“Missionaries, Adventurers, Labourers and Intellectuals”: Italians in WA before mass migration
Australia has received large numbers of migrants from the two great diasporas of modern times: Italians and Chinese. The latest census shows that the most widely spoken languages in Australia, after English, are Chinese and Italian. However while we are all aware of the mass migrations that have happened in recent decades, it is not so widely known that through the colonial period, up to the Second World War, Australia was a multicultural and multilingual place. This talk will describe the presence of Italians in Western Australia from the earliest times. The first recorded presences are an exhilaratingly mixed bag of “missionaries, adventurers and intellectuals”, to be followed by the labourers, who fished, grew and panned for gold. At Federation, one in three Italians in Australia lived in the West. The talk will conclude with a salute to a distinguished Italian, born in the 19th century, who in 1929 offered the first course in Italian in an Australian university: Francesco Vanzetti.
About the Speaker
John Kinder teaches Italian in this University and is Chair of European Languages and Studies. After researching recent Italian migration to Australia and New Zealand, and then the linguistic history of Italy itself, he has now turned his attention to the presence of Italians in Australia during the colonial period and the early twentieth century. This enquiry is based on a study of the letters Italians in Australia wrote to each other, letters that are found in public and private archives. In 2016 John Kinder was elected a Corresponding Member of the Accademia della Crusca, the prestigious language academy founded in Florence in 1583, the first Italianist in the southern hemisphere to receive this honour.
John Kinder on “Missionaries, Adventurers, Labourer’s and Intellectuals”: Italians in WA before mass migration
Tuesday 13th June 2017, 7:30pm
Reid Library, Second Floor Conference Room
Doors open 7pm, talk commences 7:30pm Cost: $5 donation (Free for Friends of the Library Members)
University Library +61 8 6488 7425