R5B, Section 1: Migrants, Nomads, Expats: Tales of Mobility through the Bel Paese

TuTh 8-9:30 | 2030 VLSB | Instructor: Avy Valladares

Units: 4

All Reading and Composition courses must be taken for a letter grade in order to fulfill this requirement for the Bachelor’s Degree. This course satisfies the second half or the “B” portion of the Reading and Composition requirement.

Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy has been a nexus of multiple forms of voyages since antiquity. From Aeneas, to the northern “barbarians,” to Marco Polo, to Renaissance maestros, to the European nobles on the Grand Tour, to American expats, and the economic migrants leaving and entering the Bel Paese, Italy has been the point of departure and arrival of a multitude of literal as well as metaphorical journeys. Some of these journeys have become central to the western imaginary, while others are symptomatic of historical and social processes that affect the world in which we live in today.

In this course we will study some of those journeys, paying particular attention to narratives of mobility since the formation of the Italian state. We will focus on short stories, novels and films detailing the emigration of Italian labor at the beginning of the 20th century, as well as the narratives of immigration at its end.  We will also pay attention to tales of internal movements that are not just physical but also symbolic, as well as stories of privileged western expats settling in Italy.  We will, of course, couch our engagement of such texts within theories of transnationalism and cultural studies.

Texts: TBD

Prerequisites:  Successful completion of the “A” portion of the Reading & Composition requirement or its equivalent.  Students may not enroll in nor attend R1B/R5B courses without completing this prerequisite