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Home Movies: Italian "Families" on Film
ITAL 223
Fall 2023
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: COL 223

What is "the family" in an Italian social and cultural context? How has it changed over time? How has it responded to the transformations of Italian society since the time of the postwar economic miracle until today? Have its contours changed to adapt to new values? Has it fossilized existing values? Are families limited to flesh-and-blood kinship or are they constructed along lines of shared values and loyalty? This course seeks some answers to these questions through a sustained exploration of a variety of types of families as they are presented in Italian cinema from roughly 1950 until today. We will take stock of representations of the "traditional" family and the related social values, seeking to understand how Italian filmmakers, through their focus on the family, enter into the debate concerning tradition and change within Italian society, culture, and history. To that end, we will examine family dynamics along a broad spectrum of relative and intersecting aspects including affiliation, love, and rivalry; elective families (organized around crime syndicates, families constituted according to affinity); "failed" and "challenged" families and what that means; and examples of single-parent and same-sex families that seek to challenge conventional heteronormative paradigms. Along the way, we will recur to some critical readings (in sociology, history, and anthropology) that will help us frame our inquiry. This course is conducted in Italian. ITAL 223 is an appropriate course for anyone seeking an advanced class after ITAL112.

We will screen one primary film each week, which will anchor our discussions and serve as the basis for that week's activities. Students will also make 10-15 minute presentations on a secondary film that will serve as a "companion" to the primary text and will thicken our understanding of that week's themes.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA RLAN
Course Format: DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: ITAL221 OR ITAL222
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (COL)(ITST)(RMST)
Past Enrollment Probability: 90% or above

Last Updated on JUL-18-2024
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