ITAL GA 2389 Private Memories, Public Images: Re-cycled Cinema
Mon/Wed 2:00 - 3:15pm; Dr. Alina Marazzi
(Please note: This is a 2 credit, 7 week course beginning in March 2018)
Led by award-winning Italian filmmaker Alina Marazzi, this course focuses on the use of archival footage – both home movies and institutional – taking examples for close analysis from her own films and theatre work. How do images from the past define our memories, both private and public? How do we look at archival footage from the past? Do those images always portray “reality”? How far do our emotional reactions to documentary film images from the past shape our perception of private and public memories? These are some of the questions which will be addressed to during the course.
The course aims to encourage students to do research in private film archives (home movies and non-official archives). As a final project students will be able either to (a) develop and make a short montage film, or (b) write a script for such a film, or (c) write a paper of 10-15 pages on the topic of re-using private home movies.
ITAL GA 2900 Carlo Emilio Gadda & the Neo-Avant-Garde
Tues 3:30 - 6:10; Professor Rebecca Falkoff
This course is dedicated to a close reading of the two major novels of Carlo Emilio Gadda, the great neurotic polymath often referred to as “the Italian James Joyce”: La cognizione del dolore (serialized between 1938-1941 in Letteratura, then published by Einaudi in 1963) and Quer pasticciaccio brutto de’ via Merulana (serialized in Letteratura between 1944-1946, then published by Garzanti in 1957). Our study of these novels will be supplemented by discussions of theoretical approaches elicited by his writing—particularly new materialism, science studies, and psychoanalysis. We will conclude with a study of the “Nipotini dell’Ingegnere”—those named by Alberto Arbasino in his influential essay of that title (Abarsino, Testori, and Pasolini); as well as writers of the Neo-Avant-Garde who sought to continue Gadda’s legacy by emulating his famously “baroque” style marked by wild digressions and the extensive use of regional dialects.
Reading knowledge of Italian is required. Class discussion will be conducted in English; Readings will be in English and Italian.
ITAL GA 1981.003 Cinemas of Poetry, Cinemas of Painting: Antonioni, Pasolini, Parajanov
(IFA is Sponsor Department)
Tues 10:00 - 12:00; Professor Ara Merjian
As some of post-war Europe’s most noted film directors, Michelangelo Antonioni, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Sergei Parajanov all practiced as visual artists – however intermittently – and their respective filmic visions bear extensive rapports with aesthetics both contemporary and ancient. Anchored in close readings of images and texts, this course examines the affinities of their cinema with non-cinematic discourses and practices. Taking as our point of departure Pier Paolo Pasolini’s theory of a “cinema of poetry,” we will examine the notion of poetry and painting as paradigms for the cinematic image. Parallel to larger, “ontological” questions of film theory, we will consider art historical problems: To what extent do Antonioni’s films of the early 1960s prefigure the artistic and literary neo-avant-gardes? Why did Pasolini’s relationship to contemporary art prove so fraught and antagonistic? How does Parajanov’s work in collage and assemblage relate to his cinema, and why does it matter?
As the bulk of our material dates to the 1960s, we will ground our analyses in historical and geographical context when possible. Along with specific historical considerations, we will examine a range of subjects and motifs, both cinematic and theoretical: the category of the “art film”; the theory of Free, Indirect style; narrative theory and semiotics; film theory and its disciplinary intersections with art history. Writings will include text by: Gilles Deleuze, Angela Dalle Vacche, Joseph Luzzi, Michelangelo Antonioni, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Romy Golan, P. Adams Sitney, Mieke Bal, Jacopo Benci, Giuliana Bruno, James Steffan, J.D. Rhodes, Germano Celant, and others. Films will include: Pasolini’s La Ricotta, Teorema, The Paper Flower Sequence (1968), The Earth Seen from the Moon, The Decameron, Salò; Antonioni’s N.U., La Notte, L’avventura, L’Eclisse, Red Dessert; Parajanov’s Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors and The Color of Pomegranates (Sayat Nova), Arabesques On The Pirosmani Theme, and Kiev Frescoes.
Knowledge of Italian, French, and/or Russian helpful but not necessary. Students are expected to attend various, pre-scheduled film screenings.
ITAL GA 2192/ITAL UA 161 Dante and His World
Mon 3:30 - 6:10; Professor Maria Luisa Ardizzone
*OPEN TO QUALIFIED UNDERGRADUATES. PLEASE CONTACT DEPARTMENT FOR APPROVAL.
