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David Birdsong, Chair 201 W 21ST STREET STOP B7600, HRH 2.114A, AUSTIN, TX 78712 • 512-471-5531

Spring 2008


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
37440 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
HRH 2.112

Course Description

Sicily has always occupied a privileged place in the Italian literary and cinematic imagination. While such writers as Pirandello, Sciascia, and Verga have created what can legitimately be called a distinctly Sicilian category of Italian literature, such filmmakers as Visconti, Rosi, Tornatore have been drawn to the island as a space for cinematic experimentation and artistic self-discovery. From Visconti's 1948 neorealist masterpiece "La terra trema" to Tornatore's 1988 Oscar winning "Cinema Paradiso," from Verga's late nineteenth century short stories to Sciascia's Mafia based thrillers, Sicily has become both a mythic space of the mind, as well as a signifier, in extremis for its own, and the rest of Italy's social, political, and historical concerns. The course will involve close analysis of selected novels, short stories, and films with specific focus on such issues as unification history, the Mafia, and social/sexual mores. Attendance at the screenings is required.

Grading Policy

The final grade will be computed as follows: Papers: 40% Quizzes and exams: 45% Class participation: 15%


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