ITAL581 - ITALIAN JEWISH WRITERS FROM THE EMANCIPATION TO PRIMO LEVI

Section Description: 
Italian Jewish Writers from the Emancipation to Primo Levi. This course’s objective is two-fold: to understand the rich tradition of Jewish Italian writers since the nineteenth century (including Enrico Castelnuovo, Umberto Saba, Italo Svevo, Giorgio Bassani, Natalia Ginzburg, Edith Bruck, and Primo Levi), and to explore the notion of Jewish memory as an integral part of the cultural history of modern Italy. Whether writing about the process of Jewish integration in post-unification Italy, the Jewish communities in Turin and Ferrara, or the consequences of the Racial Laws and the tragic experience of the Shoah, these writers narrated crucial moments in the life of Italy’s modern society as a whole, and problematized the very notion of an Italian identity as seen from the perspective of a minority. Questions related to national identity and minority status will be discussed through readings by Renan, Gramsci, Maalouf, Gellner, among others. Italy has the oldest Jewish Diaspora in the western World: does a Jewish cultural legacy exist in Italian literature? What does the nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature written by Jewish writers tell us about Italy’s relations with its oldest minority? Among the founding fathers of the Italian nation, a few wrote and fought for the legal and civic emancipation of Italian Jews (D’Azeglio, Tommaseo, Cattaneo), how did they reconcile the tension between the idea of equality for all citizens and the freedom of minorities to be different? And, finally, how do we understand today’s Italy and its multiethnic society considering the country’s history with its Jewish minority? This class will be taught in English and is open to undergraduate students with permission of the instructor.
Instructors: 
ROMANI, GABRIELLA
Day and Time: 
T 0400PM-0700PM
Room: 
VAN PELT LIBRARY 627
Section ID: 
ITAL581401
Title (text only): 
ITALIAN JEWISH WRITERS FROM THE EMANCIPATION TO PRIMO LEVI
Subject Area: 
ITAL
Term: 
2020A
Term Session: 
0
Activity: 
SEM
Course Number Only: 
581
Section Number Only: 
401
Cross Listings: 
    Status: 
    O
    Course ID: 
    ITAL581