How did Italian drama and film influence help coalesce Italian national identity? In this course we will travel from antiquity to present day Italy, paying particular attention to the contributions playwrights and film makes such as Machiavelli, Aretino, Bruno, Goldoni, Pirandello, Rossellini, Fellini, and Fo to discuss how their artistic achievements provided the backdrop for the performance of social constructs such as gender roles, class, and ethnicity toward the production of an Italian identity. When possible we will attend local theatrical performances and view screenings of relevant productions. All works will be read in English (with attention when possible to the original Italian). No prior knowledge of Italian is expected.