Professor of Italian Studies

M.A. in German (U. C. Davis)
M.A. in French (U. C. Davis)
Ph.D. in French and Comparative Literature (U.C. Berkeley)

Carlo Testa received his Laurea in Lettere from the University of Milan in 1978 and did his graduate work in German, French and Comparative Literature in California (UC Davis and Berkeley) in the 1980s.

At UBC he teaches courses on 19th- and 20th-century Italy (literature, cinema, political and social history) and theoretical issues of a comparative nature.
Aside from the Comparative Literature program, the UBC interdisciplinary groups with which he has cooperated, or cooperates at the present time, include the University Seminar on Political Violence (Liu Institute for Global Issues), the Inter-Faculty Initiative on Migration Studies (IFIMS), the Centre for Translation and Authority Studies, the Institute for European Studies, and the Science and Technology Studies program.

 

AREAS OF INTEREST

ITALIAN CIV
History of Fascism. History of science and technology in the Italian peninsula from antiquity to the present. Contemporary politics.

ITALIAN LITERATURE, NINETEENTH-TWENTIETH CENTURY
The Bildungsroman. History of poetry. Translation of European classics of poetry into Italian. Translation theory.

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE
Utopian / paradisian narratives, especially of the Romantic age. Nineteenth- and twentieth-century novel in Europe. The pact with the devil in literature from Goethe to Bulgakov. Representations of money in literature. The novel of social superfluousness vs. integration. Religion and literature: Tolstoy. Nationalism and the nationalist canon. Twentieth-century rear-garde poetry, from Blok to Pasternak, via Esenin, Rilke, Mandel’sham and Tsvetaeva.

HISTORY OF CINEMA
History of post-WWII Italian cinema, particularly in its relation to literature, society, politics, the economy. Representations of political violence.

THEORY / FILM STUDIES
Pedagogical filmmaking: Rossellini. Russian semiotics: Lotman. Literature and film in Èizenshtein. Re-creation of art forms across media, particularly into film.

CURRENT PROJECTS

  • Translation into Italian of Rilke, Die Sonette an Orpheus; and Blok, Stikhi o Prekrasnoy Dame.
  • Translation theory.
  • Representations of the labor market in Italian cinema.

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Last three published items only; for previously published items, see fuller list of publications below.

  • “Crisis – What crisis? The jobless society and Italian cinema in the early 2000s.”  Forum Italicum  47: 1 (May 2013).  126-49.
  • Gradus ad Cælum: The Theo-Politics of Happiness.”  In Transmutatio.  Thematic issue of Quaderni di Studi Indo-Mediterranei.  Eds. Daniela Boccassini and Carlo Testa.  Alessandria: Edizioni dell’Orso.  5 (2013).  311-43.
  • “ ‘Nel Mutare mettiti in cammino’: i Sonetti a Orfeo di Rilke come ermeneutica del mondo.”  In Transmutatio.  Thematic issue of Quaderni di Studi Indo-Mediterranei.  Eds. Daniela Boccassini and Carlo Testa.  Alessandria: Edizioni dell’Orso.  5 (2013).  55-79.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Books:

  • Masters of Two Arts: Re-creation of European Literatures in Italian Cinema (2002)
  • Italian Cinema and Modern European Literatures: French, German, Russian, 1945-2000 (2002)
  • Desire and the Devil: Demonic Contracts in French and European Literature (1991)

Edited books:

  • Transmutatio:  La via ermetica alla felicità – The Hermetic Way to Happiness (2013).  Co-edited with Daniela Boccassini.
  • Poet of Civic Courage: The Films of Francesco Rosi (1996)

Articles and books chapters:

