ITAL 522 (01) - Modern and Contemporary Italian Culture

Modern Italian Culture

Durham   Liberal Arts :: Italian
Credits: 4.0
Term: Spring 2024 - Full Term (01/23/2024 - 05/06/2024)
Grade Mode: Letter Grading
Class Size:   25  
CRN: 56554
This course explores the culture and society of modern and contemporary Italy through major works of fiction and non-fiction. In examining the emergence of the new nation-state, the course poses such questions as: What does "We have made Italy; now we need to make the Italians" mean? What is Fascism? What is "la dolce vita?" How have climate change and the refugee crisis changed Italy and Italians? The unification of Italy, colonialism, Fascism, Made in Italy, La Dolce Vita, domestic terrorism, North vs South are some of the topics examined. No prerequisites and all work is in English.
Registration Approval Required. Contact Instructor or Academic Department for permission then register through Webcat.
Attributes: Writing Intensive Course, Inquiry (Discovery), Humanities(Disc)
Instructors: Claudia Sbuttoni

Times & Locations

Start Date End Date Days Time Location
1/23/2024 5/6/2024 MW 2:10pm - 3:30pm HS 140
Additional Course Details: 

Course subtitle: Containing Difference: Race and Identity in Contemporary Italy

Inspired by Michael Rothberg’s work on “multidirectional memory,” this course explores how marginality, difference, and memory intersect in the Black, Jewish, and Slav communities of contemporary Italy. Through analysis of literary texts, film, and historical representation, we will map points of connection between representations of the Holocaust, violence along Italy’s eastern borderland, Italian colonialism, and contemporary migration to Italy across the Mediterranean. These connections are not intended to suggest historical equivalency but rather an opportunity to “think together” different histories of violence and explore how the legacies of colonialism, antisemitism, and racism intertwine in Italy.

This cross-disciplinary course explores issues of race, identity, and citizenship in colonial and postcolonial Italy drawing from history, anthropology, critical theory, memory studies, literature, film, and cultural studies. The course will provide students with an extensive overview of the construction and representation of “race” in Italy, as well as its influence on the cultural and political development of nation-building. By analyzing many recent historical works, as well as literature and film, we will explore how political, social and cultural realms are continually producing and negotiating ideas of marginality and exclusion.