ITAL-426 Encounters with the Other: Ethnographic Imagination in Italian Literature
Offered academic year 2006-2007
This course is devoted to the Italian gaze at other cultures, to the different strategies of representations adopted by Italian authors in their writings about other cultures, and to the ideologies that accompany such discourse, in specific contexts and epochs. From the marvels of Marco Polo's voyage to the Far East and the travelogues of later explorers through the birth of anthropology as a discipline, from late nineteenth-century exoticism, primitivism, and the colonial experience through the geographical depaysement in novelists of the last decade, like Calvino, Tabucchi and Celati, we will examine how the encounter with cultural otherness, outside or inside the Italian borders, is verbalized and gradually incorporated into literature. We will also try to interrogate the relationship between this multifarious discourse on other cultures and the question of the Italian national identity. Conducted in Italian.
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