Reading Researchers: Celebrating Pasolini’s Life and Work

On the 40th anniversary of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s death, the Italian Cultural Institute in London hosts a symposium to commemorate him and his work: L’interruzione del senso è più totale del senso stesso” – Language, sign and meaning in the work of Pier Paolo Pasolini

Pier Paolo Pasolini (5 March 1922 – 2 November 1975)

Pier Paolo Pasolini (5 March 1922 – 2 November 1975)

The event is organised and chaired by the University of Reading’s own Dr Federico Faloppa as part of the “Italian Language Week in the World.” It will focus on Pasolini’s language and reflections on language, covering in a very accessible way topics which are extremely relevant in the foundation of Pasolini’s artistic work, but which are sometimes neglected when discussing his intellectual legacy.

The literary promotion of a language and the cultural status of its speaking community are a constant concern in Pasolini’s work, since his first collection of poems “Poesie a Casarsa” (1942). Rosa Mucignat (King’s College) will shed a light on Pasolini and Friulian poetry, politics, and the people, by exploring Pasolini’s use of the Friulian language not only as poetic tool, but also in terms of political awareness, identity and belonging.

Dr Federico Faloppa of the University of Reading

Dr Federico Faloppa of the University of Reading

By reflecting upon “L’interruzione del senso è […] più totale del senso stesso”. Strategie di eccesso, indicalità e conoscenza sensoriale nei film di Pasolini, Donatella Maraschin (London South Bank University) will question Pasolini’s idea of cinema as a written language of reality, which by a sensorial approach to signs enables viewers to see things from the point of view of truth.
Language as translation of signs, and the translation of Pasolini’s poetry will be addressed by poet and translator Cristina Viti, who will introduce the audience to some peculiarities in Pasolini’s poetical work, between tradition and innovation.

Federico Faloppa will challenge Pasolini’s “folle fiducia nella lingua” (Walter Siti), by focusing in particular on Pasolini’s reflections around the “Nuova questione della lingua” and the poet’s disillusionment from the late Sixties onwards.

Federico Faloppa is Assistant Professor in Italian Studies at the University of Reading, where he teaches modules on the history of the Italian language, discourse analysis, and Italian intellectuals in the 20th century, with a particular focus on Pier Paolo Pasolini. His main research interest is the representation of otherness in language.

Donatella Maraschin is Senior Lecturer at London South Bank University, where she is the director of the BA in Multimedia Journalism. She has extensively published on the intersections between mainstream cinema, including Pasolini’s, and the practice and concerns of Visual Anthropology.

Rosa Mucignat is Senior Lecturer in Comparative Literature at King’s College London. She teaches and researches on 18th and 19th century European novel, travel writing, forms of shorter narrative, and she has published on Pasolini’s works in Friulian.

Cristina Viti is a translator and poet whose published work includes translations of Guillaume Apollinaire, Dino Campana, Elsa Morante, Erri De Luca and Amelia Rosselli.

For more news about all the world-class research we do in the Department of Modern Languages and European Studies at the University of Reading, as well as updates about our students, staff, and alumni, follow this blog, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our Twitter feed.

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Student Life: German Academic Exchange

Every year, the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst/German Academic Exchange Service) offers scholarships for summer courses at universities in Germany (Hochschulsommerkurse). The courses focus on topics in German language and literature as well as various other subject areas.

Chris Flach, Second year student, Law with Legal Studies in Europe (LLB) and German, was awarded one of the scholarships and was invited to study in Passau in July 2015. We asked him to tell us about his time in Germany and about what he would tell others wishing to apply for the DAAD Scholarship. Here’s what he has to say:

Passau, Germany

Passau, Germany

This August I was granted the opportunity to study German for Lawyers for a month in the University of Passau through the DAAD scholarship scheme. I have to be honest, before going I was a little terrified. The thought of studying in a foreign country and having to adapt to a new environment very quickly was particularly daunting.

The trip was not without its hitches, with one of my trains getting cancelled and being rerouted through another city. But that’s another story. Once I arrived in Passau I was greeted by a friendly student who helped me to register and find my accommodation. Once settled in I had an extra day to try and get my bearings and to have a look around the new town I found myself in. It must be said that I had been very lucky with landing a course in Passau.

For those who don’t know, Passau is a town in the south east corner or Germany right on the border with Austria and is well known for being the Three River Town. It is an incredibly beautiful town and has much to offer visitors like myself. But I digress.

Deutsch f++r JuristenMy course was made up of around 18 students but there were other courses running alongside which focused more on language proficiency. Altogether there were around 120 students representing 33 different nations and their only common language was German. This was an incredible way of meeting and making friends with people from different cultures and only being able to communicate using our mutual love for German.

Throughout my course I was constantly challenged to improve my language by a mixture of presentations and other classwork which focused on aspects of the German legal system as well as grammar and vocabulary. However, it wasn’t all work and no play. As part of the course we had several trips organised as well as a few other extracurricular trips. These included visiting the BMW factory in Dingolfing, Pub Crawls, Visits to Salzburg and Munich and lots more.

I can say with certainty now that although I was initially nervous about studying abroad, the whole course was set up with plenty of support should I ever have needed it. I would definitely recommend anyone studying German to apply for a DAAD scholarship this year as it has certainly helped me to gain confidence in my German as well as allowing me to meet some fantastic people from across the globe.


If you are interested in applying for a summer course scholarship, please contact DAAD Lektorin Sandra Beer

ReadingIf you’d like to learn more about German Studies at Reading, or about all the other languages we offer in the Department of Modern Languages and European Studies at the University of Reading, follow this blog, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our Twitter feed.

