24: Freshman Seminar

Tu 1-2 | 6331 Dwinelle | Instructor: Professor Steven Botterill

Units: 1

Culture & Politics in Italy since World War II: The Case of Pier Paolo Pasolini

Pier Paolo Pasolini–poet, novelist, filmmaker, cultural essayist, and political journalist–was Italy’s foremost public intellectual for twenty years beginning in the mid-1950s, and the passionate urgency of his work has lost none of its relevance to Italy’s complex and often troubled cultural and political situation since he was murdered in 1975. In this seminar we will read (in English translation) a rich selection of Pasolini’s poetry, fiction, and essays; view some of his most important and controversial movies; and consider the state of Italy today in light of Pasolini’s diagnosis of his country’s ills forty years ago. The course is designed to appeal to students from any academic background who are interested in Italy, politics, good movies, great literature, or any combination of the above.

This 1-unit course is taken on a Pass/Not Pass basis.


Freshman standing.



Pier Paolo Pasolini, The Ragazzi, translated by Emile Capouya

Pier Paolo Pasolini, Poems, translated by Norman MacAfee