Italian Studies 298. Experimental Courses
Infernos, Brothels and Courts
From Dante‚s Inferno to Boccaccio’s Decameron, from Machiavelli’s court to the literary salons of the Venetian courtesans, we discover that infernos, brothels and courts are powerfully charged spaces in the Medieval and Renaissance imagination. This course will explore the social and metaphorical representations and functions of these structures.
From The Godfather to The Sopranos, the American entertainment industry has often glamourized the image of the “mafioso.” On the other side of the Atlantic, the Italian film industry has often romanticized the social and political struggle against the mafia. But what is the mafia and what makes a mafia movie? Why are American and Italian mafia movies so different from each other? How have different historical contexts and cinematic traditions affected the production and the reception of mafia movies? What is at stake in the cultural representation of the mafia?