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Paola Bonifazio


Core FacultyPhD, New York University

Asociate Professor in the Department of French and Italian, College of Liberal Arts
Paola Bonifazio

Contact

  • Phone: 512-471-1561
  • Office: HRH 3.110A
  • Office Hours: TTH 12:30-2 p.m. and by appointment
  • Campus Mail Code: B6700

Interests


Italian Cinema; Film Theory and History, including Documentary and Experimental; Cultural Studies; Gender Studies

Courses


ITL 321 • Intro To Italian Literature

36825 • Fall 2016
Meets MW 2:00PM-3:30PM CLA 0.104

ITL321 Introduction to Italian Literature

"War, Peace, and Literature"

This course is an introduction to the reading and analysis of Italian literary production. By the end of this course, students will learn of some of the most important issues and trends in Italian literature, culture, and society. Students will read works by major authors in Italian literature as well as expand their knowledge beyond the canon. They will also lay the foundations for literary analysis and criticism in Italian.

We will examine representative texts in their historical, political, and social contexts. In particular, we will explore Italian literary productions that represent armed conflicts to gain insights into core questions about war and peace. We will study a wide variety of texts, including novel, poetry, drama, and comics, both from the point of view of their content and their form.

Required Text:

Italo Calvino. Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno (1947) (any editions)

 

ITC F349 • Rome At The Movies-Ita

82815 • Summer 2016

ROME STUDY PROGRAM

 

ITC F349 – Rome

Rome in Words, Images and Music

 

Instructor: Daniela Bini

 

 

Course Description:

 

The course will briefly sketch the rich life of the Eternal City through literary texts, architecture, painting, sculpture, lyric opera and cinema. Choosing some pivotal periods in its history, we will learn of ancient Rome from Livy, Ovid and Virgil, but also from the Forum and the Ara Pacis.  Michelangelo and Raphael will take us into the magnificence of Renaissance Rome, and with Borromini and Bernini will enter its sumptuous Baroque palaces and churches.  Giacomo Puccini’s opera Tosca will lead us into the Risorgimento movement, the revolts against the Pope and its temporal power. Fascism will be examined with Moravia’s novel The Conformist, and Roberto Rossellini’s Open City. We will conclude with Federico Fellini’s films La dolce vita and Roma that well demonstrate the director’s ambivalent feelings for this unique city where decadence and beauty coexist.

 

Textbooks:

 

Packet of Xerox-copied material (to be purchased in Austin)

Alberto Moravia, The Conformist (in English, to be purchased on amazon.com)

Additional reading material will be announced

 

Grading:

 

30%    Short quizzes

50%    Two exams

10%    Oral Reports

10%    Participation

 

ITL 329 • Adv Composition And Conversatn

36215 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ 2.122

FLAGS:   Wr

The goals of this course are to improve students' skills in writing and speaking in Italian and to expand their knowledge of Italian culture. We will reach these goals by examining literary and visual texts (analyzing them both for their content and linguistic format), studying historical contexts, reviewing grammatical structures, and expanding lexicon. Videos and songs will be used as pedagogical tools for a deeper understanding of the Italian language and culture. The course is conducted entirely in Italian.

Recommended Readings:

Daniela Bartalesi-Graf, L’Italia dal Fascismo ad oggi: Percorsi paralleli nella storia, nella letteratura e nel cinema

 

ITL 382 • Gender/Genre In Itl Cinema

36235 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM MEZ 1.104

ITL382 Gender and Genre in Italian Cinema

Professor Paola Bonifazio

Department of French and Italian

Spring 2016

This course examines popular genre cinema in Italy from the late 1940s to the late 1970s, focusing on comedy, melodrama, poliziottesco, horror, and musical. We will explore these genres and discuss issues of gender and sexuality, practicing different approaches in film and cultural studies. Some of the topics that we will discuss in this course are: violence and masculinity in “eurocrime” fictions; images of women and consumption in comedy, Italian style; queer identities in musicals; desire and the family in melodrama. The course will include a guest lecture by Italian filmmaker Alina Marazzi (We Want Roses Too, For One More Hour with You, All About You).

Films by Luigi Comencini, Pietro Germi, Dino Risi, Raffaello Matarazzo, Lina Wertmuller, Fernando Di Leo, Dario Argento, Mario Bava.

ITL 329 • Adv Composition And Conversatn

36095 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ 2.118

FLAGS:   Wr

The goals of this course are to improve students' skills in writing and speaking in Italian and to expand their knowledge of Italian culture. We will reach these goals by examining literary and visual texts (analyzing them both for their content and linguistic format), studying historical contexts, reviewing grammatical structures, and expanding lexicon. Videos and songs will be used as pedagogical tools for a deeper understanding of the Italian language and culture. The course is conducted entirely in Italian.

