Tu/Th 02:00-03:30 210 Dwinelle Instructor: Bristin Jones

Florence, Rome, Venice… You may be familiar with Italy’s most famous destinations, but have you ever wondered what it would be like to venture further south and off the traditional tourist track? What is there in Italy’s South other than Cosa Nostra and ridiculously good pizza? Why did Italian Southerners historically face social and economic discrimination, and how does this discrimination continue today? How did Southern Italian writers construct, invent, and perhaps even “sell” a concept of their own South to a non-Southern audience, and how does this compare with constructions and inventions of non-Southern writers? How do problems raised by the “Southern Question” in Italy echo problematic constructions of the Global South in other geographic and political contexts?

This course will explore these and related questions using a diverse and transhistorical range of literary and critical texts. Through close readings, discussions, and writing assignments, we will problematize the construction of the Italian South and its cultural, political, and economic repercussions.

In this writing-intensive course, you will use your critical reflections on the texts as starting points for developing two papers. You will develop your papers through a series of brainstorming assignments, drafts, in-class workshops, peer reviews, and revisions. In addition, you will also complete shorter weekly reading responses and assignments devoted to specific elements of essay writing.

Literary texts may include:

  • Walter Benjamin and Asja Lacis, “Naples”
  • Miguel de Cervantes, “The Generous Lover”
  • Elena Ferrante, My Brilliant Friend
  • Antonio Gramsci, The Southern Question
  • D.H. Lawrence, Birds, Beasts, and Flowers
  • Luca Miniero, Benvenuti al Sud
  • Luigi Pirandello, “Sicilian Limes”
  • Giovanni Verga, The House by the Medlar Tree