University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

First-Year Experience

Global and Regional Studies


GRS 095 A - Post World War II Italian Cinema

Instructor: Antonello Borra

With its beginnings already at the end of the 19th century, the history of Italian cinema runs parallel to the history of cinema itself. From Giovanni Pastrone’s masterpiece Cabiria, dating back to 1914, to post-WW II Neorealism and late 60’s Spaghetti Western Italian cinema has been a constant source of inspiration for the greatest filmmakers of all times and contemporary American directors like Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino have at different times recognized their own debt to the work of their Italian colleagues. In fact, Roberto Rossellini, Vittorio De Sica, Luchino Visconti, Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Pier Paolo Pasolini are directors whose influence well transcends national boundaries and whose accomplishments are among the most representative of the history of the medium. This course will concentrate on some of the most celebrated movies of all times, classics like Open City and The Bicycle Thieves, as well as movies less known to the general American public but just as influential like, for example, Pietro Germi’s Divorzio all’italiana or Mario Monicelli’s I soliti ignoti. Following mostly a chronological perspective each week we will concentrate on a different filmmaker and work on a specific movie analyzing its historical, cultural, as well as cinematic peculiarities together with its relationship to other films by the same director. Students will be able to watch the movies on their own time and class will be devoted to short lectures, discussions, and students’ presentations. Students will be asked to read critical material relevant to the history of Italian cinema and at the same time reflect in a more personal way on the narrative structures of the individual films.

Requirements Satisfied: Fine Arts and Writing and Information Literacy


GRS 095 B - Latin American Protest Music

Instructor: John Waldron

In this course we analyze Latin America and the revolutions that occur there as part of the global phenomena of colonialism. The inequities generated after the first contact with the native people of what would soon be called the Americas were based on perceived racial differences by the so-called “global north” as it interacted with the “global south.” These differences came to form the ideological framework that endures even after the colonial powers were expelled from Latin America. In addition to racial differences, there are also the created differences of gender all of which are based on what are termed biological differences. The revolutions of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in Latin America have fought against these systemic inequities and their resultant injustices. While the revolutions we will study occur within the particular context of nation, they always happen in the larger context of systemic racism that formed part of European expansion and created the ideological framework that gives basis to many of the tensions and inequities that exist to the present day.

Further, our faculty's diverse background in Political Science (Professor Beer), Literature, and Film (Professor Waldron) will link this music (Professor Stewart) to larger historical, geographical, and other cultural contexts. As we drop in on various social movements around the region, students will gain an understanding of the broad trends of Latin American and Caribbean history in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. To directly involve students in experiential learning, we intend to partner with local arts, activist, and scholarly organizations. We also plan to bring in special guests to lecture and/or perform for this class and the university

Requirements Satisfied: Writing and Information Literacy