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New Undergraduate Course Supplement 2020


ITAL 37.10 Mafias

What is “mafia”? Organized crime, global big business, shadow state, deeply entrenched mentalities, glamorized myth, all of the above? This course focusses on Italian mafias (primarily the Sicilian Cosa Nostra) and, to a lesser degree, other Italian and Italian-American mafias. We will examine the conditions in which mafias emerged; those that make it possible for mafias to continue to thrive today; the social “codes” of the mafias, such as honor, omertà, and vendetta; and the forms that mafias take in the collective cultural imagination, in particular as they have been translated and represented in fiction and film on both sides of the Atlantic. In the process, we will explore Italian history and contemporary society and discuss topics such as the uses and abuses of power and the attraction of outlaw cultures. 

This course is not open to students who have received credit for ITAL 07.07.

Distributive and/or World Culture

Dist:INT or SOC; WCult:W

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.