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Topics in Contemporary Italian Civilization: Weird Italy

ITA 309/COM 386/ECS 318/HUM 327

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Italy, homeland of poets, saints, navigators, and... weirdos. In this class, we turn stereotypes that depict Italy as the land of beauty and classicism inside out, and focus instead on how distinctively weird much of Italy's modern artistic production is. Is the Italian polymath Giacomo Leopardi the unsung grandfather of weird fiction? Did Giorgio De Chirico and Italo Calvino influence Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation? Leveraging theorizations on the topic as well as transmedial and transnational perspectives, we study what it means for something to be weird, why weird art fascinates us, and if we should all try to be weirder.
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Section S01