Language, culture and ideology in the history of Anglo-Italian relations (Gargnano del Garda, Italy, 28-30 September 2009)

full name / name of organization: 
Giovanni Iamartino / University of Milan

The aim of the conference – which is organized by the Dipartimento di Scienze del Linguaggio e Letterature Straniere Comparate of the University of Milan in cooperation with research groups from the Universities of Padova, Pisa, Leicester and Malta – is to gather together academics from as diverse backgrounds as possible (linguistics, literature, cultural studies, history, history of art, film studies, theatre studies etc) in order to study how ideological and cultural differences shaped and shape the relations between Italy and the Anglo-American world.

Contributions are invited for 20-minute presentations (plus discussion). Abstracts should not exceed 300 words in length (references excluded) and should be sent as email attachments to by May 5 at the latest.

A list of possible topics includes the following:

A) Linguistic cross-currents:
- Loanwords as cultural keywords
- Bilingual English-Italian dictionaries and phrase-books: a biassed approach to "the other"?
- Language books for Italian (English) students of English (Italian): grammar, glamour and stereotype
- Learning English (Italian) as a foreign language and a cultural artifact
- Writing in a foreign tongue: Italian writers in English, English writers in Italian

B) Literary cross-currents:
- Portraying Italians and Italy in Anglo-American literature
- Portraying Britons and Americans in Italian literature
- The manipulation of literature: Italian sources of Anglo-American texts (or viceversa)
- Literary reception and ideology
- Diarists and letter writers between Italy and Britain
- Translating and transposing: the fidus interpres (?) between Italy and the Anglo-American world

C) Cultural cross-currents:
- Of school and other matters: teaching and studying abroad, from medieval universities to present-day Erasmus exchanges
- The circulation of ideas between Italy and the British Isles: manuscripts, books, people
- Eye-witnesses: Italian travellers to Britain and US, Anglo-American travellers to Italy
- Working abroad: priests, merchants, soldiers, musicians, bankers, teachers between Italy and the Anglo-American world
- Religion and ideology: taking refuge in another country
- Politics and Anglo-Italian relations
- Manifest and hidden ideology in Italian guide books on Britain and US
- Stereotype and ideology in the British media's view of Italy
- Circumventing censorship: translation and 'foreign' publication as a means of acquiring freedom of expression
- Under foreign eyes: visual arts and cinema between Italy and Britain
- Stereotyped Italy and Italians in Anglo-American advertisements

The conference website (which will provide travel information, lists of hotels in Gargnano, etc) is under construction. Visit the conference venue website at
For any further piece of information, feel free to send Professor Giovanni Iamartino an email.