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Dr. Susan Sage Heinzelman, Director 2505 University Avenue, A4900, Burdine Hall 536, Austin Texas 78712 • 512-471-5765

Paola Bonifazio

Core Faculty Ph.D., New York University

Assistant Professor
Paola Bonifazio



Italian Cinema; Italian Literature-Modern; Italian Cultural Studies; Film theory and history, including documentary; Futurism; P.P.Pasolini

WGS 393 • Italy & The Documentary Tradit

46839 • Spring 2015
Meets T 330pm-630pm HRH 2.106C
(also listed as ITL 382 )
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In this course, we will examine the most important topics and issues in documentary history and criticism, thorough the analysis of films representing Italy, from World War I to the present. We will study the documentary both as genre and as style, for example, considering the aesthetics of Neorealism, examining the use of newsreel footage in fiction films, or the use of fiction in documentaries. We will also explore stylistic differences within the mode of documentary, including “mocku-mentaries,” docufictions, and ephemeral films. Specific attention will be given to documentary films dealing with issues of gender and sexuality, as well as to women filmmakers. 

Course conducted in English; Knowledge of Italian preferred but not required


Films by Roberto Rossellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Luchino Visconti, Ermanno Olmi, Liliana Cavani, Lina Wertmueller, Lina Mangiacapre, Alina Marazzi, Francesca Comencini, Marina Spada, Martin Scorsese, Marco Bellocchio, Yervant Gianikian e Angela Ricci Lucchi, Elvira Notari, and the Futurist Avant-Garde.


Required text:

Bill Nichols, Representing Reality: Issues and Concepts in Documentary (Indiana University Press, 1992).



Preparation and participation to class discussions 20%

Book Review (1000-1500 words) 15% 

Oral presentation on final research project 15%

Final research paper (6000-6500 words) 50% 


WGS 340 • Women & Post-War Italian Films

47803 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm HRH 2.112
(also listed as EUS 347, ITC 349 )
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This course examines the position of women in Italian culture by focusing on Italian films from the 1950s to the present. We will consider “women” both as filmmakers and as subjects of works by male filmmakers. Some of the topics that we will discuss during the semester are: gender relations in a patriarchal society, the star system and divismo, and the woman’s film as a genre. Particular attention will be given to the study of changes and continuities from the Fascist regime to the postwar period, as well as to the mixture of tradition and modernity in contemporary cinema.


Films by:

Giuseppe De Santis, Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti, Michelangelo Antonioni, Raffaello Matarazzo, Vittorio Cottafavi, Liliana Cavani, Lina Wertmuller, Cristina Comencini, Francesca Comencini, Alina Marazzi, Luca Guadagnino, Gabriele Salvatores, Lorella Zanardo.



A packet of selected essays will be prepared by the instructor



Participation: 15%

Oral Presentation: 10%

Three short papers: 45%

Final Project: 30%



“Documenting Work: Manuela Pellarin’s Non-Fiction Films in the Industrial Veneto.” Studies in European Cinema 8:2 (2012)

“Work, Welfare, Biopolitics: Italian and American Film Propaganda in the Age of Neorealism.” Italianist. 31:2 (2011) 

“Feminism, Postmodernism, Intertextuality: We Want Roses Too (2007).” Literature/Film Quarterly 38:3 (2010)

Bonifazio, P. (2009) Italian Documentary Filmmakers and the Christian Democratic Road to Hegemony.In E. Bolongaro, M. Epstein, & R. Gagliano (Eds.), Creative Interventions: The Role of Intellectuals in Contemporary Italy (pp.46-62). New Castle (UK): Cambridge Scholars Publishing.


Bonifazio, P. (2009). La bestemmia del lavoro: borgate e sottoproletariato scritti e diretti da PierPaolo Pasolini. In B. Lawton & M. Bergonzoni (Eds.), PierPaolo Pasolini: In Living Memory (pp.49-68). Washington D.C.: New Academia Publishing.



Bonifazio, P. and Bellina, E. (Eds.). (2006) State of Exception: Cultural Responses to the Rhetoric of Fear. New Castle: Cambridge Scholars Press.

Bonifazio, P. (2001, September) Teatralita e mafia ne I cento passi di Marco Tullio Giordana. Working Papers in Romance Languages and Literature 6.

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