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New Undergraduate Course Supplement 2022

ITAL 27.03 Miracolo! Italy, 1958-63

The years of the economic “boom,” or “miracle” following post-WW II reconstruction were, for Italy, a time of unprecedented economic growth and social transformations, of new hopes abut also new challenges. As Italy left behind its predominantly agrarian past and entered full force into the global industrial economy, Italians rapidly made themselves modern: investing in new status symbols and consumer goods in the form of cars, TVs, and refrigerators, listening to new music, cultivating new pastimes and lifestyles, and even making more babies. Yet with modernization came contradictions. Optimism for the future was accompanied by a loss of traditional points of reference and community; economic expansion, by a widening of the gap between Northern and Southern Italy; mass exodus from rural areas to cities, by the creation of the no-mans lands of the urban borgate or shantytowns; and the proliferation of goods, by the perils of unbridled consumerism and existential crisis.                                                                  

In this course we will explore how the developments and radical shifts of these years were investigated and represented in literature, film, and music, by a remarkable group of writers, film directors, and including Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italo Calvino, Natalia Ginzburg, Alberto Moravia, Anna Maria Ortese, Dario Fo and Franca Rame, Federico Fellini, and others.

Distributive and/or World Culture

Dist:LIT; WCult:W

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