ITAL-5530 Monsters in Italian Culture

Course Description

This course analyzes the formation and development of monsters and monstrosity in Italian literature from its origins to the present day. Among the authors considered include Cavalcanti, Dante Petrarca, Boccaccio, Pulci, Ariosto, Levi, Manganelli, Eco. Texts will be placed into their cultural context and discussed critically. We will also analyze different literary strategies aimed to represent otherness through the category of the monstrous. Monsters provide a critical lens through which one can look at human nature and monstrosity can be seen as a paradoxical theology capable of subverting established assumptions. As writer Giorgio Manganelli (1922-1990) said, “Non v’è salvezza al di fuori del mostruoso” (“There is no salvation beyond the monstrous”). Instruction will be in Italian, readings will be in English and in Italian.

Section Notes

The course meets synchronously on Zoom. Taught it Italian.