Professor Paola Gambarota
Italian 673: Representing War, From the Unification to World War II
Thursdays, 4:30-7:10 pm (Italian Department Seminar Room)

The clash between institutional representations of war (e.g., by government, public media, school) and the lived experiences of war produces the need for cultural products that allow to make sense of those experiences and to integrate them into public discourse. Taught in Italian, this seminar explores the ways in which the arts and other cultural artifacts have been used to legitimize and understand war.
Drawing on classic theories by Jameson, Scurati, Fussel, Winter, Mosse, Erll, and others, we will examine Italian representations of specific aspects of the Risorgimento war, the colonial war in Libya, the Great War, and World War II. We will analyze how cultural and formal paradigms interact with lived historical events in diaries, memoirs, reports, fictional narratives, poems, paintings, postcards, photographs, and films, creating a variety of modes (e.g., experiential, monumental, antagonistic). Materials include: readings from Abba, Nievo, Verga, D’Annunzio, Marinetti, Lussu, Serra, Malaparte, Rigoni Stern, Levi, Fenoglio, Zangrandi, Rimanelli, Calvino; films by Rossellini, Rosi, Chiesa, Vancini, and Luce documentaries; paintings, postcards, and photographs from the period considered.

 

Professor David Marsh
Italian 615: Humanist Literature of the Quattrocento
Tuesdays, 4:30-7:10 pm (Italian Department Seminar Room)

Using Garin’s classic Prosatori latini del Quattrocento, this seminar offers an introduction to the most important humanists of fifteenth-century Italy, including Leonardo Bruni, Poggio Bracciolini, Leon Battista Alberti, Lorenzo Valla, Giovanni Pontano, and Angelo Poliziano. Special emphasis is placed on the literary genres favored by the humanists–epistles, histories, and dialogues–and their intellectual achievements are considered in the larger cultural and artistic context of the early Renaissance, illustrated by slide lectures and musical recordings. There are several short quizzes and a term paper. Discussions and readings are in Italian.

 

Professor Rhiannon Welch
Italian 674: Landscape and Architecture in Italian Cinema: Antonioni, Pasolini, and Rosi
Mondays, 4:30-7:10 pm (Italian Department Seminar Room)

From at least as early as the 1930s, Italian cinema has used urban or rural settings to convey the moral status of its characters (the immoral *femme fatale*, the hapless peasant, the urban swindler). With the advent of post-World War II neorealism, “the city” emerged as a character in its own right. Indeed, it would be difficult to imagine the films under consideration in this course (by Antonioni, Pasolini, and Rosi) without taking into account how architecture (or its stark and emphatic lack) informs the cinematic frame. Taking its inspiration from filmmakers and theorists who address how cinema, like architecture, structures vision and belief, this course examines how Antonioni, Pasolini, and Rosi both utilize and theorize the encounter between space and human experience. Themes to include: the southern question, urbanization and industrialization in postwar Italy, globalization and ecology.