A Soul for Australia? Reading Fosco Antonio’s My Reality

4.45pm - 6.00pm, Friday 14 November, 2014
H1-44, Amy Wheaton building, Magill campus, UniSA

Edited by John Gatt-Rutter, La Trobe University and
Peter Willis, University of South Australia.
Published by ATF Press

Launched by Professor Stephen Dobson, Dean and Head of School of Education

A Soul for Australia? Reading Fosco Antonio's ‘My Reality’ is a collection of essays written in response to Fosco Antonio’s book entitled My Reality. Fosco’s book, a copy of which is incorporated into this volume, is a partly autobiographical and partly more hypothetical set of stories, fantasies and reflections drawn from his Italian, Catholic, immigrant life in post-war Melbourne. His moody and heartfelt quest boils down to whether the goals and compulsions of contemporary western society leave any room for what we may call spiritual values, whether humanistic or faith-based.

Robert Crotty’s engagement is essentially with the ecclesiastic and theological controversy within the Roman Catholic Church of the time. John Gatt-Rutter and Luigi Gussago, in their different ways, engage My Reality as deeply interested and literary observers. Peter Willis admits to a highly selective reading of My Reality, running from the ‘homelessness’ and ‘lostness’ brought about by Fosco Antonio’s alienating experience of Catholic schooling to the ‘home-seeking’, perhaps ‘home-coming’, of his work at drop-in centres. Mariastella Pulvirenti writes as a second-generation Italian Australian, who is indignant that another second-generation Italian Australian should wallow in the role of ‘failed migrant’. Hugh Kiernan catches Antonio offside right from the start, setting up a direct line to God, with whom Antonio posits at best a highly dubitative relationship, and eloquently affirming his sense of Australian belonging.

John Gatt-Rutter


John Gatt-Rutter, M.A. (Cantab.) is Vaccari Professor in Italian Studies (retired) La Trobe University,Melbourne, Australia.Honorary Research Associate La Trobe University and Italian Australian Institute


Peter Willis


Peter Willis (PhD, UTS) is adjunct Senior Lecturer Adult, Vocational & Workplace Learning, Universityof South Australia

The event will follow on from the CREd Conference – The 21st Century Learner.

To register for this event please go email EDSResearch@unisa.edu.au or phone 8302 4215

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