FALL 2019 Graduate Courses
16:560:674 - War and Experience. Twentieth-Century Italian Narratives
The clash between institutional representations of war (e.g., by government, public media, school) and the lived experiences of war produces the need to make sense of those experiences and to integrate them into public discourse. How was fighting and dying in war legitimized in the twentieth century and what did war mean to those who fought it? This seminar explores the ways in which the arts have been used to frame and understand the modern experience of war. Drawing on classic theories (e.g., Benjamin, White, Fussel, Leed, Barthes, Jameson), we will analyze how cultural and formal paradigms interact with lived historical events in memoirs, fictional narratives, poems, postcards, photographs, and films. Our discussion will concentrate on two themes, namely, the relation between experience and representation and the question of the medium: how did different genres and media affect the articulation of the war experience? Materials include: readings from D’Annunzio, Marinetti, Ungaretti, Saba, Lussu, Remarque, Flaiano, Malaparte, Zangrandi, Rimanelli; films and documentaries (Rossellini and Luce documentaries); illustrations, documentaries, and photographs from the periods considered. TAUGHT IN ENGLISH
16:560:691- Global Neorealism
Screenings on Monday evenings @ 6pm in AB 4140
On-location shooting, shoestring budget, non-professional actors, and social ommentary on the ev-eryday struggles of the so-called ‘common man.’ These are among the hallmark elements of Italian neorealism - a body of firms that emerged out of the literal and figural rubble of fascism and World War II, and gave a nation recovering from a bombastic dictatorship a humble new self-image. Few national film movements have been as revered, mythologized, and seemingly self-evident as neorealism. And yet, since its inception its very status - as a tradition, a school, a genre, and/or as a distinctively Italian set of films - has been fiercely contested. This course explores neorealism itselfs a site of numerous transnational transactions, from its origins - in dialogue with Soviet realism and ‘escapist’ Hollywood - to its resonance in China, Senegal, Colombia, India, and beyond. Students will examine selections from the neorealist ‘canon’ (films by Rossellini, De Sica, and Visconti), along with a selection of their global itertexts (films may include: Pather Panchali, 1955, dir. Satajit Ray; Black Girl, 1966, dir. Ousmane Sembène; Still Life, 2006, dir. Jia Zhangke; Wendy and Lucy, 2008, dir. Kelly Reichardt).