Teaching

Courses Designed

Cinema italiano. Het verbeelde Italië.
Een Nederlandstalig vak voor BA-studenten Italiaans en keuzevakkers (BA) aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam.
Beschrijving:
Tijdens dit vak worden aspecten van de huidige Italiaanse samenleving, geschiedenis en cultuur geanalyseerd aan de hand van een corpus van Italiaanse films. Het doel is te reflecteren over het zelfbeeld van Italië dat in de Italiaanse cinema wordt weergeven. Daarnaast wordt er specifiek ingegaan op specifieke filmstromingen, genres en auteurs die van grote invloed zijn (geweest) op de internationale cinema. De cursus kent een thematische aanpak; thema’s die aan bod komen zijn o.a.: genre vs. auteur, stad vs. platteland, (Italiaanse) politiek en migratie. Speciale nadruk ligt op het Neorealisme en de commedia all’italiana. De rode draad in de cursus is de cruciale rol van Italiaanse cinema in de (inter-)nationale collectieve beeldvorming.

European Cinematic History: Fellini, And?
A course in English at the University of Amsterdam (European Studies, BA)
Content:
The course centralises European cinematic culture, starting with a specific angle. Considering recent happenings, including Me Too, the many manifestations of Black Lives Matter sympathisers and the removal of statues of ‘Historical Figures’ who are now questioned as to how they belong in national and international narratives, Fellini, and ? wonders where we can place and discuss established auteurs in film history and the industry. It starts with Federico Fellini’s cinematographic productions, as he is one of the most well-known auteurs in the history of European cinema; we only have to think of terms such as ‘la dolce vita’, ‘paparazzi’, Latin Lover, and ‘the fellinesque’ in order to realise how much impact his films have had on popular culture. However, we will drift away from his cinema in order to discuss topics that outreach any particular film, discussing other auteurs (Bergman, Truffault, Bresson, Herzog) and questioning the matter of auteurship to begin with. This course will be largely dictated by the input of the students who partake in it, as they will be able to focus on their culture and language of interest, and add their perspectives to the overall discussion of the course.

Nationale identiteiten: Italianità
Een Nederlandstalig vak voor BA-studenten Italiaans en keuzevakkers (BA) aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Samen met Dr. Elio Baldi en Dr. Ronald De Rooij.
Beschrijving:
In dit vak bestuderen we de ontwikkeling van nationale identiteiten in ‘de periferie’ van Europa: Italië. Tijdens dit vak bestuderen we nationale identiteit nadrukkelijk als een concept dat voortdurend aan verandering onderhevig is en dat afhankelijk van tijd en plaats telkens anders geïnterpreteerd wordt. We kijken niet alleen naar de vraag hoe nationale identiteiten gevormd en gestuurd werden en worden door belangrijke historische en politieke gebeurtenissen, maar concentreren ons nadrukkelijk ook op de culturele bouwstenen van de Italiaanse nationale identiteit. Hierbij zullen we stilstaan bij de volgende vragen: Welke rol spelen en speelden cultuuruitingen bij de totstandkoming van, kritische reflectie op en herdefiniëring van deze nationale identiteit? Hoe hebben beelden, mythen, stereotypen en verhalen – bijvoorbeeld in de vorm van romans, gedichten, dans, toneel, opera, beeldende kunst, en recenter ook film en tv-series – vanaf de 19e eeuw tot op de dag van vandaag bijgedragen aan de vorming en sturing van de Italiaanse nationale identiteit? Hoe worden cultuuruitingen ingezet bij de ‘branding’ van nationale identiteiten over de landsgrenzen heen? Welke rol speelt cultuur ook tegenwoordig nog bij de verbeelding en verwerking van belangrijke gebeurtenissen uit nationale verledens? En hoe heeft dit culturele geheugen invloed op postmoderne nationale identiteiten?

