ITAL-GA 1060 Cultural Diplomacy
Tuesdays 12:30-3:15; Professor Stefano Albertini (Director of NYU's
Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò)
The course explores the foundations of Cultural Diplomacy concentrating on its development since the 20th century, especially on the contemporary geopolitical scene. It also provides a hands-on approach aimed at preparing students for a career in Cultural Diplomacy both in traditional, nation-based contexts (e.g. embassies, consulates, state-run agencies) and in the more innovative and ever-changing world of private centers, foundations, and nonprofit organizations. Students will be expected to engage in a variety of capacities in programs that will allow them to develop skills and abilities useful for these extra-academic professions. These will range from co-curating film series and coordinating jurors for film festivals, to assisting in the conception, development, and promotion of conferences, concert series, historical/documentary and art exhibits.
Conducted in English.
Mondays 12:30-3:15; Professor David Forgacs
The course has three main aims: (1) to familiarize students with a sample of Italian non-fiction films of different types: instructional, industrial, newsreel, propaganda, ethnographic, social, memoir, found footage; (2) to equip them to engage critically with these films through close analysis and reading of key texts on documentary; (3) to help them produce high-level critical writing about Italian documentary, paying particular attention to film style.
Conducted in English.
Thursdays 12:30-3:15; Professor Alison Cornish
Why would anyone need Hell? Why do people believe in eternal damnation? What is the concept of an Inferno for? When Dante emerges from a dark wood and is unable to climb a mountain clothed in light, he finds that he must go by another path, accompanied by Reason (aka the ancient poet, Virgil). And this path, which eventually will climb to the top of a mountain and beyond, goes down – down through every form of evil, with all the seductions and horrors of each, to the rock bottom, because evil does, it turns out, have a bottom.
For this seminar, knowledge of Italian is helpful, but not required as all readings will be available in translation. Interest in connecting the Inferno to its intellectual, cultural, and political roots, as well as to those of its aftermath, in whatever cultural tradition, will be strongly encouraged. In addition to assiduous participation in weekly discussion of assigned texts, students will develop their own research projects. These will be fostered intermediate stages such as preliminary close reading, analysis of a short work of scholarship, literature review, a consideration of different methodologies, and peer review. A brief (15-20 minute) presentation of the project or related material will precede the final paper of around 20 pages (5000 words).
Open to interested and motivated undergraduates.
Tuesdays 12:30-3:15; Professor Maria Luisa Ardizzone
The course is devoted to exploring vernacular lyric poetry in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Beginning with Provençal poets influential on the Italian lyrical tradition, we will start our focus on poets of the Sicilian school (Giacomo da Lentini, Guido delle Colonne, Pier delle Vigne and others), move to the Tuscan Guittone D’Arezzo and poets of the so-called Stil Nuovo (Guido Guinizzelli, Guido Cavalcanti, Dante, Cino da Pistoia, Compiuta Donzella and others) to Dante’s immediate successors, Petrarch and Boccaccio. We will evaluate the role of Arabic culture in the development of that tradition, in particular the impact of new translations of philosophical texts from Arabic intermediaries. We will also examine the curricular reform taking place in European universities at the same time, the relevance of new ideas of learning and its organization, focusing on the notion of poetry, the imagination, and Aristotelian psychology.The interaction between old learning and new learning will be one of the major concerns of the course. The course will be conducted in English. Reading knowledge of Italian is not required.
Wednesdays 12:30-3:15; Professor Eugenio Refini
Genre bending and cross-contamination of styles have been main features of the dramatic arts in Italy since the Renaissance. A kaleidoscopic model for the development of theater across and beyond Europe, the “Italian stage,” with its many faces, has produced a variety of forms that have shaped the notions of drama and theater far beyond the geographical boundaries of Italy, while also triggering productive exchanges with other theatrical traditions. Moving from the canonization of the classical dramatic genres within the classicist frame of the Renaissance, this course explores key moments in the process that, over three centuries, mixed things up. From the broad European reach of the commedia dell’arte to the rise of opera and other hybrid forms of musical theater (which, for a long time, did make Europe speak Italian), through the various “reforms” of the dramatic arts pursued at the dawn of modernity, we will be studying a wide range of texts, always focusing on the interplay between the written sources and their performative lives. Combining close-reading with careful consideration of performance practice as crucial to processes of dissemination and reception, the course will consider Italian theater between 1600 and 1900 through a comparative lens. Sources will be made available both in the original and in English translation.