Upcoming Events

Lives of the Great Languages: Cosmopolitan Languages in the Medieval Mediterranean

Join the Italian Studies Department for the 2017 Marie G. Ringrose Graduate Lecture.

Before the rise of the European national languages, men and women of letters had to learn a new language in order to become literate. At the other end of the social scale, contact languages emerged to facilitate communication between people who did not share a common language. The Italianate lingua franca was the best known of these contact languages. Professor Mallette studies these linguistic instruments — the cosmopolitan language of literature as well as the lingua franca — in order to defamiliarize the national language system of modern Europe. Tracing the intersections between Arabic, Turkish, Greek, and the Romance vernaculars, she demonstrates how languages overcome the very boundaries that they seem to create.

Generously cosponsored by the Departments of Italian Studies, English, Ethnic Studies, Geography, Spanish and Portuguese, Linguistics, and Near Eastern Studies; the Programs in Medieval Studies and in Romance Languages and Literatures; the Center for Middle Eastern Studies; and the UC Berkeley Institute of European Studies.

The Ringrose Lecture, begun in 1998, features a distinguished scholar in some aspect of Italian Studies chosen by a committee of UCB graduate students, who also organize and run the event. The Ringrose lecturer delivers a public lecture and conducts a seminar for Italian Studies students. The lecture is one of many department activities made possible by the generous contributions of Marie G. Ringrose, a UCB alumna (BA 1930).

Past Ringrose Lecturers are found here.

With questions, please contact issa@berkeley.edu.

A Psychologist’s Exile from Fascism: Renata Calabresi from Italy to New York

This event is presented by the UC Berkeley Department of History. With questions, contact history@berkeley.edu or (510)642-1971.

Fascism and the racial laws of 1938 dramatically changed the scientific research and the academic community. Guarnieri focuses on psychology, from its promising origins to the end of WWII. Psychology was marginalized in Italy both by the neo-idealistic reaction against science, and fascism (unlike Nazism) with long-lasting consequences. Academics and young scholars were persecuted because they were anti-fascist or Jews and the story of Italian displaced scholars is still an embarrassing one. The book follows scholars who emigrated to the United States, such as psychologist Renata Calabresi, and to Palestine, such as Enzo Bonaventura. Guarnieri traces their journey and the help they received from antifascist and Zionist networks and by international organizations. Some succeeded, some did not, and very few went back.

Patrizia Guarnieri is Professor of Cultural and Social History in the S.A.G.A.S. Department at the University of Florence, Italy. She has been a lecturer in Overseas Studies of Stanford University, USA and taught courses approved by the Psychology Department and the History of Science Program. She is the author of numerous publications, including A Case of Child Murder: Law and Science in Nineteenth-Century Tuscany, which has been translated into English.