Research Seminar: Humour in/and Europe.
A course in English at the University of Amsterdam (European Studies, BA)
Content:
The terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo (2015), the international discussions following Jan Böhmermann’s Erdoğan poem (2016), and, from a different perspective, the conviction of comedian Bill Cosby (2018) make ‘humour’ as current a theme as it already was during the profession of the court jester. But what constitutes humour? Satire, cynicism, the grotesque, tragicomedy, and slapstick all belong to the umbrella term of humour, while they might be interpreted entirely differently depending on the socio-political, intellectual, and/or geographical contexts in which they come to life. Nevertheless, some scholars have attempted to come up with universal rules.
During this course, we explore the expressions, and limitations, of humour in a European context, as well as on national and global levels. Could we, for instance, acknowledge the existence of something like a European/Italian/British/Jewish/global/… sense of humour? In which way does humour shape communities, and in what ways does it instead exclude particular individuals? We will read theories introduced by philosophers, novelists, filmmakers, and psychoanalysts in order to explore these matters further. Simultaneously, we will discuss primary texts (novels, films, internet memes, visual arts, performances) in order to test the validity, as well as omits or boundaries of these theories on humour.Questions we will discuss, include: Are there limitations to humour, and (how) are they related to (what kind of) borders? Does the appliance of humour per definition rule out those individuals or groups who do not understand, or do not agree with, the particular kind, or expression of, humour? Do we agree on what we find comical? Students will be asked to bring an example of what they consider ‘funny’ to the seminar. We will not kill the joy, but add a level of understanding to the questions of who laughs at what in which particular context, and why exactly.

Research Seminar: Film in Research/Research in Film
A course in English at the University of Amsterdam (European Studies, BA)
Content:
During this seminar, students approach cinema from diverse disciplines in order to grasp the endless (?) ways in which film and research can strengthen, broaden, or inspire each another. Each week, students will discuss one aspect of how film and research intertwine. Through disciplines and approaches such as film studies, digital humanities, imagology and narratology, postcolonial theory, ethnography, and modern languages, students will deepen their knowledge about the realm of cinema in all its facets. There will be time to discuss research proposals, the writing process, and, possibly, designing and executing film essays.
We explore the possibilities, and limitations, of film in a European context, as well as on national and global levels. Could we, for instance, acknowledge the existence of something like a typical European cinematic language? In which way does cinema shape communities, and in what ways does it instead exclude particular individuals and/or communities? We will read theories introduced by philosophers, novelists, filmmakers, and psychoanalysts in order to explore these matters further. Simultaneously, we will discuss primary texts (feature films, documentaries, film essays, musicals, operas, book adaptations, and more) in order to test the validity, as well as omits or boundaries of these theories on cinema.
Questions include: How do film and research intertwine, and what are the limitations of this? How do we position ourselves within a particular discourse taking place in film studies? Can we ‘think through film’? How can we experience the notion of ‘borders’ through film? How, and in what way, can we consider film as an archive? What is ‘framing’? The lens is also turned around, as students explore the situations in which film can impact, affect, inspire research, and how ‘research in film’ could be conducted.

Literary Representations of Europe and the Other
A course taught in English at the University of Amsterdam, developed together with Dr. Jesse van Amelsvoort (European Studies, BA)
Content:
This seminar discusses literary representations of Europe’s colonial and imperial past, and its consequences for the present and future of Europe. European expansion reached its peak at the end of the nineteenth century, when European nations extended their empires and conquered large parts of the world, until they encountered increasing resistance from local movements that often defined themselves also in national terms. The legacy of colonialism and Eurocentrism is still expressed in the inequalities among peoples, and the many artificial and contested borders throughout the world. Along with economic and political factors, culture (literature, architecture, art, and later, cinema) also played an important role in making the process of colonisation acceptable.
Colonisation took place also in terms of culture and ideas, and in this process of ‘cultural transfer’ European norms and values were often in conflict with local cultures. The colonial mentality was also justified by various “scientific” theories about the different races that were popular at the end of the nineteenth century. Through discussions of (post)colonial literary representations, this seminar will explore concepts such as imperialism, colonialism, postcolonialism, exoticism, orientalism, and hybridity. Various cultural issues are examined through plenary discussions of scholarly essays and (remediations of) literary texts.

Courses Taught

English and Italian Short Story Fiction
A seminar in English at the University of Warwick.
Information:

National Thought in Europe
A seminar in English at the University of Amsterdam (European Studies, BA)
Information:

Articulating Europe
A seminar in English at the University of Amsterdam (European Studies, BA)

Guest Lectures

2021, 2022 Deconstructing Lo sceicco bianco (Federico Fellini, 1952)
Een Nederlandstalig college aan de Universiteit van Utrecht
Information:

2022 Africa is You (Magare et.al., 2016): Screening and Discussion
An English guest lecture and screening of the documentary at Queen Mary, University of London
Information: https://africaisyou.com/

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