Romance Studies Courses

 


Winter 2019/20

Winter 2019

RMST221B Literatures and Cultures of the Romance World I: Medieval to Early Modern - LIT&CULT RMNCE I Sections

An introduction to the main themes that shaped the Western part of Europe as its different national identities emerged in the Mediterranean sphere.

Instructor(s): O'Brien, Juliet
Animal Reading What does it mean to be an animal? To be a human? And what does reading have to do with anything? Animal studies and the environmental humanities are ideas that are increasingly familiar to 21st-century readers; viewed here through the lens of some of the finest and most intriguing Medieval and Renaissance literary works from the Romance world, with important interactions with other literatures around the whole world and influences on later European literatures, and spanning a range of forms: from short poems to encyclopaedias, from fables to bestiaries, from saints’ miracles to dramatic multimedia satires. We will start small: listening to a frog in a 12th-century Troubadour poem in Old Occitan by Marcabru, “Bel m’es quan la rana chanta.” We will revisit this frog at the end of the course, to see how our readings have changed along the way. Our two set / required texts in the main body of...
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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.

Instructor(s): Testa, Carlo
[Cross-listed with Italian Studies 345] 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...
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Summer 2019

Summer 2019

RMST234 Introduction to Romance Language Cinema Sections

[Cross-listed with Italian Studies 234] The Humane Comedy: Educational Laughter in Contemporary Italian Cinema By harnessing laughter to the illustration of major social, economic, or political issues of its day, the commedia all’italiana has contributed to fostering a better informed, more humane humanity, and in the process has set an example that ought to be held up as a mirror of ethical commitment (not to mention artistic accomplishment and box-office success) for cultures across the world. Hence the title of this course — The Humane Comedy: Educational Laughter in Contemporary Italian Cinema. The topics covered are the following. Before the midterm: the politics of early post-Fascist Italy and the paradigms of neorealism (e.g. De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves, 1948); Pietro Germi’s Divorce, Italian Style (1961); Elio Petri’s The Working Class Goes to Heaven (1971); Franco Brusati’s Bread and Chocolate (1973). After the midterm: Ettore Scola’s We All Loved Each Other (1974); Maurizio Nichetti’s Icicle Thieves...
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