Italy has given human civilization among its most precious works of art (The Sistine Chapel, The Mona Lisa); literature (Dante, Calvino); political science (Machiavelli, Gramsci); music (Verdi, Puccini); science (Galileo, Volta); cars and design (Ferrari, Lamborghini); films (Rossellini, Fellini); and, of course, pizza. Unfortunately (or maybe it's because of that?), it has also given civilization one other thing: the Mafia. The Mafia is a very complicated thing. It is cultural, economic, financial, historical, sociological, geographical, linguistic, national, international, and VERY political phenomenon. It has to do with issues concerning class, gender, the family. This course will look at the Mafia through the prism of Italian and Italian-American films, trying to discern the differences, especially the difference between myth and reality. We will accompany, so to speak, our movies with some literary, political, historical, and critical readings in order to read these movies in a comparative fashion and in their historical context. Films will include Rossellini's spectacular version of Tommasi di Lampedusa's The Leopard, Alberto Lattuada's Il Mafioso, Francesco Rosi's Hands over the City and Salvatore Giuliano, Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather I and II, Martin Scorsese's Casino, Matteo Garrone's Gomorrah, Marco Turco's Excellent Cadavers, as well as one episode of The Sopranos


4 sh


Open to students in the third or fourth year of study.

Course Types

Core Integrative Seminar; Italian Studies Elective; IGS: Europe Regional Concentration; International Business Regional Area Course

Previous Course Number

COR 302


All readings, movies, and discussions will be in English. This course is writing intensive.

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