26 February 2015
University hosts Italy Day to mark success of new Italian degree course
An award-winning Italian film maker has visited the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to celebrate the success of a new Italian language degree which began last September.
Director, writer and producer Luca Vullo came to Preston to join students and staff as they marked the University’s first Italy Day in honour of the modern language being introduced as a degree option.
The first cohort of Italian degree students, those who are studying the language as an optional module and members of the public who are simply interested in Italy, all came together to celebrate Italian culture and meet Luca who has won awards for his documentary The Voice of the Body (La voce del corpo), which examines the peculiar non-verbal code of communication that makes Italians famous throughout the world.
Luca said: “Italian people are recognised all around the world for their distinctive feature of accompanying any speech, conversation or greeting with gestures, facial expressions and body movements. I believe that in today’s society it is important to focus attention on the importance of ‘the language of gestures’ and delve into the fantastic world of communication through gestures in order to better understand Italian language and culture in its entirety.
“Italian people are recognised all around the world for their distinctive feature of accompanying any speech, conversation or greeting with gestures, facial expressions and body movements.”
“Getting to know and learn the Italian language today is fundamental in order to understand our culture and traditions – as well as it is fundamental to get to learn the language of the body, which I explain through this film. This film encompasses a 360 degrees view of our communication system, sometimes not really understood or underestimated. Instead, I believe that this communication system need to be spread and appreciated abroad.”
As well as exploring Italian body language, Luca also spoke about Italy as a land of migrants; looking at historic migration through another of his films, From Sulphur to Coal, which follows the journey into the lives of Italian migrants to Belgium. He also examined how more recently, Italy has become a land of immigration by attracting people from Eastern Europe, North Africa and China.
Italian lecturers Caterina Guardamagna and Danila Datti from the School of Language, Literature and International Studies, along with Italian conversation teacher Sara Roman, organised the event which was funded by the UCLan Worldwise Learning Centre.
Caterina said: “I am delighted to welcome Luca to UCLan as part of our celebration. All of the students enjoyed it and it gave them a great opportunity to engage with Italian culture and the language outside of the traditional classroom setting. It is over 10 years since Italian was last taught as a degree course at the University and it has been brought back because we firmly believed in the importance of Italian among the EU languages.”