Geographically and culturally separate, Scotland and Sicily nevertheless share some important similarities. In particular, although each has now become part of a larger nation state, each has preserved a strong sense of cultural identity built in part on their cultural eminence in the past. Both have been economically deprived at times while remaining culturally rich. Their literature, film, art, music and politics remain distinctive and despite the loss of metropolitan status each feels it has claims to cultural independence. This distinctive identity has had positive and negative effects—fostering cultural icons but also leading to stereotypes. Situated off centre but still seeing themselves as having a crucial role in the culture of their respective nation states, Scotland and Sicily provide a fruitful area for connections, parallels, contrasts and comparison which can be extended to include all areas of Southern Italy.
Papers on all aspects of Scotland or Sicily or Southern Italy are invited. Papers making connections between Scotland and Sicily are particularly welcome and will be automatically considered for publication in a proposed book on that subject.
There is no cost associated with presenting at the symposium, but participants are asked to register, using the registration form.
The special guest speaker will be Professor Joseph Farrell, formerly Head of the Modern Languages Department at the University of Strathclyde. He is the author of Dario Fo and Franca Rame: Harlequins of the Revolution (London, Methuen, 2001); co-editor with Paolo Puppa of The History of Italian Theatre (Cambridge UP, 2006), and translator of plays by Fo, Baricco, De Filippo and Goldoni. He is a frequent contributor to radio arts programmes both in London and Scotland, and reviews regularly for several newspapers, including The Herald and The Times Literary Supplement.
"Off Centre, North and South" is convened by Luciana d’Arcangeli, Antonella Strambi, and Graham Tulloch
of the School of Humanities at Flinders University, and proudly supported by the Flinders Humanities Research Centre.