  • “Luchetti: La nostra vita — e il nostro paesaggio. L’orizzonte fisico, etico ed economico dell’Italia nell’epoca del Lumpenbürgertum e del capitalismo virale.”  In Paolo Chirumbolo and Luca Pocci, eds.  La rappresentazione del paesaggio nella letteratura e nel cinema dell’Italia contemporanea.  Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 2013.  318-48.
  • “The Working Class Goes to Hell: Economic Issues of the High Industrial Age in Post-Second World War Italian Cinema.”  In Cinema italiano contemporaneo.  Thematic issue of Annali d’Italianistica.  Ed. Antonio Vitti.  30 (2012).  343-54.
  • “Aleksandr Blok Translated into Italian: In the Beginning Was Poggioli’s Word.”  In Renato Poggioli: An Intellectual Biography.  Eds. Roberto Ludovico, Lino Pertile and Massimo Riva.  Firenze: Olschki, 2012.  103-24.
  • “Literature and Cinema from ‘Adaptation’ to Re-creation: Coping with the Complexity of Human Recollection.” Between 2: 4 (2012).  Università di Cagliari.  http://www.Between-journal.it/.  [Complete final version of “Vadetecum”infra]
  • “Rilke contro le avanguardie. Con un saggio di traduzione teorico e pratico.”  Forum Italicum  46: 1 (Spring 2012).  2-25.
  • “Threads of Political Violence in Italy’s Spiderweb: Giorgio Ambrosoli’s Murder in Michele Placido’s A Bourgeois Hero.”  In Mafia Movies: A Reader.  Ed. Dana Renga.  Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011.  295-303.
  • “Nel cinquantenario del Dottor Zhivago: ‘Gamlet’ di Pasternak e tre Amleti italiani.”  L’Anello che non tiene  23: 1-2 (Spring-Fall 2011; publ. 2013).  117-40.
  • “Un nouveau Risorgimento du cinéma: Rossellini lecteur de Stendhal (cent-)cinquante ans après.”  Littérature et cinéma.  Thematic issue of Babel. Littératures plurielles.  Eds. Sandra Gorgievski and Alessandro Leiduan.  24 (Fall 2011).  77-104.
  • Vadetecum: A Manifesto of Inter-Media Re-creation.”  In Watching Pages, Reading Pictures: Cinema and Modern Literature in Italy.  Eds. Daniela De Pau and Georgina Torello.  Cambridge (UK): Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009.  72-90.
  • “Les rouges et les noirs: Couleurs du terrorisme dans le cinéma italien.”  In Le terrorisme dans tous ses EtatsL’Italie et la RFA à l’épreuve des années de plomb: Réalités et représentations du terrorisme.  Sous la direction de Gius Gargiulo et Otmar Seul.  Paris: Houdiard, 2008.  212-22.
  • “Italian and World Poetry in Benigni’s and Cerami’s The Tiger and the Snow.”  Forum Italicum  42: 2 (Fall 2008).  382-96.
  • “Quali poeti ha letto l’Italia del ventesimo secolo? Rovello in un prologo e 9 documenti: Blok, Akhmatova, Mandel’shtam, Pasternak.”  Italian Poetry Review 3 (2008).  207-27.
  • “Utopia and Its Double: Brentano’s Die Chronica des fahrenden Schülers.”  Unsolicited reprint of the original 1996 article  [in Germanic Review 71: 2 (Spring 1996)]  in the reference work/anthology Nineteenth Century Literature Criticism.  Ed. Russel Whitaker.  Dallas, Tx.: Gale, 2008.  94B-103A.  (NCLC 191).
  • “Letteratura e rivoluzione nel cinema italiano (1971-2002).”  Atti del Convegno Scrivere per il cinema IV (Padua, 16-17 Nov. 2006).  In Studi Novecenteschi. Rivista di storia della letteratura italiana contemporanea.  Eds. Beatrice Bartolomeo and Farah Polato.  75 (Jan.-June 2008).  11-20.
  • “Film, Literature and Terrorism: Mapping Italy’s Political Landscape by Cinematic Means.”  Italica 84: 4  (Winter 2007).  781-98.
  • “Collodi’s Pinocchio: Beyond Balzac, Wolfram.”  Rivista di Studi Italiani 22: 2 (December 2004; publ. 2007).  85-110.
  • “Italian Political Cinema: Surveying a Once Glorious Genre in Times of Anguish.”  Posted by the Italian Seminar website c/o the Cornell University Library.  [2005.]  (17 pp.; 6,818 words). Downloadable at: http://dspace.library.cornell.edu/handle/1813/2654?mode=full
