Advanced Italian: Fascism, World War II and the Resistance in 20th-Century Italian Narrative and Cinema


This course is intended for advanced students of Italian who want to better their comprehension, as well as their oral and written skills in the language. This will be achieved by reading literary works and watching films in the original language, producing written compositions, and in-class discussion of the material. The course examines the manner in which crucial historical events that occurred during the 20th century—specifically the rise and fall of fascism, World War II, and the Resistance—were represented within Italian literature and cinema of the time, as well as throughout the decades following the end of the war up to the 1970s. Literary texts will include those authored by Ignazio Silone, Vasco Pratolini, Italo Calvino, Mario Carli, Renata Viganò, Carlo Cassola, Beppe Fenoglio, Elio Vittorini, Alberto Moravia, and Carlo Mazzantini. Films will include fascist propaganda and documentaries from the Istituto Luce’s archives, as well as films by Roberto Rossellini (his fascist-era war trilogy, as well as his neorealist films), Vittorio De Sica, Luigi Comencini, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, Bernardo Bertolucci, Giuliano Montaldo, Ettore Scola, Luchino Visconti, Liliana Cavani, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Federico Fellini. Conference topics may include the study of a particular author, literary text, or film that might be of interest to the student. Conversation classes will be held with the language assistants. Literary texts will be available for purchase; critical material will be available through e-reserve.    Open to students with advanced proficiency in Italian.