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

Paola Bonifazio

Assistant Professor Ph.D., New York University

Paola Bonifazio

Contact

Interests

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

ITL 321 • Intro To Italian Literature

37210 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ 2.118
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This course is an introduction to the reading and analysis of Italian literary production. By the end of this course, students will learn of some of the most important cultural issues, literary trends, and social discourses in Italy, from the Middle Ages to the present. Students will also lay the foundations for literary analysis and criticism in Italian.

We will examine representative texts in their historical, political, and social contexts. In particular, we will explore Italian literary productions from the point of view of “otherness:” for example, we will analyze texts that focus on marginalized subjects, such as the poor and the southerner, as well as works by marginalized authors, such as women writers, and consider examples of counter-cultures. In some cases, we will compare these texts to canonical works of Italian Literature. We will also read one of the most representative texts of Italian literature, Italo Calvino’s Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno. Some films are also required for this course and will be discussed in class.

Required texts:

Paolo E. Balboni - Anna Biguzzi. Letteratura italiana per stranieri. Nuova edizione. Guerra Edizioni (2005). [LI]

Italo Calvino. Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno (1947)

Other texts will be posted on Blackboard (B).

Films:

I Promessi sposi (Mario Camerini, 1941)

Cristo si e' fermato a Eboli (Franco Rosi, 1979)

Vogliamo anche le rose (Alina Marazzi, 2007)

Requirements

Participation (in-class discussion, study questions and book activities): 15%

Weekly Journal: 20%

Oral presentation: 15%

Mid-term Exam: 20%

Final Exam: 30%

ITC 349 • Women & Post-War Italian Films

37357 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm HRH 2.112
(also listed as EUS 347, WGS 340 )
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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.

 

Readings

A packet of selected essays will be prepared by the instructor

 

Grading

Participation: 15%

Oral Presentation: 10%

Three short papers: 45%

Final Project: 30%

 

ITL 328 • Composition And Conversation

37540 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 930am-1100am MEZ 2.122
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Course Description


The goals of this course are to improve students' skills in writing and speaking in Italian, as well as to increase their level of comprehension (both reading and listening). Furthermore, we aim at expanding the students' knowledge of Italian culture by reading short stories and articles.

NOTE: This course carries the Writing Flag

 

Required text:

Elisa Tognozzi and Giuseppe Cavatorta. Ponti: Italiano terzo millennio, 2nd Edition (Cengage Learning, 2009) (BOOK ONLY)

 

Requirements and grading:


Class participation 10%

Compositions (5) 25%

Summaries (4) 20%

Mid-term Exam 25%

Oral presentation 20%

 

ITL 329 • Adv Composition And Conversatn

37545 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm HRH 2.112
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ITL 329 - Advanced Composition and Conversation       

 

Description:

The goals of this course are to improve students' skills in writing and speaking in Italian and to expand their knowledge of Italian culture. We will reach these goals by reading short stories, poems, and articles (analyzing them both for their content and linguistic format), reviewing grammatical structures, and expanding lexicon. Videos, songs and two films will be used as pedagogical tools for a deeper understanding of the Italian language and culture. The course is conducted entirely in Italian.

NOTE: This course carries the Writing Flag

 

Required Text:

Daniela Bartalesi-Graf, L'Italia dal Fascismo a oggi (Guerra Edizioni, 2005)

 

Requirements and grading

25%     Writing Assignments (5)

20%     Final Writing Project (5 pages)

15%     Class participation, homework, in-class group activities                                 

20%    Mid-Term Exam

20%     General oral performance and progress; oral reports

ITL 382 • The Woman's Film In Italy

37470 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ 2.102
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This course focuses on Italian films from the 1930s to the present, featuring women-centered narratives and female protagonists. We will watch and discuss these films in relation to theoretical and critical works on the “woman’s film” as a genre, film and cultural theories of feminism and post-feminism, as well as historical studies on film spectatorship and popular genres in Italy.