  • “Revolution, Loneliness, and the Future of Love: Tolstoy in the Cinema of Paolo and Vittorio Taviani.”  Tolstoy Studies Journal.  16 (2004).  87-94.
  • “Roberto Rossellini’s opera ultima.”  Romance Languages Annual 12 (2000).  243A-251B.
  • “Dalla letteratura al cinema [in Mitry vs. Lotman]: ‘adattamento’ o ri-creazione?”  Bianco e Nero 62: 1-2 (Jan.-Apr. 2001).  37-51.
  • “Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s Saint Michael Had a Rooster: A Cinematic Re-creation of Tolstoy’s Divine and Human(Bozheskoe i chelovecheskoe).”  Tolstoy Studies Journal 11 (1999).  139-41.
  • “Rossellini Reader of Stendhal: Vanina Vanini.”  Romance Languages Annual 10 (1998).  380A-386B.
  • “[Pasternak’s] Doktor Zhivago: Values Versus Voodoo.”  The Russian Review 56 (July 1997).  383-401.
  • “Meridionalism: Northern European Conceptions of the South in Pushkin, Eichendorff, Mérimée.”  I Quaderni di Gaia 8 (1997).  83-104.
  • “The Sins of Utopia: Balzac’s Le médecin de campagne.”  Nineteenth-Century French Studies 25: 3-4 (Spring-Summer 1996-97).  281-93.
  • “Being Outside Time: Gogol, Brentano, and Literary Utopia.”  Germano-SlavicaA Canadian Journal of Germanic and Slavic Comparative and Interdisciplinary Studies 9: 1-2 (1995-1996).  103-24.
  • “The Dialectics of Dialect: Enzo Jannacci and Existentialism.”  Canadian Journal of Italian Studies 52 (1996).  19-40.
  • “Ledda’s Padre Padrone: From the Bildungsroman to the Novel of Superfluousness.”  Forum Italicum 30: 1 (Spring 1996).  103-28.
  • Mignon è partita [: Goethe] and Francesca Archibugi’s Illegible Land.”  Italian Quarterly 33, No. 127-28 (Winter-Spring 1996).  43-47.
  • “Utopia and Its Double: Brentano’s Die Chronica des fahrenden Schülers.”  Germanic Review 71: 2 (Spring 1996).  134-46.
  • “Nichetti, Craxi, Mephisto, and Goethe.”  Romance Languages Annual 6 (1994).  366A-370B.
  • “Littérature de fission et littérature d’intégration. Sur la métaphysique du texte littéraire.”  Revue des Sciences Humaines 234 (Apr.-June 1994).  35-52.
  • “Goncharov’s Oblomov: Fragmentation, Self-Marginalization, Cockroaches.”  Canadian-American Slavic Studies 28: 4 (Winter 1994).  399-418.
  • “La otra tierra, el otro yo: El mito de la alteridad en el romanticismo.”  In Mythopoesis: Literatura, Totalidad, Ideología, ed. Joan Ramon Resina.  Barcelona 1992.  131-46.
  • “Gérard de Nerval’s Faust.”  Studi Francesi 36: 1 (Jan.-Apr. 1992).  72-80.
  • “Flaubert’s ‘Etre la matière!’ ”  Nineteenth-Century French Studies 20: 1-2 (Fall-Winter 1991-92).  137-44.
  • “Bulgakov’s Master i Margarita: Post-Romantic Devil Pacts.”  Canadian-American Slavic Studies 24: 3 (Fall 1990).  257-78.
Winter 2017

RMST222 Literatures and Cultures of the Romance World II: Modern to Post-Modern Sections

An introduction to the main themes that shaped the Western part of Europe in the age of the nation state, imperialism, colonization, and decolonization.

Winter 2017

ITST385 Italian Cinema: Neorealism Sections

Winter 2017

ITST432 Italian Cinema and Its Cultural Background Sections

Films with English subtitles. Precludes credit for ITAL 430. Course content will vary. May be taken twice for a total of 6 credits.

Winter 2017

ITST345 Italian Fascism in Interdisciplinary Perspective Sections

The cultural, literary, philosophical roots of Fascism and its evolution: its policies in literature, sports, cinema, architecture, racial legislation, and colonial adventures.

Winter 2017

ITAL102 First-Year Italian II Sections

Grammar, reading, writing and oral practice for beginners without previous exposure to the Italian language or dialects.