Millicent Marcus (Ph.D. Yale, 1974) specializes in Italian culture from the interdisciplinary perspectives of literature, history, and film. She is the author of An Allegory of Form: Literary Self-Consciousness in the Decameron, (Stanford French and Italian Studies, l979), Italian Film in the Light of Neorealism (Princeton, l986), Filmmaking by the Book: Italian Cinema and Literary Adaptation (Johns Hopkins, l993), After Fellini: National Cinema in the Postmodern Age (Johns Hopkins, 2002), and Italian Film in the Shadow of Auschwitz (University of Toronto, 2007), as well as journal articles and encyclopedia entries on her fields of interest. Because literacy in the 21st century must be broadened to include the mass media as well as the written text, she brings a cultural studies approach to her teaching and research.
ITAL 303, Italian Film: Postwar to Postmodern
A study of important Italian films from World War II to the present. Consideration of works that typify major directors and trends. Topics include neorealism, self-reflexivity and metacinema, fascism and war, and postmodernism. Films by Fellini, Antonioni, Rossellini, De Sica, Visconti, Pasolini, Bertolucci, Wertmuller, Tornatore, and Moretti.
Most films in Italian with English subtitles.
ITAL 781, The Decameron
An in-depth study of Boccaccio’s text as a journey in genre in which the writer surveys all the storytelling possibilities available to him in the current repertory of short narrative fiction—ranging from ennobling example to flamboyant fabliaux, including hagiography, aphorisms, romances, anecdotes, tragedies, and practical jokes—and self-consciously manipulates those forms to create a new literary space of astonishing variety, vitality, and subversive power. In the relationship between the elaborate frame-story and the embedded tales, theoretical issues of considerable contemporary interest emerge—questions of gendered discourse, narratology, structural pastiche, and reader response among them. The Decameron is read in Italian or in English. Close attention is paid to linguistic usage and rhetorical techniques in this foundational text of the vernacular prose tradition.