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2020 SAS summer courses will take place remotely. For undergraduates, please check Penn InTouch for updated summer course information. For graduate and professional students, please consult your schools and programs. Summer study abroad remains cancelled.

The College of Liberal and Professional Studies staff is working remotely to comply with University protocols as we navigate the COVID-19 virus. Penn is committed to maintaining a safe campus and workplace for faculty, students, staff, and visitors. While we are not onsite, we are still available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. by phone and online in case you need support: (215) 898-7326 or

Visit, the University's dedicated coronavirus COVID-19 web page, for the latest updates.

Sicily on Page and Screen

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Subject Area: 
Course Number: 
ITAL 205 920
Course Description: 

What images come to mind when we hear the words Sicily and Sicilians?  Often our thoughts range from scenic vacation spots, delicious seafood and cannoli, and sweet grandmothers dressed in black, to mafia violence, vendettas, and the deep-rooted code of silence, “omertà.”  But, how did these ideas get to us?  Is there truth in them?  Is there more to this island and its people?  Through careful analysis of literary and cinematic representations of this Italian region, and those that do and have inhabited it, we will trace and analyze how Sicilians have represented themselves, how mainland Italians have interpreted Sicilian culture, how outsiders have understood these symbols, how our own perceptions shaped what we thought we knew about this place and, finally, how our own observations will have evolved throughout our studies.  We will watch films such as Tornatore’s Cinema paradiso and Coppola’s The Godfather II, and read texts such as Lampedusa’s The Leopard and Maraini’s Bagheria.  This course aims to increase students' understanding and knowledge of the Sicilian socio-cultural system.  It will help students develop their ability to understand and interpret Sicilian culture through close analysis of its history, values, attitudes, and experiences, thereby allowing them to better recognize and examine the values and practices that define their own, as well as others’, cultural frameworks.   Course taught in English.  Course Materials in English.  There are no prerequisites for this course.

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3440 Market Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335

(215) 898-7326

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