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. Lectures and readings are in English.
Section 401 - SEM
The scope of the Course is that of providing a multifaceted view of Italy, deconstructing conventional images of the Country, and highlighting instead the rich components of Italian culture and society as they develop in history and are revealed through cultural memory. If, on one hand, food, soccer and “mafia” are the popular-culture stereotypes referring to Italy, on the other, advances in technology (Ferrari and Maserati; space exploration; medical research, environmental exploration, etc.), and a huge artistic heritage (not only expressed in opera, but in the vast spectrum of different music, and in painting, literature, theater, fashion, architecture, etc.) must be included in the Country’s portraiture. The course will revisit stereotypes and positive features of the Country, through the knowledge provided by historical reports, and through the different perspectives of filmmakers who tell the many different stories of Italy.