LANGUAGES AND THEORIES OF IMAGES

Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in COMMUNICATION SCIENCES
Academic year when starting the degree: 
2019/2020
Year: 
2
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
2020/2021
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
Language: 
Italian
Credits: 
7
Period: 
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
56
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (56 hours)
Requirements: 

Strong humanistic interest (in particular philosophical-literary), consolidated during high school; attention to the world of communication and consideration of the field of visual and intermediate culture (figurative art, cinema, photography).

The examination will take place in oral form on the contents of the course and will focus on the study of the scheduled texts. In addition to the knowledge of the course content, the ability to place the works in their appropriate socio-cultural context will be evaluated (10 points), the ability to deepen a theme (5 points), and to argue it critically (5 points), the ability to connect different aspects and to trace similarities/diversities between the different authors (5 points), as well as the exposition correctness (5 points). Non-attendants are requested to make contact with the teacher.

Assessment: 
Voto Finale

The aim of the course is to explore the topic of "images of evil" in a very broad perspective, starting from the archeology of the question, or investigating the theme of the myth of the nation (in Herder and Kafka) up to the most current ways the testimony of the horrors of the twentieth century (e.g. graphic novels and series on Netflix). By "images" we therefore mean both pictorial references, plastic and architectural models or even photographic films or film frames. By texts we mean here both some exemplary essays and literary and theatrical works. For this reason the lessons of the course intend to range in different directions, from the aesthetic-philosophical one to the historical-political one, from the literary to the visual one. It is within the network traced by these paths (and others, to be discovered) that the question of writing as testimony finds - as we shall see - its main road.

Le lectures will be aimed at analyzing - through the reading and commentary of some key passages of classical texts (by Adorno, Herder, Amery, Bernhard, Kafka) - the construction of the "dimension of memory", in all its potentialities and in its most internal contradictions. From this basis we can examine some typical examples of images of evil: from the ambiguity collected in the Nordic mythology of eternal youth (Herder), to the premonitory images of torture (Kafka), from novels with inlaid photographs (Sebald) to the direct testimony of Amery, up to the theatrical perspectives of Bernhard. In the exploration of Didi-Huberman's images (in spite of everything) the issue of the Shoah is encountered in all its dramatic scope, while the graphic novels bear witness to the drama of the twentieth century in an original and innovative way, that of visual studies. Through the analysis of these texts, the course proposes, therefore, to offer the student the ability to master the basic techniques of philosophical and literary narration and then export them into the communication strategies chosen by him as a field of privileged interest.

