160: “Italy on Screen”: Cinema, Politics, and Modernity

MWF 10-11 | Dwinelle 6331 | Instructor: Diego Pirillo

Units: 4 Satisfies L&S Historical Studies breadth requirement.

This course focuses on the study of some of the greatest protagonists of Italian cinema (Visconti Rossellini, Fellini, Antonioni, Bertolucci, Cavani, Pasolini, Pontecorvo, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, among others). By examining films as historical narratives the course will also provide students with an introduction to Italian and European politics, from Italy’s unification during the Risorgimento to Fascism and the economic miracle up to the European Union and the refugee crisis. We will discuss how Italian directors reflected upon Italy’s past, how they imagined its future, how they raised questions regarding Italy’s national identity, considering its essential elements as well as its structural tensions and divisions (North and South, church and state, elite and popular culture, nation and province, tradition and modernity, family and individual).

This course is taught in Italian.

Prerequisite: Italian 101 or consent of instructor.