ITAL 1912: Rome at the Movies / At the Movies in Rome: Cinema, Global Politics, and a City

3 CreditsFreshman SeminarGlobal Perspectives

In ITAL1912, you will learn to analyze forms of cultural expression in their historical, social, and cultural context, considering the ways in which film and media construct experiences of spaces, places, communities, and histories that have important consequences in real life. Your Canvas posts, reaction papers, assignments, and exams will all require this kind of analysis, which is an essential component of any Liberal Education. But key to a Liberal Education in our globalized society is also the ability to create media products that are respectful and inclusive, which is a skill that you will also acquire during this course by means of tutorials, workshops, and hands-on experiential learning assignments. Since ITAL1912 deals extensively with the world beyond the United States; requires you to situate Italian and European contemporary histories within the context of global post-war culture, society, and politics; examines issues like racism and sexism through a comparative framework; and invites you to reflect on the shifting relations between media, identity, ideology, and power, it satisfies the requirements for the Global Perspectives Theme. This freshman seminar with a study component in Rome in fact will offer you the unique opportunity to embark on an exciting cinematic journey through the city of St Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum, la dolce vita, and so much more. By watching and discussing the most iconic representations of contemporary Rome in film, and by going to the movies together in Rome, we will learn about Italy’s rich history and culture, but also tackle bigger philosophical and political questions from a global perspective. What is a city? Do cities have identities? How can the vibe of a city be conveyed on screen? How do film & media shape spaces and make places? By telling fictional stories about a city, how do movies or television bear witness to - and simultaneously intervene into - real historical dynamics? How do movies create connections between people from diverse backgrounds, while also establishing borders within public spaces and hierarchies regarding whom the city belongs to? By exposing unseen and unheard stories, by featuring bodies and subjects that media traditionally shuns, can fiction films and documentaries be deployed to favor political change, inclusivity, and diversity? We will tackle these questions through screenings, readings, class discussion, on-site visits, guest lectures, practical assignments, experiential activities, tutorials, and masterclasses. Learning from the works, we tackle how to use film & media to foster more welcoming and inclusive arrangements of community and belonging. By the end of the semester, you will have learned why media representation matters for politics and history, while also having acquired the skill-set necessary to capture the complex reality of a city in a way that is conducive to social justice and political progress.

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A- Average (3.688)Most Common: A (50%)

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16 students
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