Mothers play a prominent role in Italian Neorealism. We will examine the cultural construction of motherhood after the World War 2, drawing on the movies of Rossellini, De Sica, Pasolini, Fellini, Benigni, Amelio, Soldini, as well as on novels and poetry. The course will investigate the issue of motherhood exploring the interaction between anthropology, society, politics. We will discuss the relationship between authority and freedom, tradition and innovation, normalization and difference, family and gender. The reading material and the bibliographical references will be provided in a course reader. Further material will be presented in class. Requirements include class attendance, preparation, and participation, a series of oral responses, and a final oral presentation.