Reading & Composition
Mediterranean Perspectives: An Introduction to Art Cinema
The Mediterranean is a region of convergences: ancient landscapes and modern metropolises; local customs and national identities; peripheries and centers; the archaic and the modern; empires, religions, and nations. It is a space of transits and migrations between the West, the East, the South, and North Africa. Challenging the notion of a temporal and spatial unity, art cinema affords us perspectives of the Mediterranean as a site comprised of micro-regions, multiple identifications, and conflicts. The cinema is a powerful medium that projects an image of the Mediterranean. How does art cinema mediate the Mediterranean? What conversations are taking place between European art cinema, on the one hand, and cinema from Greece, the Middle East, and North Africa, on the other hand? Is it possible to distinguish a distinctly Mediterranean art cinema? This course will emphasize the skills of film and literary analysis, paying particular attention to film style, narrative and visual form, locations and geography, and the turn to ancient texts and history. In addition to film, this course will consider how literature from the ancient and modern periods represents the Mediterranean. The course will conclude with films that reflect on the Mediterranean as a geography marked by the refugee crisis and political upheaval. Placing film
and literature in conversation with scholarship from the disciplines of anthropology, psychoanalysis, and history, the course will emphasize close reading and argumentation within a comparative framework.
This is a writing-intensive R1B course with a research component. A substantial amount of time will be devoted to writing workshops and instruction. Students will be required to write papers with revisions. Filmmakers may include: Luchino Visconti; Roberto Rossellini; Michael Cacoyannis; Youssef Chahine; Jules Dassin; Pier Paolo Pasolini; Michelangelo Antonioni; Chris Marker; Jean-Luc Godard; Federico Fellini; Theo Angelopoulos; Pedro Almodóvar; Nuri Bilge Ceylan; Panos Koutras; Jonas Carpingnano. Authors may include: Homer; Sophocles; C.P. Cavafy; Giorgos Seferis; Sigmund Freud.