How do Italians' conceptions of themselves and their cultural identities respond to the struggle between the local and the global? How do Italians preserve and/or challenge a sense of themselves while moving forward within a European and transnational framework? How have cultural representations (films, novels, short stories, plays) testified to changes in and pressures on contemporary Italian society? These are some of the questions we will pursue in a study of Italian cultural identities in the age of the "post" nation. In an effort to better understand how categories of cultural identity--family, class, gender, sexual orientation, politics, and religion--function in the contemporary Italian context, we will compare and contrast official discourses (legal and academic documents and texts) with their unofficial counterparts (literary, cinematic, and mediatic representations). Insofar as community forms the individual's gateway to the world, our focus on these group formations will help us evaluate the evolving relationship between self and society in a fluid and evolving historical context. This class is conducted in Italian.