I completed undergraduate degrees in Arts and Economics with majors in French, Italian and Econometrics, followed by an Honours dissertation in Italian Studies at The University of Western Australia. My Honours thesis was a linguistic reading of Castiglione’s Il libro del Cortegiano of 1528. My passion for all things Italian and linguistic led me to pursue a PhD in history of the Italian language, focussing on the tuscanisation of merchant writing sent from Milan in the late 14th century. I was fortunate enough to make use of documents from the voluminous Datini Archive in Prato, Tuscany, whose more than 150,000 documents have been almost all scanned and are available for viewing online. My research interests have continued in this vein, but have shifted to broader issues of language variation, koineization, and historical contact between vernaculars in medieval Italy.
I have coordinated several units and taught widely. I have taught Italian language acquisition units as well as courses on Italian film, the history of Italy, opera, Italian Romanticism, the linguistic history of Italy as well as novels by Natalia Ginzburg, Leonardo Sciascia, Italo Calvino and others.
In press. Early evidence for Tuscanisation in the letters of Milanese merchants in the Datini Archive, Prato, 1396-1402, (Milan: Istituto Lombardo Accademia di Scienze e Lettere).
2014. John J. Kinder and Joshua J. Brown, Canon Raffaele Martelli in Western Australia 1853-1864: life and letters, (Northcote, Victoria: Morning Star), iv + 334 pp. ISBN: 9781925208498.
Chapters, articles and reviews
In Press. “The multilingual network of a 14th century Tuscan merchant: Francesco di Marco Datini and his correspondence.” In E.-M. Wagner, B. Beinhoff & B. Outhwaite (Eds), Merchants of Innovation. The languages of traders. Studies in Language Change, (Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton).
2016. Brown, J. and Caruso, M. “Access Granted: Modern Languages and Issues of Accessibility at University. A case study from Australia”, Language Learning in Higher Education 6: 2, pp.453-471.
2016. Review of: Stefano Girola (ed.), Report of Rosendo Salvado to Propaganda Fide in 1883 (Northcote, Victoria: Morning Star Publishing, 2015) in The Record.
2015. Caruso, M. and Brown, J. “Broadening units to broadened horizons: The impact of New Courses 2012 on enrolments in Italian at the University of Western Australia”, Babel 50: 1, pp.24-37.
2015. “Testimonianze di una precoce toscanizzazione nelle lettere commerciali del mercante milanese Francesco Tanso in Archivio Datini”, Forum Italicum 49: 3, pp.683-714.
2014. Brown, J. and Caruso, M. “New Courses 2012: the impact on enrolments in Italian at the University of Western Australia.” In C. Travis, J. Hajek, C. Nettelbeck, E. Beckmann & A. Lloyd-Smith (Eds), Practices and Policies: Current Research in Languages and Cultures Education. Sydney: Office for Learning and Teaching, pp.39-53.
2014. Caruso, M. and Brown, J. “Innovative translation. Dubbing films in Italian with iMovie.” In C. Travis, J. Hajek, C. Nettelbeck, E. Beckmann & A. Lloyd-Smith (Eds), Practices and Policies: Current Research in Languages and Cultures Education. Sydney: Office for Learning and Teaching, pp.507-518.
2013. “Transcribing the Italian Correspondence of Canon Raffaele Martelli in the New Norcia Archives, 1853-1864”, New Norcia Studies, 21: 73-82.
2013. “Language variation in 15th century Milan: evidence of koineization in the letters (1397-1402) of the Milanese merchant Giovanni da Pessano”, Italian Studies, 68: 1, pp.57-77.
2013. Review of Elizabeth Tyler (ed.), Conceptualizing Multilingualism in Medieval England, c. 800-c.1250, Brepols, Turnhout, 2012. in Parergon 30: 2, pp.254-256.
2012. “Evidence for early Tuscanisation in the commercial letters from the Milanese merchant Giovannino da Dugnano (?-1398) in the Datini Archive in Prato”, Italica 89: 4, pp.464-488.
2012. Review of Filippo Salvatore, “La presenza dell’italiano nel Canada francese”. In Identità e diversità nella lingua e nella letteratura italiana (Firenze: Cesati, 2007), pp.413-430 in Rivista italiana di dialettologia 35, p.520.
2012. Review of Lorenzo Rocchi, “La lingua di chi è emigrato. Un’indagine tra la Sicilia e l’Inghilterra”, Altreitalie, pp. 129-156 in Rivista italiana di dialettologia 35, p.510.
2011. Report on ACIS-Cassamarca Scholarship, in Italy under the Southern Cross, ed. Gino Moliterno and David Moss, Panada Press, p.262.
2008. Review of Richard Freadman, This Crazy Thing a Life, Perth, UWA Press, 2007 in Limina 14, pp.115-116.