Students are expected to have read the assignment for every given day and be prepared to discuss it in class in Italian. We are bound to this syllabus, which gives you an overview of the course goals, organization, requirements, and assessment. It also includes a plan of the material covered, but you will find more detailed informationin Blackboard. For this reason, you are required to check Blackboard and your email every day.

Recommended Readings:

Daniela Bartalesi-Graf, L’Italia dal Fascismo ad oggi: Percorsi paralleli nella storia, nella letteratura e nel cinema

Films:

The following films are mandatory for this course and will be available on Reserve at Fine Arts Library:

Love and Anarchy (Lina Wertmuller, 1973)

Cosmonauta (Susanna Nicchiarelli, 2009)

We Want Roses Too (Alina Marazzi, 2007)

White and Black (Cristina Comencini, 2008)

 

ITL 382 • Italy & The Documentary Tradit

36290 • Spring 2015
Meets T 3:30PM-6:30PM HRH 2.106C

In this course, we will examine the most important topics and issues in documentary history and criticism, thorough the analysis of films representing Italy, from World War I to the present. We will study the documentary both as genre and as style, for example, considering the aesthetics of Neorealism, examining the use of newsreel footage in fiction films, or the use of fiction in documentaries. We will also explore stylistic differences within the mode of documentary, including “mocku-mentaries,” docufictions, and ephemeral films. Specific attention will be given to documentary films dealing with issues of gender and sexuality, as well as to women filmmakers. 

Course conducted in English; Knowledge of Italian preferred but not required

 

Films by Roberto Rossellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Luchino Visconti, Ermanno Olmi, Liliana Cavani, Lina Wertmueller, Lina Mangiacapre, Alina Marazzi, Francesca Comencini, Marina Spada, Martin Scorsese, Marco Bellocchio, Yervant Gianikian e Angela Ricci Lucchi, Elvira Notari, and the Futurist Avant-Garde.

 

Required text:

Bill Nichols, Representing Reality: Issues and Concepts in Documentary (Indiana University Press, 1992).

 

Requirements

Preparation and participation to class discussions 20%

Book Review (1000-1500 words) 15% 

Oral presentation on final research project 15%

Final research paper (6000-6500 words) 50% 

 

ITL 321 • Intro To Italian Literature

37210 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ 2.118

This course is an introduction to the reading and analysis of Italian literary production. By the end of this course, students will learn of some of the most important cultural issues, literary trends, and social discourses in Italy, from the Middle Ages to the present. Students will also lay the foundations for literary analysis and criticism in Italian.

We will examine representative texts in their historical, political, and social contexts. In particular, we will explore Italian literary productions from the point of view of “otherness:” for example, we will analyze texts that focus on marginalized subjects, such as the poor and the southerner, as well as works by marginalized authors, such as women writers, and consider examples of counter-cultures. In some cases, we will compare these texts to canonical works of Italian Literature. We will also read one of the most representative texts of Italian literature, Italo Calvino’s Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno. Some films are also required for this course and will be discussed in class.

Required texts:

Paolo E. Balboni - Anna Biguzzi. Letteratura italiana per stranieri. Nuova edizione. Guerra Edizioni (2005). [LI]

Italo Calvino. Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno (1947)

Other texts will be posted on Blackboard (B).

Films:

I Promessi sposi (Mario Camerini, 1941)

Cristo si e' fermato a Eboli (Franco Rosi, 1979)

Vogliamo anche le rose (Alina Marazzi, 2007)

Requirements

Participation (in-class discussion, study questions and book activities): 15%

Weekly Journal: 20%

Oral presentation: 15%

Mid-term Exam: 20%

Final Exam: 30%

WGS 340 • Women & Post-War Italian Films

47803 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM HRH 2.112
(also listed as EUS 347, ITC 349)

This course examines the position of women in Italian culture by focusing on Italian films from the 1950s to the present. We will consider “women” both as filmmakers and as subjects of works by male filmmakers. Some of the topics that we will discuss during the semester are: gender relations in a patriarchal society, the star system and divismo, and the woman’s film as a genre. Particular attention will be given to the study of changes and continuities from the Fascist regime to the postwar period, as well as to the mixture of tradition and modernity in contemporary cinema.

 

Films by:

Giuseppe De Santis, Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti, Michelangelo Antonioni, Raffaello Matarazzo, Vittorio Cottafavi, Liliana Cavani, Lina Wertmuller, Cristina Comencini, Francesca Comencini, Alina Marazzi, Luca Guadagnino, Gabriele Salvatores, Lorella Zanardo.

