French and Italian | Topics in Italian Culture
M222 | 17996 | Ryan-Scheutz, Colleen

Title: Myth, Memory, and Madness in Modern Italy.  What does it mean
to be mad? What is the difference between madness and normality? What
role do myth and memory play in sharpening or blurring the line
between the two? While modern science has defined madness as a mental
condition that oversteps the bounds of reason, history has shown
madness to result from the values and beliefs of power systems that
exploit individuals' emotions and fantasies. In this course, we will
explore diverse ways in which myth, memory, and madness were
represented in different artistic genres (novel, short story, poetry,
theater, film) in twentieth-century Italy. In particular, we will
examine the ways in which madness, often repressed for its subversive
potential, survived as an act of resistance in the works of both male
and female writers and directors.