Italian History Through Literature, Part I: Rinascimento vs. Risorgimento

10 weeks course (Bethesda/online) – in English with Federica Deigan.

Wed. 6:30-8:00 pm, Dates: Sept. 27-Dec. 6 (no class on Nov. 22)

Italy was proclaimed a unified nation under Savoy King Victor Emmanuel II on 17 March 1861, the final act of the decades-long unification process called Risorgimento. How was unification achieved? And how much did the Italians know about their nation’s history prior to the unification? Romantic artists got to work to create historical awareness in the newly-born nation of Italy. We will read a historical tragedy in English translation set in the Renaissance Venice but replete with references to the time it was written, 1820, when the Risorgimento was in full swing. Book: Alessandro Manzoni’s The Count of Carmagnola and Adelchis, translated into English by Federica Brunori Deigan. Part I will be followed by Part II, each part consisting of 5 weeks.



Carlo Ellena

Carlo Ellena was born in the picturesque town of Savona, Liguria also known as the “Palm tree Riviera”. Interested in technological issues, he attended university in Pisa where he studied Artificial Intelligence and received his Masters in computer linguistics and expert systems. Mr. Ellena has been teaching for the Italian Cultural Society (ICS) since 2008 and became a standing board member in 2012. In 2013 Mr. Ellena joined the Subcomittee that regulates and runs the Italian Language School (ILP) at ICS. He is married to Varinia Daza and lives in Bethesda, Maryland. He is fluent in Italian, English and Spanish, and proficient in both French and Portuguese.