Summer Course Schedule [Undergraduate]
ITAL UA 285
TOPICS IN ITALIAN LIT: POWER AND LANGUAGE IN THE RENAISSANCE
Tuesdays/Thursdays, 2 - 5 p.m.
7/3 - 8/13/2017
With populism on the rise in
Western democracies, the language of politics has become the object of
increased scrutiny. Many have expressed concern about the increase of
demagogy and verbal violence in our public spheres. Others have preferred to
draw attention to the pernicious effects of political correctness for
public debate. Implicit in all these positions, however, is the sense that the impoverishment
of language impairs public life and diminishes, as George Orwell would put
it, the range of political thought.
Yet if the language of politics is vulnerable to depletion and degradation, history provides many examples of its renovation and expansion. This course will focus on the transformations of political discourse from 1300 to 1650, the period of history in which the birth of the modern state coincided with a return to rhetoric. We will examine the different strategies authors like Christine de Pizan, Petrarch, Savonarola, Machiavelli, Thomas More and Justus Lipsius, employed either to challenge prevailing political discourses or to invent new ones. After examining some of the basic tenets of classical rhetoric, we will look into the literary genres of political expression, ranging from panegyrics and invective, histories and memoirs, to lyric and epic poems, theater and satire. We will then explore some of the main commonplaces that populate the political imaginary of Early Modern Europe, including nationhood and nobility, progress and decadence, the sciences of politics and utopia, with an eye to understanding their tenacity up to the present day. Finally, students will be encouraged to reflect on the importance of language as a variable in the analysis of contemporary politics. Knowledge of Romance languages is welcome but not required.
ITAL-UA 10 001: INTENSIVE
5/22/17 - 7/2/17
9 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
ITAL-UA 20 001: INTENSIVE INTERMEDIATE ITALIAN
7/3 - 8/13/2017
9 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Topics in Italian Literature: The 'Coming of Age' Tale in 20th Century Italy
The story about the growth and education of a hero – known as the Bildungsroman - develops in Italy only after the turn of the 20th century, even as it was already flourishing elsewhere in Europe. Born as the attempt to envisage the life of one individual as a coherent and meaningful totality, the Italian Bildungsroman thus originates belatedly, when Modernism has already undermined the possibility to shape the hero’s life as a knowable and uncomplicated unity. We will analyze the narrative development of heroes always menaced by affect, trajectories of lives that are fragmented by the disruptive interference of the unnamable, traumatic events, emotions, or the presence of minor characters who resist meaning and evaluation.
We will explore the Italian Bildungsroman in both literature and cinema, focusing on major authors such as Calvino, Pasolini, Svevo, and the best-selling contemporary author Elena Ferrante as well as films by Fellini, De Sica, and Visconti. In addition to studying the genre’s formal aspects, we will examine its connections with Italian history and the wider European context: the Bildungsroman as a narrative strategy to deal with the ‘Southern question,’ the ‘novel of formation’ as the ‘symbolic form’ of the years of reconstruction immediately after the fall of Fascism, the role of the political Bildugsroman during the 50’s and 60’s. We will also read some short theoretical texts by Fredric Jameson, Franco Moretti, and others to help us explore issues such as crisis, the negotiation of narrative space between one protagonist and many minor characters, and the evolution of a genre such as the Bildungsroman from its supposedly pure form to a complex, dialectic one.
Intensive Elementary Italian
Anna Fay Wainwright
Intensive Intermediate Italian