Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Italian Studies


Italian Studies 298. Experimental Courses

Italy and the Transnational Experience

What has propelled Italians to leave Italy over the generations, such as in the great migration of 1880-1920 when over 4 million Italians came to the U.S.? What relationship did these immigrants maintain with their language, their country of origin and their families there? What cultural and intergenerational challenges did they face in the U.S. and in other countries where they settled?

It is estimated that there are now over 4 million immigrants living in Italy. What experiences do immigrants from countries in Central Europe and Africa, for example, have of Italy? What does it mean to be considered an “extracomunitarian”?

This course undertakes an examination of some key contemporary migration experiences through an analysis of literary texts and discussion of sociological, historical and linguistic phenomena.
(The course is conducted in Italian, but some readings may be in English.)


Introduction to Italian Cinema

The aim of this course is to provide an overview of Italian cinema and of its most significant movements, authors and genres. By discussing and analyzing the evolution and eventual dissolution of Italian Neorealism, we will see how both art film and popular cinema reflect the radical changes in post WWII Italian society and how those changes contributed to the development of a new aesthetics of film as well as to a new definition of Italian cultural identity. By the end of the semester students will be able to both place a film in its historical context and to analyze it through a close reading of its audio-visual elements and its narrative structure.