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Italy's Southern Question: From Luigi Pirandello to Elena Ferrante

The “Southern Question” has been a major topic in Italian political, economic, and cultural life for more than a century. In contemporary Italy, the Northern League has promised to dissociate the South from the North, even to the point of secession. The South remains a resonant theme in Italian literature. Meridionalismo, the belief that the South is an irredeemable victim of its cultural and political backwardness, informs the mind-set of much of Italy, including some of the country’s greatest writers—northerners and southerners alike. In this course, we’ll read and discuss Italian writers who grapple with the Southern Question and the South’s place in Italy. Readings may include Luigi Pirandello’s Right You Are (If You Think So), Leonardo Sciascia’s To Each His Own, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s magisterial Leopard, Anna Maria Ortese’s The Bay Is Not Naples, and the powerful novels of Elena Ferrante.

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You'll Walk Away with

  • An understanding of the role that Italy’s south plays in the country’s politics and culture
  • Increased familiarity with some of Italy’s greatest writers

Ideal for

  • All members of the community—working, retired, and in between
  • The curious and creative
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.