava i suoi frutti! Egli ne aveva avuto il presentimento. Due figlie, quelle che egli chiamava le bandiere della sua casa, erano perdute” (F. Perri Gli emigranti).

7. Dolore e nostalgia, partenze e ritorni. Storie di emigrazione in “La felicità dell’attesa” di Carmine Abate

Maria Rita Liuni (, Università per Stranieri “Dante Alighieri”

Esiste una vasta produzione artistica e letteraria legata al fenomeno migratorio che negli anni si è andata sviluppando. Il presente contributo intende analizzare alcuni aspetti dell’opera di uno dei rappresentanti di questa corrente letteraria, Carmine Abate, a partire dal suo ultimo e meraviglioso romanzo “La felicità dell’attesa”. Lo scrittore di origine arbëresh, Premio Campiello 2012 con “La collina del vento”, tra fantasia e realtà, prova a riscoprire, ancora una volta, l’importanza e il senso dell’identità culturale e della ricerca di se stesso, dal momento che la memoria, a suo dire, “è l’unica che si sottomette alle dimenticanze del tempo ed ai cambiamenti delle società”. La scrittura di Abate affonda le sue radici nell’esperienza personale in quanto, fin da bambino, lo scrittore ha vissuto il dispiacere per la separazione dal padre, costretto, come tanti, ad emigrare. E così racconta il suo dolore:

«Quando avevo quattro anni, mio padre partì per la Francia con un contratto di lavoro da minatore, rientrò dopo un anno per ripartire alla volta della Germania, dove è rimasto venticinque anni. Chissà quante volte l’ho visto salire sul treno, mentre i miei familiari ripetevano come una cantilena che lui doveva partire, era costretto a farlo, lui non voleva ma doveva. Penso subito a questi dolorosi distacchi, quando mi si chiede perché ho cominciato a scrivere e perché scrivo soprattutto sul tema dell’emigrazione. Ho cominciato a scrivere perché ho sentito l’esigenza di denunciare l’ingiustizia della costrizione ad emigrare» (Carmine Abate, Sul vizio di scrivere e sulla materia del mio narrare in AA.VV., Gli spazi della diversità, Bulzoni, Roma, 1995, p. 665).

Con le sue storie di emigrazione Abate racconta la stanchezza, il dolore, la nostalgia verso le radici, le partenze e i ritorni, l’amore e la sofferenza, con un linguaggio che affascina ed emoziona. Un romanzo ricco di luoghi, personaggi e odori che coinvolgono il lettore e pagina dopo pagina lo appassionano, trasportandolo da Carfizzi, nel romanzo Hora, all’America, all’ Australia e all’Europa attraverso un secolo di storia, dal 1903 al 2015, aprendosi alla speranza, al futuro.

6. Diari di viaggio: La Calabria vista con gli occhi di viaggiatori stranieri e italiani dal XVIII al XXI secolo. Angolazioni diverse ma pur sempre un comune denominatore.

Anna Maria Barreca (, Università per Stranieri Dante Alighieri

La Calabria ha sempre suscitato l’interesse di viaggiatori stranieri e studiosi italiani già dal XVI secolo.

Ma è dal 1700 in poi che i vari viaggiatori, che per motivi diversi la visitano, lasciano nei loro diari ricche testimonianze della propria permanenza e delle proprie riflessioni : “Viaggiare in Calabria significa compiere un gran numero di andirivieni, . . . con passaggi bruschi, nel paesaggio, nel clima, nella composizione etnica degli abitanti… talvolta non sembra d’esser nel Mezzogiorno, ma in Svizzera, nell’Alto Adige, nei paesi scandinavi. Da questo nord immaginario si salta a foreste d’olivi, lungo coste del classico tipo mediterraneo. Vi si incuneano canyons che ricordano gli Stati Uniti, tratti di deserto africano ed angoli in cui gli edifici conservano qualche ricordo di Bisanzio.”

[ G. Piovene, Viaggio in Italia, 1957]

Il presente lavoro si propone, in modo semplice e sintetico, di mettere a confronto le descrizioni dei viaggiatori che visitarono la Calabria prima dell’Unità d’Italia con quelli che la visitarono successivamente, facendo un breve excursus tra il 1700 e il 2000 e mettendo in evidenza come tutti gli scritti, che saranno presi in analisi, seppur con obiettivi diversi, hanno un unico comune denominatore: La meravigliata contemplazione di una natura straordinaria e selvaggia, dove poter ritrovare se stessi.

La relazione, costituita da due parti, fa una disamina dei viaggiatori che descrivono la Calabria prima dell’Unità d’Italia come Galanti, Tenore e Lear , e quelli che la visitano dopo la caduta del Regno Borbonico:Gissing, Douglas, Alberti, Piovene (per il 1900); Giannì e Muratova ( per i nostri giorni).

5. Vittorio Pica and Humour 

Dr. Jeannine Debattista (, St. Martin’s College, Malta. 


Born in Naples in 1862, Vittorio Pica is one of the first literary critics in Italy to cast light on and develop an insight into the intricate nature of comparative studies. Pica’s essays on the vast array of European writers of the day are published in All’avanguardia (1890) and Letteratura d’eccezione (1898). An avid defender of a letteratura d'arte, Pica was convinced that in the city of Naples conditions were ripe for an intellectual revolution that would define him as a critico d’eccezione, a term affectionately coined by his contemporary Felice Cameroni. This paper will explore Pica’s contribution to literary criticism and comparative literature by analysing his theories on humour with particular reference to his definition of umorismo as a superior form of comedy that stems from parody, satire and a pungent self-reflexive irony. There are only a few pages in which Pica illustrates his views on humour. Yet these pages are illuminating not only for their profundity but also for their striking incisiveness. More specifically, Pica’s contribution to a definition on humour will enable me to expand upon the critic’s comparatist approach towards François Rabelais, Michel de Montaigne, Laurence Swift, Laurence Sterne and Carlo Dossi. Particularly noteworthy is Pica’s acumen in his analysis of Dossi’s humour which, in many respects seems to foreshadow Pirandello’s essay on umorismo. Through Pica’s discussion of the aforementioned authors, I will strive to analyse Pica’s own views on the multifaceted nature of humour.