 

Readings

A packet of selected essays will be prepared by the instructor

 

Grading

Participation: 15%

Oral Presentation: 10%

Three short papers: 45%

Final Project: 30%

 

ITL 328 • Composition And Conversation

37540 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM MEZ 2.122

Course Description


The goals of this course are to improve students' skills in writing and speaking in Italian, as well as to increase their level of comprehension (both reading and listening). Furthermore, we aim at expanding the students' knowledge of Italian culture by reading short stories and articles.

NOTE: This course carries the Writing Flag

 

Required text:

Elisa Tognozzi and Giuseppe Cavatorta. Ponti: Italiano terzo millennio, 2nd Edition (Cengage Learning, 2009) (BOOK ONLY)

 

Requirements and grading:


Class participation 10%

Compositions (5) 25%

Summaries (4) 20%

Mid-term Exam 25%

Oral presentation 20%

 

ITL 329 • Adv Composition And Conversatn

37545 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM HRH 2.112

ITL 329 - Advanced Composition and Conversation       

 

Description:

The goals of this course are to improve students' skills in writing and speaking in Italian and to expand their knowledge of Italian culture. We will reach these goals by reading short stories, poems, and articles (analyzing them both for their content and linguistic format), reviewing grammatical structures, and expanding lexicon. Videos, songs and two films will be used as pedagogical tools for a deeper understanding of the Italian language and culture. The course is conducted entirely in Italian.

NOTE: This course carries the Writing Flag

 

Required Text:

Daniela Bartalesi-Graf, L'Italia dal Fascismo a oggi (Guerra Edizioni, 2005)

 

Requirements and grading

25%     Writing Assignments (5)

20%     Final Writing Project (5 pages)

15%     Class participation, homework, in-class group activities                                 

20%    Mid-Term Exam

20%     General oral performance and progress; oral reports

ITL 382 • The Woman's Film In Italy

37470 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ 2.102

This course focuses on Italian films from the 1930s to the present, featuring women-centered narratives and female protagonists. We will watch and discuss these films in relation to theoretical and critical works on the “woman’s film” as a genre, film and cultural theories of feminism and post-feminism, as well as historical studies on film spectatorship and popular genres in Italy.

Course conducted in English; Knowledge of Italian preferred but not required

 

FILMS

Max Ophüls, La signora di tutti (Everybody's woman, 1934)

Raffaello Matarazzo, Catene (Chains, 1949)

Vittorio Cottafavi, Una donna ha ucciso (A woman has killed, 1952)

Roberto Rossellini, Europa ’51 (1952) 

Luchino Visconti, Senso (1954)

Michelangelo Antonioni, Le amiche (The girlfriends, 1955)

Federico Fellini, Giulietta degli spiriti (Juliet of the spirits, 1965)

Bolognini, De Sica,  Pasolini, Rossi, Visconti, Le streghe (The witches, 1967)

Mario Monicelli, La ragazza con la pistola (The girl with a pistol, 1968)

Luca Guadagnino, Melissa P. (2005)

Federico Moccia, Scusa ma ti chiamo amore (Sorry, if I love you, 2008)

Silvio Soldini, Cosa voglio di più (Come undone, 2010)

 

Secondary readings will be posted on Blackboard

 

Requirements

Preparation and participation to class discussions 20%

Book Review (1000-1500 words) 15% 

Oral presentation on final research project 15%

Final research paper (6000-6500 words) 50% 

 

 

 

ITL 375 • Contemporary Italian Cul/Socty

37150 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ 2.210

Course Description

 

This course will explore contemporary Italian culture through literature, film, and other medias. We will focus on several social problems in Italy today, such as immigration, working conditions, and organized crime, as well as issues of gender, class and race. By the end of this course, students will learn about crucial social discourses in contemporary Italy, and know about some of the most significant cultural figures and products of the period. Student will also improve written and oral skills in Italian, and acquire the tools to critically analyze literary and visual texts in the target language.

 

Grading

Participation in class discussion: 15%

Three written assignments: #1:10%; #2:10%; #3:15%

Mid-Term exam: 25%

Final exam: 25%

 

Required Texts

Amara Lakhous. Scontro di civiltà per un ascensore a piazza Vittorio. Edizioni e/o 2006

Cristina Comencini. Due partite. Feltrinelli 2006

EUS 347 • Intro To Italian Literature

36475 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM BEN 1.102
(also listed as ITL 321)

This course is an introduction to the reading and analysis of Italian literary production. By the end of this course, students will learn of some of the most important cultural issues and literary trends. Students will also lay the foundations for literary analysis and criticism in Italian.

