How has our image of Italy arrived to us? Where does the story begin and who has recounted, rewritten, and rearranged it over the centuries? In this course, we will study Italy's rich and complex past and present. We will carefully read literary and historical texts and thoughtfully watch films in order to attain an understanding of Italy that is as varied and multifacted as the country itself. Group work, discussions and readings will allow us to examine the problems and trends in the political, cultural and social history from ancient Rome to today. We will focus on: the Roman Empire, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Unification, Turn of the Century, Fascist era, World War II, post-war and contemporary Italy.
Section 401 - SEM
This course will explore the major events and the most relevant political and cultural transformations in Italian contemporary society as viewed through the lens of acclaimed Italian directors. Where did these transformations come from, and what does Cinema have to say about them? This course will investigate how Italian films portrayed and mirrored such events and how each director offered a personal interpretation by adopting a very different cinematic approach. In-class discussion will cover both film analysis and political, cultural, and social issues that affected Italy from the second world war to nowadays (Fascism, political tensions of the Seventies, the kidnapping of the Prime Minister Aldo Moro, the fight to the Mafia and its implications with the government, up to Berlusconi). The syllabus will include (but won’t be limited to) films by Vittorio De Sica, Roberto Rossellini, Ettore Scola, Marco Bellocchio, Nanni Moretti, Matteo Garrone and Paolo Sorrentino.
MW 0330PM-0500PM