248: Triumphs

W 2-5pm | Dwinelle 6331 | Instructor: Henrike Lange

Units: 2 or 4

The graduate seminar Trionfi/Triumphs will examine a variety of triumphal gestures in history: Rites, processions, monuments, and iconographies from ancient Roman triumphs to the present day. Stations of this cultural history investigation include: Ancient arches and their decoration, booty and spolia, Christian medieval adaptations in rites and reliquaries, Renaissance triumphs in painting, print, and literature (Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio), iconic imagery of triumphs (Mantegna, Dürer, Rubens), the Latino tradition of religious processions, operatic adaptations, Fascist triumphal imagery under the direction of Mussolini and Leni Riefenstahl, and other modern examples of triumphs and their reversals in contemporary Italian cinema such as in Roberto Benigni’s La vita è bella.

Depending on the students’ backgrounds, interests, and individual levels of Italian language skills, the course will usually combine some introductory remarks with the discussion of readings and artworks. Students will contribute small presentations on a text and an artwork throughout the term, and present their seminar paper topic to the group towards the end of class.