This course is offered online with synchronous and asynchronous components.
In the fifty-year period from 1919 to 1969, many events came to define modern Italian history: Fascism’s promise of national glory, death and destruction from World War II, rapid economic growth that skyrocketed northern Italy into prosperity, and social unrest that rocked western Europe. How are these moments portrayed in literature and cinema? How and why are these representations studied today? This course will explore the rise and fall of Italian Fascism under dictator Benito Mussolini and the swift, postwar economic growth that launched many Italian families into the modern world, displacing them from the countryside and into the flourishing cities of the North. In this course, we will analyze Fascist propaganda and films depicting the Fascist era and the postwar reconstruction period. We will also explore themes of alienation and malaise as a direct result of the economic boom via filmmakers Federico Fellini and Michelangelo Antonioni. In addition to the films, students will also read excerpts by Pier Paolo Pasolini, Primo Levi, and Italo Calvino. Assignments include brief, weekly responses to films/readings and a final paper