We will examine representative texts in their historical, political, and social contexts, beginning from the Middle Ages to the post-War World II period. We will also read one of the most representative texts of Italian literature, Italo Calvino’s Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno. Some films are also required for this course and will be discussed in class.

Required texts:

Paolo E. Balboni - Anna Biguzzi. Letteratura italiana per stranieri. Nuova edizione. Guerra Edizioni (2005).

Italo Calvino. Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno (1947)

Requirements

Participation (in-class discussion, study questions and book activities): 15%

Weekly Journal: 20%

Oral presentation: 15%

Mid-term Exam: 20%

Final Exam: 30%

ITL 382 • Postwar Italian Cinema

37120 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM HRH 2.106C

The Cinema of Modernization: Italian Films from the Reconstruction to the Economic Miracle

From the late 1940s to the early 1960s, Italy went through several processes that radically changed its landscape and cultures, and constitutively affected social and gender relations: the development of mass production and consumerist culture, urbanization of rural areas and modernization of agriculture, the establishment of a (Christian) Democratic government and the development of programs of social welfare, the event of the European Recovery Program and the creation of military and economic alliances between Italy and Western Capitalist Democracies. This course will explore Italian cinema in the context of these processes of “modernization” and investigate the ways in which films may participate in the production of social discourses. Considering current debates on cinematic realism, we will examine the intertwining of fiction and non-fiction, and critically study the politics of realist aesthetics.

By close text analysis and theoretical readings, we will discuss topics such as the changes and continuities from so-called “neorealism” to “modernism;” cinematic treatments of urban and rural spaces; the culture of work and welfare in post-war Italy and the concept of “bio-politics;” national identity formation, in the aftermath of War World II, and the transition from Fascism to Democracy; revolution and restoration in gender relations, especially in the family, and the relationship between the politics of welfare and the politics of sexes. 

Required Texts

Landy, Marcia. Italian Film. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Restivo, Angelo. The Cinema of Economic Miracles: Visuality and Modernization in the Italian Art Film. Durham: Duke University Press, 2002.

 

Requirements

Preparation and participation to class discussions 20%

Mid-Term Short paper (10 pages) 25% 

Oral presentation on final research project 15%

Final research paper (20 pages) 40% 

 

ITL 375 • Neorealism And Its Legacy

37258 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM JES A203A

Film critics and directors claim(ed) that Italian ‘neorealism’ was not a movement, a school, or a style. Italian writer Italo Calvino expressed similar doubts when he attempted to define retrospectively Neorealism in literature, in the famous 1964 preface to his novel Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno (1947). What is Neorealism then? In order to critically investigate the aesthetics and politics of this crucial moment in the history of Italian literature and cinema, in the first part of the course, we will analyze literary and cinematographic works produced between 1945-50. We will also read Italo Calvino’s and Cesare Zavattini’s critical writings, where the latter used the term ‘neorealism’ for the first time. In the second part of the course, we will investigate the legacy of ‘neorealism’ in contemporary Italian literature cinema and look at novels by Pasolini, Consolo, and Saviano, and films directed by Pasolini, Taviani brothers, Amelio, and Garrone, with an attention to the historical, political and social contexts.

 

Grading

Participation in class discussion and attendance: 15%

Three written assignments: 30%

Mid-Term: 20%

Final: 35%

 

Required Texts

Brunetta G.P. Il cinema neorealista italiano. Bari: Laterza, 2009

Vittorini, E. Uomini e no (1945)

Pavese, C. La casa in collina (1949)

 

Other readings will be posted on blackboard

 

Films

Rossellini, Roma città aperta (1945)

De Sica, Ladri di biciclette (1948)

Visconti, La terra trema (1948)

De Santis, Riso Amaro (1949)

Pasolini, Accattone (1961)

Taviani Paolo and Vittorio, La notte di San Lorenzo (1984)

Amelio, Lamerica (1994)

Garrone, Gomorra (2008)

 

ITL 382 • New Italian Epic

37265 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM HRH 2.112

“New Italian Epic”

 

In 2008, the essay New Italian Epic: Memorandum 1993-2008 was published on the website of the Italian collective of authors based in Bologna, Wu Ming. In the essay, the author Wu Ming 1 provides a taxonomy for a corpus of Italian novels (a “narrative nebula”) written between the late 1990s and today, which hybridize fiction and non-fiction, often “look like” historical novels and, in general, demonstrate an epic narrative mode, expanding the boundaries of the novel form. While providing a description of the elements that characterize the poetics of these literary works, Wu Ming 1 also discusses questions pertaining to impegno (engagement) and the relationship between “New Italian Epic” and postmodernism. 

