Graduate Courses, Fall 2012

Italian 531
Dante's Divine Comedy

Prof. Brownlee
R 0130PM-0430PM

A close reading of the Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso, which focuses on a series of interrelated problems raised by the poem: authority, representation, history, politics, and language. Particular attention will be given to Dante's use of Classical and Christian model texts: Ovid's Metamorphoses, Virgil's Aeneid, and the Bible. Dante's rewritings of model authors will also be studied in the context of the medieval Italian and Provençal love lyric. The course will be taught in English and cross-listed in Comparative Literature. Students taking it for Italian credit will do the readings and written assignments in Italian.

Course Materials/Textbooks for this course will be available at the
Penn Book CENTER
(130 S. 34th Street; (215) 222-7600).

Italian 640
Italian Baroque Theatre

Prof. Finotti
M 0200PM-0400PM

Italian baroque theatre is the fair of wonder, and the quintessential place of invention, creativity, subversion, pleasure. The modern scene, the development of opera, the success of the “commedia dell’arte” make baroque theatre the meeting point between different disciplines such as architecture, fashion, literature, music, sculpture, painting, entertainment. More generally, theatre is the metaphor of the baroque tension between truth and illusion, and truth, science and imagination, power and freedom. The course is in Italian. Undergraduate can enroll under permission.

Undergraduates may register with permission from instructor.

Italian 682
Madness and Mental Distress in Italian Literature and Cinema

Prof. Benini
W 0430PM-0630PM

Madness is a human condition. Madness exists and is present in us just like reason.
Franco Basaglia

From man to the true man, the road passes through the madman.
Michel Foucault

This course wants to investigate the theme of madness and mental distress in XX  and XXI century Italian Literature and Cinema. Constructing our interpretations with the theoretical support of Foucault, Freud and Basaglia among others, we will explore the “mad” pages of Tozzi, Svevo, Pirandello, Tobino, Merini, Rosselli, Berto, Manganelli. We will also watch the movies which told the story of madness, neurosis and melancholia in Italian cinema: from Rossellini to Antonioni, from Bellocchio to Marazzi, Giordana and Alatri. The course will be taught in Italian.

Course Materials/Textbooks for this course will be available at the
Penn Book CENTER
(130 S. 34th Street; (215) 222-7600).

Italian 685
History, Memory, and Representation: Fascism in Italian Cinema

Prof. Puglia
F 0200PM-0600PM

Produced since World War II, the films we will study in this seminar establish a theoretical framework for the analysis of Fascism, its political ideology, and its ethical dynamics. Emphasis on the concept of fascist normality, the racial laws, the morality of social identities (women, homosexuals), the Resistance, and the aftermath of the Holocaust. Films include: Bertolucci's The Conformist, De Sica's The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, Fellini’s Amarcord, Wertmüller's Seven Beauties, Rossellini's Open City, Benigni's Life Is Beautiful, Bellocchio’s Vincere. The approach is interdisciplinary and combines the study of socio-historical themes with an in-depth cinematic reading of the films. Students are expected to view at least two films per seminar. Grades will be based on class discussion and a final paper (18-20 pages).

Italian 690
Language Teaching/Learning

Prof. McMahon
W 0200PM-0400PM

This course is required of all Teaching Assistants in French, Italian, and Spanish in the second semester of their first year of teaching. It is designed to provide instructors with the necessary practical support to carry out their teaching responsibilities effectively, and builds on the practicum meetings held during the first semester. The course will also introduce students to various approaches to foreign language teaching as well as to current issues in second language acquisition. Students who have already had a similar course at another institution may be exempted upon consultation with the instructor.