160: Narratives of Italian Colonialism and Its Aftermath

MWF 10-11 | Dwinelle 6331 | Instructor: Emily Rabiner

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

When discussing European colonialism and imperialism, Italy’s name is rarely mentioned, despite the brutality of its colonial endeavors. This erasure has been the result of what scholars have termed “colonial amnesia,” or the process through which this history was purposefully and expediently suppressed from popular consciousness in the aftermath of WWII. More recently, however, historians have sought to unearth the forgotten histories of Italian colonialism, as have novelists, artists, and filmmakers. This class will pair close readings of historical novels by two of Italy’s most vibrant contemporary literary voices, Gabriella Ghermandi and Igiaba Scego, with ample supplementary historical, anthropological, and literary materials. Throughout the semester, we will consider these narratives in order to understand the complex legacy of Italy’s colonial past and what it means for Italy’s multicultural present.

Required Texts:

Gabriella Ghermandi, Regina di fiori e di perle (Donzelli, 2011; EAN: 9788860366238)

Igiaba Scego, Adua (Giunti, 2005; EAN: 9788809792340)

Additional texts to be announced.

This course is taught in Italian.
Prerequisite: Italian 101 or consent of instructor.