Fascism, Futurism, and Feminism: Forces of Change in 20th-Century Italy|
Spring 2019 not offered
This course investigates three forces at work in Italy in the first half of the 20th century. We explore Italian fascism, futurism, and feminism through a variety of media, including literary, cinematic, and artistic expressions, and will consider each movement in its sociohistorical context. Marking its centennial, World War I and Italy's engagement with it will also offer an important chapter for study. Some of the questions we will contemplate: How did the radical annihilation of standard mores and culture proposed by the futurists help pave the way for Italian fascism? How did feminism in the first half of the century offer examples of resistance to both fascism and futurism? The texts we will consider include the paintings, sculpture, manifestos, and poetry of futurism; Sibilla Aleramo's early feminist novel Una donna, as well as the writings of other Italian feminists resistant to the ultraviolence and misogyny of futurism and the instrumentalization of gender under Italian fascism. We explore similarly varied texts representative of the fascist era: examples of rationalist architecture and urban planning; Alberto Moravia's novel of social mores during fascism, Gli indifferenti; selections from Antonio Gramsci's political prisoner of the regime, Quaderni del carcere and Lettere dal carcere; and at least one film made under the conditions (economic, industrial, and propagandistic) of fascism. The class concludes with examination of Alba de Cespedes's runaway bestselling melodrama from 1938, Nessuno torna indietro. Our goal is an understanding of the ideological dis/connections between fascism, futurism, and feminism in the Italian collective unconscious in a historical juncture of profound social, economic, and political transformations. By focusing on the interconnections of these forces, we strive for a panoramic understanding of Italy as it moved to embrace modernity in the first half of the last century.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Prerequisites: ITAL222 OR ITAL112
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ITST)(RMST)
Aleramo, Sibilla. Una donna.
De Cespedes, Alba. Nessuno torna indietro.
Moravia, Alberto. Gli indifferenti
Readings that are not book-length included in the Course Reader.
|Examination and Assignments: |
Daily discussion questions, two essays (with the option of a third, at the student's discretion), oral final examination.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
THIS COURSE IS INTENDED PRIMARILY FOR THE FOLLOWING STUDENTS: those who have a) completed the 221-222 sequence; b) who have studied in Italy (for one or two semesters); c) whose experience with Italian is very recent (i.e., took a course numbered above 221 in Fall 2011 or studied in Italy during that time). This course may be suitable for students who have not completed a course at the 221-222 level but whose placement exam suggested they should take courses numbered above 221. In the event that a student with advanced reading, writing, and speaking abilities in Italian has not yet completed a course at the 221-222 level, s/he will be asked to conduct a brief oral interview with the professor during registration or drop/add. In the event that the student does not meet the prerequisites AND the professor has any doubts as to placement, she will ask the student to engage in a brief oral interview.
Students are expected to be able to read between 75- 100 pp. in Italian per week, though reading assignments differ in length according to the genre: weeks in which we study art and architecture require readings of a different length than those in which we are studying novels.
In addition to the essential capabilities indicated, students will exercise skills at interpreting the texts in the contexts we consider; these interpretations are exercised orally in class, developed in the two required essays (students have the opportunity to write a third essay and are encouraged to do so), and discussed in the oral final exam.
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