4. Italian Language at the Secondary Level in the Greater Toronto Area 

Biagio Aulino (, University of Toronto, Mississauga Campus 

This paper examines the importance of preserving and promoting the teaching of the Italian language at the secondary level for future language learners. The paper will discuss: Who is studying Italian and why ?What is the profile of the Italian learner? The motivation of students decision to study or not study the Italian language is applied to the learning of a second language which was proposed by Jan Amos Komensky, known as “Comenius”.  He proposed four main reasons: political, cultural, practical and educational. At the same time  the research of Csizér and Dorynei discusses five additional factors related to motivation in second language learning: attitude toward the L2 speakers/community; cultural interests; vitality of the L2 community; milieu and linguistic self-confidence. The paper also examines enrollment trends and reports increases and decline rates in enrollment in both the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and the province of Ontario. The paper addresses vital strategies and recommendations on how to attract and retain students in the Italian program at the secondary level in the GTA and internationally.  The main reasons why students study the language of Dante will be highlighted. The study will conclude with successes and failures  with the teaching of Italian courses at the secondary level which can provide useful factors promoting Italian studies  at both the provincial, national  and international level. 

Key words: Italian, second language learning, enrollment in language courses, motivation to study Italian language 

3. “Eugenio Montale and the modern paradigm of the Eurydice”

Adele Bardazzi (, Christ Church, University of Oxford

Persephonean archetype. The case of Mosca, the regal wife of the Montalean

poetic (under)world.This paper focuses on Eugenio Montale’s re-writing and reinterpretation of two myths which exerted a great influence in Western culture and lyric poetry in particular. I am referring to the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, the ‘moritura puella’ (Virgil,Georgics, IV, 458), and the myth of Persephone, the soon-

to-be ‘dreadful’ queen of the underworld. By looking at Montale’s ‘vere pupille’ in his

canzoniere in morte(Xenia II.5, 11, p. 309), I will demonstrate that Montale’s female

tu, as is traditional in lyric discourse, becomes the pre-textfor

the development and articulation of the male poet-creator’s text (and self).

1In short, the female poetic beloved is condemned to dissolve into nothingness and thus continues and preserves that long-standing tradition that ‘vuole nella donna amata una donna morta’.

2. In her transiting towards some other places the female tu loses her self and becomes the custodian of this ‘beyond’ in which she is now confined. Mosca thus presents herself as propitiatory figure towards a ‘beyond’ with which the male poet-creator yearns to enter in order to dialogue with it, where, paradoxically, her‘femminile esistenza [...] non ha alcun luogo di significazione’.

3. Here lies her Eurydice-Persephonean nature.

2. “Napoli al cinema è fatta a scale: c’è chi scende e c’è chi sale”

Raffaella de Antonellis (, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Scale, rampe, gradini, salite, calate sono i percorsi pedonali che uniscono il centro storico e il lungomare di Napoli con le zone collinari della città. Camminamenti storici che caratterizzano il tessuto urbano partenopeo distinguendolo da quello di quasi tutte le grandi città italiane. E su queste irte strade il cinema ha da sempre girato delle scene

determinanti nella narrativa di molti film. Questo intervento vuole osservare il peso che questo spazio cinematografico riveste nel cinema italiano del Duemila attraverso l’analisi di quattro film: Denti di Gabriele Salvatores (2000),

Incantesimo napoletano di Paolo Genovese e Luca Miniero, La Kryptonite nella borsa di Ivan Cotroneo (2011) e Song’e Napule di Antonio e Marco Manetti (2014).

Luogo di incontri, di giochi, di inseguimenti le scale napoletane del cinema contemporaneo sono spesso citazioni cinematografiche di classici del passato di Vittorio De Sica, Dino Risi, Liliana Cavani e Nanni Loy. Ripercorrere gli stessi passi di certe opere amplifica la valenza simbolica di queste vie che integrano

perfettamente il vissuto dei personaggi al tessuto urbano.

1. “Italian Language at the Secondary Level in the Greater Toronto Area,”

Biagio Aulino (, University of Toronto, Mississauga Campus

This paper examines the importance of preserving and promoting the teaching of the Italian language at the secondary level for future language learners. The paper will discuss who is studying Italian and why. The paper also examines enrollment trends and reports increases and decline rates in enrollment. The paper addresses vital strategies ranging from cultural exchanges, partnerships, summer courses in Italy, language contests, issuing of certificates to theatrical performances and plays that can attract and retain students in the Italian program at the secondary level.

1 P.BIANCHI, P.MATURI, Dialetto e italiano negli usi linguistici dei parlati di Napoli e della Campania in N. DE BLASI, C. MARCATO (a cura di), Lo spazio del dialetto in città, Liguori, Napoli, 2006.

2 G. DALLA ZUANNA, P. FARINA, S. STROZZA, Nuovi Italiani: i giovani immigrati cambieranno il nostro paese?, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2009.

3 M. VEDOVELLI, La percezione della standardizzazione nell’apprendimento naturale dell’italiano L2, in E. BANFI, P. CORDIN (a cura di), Storia dell’italiano e forme dell’italianizzazione (Atti del XXIII Congresso internazionale di Studi della SLI), Bulzoni, Roma, 1990, pp. 141-156.
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