“My father said to my mother…”: Literary Portrayals of the Modern Italian Family – Taught in English (CSL2131.01) (course code changed 6/3/2024)

Barbara Alfano

“Two years before leaving home, my father said to my mother that I was very ugly.” Thus begins Elena Ferrante’s coming-of-age novel that tells us, without qualms, about The Lying Life of Adults. This course will focus on Italian first-person fictional accounts of family life, which we will analyze with the support of relevant literary criticism, including love, Feminist, and trauma theories.  We will read in translation major works of Italian fiction, among which Elena Ferrante’s The Days of Abandonment (2003) and The Lying Life of Adults (2019), Domenico Starnone’s Ties (2016), Alessandro Baricco’s The Young Bride (2022), and Angelo Cannavaccioulo When Things Happen (2008). These first-person narratives will also give us an opportunity to explore the liminal spaces where the author’s and the narrator’s voices overlap, or clash, and a story thus begins to speak about itself and its agenda. We will also watch films that widen our perspective of family life in Italian culture. The students will cap this course with a written essay. This course is taught in English.






Learning Outcomes:
On successful completion of this course, the students will have:
Enhanced critical reading skills, including the ability to evaluate and compare texts, connect ideas, and generate new ones.
Acquired and applied knowledge of literary criticism
Practiced inquiry and research skills
Familiarized themselves with Italian literature and culture



Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 3:40PM - 5:30PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: 2000 , All courses , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , Italian , Literature , New Courses , Updates
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