You are here: Home / Undergraduate / Italian / Courses / Previous Special Topics

Fall 2020

IT 497 Postcolonial Italy: Migration, Human Rights, and Citizenship (MWF 10:10–11:00 a.m.)

Course Description: "Postcolonial Italy" provides an opportunity for students to engage with Italian migration and postcolonial literature, film, music, and media that address many current societal, legal, human rights, and political questions in today’s Italian culture. Students will consider how Italian citizenship/belonging is dependent on racial and geographical tropes of italianitá devised during Italy's colonial period. Students will reflect on the implications of pure, blood-based belonging for second- and third-generation multicultural and multiethnic Italians who are denied cultural citizenship in their own homeland. Students will examine literature, film, and other media and how they have been adopted as political instruments to polemicize fabricated notions of ethnically pure Italian citizen, but also how they provide representation for Italians with complex ethnic and national origins. 

  • Professor Carla Cornette 
  • In Italian
  • All IT major options and the minor
  • Prerequisite: any 300-level IT course or equivalent

Fall 2018

IT/AFR 497 - Italy & Africa: Narratives Across the Mediterranean

Instructor: Johanna Rossi Wagner
Course Description: In IT/AFR 497 we explore these relationships through an investigation of literary and cinematic works from both Italian and African writers and filmmakers. Looking at narratives spanning three centuries we will consider the following: 19th century travel essays, Futurist fiction and imperial Fascist propaganda shorts in the early 20th century, post-war novels and films as imperfect modes of decolonization in the 1950s and 1960s, contemporary autobiography and fictions written by Somali, Nigerian, Tunisian and Ethiopian writers migrating to Italy in the 1990s-today, and finally contemporary films addressing the untenable refugee crisis in the Mediterranean basin. I invite you to broaden your perception of the term Mediterranean and to forge a deeper understanding of the historical and political influences that underpin contemporary migrations.
Sample Syllabus

Spring 2018

IT 497 - Growing Up in the Italian Renaissance: Family, School, Sport 

Instructor: Michele Rossi
Course Description: Imagine growing up in the Italian Renaissance. How would that be different from our current lifestyle? This course will explore topics such as family, education (with special attention to the physical training), and ethical values through various literary genres and authors: the epistle (Francesco Petrarca), the treatise (Pier Paolo Vergerio, Leonardo Bruni, Leon Battista Alberti), the short story (Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron), the poetry (Laura Battiferri, Veronica Franco, Gaspara Stampa), and the comedy (Machiavelli). We will also watch and discuss a movie (Wondrous Boccaccio by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, 2015), and investigate the intersections between literature and art, with the final goal of illuminating the fascinating process of growing up during the Italian Renaissance. 
Sample Syllabus