COURSE INFO

Title: Migration in the Italian Visual Cultural Imaginary
Instructor
: prof. Shelleen Greene
Credits Hours: 3 — Contact Hours: 45
Course Number: TBA
Department: Liberal Arts and Cultural Studies
Prerequisite: No prerequisites are required. However, previous Film Studies or Art History courses are beneficial to the understanding of the course content.

Course Description
Beginning in the 1980s, Italy, a country traditionally known as a nation of emigration, became a nation of immigration, with migrants arriving from parts of Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. With the arrival of migrants from the former Soviet bloc and former Western colonial territories, Italy’s transformation into a new multicultural and multiracial society becomes evident in its cinema. In this course, students will examine Italy’s transformation from emigrant to immigrant nation through film. Through selected readings, screenings and assignments, students will learn how migration is represented in the Italian cultural imaginary. Specifically, students will learn how the cinema mediates our understanding of migration today, and contributes to dialogues concerning cultural hybridity, citizenship, and national belonging.

Students will learn the historical contexts for understanding contemporary migration to and within Italy (national unification, Fascist imperialism, postwar decolonization, postwar internal migration, postcolonialism). Students will also study the representation of migration in various cinematic modes (narrative, documentary, experimental). By the end of the course, students will understand the central debates surrounding contemporary immigration to Italy. Students will also be able to analyze films both in terms of form and genre, but also within their social, historical, and cultural contexts. While this course focuses on film, we will examine migration in the broader Italian visual culture, looking at political art, advertising campaigns and mass demonstrations and movements surrounding migration debates.