Food for the mind at Carnevale

Two Flinders University academics will be giving visitors to Carnevale some food for thought to go with their crostini and chianti this weekend.

Professor Marcello Costa and Professor Desmond O’Connor are both featured speakers in the Italian cultural festival’s program of forums.

Professor Marcello Costa, a leading neurophysiologist in the School of Medicine, is a well-known public speaker and commentator on science and medicine. He will speak at 12.30pm on February 9 on Science and Art in the Renaissance, which will look at the interrelationship between science and art and how they have fed and inspired each other, with a focus on the Renaissance, one of the most intellectually creative periods in history.

In a second talk at 5.30pm, Professor Costa will turn to one his heroes. How Galileo changed the worlds of Art and Science will describe how the pioneering Italian scientist revolutionised the way we see the Earth’s place in the universe and began a new understanding of astronomy. Professor Costa will explain how this change in understanding also inspired and opened up new opportunities for artists.

Professor O’Connor, the former head of Language Studies at Flinders, is responsible for extensive research South Australia’s Italian communities, and has published widely on the migrant experience at both ends of the journey.

His topic at Carnevale will be the history of the Italian language, including the influence of other languages, societies and cultures.

Speaking at 3pm on Saturday, February 9 on The Making of a Language: where did Italian come from?, Professor O’Connor will show how modern-day Italian had its origins in the spoken Latin of the Roman Empire, emerging in the 14th century as a model for writing works of literature, While 90 per cent of the population still spoke only local Italian dialects at the time of Unification (1861), the influence of compulsory education and the mass media has contributed to virtually all Italians now being able to use the national language.

Carnevale runs from February 9-10 at the Adelaide Showground, Wayville. The forums will be held on the Hamilton Boulevard Lawn.

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