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

 

FILMS

Max Ophüls, La signora di tutti (Everybody's woman, 1934)

Raffaello Matarazzo, Catene (Chains, 1949)

Vittorio Cottafavi, Una donna ha ucciso (A woman has killed, 1952)

Roberto Rossellini, Europa ’51 (1952) 

Luchino Visconti, Senso (1954)

Michelangelo Antonioni, Le amiche (The girlfriends, 1955)

Federico Fellini, Giulietta degli spiriti (Juliet of the spirits, 1965)

Bolognini, De Sica,  Pasolini, Rossi, Visconti, Le streghe (The witches, 1967)

Mario Monicelli, La ragazza con la pistola (The girl with a pistol, 1968)

Luca Guadagnino, Melissa P. (2005)

Federico Moccia, Scusa ma ti chiamo amore (Sorry, if I love you, 2008)

Silvio Soldini, Cosa voglio di più (Come undone, 2010)

 

Secondary readings will be posted on Blackboard

 

Requirements

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% 

 

 

 

ITL 375 • Contemporary Italian Cul/Socty

37150 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ 2.210
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Course Description

 

This course will explore contemporary Italian culture through literature, film, and other medias. We will focus on several social problems in Italy today, such as immigration, working conditions, and organized crime, as well as issues of gender, class and race. By the end of this course, students will learn about crucial social discourses in contemporary Italy, and know about some of the most significant cultural figures and products of the period. Student will also improve written and oral skills in Italian, and acquire the tools to critically analyze literary and visual texts in the target language.

 

Grading

Participation in class discussion: 15%

Three written assignments: #1:10%; #2:10%; #3:15%

Mid-Term exam: 25%

Final exam: 25%

 

Required Texts

Amara Lakhous. Scontro di civiltà per un ascensore a piazza Vittorio. Edizioni e/o 2006

Cristina Comencini. Due partite. Feltrinelli 2006

ITL 321 • Intro To Italian Literature

37085 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm BEN 1.102
(also listed as EUS 347 )
show description

This course is an introduction to the reading and analysis of Italian literary production. By the end of this course, students will learn of some of the most important cultural issues and literary trends. Students will also lay the foundations for literary analysis and criticism in Italian.

We will examine representative texts in their historical, political, and social contexts, beginning from the Middle Ages to the post-War World II period. We will also read one of the most representative texts of Italian literature, Italo Calvino’s Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno. Some films are also required for this course and will be discussed in class.

Required texts:

Paolo E. Balboni - Anna Biguzzi. Letteratura italiana per stranieri. Nuova edizione. Guerra Edizioni (2005).

Italo Calvino. Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno (1947)

Requirements

Participation (in-class discussion, study questions and book activities): 15%

Weekly Journal: 20%

Oral presentation: 15%

Mid-term Exam: 20%

Final Exam: 30%

ITL 382 • Postwar Italian Cinema

37120 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm HRH 2.106C
show description

The Cinema of Modernization: Italian Films from the Reconstruction to the Economic Miracle

From the late 1940s to the early 1960s, Italy went through several processes that radically changed its landscape and cultures, and constitutively affected social and gender relations: the development of mass production and consumerist culture, urbanization of rural areas and modernization of agriculture, the establishment of a (Christian) Democratic government and the development of programs of social welfare, the event of the European Recovery Program and the creation of military and economic alliances between Italy and Western Capitalist Democracies. This course will explore Italian cinema in the context of these processes of “modernization” and investigate the ways in which films may participate in the production of social discourses. Considering current debates on cinematic realism, 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 the 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. 

Required Texts

Landy, Marcia. Italian Film. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Restivo, Angelo. The Cinema of Economic Miracles: Visuality and Modernization in the Italian Art Film. Durham: Duke University Press, 2002.

