[Cross-listed with RMST 222]

Types and Archetypes of Fascism in the Age of the Crisis of Liberal Democracy

This course aims at offering students with diverse backgrounds some foundational knowledge about the phenomenon of “xxx-ism” as, in successive incarnations, it arose and ran its course in the context of neo-Latin societies and cultures. Since the phenomenon originated in Italy, our primary focus will be the Italian peninsula.

We will read Neville and make references to Bosworth, Mack Smith, Martin Clark, Procacci and other contemporary historians and sociologists. We will analyze works of theory, politics, fiction and memoirs from that age (by Marinetti, Moravia, Pirandello, Ungaretti, Carlo Levi); examine the architecture and fine arts of Mussolini’s regime; and watch clips from films belonging to the genres of telefoni bianchi comedy (Camerini’s Il Signor Max), war propaganda (Balbo’s transatlantic flights, Rossellini’s The White Ship) and historical “peplum” kolossals (Gallone’s Scipio the African).

Ultimately, the goal of this Italy-based extended case study is to provide students with the analytical tools indispensable not only to condemn, in facile, dogmatic (and thus ultimately misplaced) self-assurance, the fascism(s) of yesteryear, but, more importantly, to condemn and — so it is hoped — oppose effectively the many forms of xxx-ism facing us today.

A reader containing excerpts from works of theory, politics, essays and literary texts will be available from Copiesmart in the UBC Village.

Peter Neville, Mussolini, 2nd ed., London: Routledge, 2014.

Prerequisite: None

Language of instruction: English

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