This course proposes a reading of Dante’s work from Vita nuova to the Commedia, considered in light of the theological, rhetorical, and philosophical learning of Dante’s time. Dante’s Commedia will be considered in the context of his minor works. The objective of the course is to familiarize students with one of the most significant authors of Western culture. Through Dante’s texts, students will gain a perspective on the Biblical, Christian, and Classical traditions as well as on the historical, literary, philosophical context of medieval Europe.
Attention is directed to literature, art, and music, in addition to political, religious, and social developments of the time. The course emphasizes the continuity of the Western tradition and its intellectual history, especially the classical background of medieval culture and its transmission to the modern world.
Readings include selections from Dante’s works as The New Life, The Banquet, The Divine Comedy, and The Monarchy, along with texts by St. Augustine, Severinus Boethius, Thomas Aquinas, and Boccaccio. Works of vernacular poets of 13th century and artists from Romanesque to Gothic will be considered. Texts to be read will be available as photocopies.
ITAL GA 1981.002 World War II: Propaganda, POWs, and Practices of Violence
(History is Sponsor Dept.)
Tues 9:30 - 12:00; Professor Ruth Ben-Ghiat
This seminar examines the Second World War in a global framework. We will look at the social, cultural, military, and political contexts of the war from many national perspectives, from it’s pre-history in Asia, to Fascist aggressions in Europe that caused mass mobilizations, to the U.S. atomic bombing of Japan that led to its end. Three main themes unite the course: propaganda, prisoners of war and captives, and practices of violence. Students will analyze written and visual texts (newsreels) and present on them to the class.
ITAL GA 2895 Film and Urban Space in Italy
Thurs 3:30 - 6:10; Professor David Forgacs
This graduate-level course investigates the relationship between the media and technologies of film and video, on the one hand, and city space on the other, with particular reference to Italian cities.
What happens when the static or mobile camera meets the built environment, when it moves in, around or above buildings, when editing cuts and splices the city into “views”, when the flat rectangular screen frames three-dimensional space? How do films harness urban space to their narrative projects? How do they draw on and reorganize the pre-existing historical and social meanings of urban places? How are different elements of the urban environment photographed and manipulated? How does sound interact with images in films and video about urban space? In what ways can film and video serve as documents of urban space or act as agents of change in debates about uses of the city?
Analysis of the films will be supported by reading on space in cinema and on Italian cities. As well as looking at physical space we will pay attention to social space (e.g. centre versus periphery, commercial versus residential districts, space constructed by individuals through movement and activity) and to historical stratifications and changes within filmed cities (traces of the past, rebuilding, new developments).
ITAL GA 2689 Giordano Bruno and the Art of Memory
Wed 3:30 - 6:10; Professor Nicola Cipani
Conducted in English
The Art of Memory reached a peak of refinement and complexity during the Italian Renaissance. Far more than a mere tool for passive retention of information: memory devices had the ambition to assist in the structuring of thought, the organization of knowledge, the solving of philosophical questions, and were intended also as tools for creative output. This course examines the impact of the pervasive culture of memory on the literary production of the time, highlighting the interdependence between textual and visual codes. A main focus will be on the heretic philosopher and cosmologist Giordano Bruno, burnt at stake by the Roman Inquisition in 1600, who conceived his imposing mnemonic system as an inner mirror of the infinite universe and of nature's creative principles. We will first examine Bruno's works explicitly devoted to memory, assessing elements of continuity and innovation with respect to the tradition. Subsequently, sampling Bruno's Italian dialogues, his writings on magic, and his satyrical comedy Candlebearer, we will look for intersections between his theory of memory, on the one hand, and his strategy of self-representation, his literary style, and his doctrine of infinity on the other.
ITAL GA 2675 The Mediterranean. Archives, Translations, Histories
Tues 12:30 - 3:15; Professor Mahnaz Yousefzadeh
This course approaches the Mediterranean as a multicultural site that lends itself to questions concerning cultural encounters and crossovers, as well as to the issue of historical memory. The Mediterranean emerges in our investigation as the substance of, and the backdrop for a reevaluation of the various narratives of European modernity; for an examination of the centrality of colonialism in that modernization process; and finally, for an encounter with the realities of southern and eastern immigration into Europe.
ITAL-GA 3030 001: Research Preparation in Italian Studies
Wed 12:30 - 3:30
Professor Jane Tylus
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