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

Spring 2010


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
37070 W
5:00 PM-8:00 PM
HRH 2.112

Course Description

This course will explore Italian cinema in the context of the processes of post-war "modernization" (1948-1963) and investigate the ways in which films may participate in the production of social discourses. Considering both theatrical features and documentaries, we will examine the intertwining of fiction and non-fiction, and critically study the politics of realist aesthetics. By close text analysis and theoretical readings, we will discuss topics such as changes and continuities from so-called "neorealism" to “modernism;” cinematic treatments of urban and rural spaces; the culture of work and welfare in post-war Italy and the concept of “bio-politics;” national identity formation, in the aftermath of War World II, and the transition from Fascism to Democracy; revolution and restoration in gender relations, especially in the family, and the relationship between the politics of welfare and the politics of sexes. Course conducted in English. Films are in Italian with English subtitles. One extra session will be scheduled for film screenings. Films will also be on reserve at Fine Arts Library.

Grading Policy

In-class presentation: 15% Presentation on final paper: 15% Final paper (20 pp): 40% Class preparation and participation: 30%


Required: Course-packet Rohdie, Sam. Rocco and his Brothers. London: BFI, 1992. Optional: Ginsborg, Paul. A History of Contemporary Italy: Society and Politics (1943-1988). London: Palgrave, 2003. Sorlin, Pierre. Italian National Cinema. New York: Routledge, 2003.


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