Spring 2015 Philosophy of Italian Culture

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JAN 13

Introductory Topics

  • Introduction to the Course

JAN 15

  • Gilmour, "Modern Italy"

JAN 20

  • Emmett and Piras, "Girlfriend in a Coma"

JAN 22

Anthropological and Cultural Theory

  • Storey, Chapter 1, p. 1-5
  • Nanda and Warms, Introduction to Anthropology, Ch 4, "Cultural Anthropology"

JAN 27

  • Richerson and Boyd, Not By Genes Alone, Chapters 1
  • Bowman, Honour, "Introduction"

JAN 29

  • Richerson and Boyd, Not By Genes Alone, Chapter 2, only up to page 40.
  • Diamond, Jared, "How Do Cultures Make Such Big Mistakes?"

FEB 3

More Tools for the Critique of Culture: Marx, Gramsci, Symbolic Anthropology, and Ethnography

  • Quiz
  • Marx and Engels quotes In Storey, Reader, p. 58-60
  • Storey, Text, Chapter 4, p. 59-62 (Marx);
  • Kellner, Douglas, "Cultural Marxism and Cultural Studies" [1]

FEB 5

  • Quiz
  • Crehan, "Gramsci's life and work"
  • Storey, Chapter 4 82-4
  • Gramsci, "Hegemony, Intellectuals, and the State," 75-80

FEB 10

  • Movie Presentations
  • Watch The Working Class Goes to Heaven

FEB 12

  • Quiz
  • Rapport and Overling, "Thick Description," 349-352, Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • Geertz, "Thick Description"

FEB 17

FEB 19

  • Quiz
  • Pia di Bella, Maria, "Name, Blood and Miracles"

FEB 24

Anomalies of Italian Culture: Unification, Italian "Mentality", the Problem of the South

FEB 26

  • Quiz
  • Putnam, "Chapter 5, "Tracing the Roots of Civic Community," 121-162
  • Putnam "Explaining institutional performance" 83-120


MAR 3

  • Midterm Exam
  • Culture and Ethnography: How can you know that you are sometimes looking at cultural differences rather than genetic or environmental influences? How do Pia di Bella’s ethnography and the ethnographic study of olive oil isolate structures that make cultural processes visible?
  • What would Marx and Gramsci recognize as critical analysis of respectively 1970s and contemporary Italy in The Working Class Goes to Heaven and Girlfriend in a Coma? What would they disagree with? Please refer to specific scenes and aspects of the two films as well as to the reading of Marx and Engels, Story, and Gramsci.

MAR 5

  • Viroli, Chapter 4, "The Pre-requisites of Servitude"

MAR 17

  • Movie Presentations
  • Watch Benvenuti al Sud


MAR 19

  • Quiz
  • Gilmour, "Introduction"
  • Parks, Chapter 5, 147-194

MAR 24

Shame and Honour

  • Movie Presentations
  • movie, Rocco and His Brothers

MAR 26

  • Bettiga-Boukerbout, "Crimes of 'Honour' in the Italian Penal Code"
  • Gilmore, "Introduction: The Shame of Dishonor"

MAR 31

APR 2

  • Short Answer Question: review Rocco, Honour and shame readings in Gilmour And Betiga-Boukerbaut, Muraro, and video.
  • Feminicido Today -- links to current news

APR 7

Popular Culture

  • Quiz
  • Storey, Chapter 1, 5-13, Chapter 4 64-72
  • Bennett, Gramsci and Popular Culture, 81-8

APR 9

  • Short answer questions
  • Gramsci, Popular Culture

APR 14

  • Leonardo Sciascia, "The Day of the Owl"

APR 16

  • Quiz
  • Saviano, Gommorah, excerpts (see 5 short pdfs on ereserves)
  • Preview of Gomorra in class

APR 21

  • Movie Presentations
  • movie, Gommorah,
  • Recommended

APR 23

  • Short Answer
  • review Sciascia, The day of the owl, Consider in particular the conception of Sicily (see opening paragraph, Bellodi's reflections throughout the story and also his dialogue with the Mafiosi and his discussion with his friends in Parma)
  • Andrews, "Civic renaissance in Sicily," pp. 131-150.
  • updates, notes ont the State-mafia negotiations

APR 28

  • Watch The Mafia Only Kills in Summer (library reserve- Alfino)
  • Camille's presentation

APR 30

  • Quiz
  • Watch "Slow Food Story" (library reserve - Alfino)
  • Andrews, "Slow Food"

May 4

  • 3pm final Jepson 122