Oct 19, 2018
LALW328 Contemporary Italian Literature and Film: Myths, Identity and the “Mirage of America” 3cr
This course introduces students to a selection of the most significant Italian literature of the second half of the 20th century. These novels and
short-stories provide a variety of perspectives and insights into Italy as a country, with its complex history and rich culture, but also with
its changing values (e.g. the presence of the Catholic Church vs. secular society, the recent immigration from Africa and Asia), and internal
tensions (e.g. the North-South divide, recent debates on gender equality, the intersection of politics and the Mafia).
Some of the novels are complemented by films that have put the talent of Italian directors and
actors on the international ‘map’ since the 1960’s. Thanks to their visionary skills as well
as poignant societal analysis, these authors, intellectuals and artists have also substantially
informed the contemporary American literary and
cultural scene. In this respect, some of the novels and films in this course reflect on the
“mirage of America” in Italian culture, and the related representations of Italian-Americans. In
class we will analyze these representations and compare them with the images of present-day Italy
in American media, arts and popular culture.
Fall and Spring