The aim of the course is to explore the issue of "images of evil" in a very broad perspective, moving from the archaeology of the issue, i.e. investigating the theme of the myth of the nation (in Herder and Kafka) to the most current ways to carry on the testimony of the horrors of the twentieth century (e.g. graphic novels and series on Netflix). By "images" we mean both pictorial references and plastic and architectural models or even photographic films or film frames. The term "texts" is used here to refer both to exemplary essays and to literary and theatrical works. For this reason the lessons of the course are intended to range in different directions, from aesthetic-philosophical to historical-political, from literary to visual. It is within the network traced by these paths (and others, to be discovered) that the question of writing as a testimony finds - as we will see - its main road.
Strong humanistic interest (in particular philosophical-literary), consolidated during high school; attention to the world of communication and consideration of the sphere of visual and intermediate culture (figurative art, cinema, photography).
The lessons will be aimed at analyzing - through the reading and commentary of some key passages borrowed from classical texts (by Adorno, Herder, Amery, Bernhard, Kafka) - the construction of the "dimension of memory", in all its potentialities and in its most internal contradictions. From this basis we can examine some typical examples of images of evil: from the ambiguity collected in the Nordic mythology of eternal youth (Herder), to the premonitory images of torture (Kafka), from novels with inlaid photographs (Sebald) to the direct testimony of Amery, up to the theatrical perspectives of Bernhard. In the exploration of Didi-Huberman's images (in spite of everything) the issue of the Shoah is encountered in all its dramatic scope, while the graphic novels bear witness to the drama of the twentieth century in an original and innovative way, that of visual studies. Through the analysis of these texts, the course proposes, therefore, to offer the student the ability to master the basic techniques of philosophical and literary narration and then export them into the communication strategies chosen by him as a field of privileged interest. The exam will take place in oral form on the contents of the course and will focus on the study of the texts in the program. In addition to the knowledge of the content of the course, the ability to place the works in their appropriate socio-cultural context will be evaluated (10 points), the ability to deepen a theme (5 points), and to argue it critically (5 points), the ability to connect different aspects and to trace similarities / differences between the different authors (5 points), as well as the correctness of the exhibition (5 points). Non-attendants are kindly requested to contact the teacher and the exam will be held in oral form on the contents of the course and will focus on the study of the texts in the program. In addition to the knowledge of the course content, the ability to place the works in their appropriate socio-cultural context will be evaluated (10 points), the ability to deepen a theme (5 points), and to argue it critically (5 points), the competence to connect different aspects and to trace similarities / differences between the different authors (5 points), as well as the correctness of the exposition (5 points). Non-attendants are requested to make contact with the teacher.
The exam will take place in oral form on the contents of the course and will focus on the study of the texts in the program. In addition to the knowledge of the course content, the ability to place the works in their appropriate socio-cultural context will be evaluated (10 points), the ability to deepen a theme (5 points), and to argue it critically (5 points), the competence to connect different aspects and to trace similarities / differences between the diffe

Basic text:
M. Latini, E. Storace, Auschwitz dopo Auschwitz, Meltemi, Milan 2017
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At the student's choice 2 (two) texts (or groups of texts) from those listed below:
1) A. Kiefer, Art will survive its ruins, Feltrinelli, Milan
2) A. Seghers, The dead girls' outing
3) Art Spiegelmann, Maus and N. Krug, Heimat
4) Didi-Huberman, Images, despite everything,
5) Br. Kafka, In the penal colony, out 2021
6) G. Agamben, What's left of Auschwitz,
7) G. Anders, After Holocaust, Bollati-Boringhieri
8) G. Anders, We sons of Eichmann
9) H. Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem,
10) J. Amery, Intellectual at Auschwitz,
11) J.G. Herder, Iduna or the rejuvenation apple, ETS
12) M. Guerra, Il limite dello sguardo, Raffaello Cortina, Milan
13) P. Celan, The truth of poetry. "The Meridian" and other prose,
14) R. Klüger, Living Again,
15) Th. Bernhard, Extinction,
16) W. G. Sebald, Austerlitz
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Viewing at least one of the following films:
1) Helen Mirren, Anne Frank. Parallel Lives
2) Lazslo Nemes, The son of Saoul
3) M. Haneke, The White Ribbon
4) M. Trotta, Hannah Arendt
5) R. Mihailenau, Train de vie
6) R. Polanski, The Pianist
7) S. Daldry, The reader
8) C. Lanzmann, Shoah

For the non-attendants, for the sole purpose of providing an aid to understanding the theoretical background, the integration of the volume is required:
1) F.R. Recchia Luciani, The Holocaust explained to the boys, Il melangolo

The teacher reserves the right to indicate any additional material during the lessons, or to modify some text if the editorial circumstances require it (i.e. if it is out of print).

Convenzionale

The course, articulated on 7 cfu, provides a time span of 56 hours of frontal lessons. Each lesson includes moments of discussion and comparison. It is also intended to use slides and videos as teaching material. A section (optional) of the course could be dedicated to the exposition of the students on their path, through slides.

The professor receives the students at the end of her lessons, and can be contacted, also for further information, by email: micaela.latini@uninsubria.it. The use of social-media dedicated to the course, (facebook page test e immagine) and the use of the academia.edu platform is foreseen.

Professors