[Cross-listed with Italian 304]

Colonial and Postcolonial Italy

Often considered the least of major European colonial powers, Italy had expansionist ambitions since its Unification in 1861. At its peak during fascism, the Italian Empire annexed parts of Libya, Greece, Albania, Eritrea Ethiopia, and Somalia, in addition to a concession in Tianjin, China. But soon after WWII, the Italian public forgot about this history. Not until the 1990s when historians began to explore Italy’s colonial past. But so far Italians have not fully incorporated the country’s imperial history and its legacy into public discourse. Why did this phenomenon occur? And what implications did it have for today’s multiethnic Italian society, particularly when the country has been experiencing a Mediterranean refugee crisis and a surge of migrant entrepreneurship in its vibrant sector of small- and medium-sized enterprises? In addressing these questions, students will discuss mobility, class, gender, and race in relation to several case studies. The language of instruction is English. No prior knowledge is required. Students from any discipline are welcome.

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A sample of required readings:
Aida (Verdi, Illica, and Giacosa, 1871)
A Cure for Serpents (Denti di Pirajno, 1955)
The Besieged (Bertolucci, 1998)
Lamerica (Amelio, 1994)
Io, l’altro (Melliti, 2006)

Prerequisite: None

ITST 232 and ITAL 304 are cross-listed, i.e. students cannot enrol in or get credit for both. Students enrolled in ITAL 304 will do some of their readings in Italian.

Language of instruction: English

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