General knowledge of US history (students are expected to have read an outline of US history).
At the end of the course the student will have acquired the ability to analyze and put into historical perspective two important critical moments in US history of the 19th and 20th centuries. She or he will also be able to link US popular cultural works to US history.
Title of the course: "Critical Moments in US History".
The course will deal with three critical moments in US history: 1. The Civil War; 2. The Winning of the West and the Extermination of Native Americans and Bisonts. 3. The Vietnam War.
The course will discuss the myths and the historical falsifications present in literature and especially in cinema.
CHOOSE TWO TOPICS OUT OF THREE (About 250 pages for each topic)
1. Civil War.
Reid Mitchell, "The American Civil War, 1861-1865", Pearson Education 2001, 160 pp.
Arnaldo Testi, "La formazione degli Stati Uniti", Il Mulino, 2013, only ch. V, 25 pp.
2. The Winning of the West, the Extermination of Native Americans and Bisonts.
Patricia Nelson LIMERICK, “The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West”, New York, Norton 1987, pp. 250; or Bruno CARTOSIO, "Verso Ovest", Milano, Feltrinelli, 2018 (pp. 9-269 and 325-366).
3. Vietnam War.
Marilyn B. YOUNG “The Vietnam Wars 1945-1990”, New York, Harper 1991 (pp. 105-299).
SELECT 3 MOVIES FOR EACH TOPIC OF YOUR CHOICE:
1. CIVIL WAR
1. GUERRA CIVILE
- D.W. Griffith's "The Birth of a Nation" (1915,) compulsory for this topic
- Victor Fleming, "Gone With the Wind" (1939)
- John Huston, "Red Badge of Courage (1951)
- Edward Zwick, "Glory" (1989)
- Steven Spielberg, "Lincoln" (2014)
2. THE WINNING OF THE WEST, THE ETERMINATION OF NATIVE AMERICANS AND BISONTS:
- Cecil B. De Mille, "Plainsman" (1936)
- by Raul Walsh "Died with Their Boots on" (1941)
- John Ford, "Fort Apache" (1948)
- John Ford, Henry Hathaway and George Marshall "How the West Was Won" (1962)
- Michael Mann, "Last of the Mohicans" (1992)
3. THE VIETNAM WAR (min. 2 film, uno dei quali deve essere "The Fog of War"):
- Francis Ford Coppola,"Apocalypse Now" (1979)
- Oliver Stone, "Born on the 4th of July (1989)
- Oliver Stone, "JFK" (1991)
- Oliver Stone, "Heaven and Earth" (1993)
- Errol Morris, "The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. Mcnamara (2003, documentary), compulsory for this topic
OTHER TEXTS FROM WHICH YOU CAN SELECT
BERGAMINI, Oliviero, “Le pulci di Rin Tin Tin: realtà e mito delle giubbe blu sulla Frontiera”, in S. Rosso, ed., “L'invenzione del west(ern)”, Verona, ombre corte, pp. 63-71;
---, “‘La Guerra del Vietnam nella storiografia americana degli anni Novanta”, “Ácoma. Rivista internazionale di studi angloamericani”, n. 16 (primavera 1999), pp. 86-95;
CARTOSIO, Bruno, "American Artists Look West" in Marina Dossena and StefanoRosso, eds, "Knowledge Dissemination in the Long NineteenthCentury, Cambridge Scholars, 2016, pp. 9-25.
KAMMEN, Michael, “Disremebering the Past While Historicizing the Present” in Id., “Mystic Chords of Memory”, New York, Vintage, 1993, pp. 655-88.
PORTELLI, Alessandro, “The Sky’s the Limit: dove comincia e dove finisce l’America”, in D. Izzo, G. Mariani e S. Rosso, ed., “Come gather ‘round friends.”, Milano, Shake 2013, pp. 154-171.
ROSSO, STEFANO, “Una guerra postmoderna?”, in Id., “Musi gialli e berretti verdi”, Bergamo, Bergamo University Press, 2003, pp. 13-30.
ROSSO, Stefano, “Tradurre la ‘Dirty War’. La narrativa della Guerra del Vietnam e l’editoria italiana”, in D. Izzo, G. Mariani e S. Rosso, ed., “Come gather ‘round friends.”, Milano, Shake 2013, pp. 99-112.
The course will be conducted as a seminar: 1. lectures in English; 2. discussion sessions; 3. presentations of about twenty minutes (optional) prepared by the students under the supervision of the lecturer.
Written exam (one open question to be answered in 80 minutes) intended to assess knowledge of course contents, the students' competence in usage of the language, and their ability to present and discuss a topic. For the final grade the presentation in class and/or the paper (in English) prepared by the student under the supervison of the instructor will also be considered.
There is no difference between attending and non-attending student ("frequentante" and "non frequentante").