The Department of French and Italian

Italian Placement Testing on 08/28 in HRH 2.106B @ 1:30 pm

Italy @ 150: "Bridges of God and Bridges of the Devil: From Pontiffs to Walled-Up Wives," Prof. Thomas J. Harrison (UCLA)

Wed, April 27, 2011 | HRH 2.118 French and Italian Lounge

4:00 PM

Italy @ 150:

A Talk by Thomas J. Harrison, Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature, University of California Los Angeles

The Pope is also known as the pontiff, or pontifex maximus—the master builder of bridges—and forging connections may in fact be the primary function of religions tout court.  Still, few ancient bridges could be built without the help of the devil, and even John Milton calls the link between hell and the earth "pontifical."  One of the more recent of these semantic transformations can be located in the "cultural war crimes" of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, where bridges once linking diverse ethnic communities were aggressively targeted by hostile forces.

Professor Thomas Harrison, whose previous book studied European expressionism in transnational context, will here examine the rich symbolism of the bridge in its conflicting manifestations from Virgil and Dante to theories of metaphor and the bridge brothers of the Middle Ages, to the novels of the Nobel Laureate Ivo Andric and Ismail Kadaré.

Professor Harrison has published major works that include 1910: Emancipation of Dissonance, Essayism: Conrad, Musil, and Pirandello, edited volumes including Nietzsche in Italy, and The Favorite Malice: Ontology and Reference in Contemporary Italian Poetry, and written many essays on topics from Italian cinema to European literature and philosophy.



Part of Italy @ 150: A series of events in celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Unification of Italy

Sponsored by: Department of French and Italian, Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies, Department of English, Center for European Studies, and Program in Comparative Literature

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Tavola Italiana

Informal Italian conversation practice Fridays 3-4pm at the Texas Union's Cactus Café. Open to all students of Italian. Contact Antonella Olson for more information.

Le Cercle français

Informal French conversation practice Fridays in the Texas Union's Cactus Café from 3-4pm. Open to all students of French. Contact Nancy Guilloteau for more information.


Italian Placement Testing 

Professor Antonella will be administering placement exams on Monday, August 28th in HRH 2.106B at 1:30 pm. If you are seeking to take an Italian Language Placement Test, please attend this session. Due to time constraints makeups are not guranteed.

Cineforum Italiano

Hosting Italian films with English subtitles every Thursdays at 8:00 pm in Mezes B0.306. 

  • Department of French and Italian

    University of Texas at Austin
    201 W 21st Street STOP B7600
    HRH 2.114A
    Austin, TX 78712-1800