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Student Life: Get to know the graduates of Modern Languages


Mentor ThriveAttention current Reading students: Alumni mentors have been signing up to help you prepare for the working world. The University of Reading’s Thrive mentoring scheme is available for you to experience what it is like to graduate with a Modern Languages degree.

All of the mentors have studied at the University of Reading, in Modern Languages and European Studies and are now working, using their degree. What is even better is that they want invest their time in you, to support you in making your transition into the working world!

Sign up for a mentor today!

Why should I sign up for a mentor?

  • Your mentor can help you prepare for study time abroad;
  • Many mentors have worked and lived in countries that you are likely to visit;
  • They can tell you of the possibilities with your degree;
  • They can offer bespoke advice about applying for placements;
  • They can help you source work experience, explore further study;
  • You will receive advice regarding your CV and applications;
  • You have the opportunity to practise your language skills with a professional!

All you need to do to have these opportunities at your fingertips is sign up! You can then work with your mentor for twelve months and will achieve some great things throughout the year.

Thrive Career MentoringContact your mentor when it is convenient for you via email, Skype, WhatsApp or if possible face-to-face; develop your skills and gain insight to the working world. Thrive is a brilliant opportunity to take the first steps into considering what you may like to do with your degree.

Want to hear more? Attend our information session:
Wednesday 21st October 1-2pm.
Contact the career mentoring team
Tel: 0118 378 6817

Student Life: Speedmeeting in German

IMG_0752On Tuesday 6 October the Department of Modern Languages and European Studies hosted its first ever Speedmeeting event. Organised by DAAD Lektorin Sandra Beer and ÖAD Lektorin Regine Klimpfinger, the event brought together second year students of German at Reading with Erasmus students from Germany & Austria. We asked Steph King, a second year student of German and Geography, to let us know how it went:

The German staff provided us with drinks, snacks and lovely conversation last week when we had the opportunity to meet some German and Austrian Erasmus students studying here at Reading. It was really interesting and helpful to hear some tips and tricks about German life for our year abroad next year and to provide them with some of our own for life here in Reading! Not only was it a fun and relaxed evening, but also educational and reassuring. 5 Stars!

DSCF0132For more news about the students, staff, and alumni of the Department of Modern Languages and European Studies at the University of Reading, follow this blog, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our Twitter feed.

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Department Life: Concert “Il Bel Canto”

This year the usual celebrations of the “Week of Italian Language in the World“, in its 15th edition, this year have the theme “The Italian of Music, the Music of Italian”. So what better opportunity to see how the language works in practice, than a concert dedicated to some of the most famous Italian Arias?

The University of Reading will host the concert within its usual calendar of lunchtime concerts. Soprano Rebeccca Cooch and Accompanist Susan Holmes will lead us through a journey in time and will explore for us the beauty and the musicality of the Italian Language.

La settimana della lingua italiana nel mondo - The Week of Italian Language in the World

La settimana della lingua italiana nel mondo – The Week of Italian Language in the World

The concert will revolve around what makes Italian the perfect language for singing, as the frequency of vowels, with their particular crystal clear nature, as well as the various possibilities for the accent to fall on different positions in the word are special features that contribute to make Italian the best language to convey the melodic line. We will be taken through compositions by Giordani, Mozart, Puccini and other important protagonists of Italian music.

Rebecca Cooch Rebecca has a background in musical theatre and started taking singing lessons aged 14, performing in Benjamin Brittan’s ‘Paul Bunyan’ and as lead role ‘Lucy’ in Menotti’s ‘The Telephone’. She graduated in Law, and pursued her education in music, achieving Distinction in Grade 8 singing in 2014 and is now working towards her Diploma. She is a member of Masquerade Musical Theatre Company in Reading; she was a member of Reading Phoenix Choir from 2006 to 2014 and is passionate about choral singing. She has built her solo repertoire with items at choral concerts, such as ‘The Messiah’. She was ‘Hodel’ in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ at Portsmouth University. She participated in local festivals, winning the Borough of Basingstoke Cup for the adult with the most honours at Basingstoke Music and Arts Festival two years running and is the current holder of the Norman Morris Recital Trophy from Woodley Festival.  Rebecca is also the lead singer of local melodic metal band ‘Incarnadine Coven’ with whom she has recently recorded their first EP and music video (she has a wide taste in music!)

Susan Holmes Susan completed a Master’s degree in Music, graduating with a specialisation in Piano Accompaniment, at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where she was the recipient of the Piano Accompaniment Prize. Susan has been a repetiteur for the Birmingham Summer Festival Opera productions of Vaughan Williams’ The Poisoned Kiss and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and accompanist for the University of Birmingham Music Society’s Chamber and University Choirs. Most recently, Susan was the Assistant Music Director for the critically acclaimed Opera Up Close production of Strauss’ Die Fledermaus. Susan has performed in such prestigious venues as the Royal Albert Hall, The Tower of London and Wigmore Hall, and is currently an accompanist and piano teacher for Berkshire Maestros, and choir accompanist for Newbury Chamber Choir, the Harry Ensemble, and the University of Reading Chamber Choir and Chorus.

Date: Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Opening times: 1 pm
Venue: University of Reading, Palmer Building, G10. Whiteknights Campus, Reading RG6 6AA
Organised by: University of Reading
In collaboration with: Italian Cultural Institute, London
Free Event Booking Online

Info: email;  dott. Maria Carla Battelli, Visiting Lecturer of Italian