Interdisciplinary Honors Seminars

Walking in the Metropolis

01:090:293:03 Index# 10525
Professor Andrea Baldi, SAS - Italian
T-Th 1:10-2:30P
Honors College Rm S120
College Ave Campus


Will Count Towards SAS - Italian Major and Minor

How does the practice of walking affect our perception of the environment around us and our sense of ‘being in the world’? The course will address the representation of walking in Western culture in the 19th-21st centuries and the changes in urban life during this period, with special attention to gender issues. We will read and analyze literary texts by Poe, Baudelaire, Serao, Sand, Mansfield, Woolf, Calvino, and Ortese, and critical essays by Simmel, Benjamin, and de Certeau. We will watch and discuss some European films (including clips from The Great Beauty, which won the Academy Award as best foreign movie in 2013) and Into the Wild, a captivating movie by Sean Penn (just to take a break from city life…). We will also examine visual artworks that cast new light on walking. Finally, we will take a look at the digital mapping of our characters’ steps. It will be a true voyage of discovery!

ANDREA BALDI is a Professor in the Department of Italian. He received his Laurea degree from the University of Florence and his Ph.D. from UCLA. He has worked extensively on contemporary Italian literature, publishing a monograph on Anna Maria Ortese’s works (2010) and editing her Iguana (Adelphi, 2005). He has also authored essays on women writers and the cinematic adaptation of literary texts. His current project examines how contemporary narratives represent the urban environment, weaving together collective and individual memories. He looks forward to engaging Honors students in his research.