In this course, we will begin by studying some of the works discussed by Wu Ming 1, in light of his observations as well as in the context of the cultural debate that developed around them since the essay’s publication. In the second part of the course, we will take into consideration several films and videos produced in the last ten years, and work on a taxonomy of “New Italian Media Epic.” These visual works include Ascanio Celestini’s film and video of “affabulazione,” hybrid forms of filmmaking by women directors Marazzi, Comencini, and Schivardi; and finally, Matteo Garrone’s Gomorra, an inter-textual, cinematographic work on Saviano’s hybrid novel/journalistic work by the same title.

 

Requirements

Preparation and participation to class discussions 20%

Oral presentation 20%

Short paper 20%

Final research paper 40%

 

Readings

Wu Ming, New Italian Epic

Wu Ming, Altai

Roberto Saviano, Gomorra

Carlo Lucarelli, L’ottava vibrazione

Giuseppe Genna, “La fine del miracolo italiano”

 

Other readings will be provided by the professor

 

Films/Videos

Ascanio Celestini, Radio Clandestina

---. Parole sante

Alina Marazzi, Un’ora sola ti vorrei

---. Vogliamo anche le rose

Francesca Comencini, Carlo Giuliani, un ragazzo

---.In fabbrica

Marianna Schivardi, Il grande fardello

Matteo Garrone, Gomorra

Publications


Books

1. Schooling in Modernity: The Politics of Sponsored Films in Postwar Italy. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014. Pp xvi + 305.

Awarded: Italian Scientists and Scholars of North America Foundation Award for the Humanities 2013

2. Bellina, Elena and Paola Bonifazio (eds.). State of Exception: Cultural Responses to the Rhetoric of Fear. New Castle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2006. Pp xi + 125.

Double Blind Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

3. “Luciana Littizzetto, il postfemminismo, e la rischiosa arte di fare la scema.” Incontri: Rivista Europea di Studi Italiani 29:2 (2014). 55-65.

4. “United We Drill: ENI, Films, and the Culture of Work.” Annali d’Italianistica 32 (2014), 329-350.

5. “Documenting Work: Manuela Pellarin’s Non-Fiction Films in the Industrial Veneto.” Studies in European Cinema 8:2 (2012), 141-152.

6. “Work, Welfare, Biopolitics: Italian and American Film Propaganda in the Age of Neorealism.” The Italianist 31:2 (2011), 155-180.

7. “Feminism, Postmodernism, Intertextuality: We Want Roses Too (2007).” Literature/Film Quarterly 38:3 (2010), 171-182.

Book Chapters

8. “The Future of the Past.” Continuum Guide to Italian Cinema, edited by Joseph Luzzi. London, New York: Continuum (accepted; forthcoming) (peer-reviewed)

9. “Italian Documentary Filmmakers and the Christian Democratic Road to Hegemony.”

Creative Interventions: The Role of the Intellectual in Contemporary Italian Culture, edited by Eugenio Bolongaro, Rita Gagliano, and Mark Epstein. New Castle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009. Pp. 46-62

10. “La bestemmia del lavoro: borgate e sottoproletariato scritti e diretti da PierPaolo Pasolini.” PierPaolo Pasolini: In Living Memory, edited by Ben Lawton and Maura Bergonzoni. Washington D.C.: New Academia Publishing, 2009. Pp. 49-70. (peer reviewed)

11. “Normalizing States of Exception: the Outskirts and Film in the Italy of the Economic Miracle.” State of Exception: Cultural Responses to the Rhetoric of Fear, edited by Elena Bellina and Paola Bonifazio. New Castle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2006. Pp. 72-82.

Translation

12. Cox, Virginia. “Attraverso lo specchio: le petrarchiste del Cinquecento e l’eredità di Laura.”Trans. Paola Bonifazio. Petrarca, canoni, esemplarità, edited by Valeria Finucci. Rome: Bulzoni, 2006. 117-149.

Reviews

13. Marco Bellocchio: The Cinematic I in the Political Sphere by Clodagh Brook. Journal of Modern Italian Studies 18:4 (2013) 559-561.

14. “Where Were You When They Kidnapped Aldo Moro?” review of Marco Baliani’s Corpo di stato, in The Body of State, translated by Nicoletta Marini-Maio, Ellen Nerenberg, and Thomas Simpson. Madison: Farleigh Dickinson Press, 2011.

15. Città nomadi: esodo e autonomia nella metropoli contemporanea by Vincenzo Binetti. Italian Culture 27.2 (2009): 146-147.

 

Curriculum Vitae


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