 

Requirements

Preparation and participation to class discussions 20%

Mid-Term Short paper (10 pages) 25% 

Oral presentation on final research project 15%

Final research paper (20 pages) 40% 

 

ITL 375 • Neorealism And Its Legacy

37258 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm JES A203A
show description

Film critics and directors claim(ed) that Italian ‘neorealism’ was not a movement, a school, or a style. Italian writer Italo Calvino expressed similar doubts when he attempted to define retrospectively Neorealism in literature, in the famous 1964 preface to his novel Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno (1947). What is Neorealism then? In order to critically investigate the aesthetics and politics of this crucial moment in the history of Italian literature and cinema, in the first part of the course, we will analyze literary and cinematographic works produced between 1945-50. We will also read Italo Calvino’s and Cesare Zavattini’s critical writings, where the latter used the term ‘neorealism’ for the first time. In the second part of the course, we will investigate the legacy of ‘neorealism’ in contemporary Italian literature cinema and look at novels by Pasolini, Consolo, and Saviano, and films directed by Pasolini, Taviani brothers, Amelio, and Garrone, with an attention to the historical, political and social contexts.

 

Grading

Participation in class discussion and attendance: 15%

Three written assignments: 30%

Mid-Term: 20%

Final: 35%

 

Required Texts

Brunetta G.P. Il cinema neorealista italiano. Bari: Laterza, 2009

Vittorini, E. Uomini e no (1945)

Pavese, C. La casa in collina (1949)

 

Other readings will be posted on blackboard

 

Films

Rossellini, Roma città aperta (1945)

De Sica, Ladri di biciclette (1948)

Visconti, La terra trema (1948)

De Santis, Riso Amaro (1949)

Pasolini, Accattone (1961)

Taviani Paolo and Vittorio, La notte di San Lorenzo (1984)

Amelio, Lamerica (1994)

Garrone, Gomorra (2008)

 

ITL 382 • New Italian Epic

37265 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm HRH 2.112
show description

“New Italian Epic”

 

In 2008, the essay New Italian Epic: Memorandum 1993-2008 was published on the website of the Italian collective of authors based in Bologna, Wu Ming. In the essay, the author Wu Ming 1 provides a taxonomy for a corpus of Italian novels (a “narrative nebula”) written between the late 1990s and today, which hybridize fiction and non-fiction, often “look like” historical novels and, in general, demonstrate an epic narrative mode, expanding the boundaries of the novel form. While providing a description of the elements that characterize the poetics of these literary works, Wu Ming 1 also discusses questions pertaining to impegno (engagement) and the relationship between “New Italian Epic” and postmodernism. 

In this course, we will begin by studying some of the works discussed by Wu Ming 1, in light of his observations as well as in the context of the cultural debate that developed around them since the essay’s publication. In the second part of the course, we will take into consideration several films and videos produced in the last ten years, and work on a taxonomy of “New Italian Media Epic.” These visual works include Ascanio Celestini’s film and video of “affabulazione,” hybrid forms of filmmaking by women directors Marazzi, Comencini, and Schivardi; and finally, Matteo Garrone’s Gomorra, an inter-textual, cinematographic work on Saviano’s hybrid novel/journalistic work by the same title.

 

Requirements

Preparation and participation to class discussions 20%

Oral presentation 20%

Short paper 20%

Final research paper 40%

 

Readings

Wu Ming, New Italian Epic

Wu Ming, Altai

Roberto Saviano, Gomorra

Carlo Lucarelli, L’ottava vibrazione

Giuseppe Genna, “La fine del miracolo italiano”

 

Other readings will be provided by the professor

 

Films/Videos

Ascanio Celestini, Radio Clandestina

---. Parole sante

Alina Marazzi, Un’ora sola ti vorrei

---. Vogliamo anche le rose

Francesca Comencini, Carlo Giuliani, un ragazzo

---.In fabbrica

Marianna Schivardi, Il grande fardello

Matteo Garrone, Gomorra

Publications

“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.

 

download

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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