Projecting Ancient Rome
Mon, Wed, Fri: 1:00-2:00pm
Projection consists of presenting an image on a surface (such as a movie screen). It can also refer to distancing (we are not the Romans) or relating to or identifying with (we are the Romans) or sometimes a blend of both (might we be the Romans?) (Joshel, Malamud, Wyke 2001). Images of ancient Rome have captured the popular imagination for centuries and been common genre for films since the beginning of cinema. The film industry has continued to resurrect ancient Rome on the big screen to address significant issues of contemporary culture, from national identity and civil rights, to questions of religion, gender and race. By viewing ‘ images’ of ancient Romans through Italian cinema and Hollywood productions, this course will explore how images in films are used to both entertain audiences and address political and social concerns of the present. The course will examine how cinematic traditions have deconstructed and reconstructed images and concepts of ancient Italy for the wider imagination (an imagination that varies and changes with time). The class addresses questions such as why or how do contemporary audiences relate to ancient Rome via certain images? How powerful are these images (films) as a learning tool for the masses? No previous art history courses are required and students from non-humanities are welcomed. The course connects with other fields of study including, but not limited to, Media Studies, Film Studies, History, Italian Studies Interdisciplinary Studies and Classics.
This course fulfills the following Major requirements: Geographical area (A) or (C) and Chronological period (I), (II), or (III), based on the topic of the final research paper or project.