Italian 951: Seminar – The Concept of Madre Patria: from Risorgimento to the Aftermath of World War II.

The course will explore the birth and development of the notion of “madre patria” in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Italian literature. Besides relying on political and historical documents of the period, the course will discuss the notion according to theoretical venues that span from psychology and psychoanalysis to philosophy and hermeneutics. The course will focus on the intersection of the private figure of the mother and her surrogates with the public and political notion of “motherland.” Authors may include, among others: Foscolo, Tommaseo, De Amicis, Pascoli, D’Annunzio, Marinetti, Ungaretti, Saba, Montale, Moravia, Morante, Viganò, Pasolini, Bevilacqua.