This is most recent syllabus. Your final syllabus will be given during your first day of class
This course will study representations of the Mafia and (organized) crime in Italian and American literary and cinematic texts, providing insights into society and culture’s fascination with the crime fiction genre. We will examine the different expressions of the genre and consider the aesthetics of crime fiction both in literature as well as in cinema.
Through a systematic study of canonical Italian and American films and a variety of short narrative texts, students will become familiar with the narrative codes and conventions of the genre and analyze how various writers and filmmakers adhere, diverge, or evolve from the established codes.
Students in this course will:
- become familiar with numerous canonical works of Italian and American cinema;
- explore typical narrative dynamics behind Italian and American films dealing with the mafia;
- become familiar with basic cinematic techniques;
- critically analyze different genres of films according to their typologies;
- gain an understanding of the historical and social framework of the mafia both in Sicily as well as in the United States;
- be able to relate films to their specific sociological and historical contexts; and
- acquire an appreciation of the representation of phenomena of organized crime in Italian and American cinematic popular culture.
Mandatory course reader
Ammaniti, Niccolò. I’m not scared
Giancarlo de Cataldo (ed.). Crimini: The Bitter Lemon Book of Italian Crime Fiction
Leonardo Sciascia The Day of the Owl (first chapter)
A Bronx Tale
I’m not scared