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A Pier Paolo Pasolini Syllabus

Film Authors Pier Paolo Pasolini

FILM 571 (course # 3141)

Winter Term 2012

Ohio University

Assistant Professor Louis-Georges Schwartz

Monday & Wednesday 9:10 AM – 1:00 PM

321 Lindley



Office Hours: Thursdays 1 PM – 4 PM

382 Lindley Hall

email: schwartl@ohio.edu



Since the local bookstores failed to fill my book order the first two texts should be bought from Amazon® or another online source. The third is available online via Alden Library at no cost. That third book, Stupendous, Miserable City: Pasolini’s Rome is the best “secondary source” on Pasolini and I recommend obtaining a bound copy. It’s currently in print and can be purchased from Amazon® and other online vendors.


Pasolini, Pier Paolo. In Danger. City Lights Press. San Francisco. 2010.


Pasolini, Pier Paolo. Heretical Empiricism. New Academia Publishing. Washington. DC. 2005. (Only use the 2005 edition)


Rhodes, John David. Stupendous, Miserable City: Pasolini’s Rome. University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis. 2007. Available online through Alden Library (http://site.ebrary.com/lib/ohio/docDetail.action?docID=10215802)


Reading practice:

Start reading the Rhodes book during the first week of classes and finish it by Monday, January 23. Also read all the material in the two Pasolini anthologies from the period of the films we are seeing each week. Keep doing so after completing the Rhodes. Both anthologies cite the publication date of each text at the end of the essay, interview or poem. I will hold the class accountable for all of these texts, regardless of whether they are film theory essays, literary essays, poems, newspaper articles, etc. Pasolini was engaged in a variety of expressive practices and they are all crucial to understanding his thought and contribution.


I will also be recommending various suggested books and articles and putting them on reserve at Alden library throughout the term.


Class Practice:

Most Mondays and, in order to account for holidays, two Wednesdays, will be devoted to rather long screenings. Break time will be minimal, so be prepared to take care of any needs you may have in 5 to 10 minutes. The selection of films I have made represents only the easily available portion of Pasolini’s output and it’s crucial that we watch them all. I also consider it of utmost importance that we do so together.

I will permit class members 1 unexcused absence during the quarter. If that absence falls on a screening day, I will hold the class member responsible for seeing the film.


I intend to run the class sessions as a rresearch seminar. That means I will keep any lecturing I may do minimal. Instead of student presentations I expect class members to discuss the films and readings at length each week. If you do not understand a text, come prepared with specific questions. Everyone should come to every seminar session with notes from which to speak and be prepared for me to call on her or him to address the class with detailed thoughts or questions. Class participation will count for 40% of your grade and I will be evaluating your effort seriously. The ability of participate in seminar discussions is a central scholarly skill and vital to the creation of academic communities.


Written work:

Class members will hand in a 12-20 page publishable scholarly paper based on research (in other words, your bibliography will include and articles other than the ones I have assigned as well as those I have. The filmography might also include films not assigned for this class.) I will distribute a paper assignment in week 3. Class members should be thinking about and working on their paper from the first week of class. The specific topic is open, though Pasolini’s poems, novels, films essays, etc. must be central to your thesis. Class members must meet with me during my office hours or by appointment by Friday February 3. Failure to do so will result in a ½ grade penalty on you final evaluation. (If you would have gotten am B, you will get a B-, etc.)


Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment for any reason.



Class participation (with 1 excused absence) including screenings and intervening in the seminar sessions: 40%

Final paper 60%

Failure to meet with me about your paper by February 3: ½ grade deducted from final grade.

Each unexcused absence after your first: ½ grade deducted from your final grade.


January 4

Accattone (1961)


January 9

Mamma Roma (1962)

“La ricotta” (segment of Ro.Go.Pa.G.) (1963)

Comizi d’amore (1964)


January 11



January 16

No class. MLK Holiday.



Il vangelo secondo Matteo (The Gospel According to St. Matthew) (1964)

Uccellacci e uccellini (The Hawks and the Sparrows) (1966)


January 23

Edipo re (Oedipus Rex) (1967)


January 25

Finish Rhodes Stupendous, Miserable City



January 30

Teorema (1968)

Appunti per un film sull’India (Notes For A Film On India) (1969)


February 1:



February 6

Porcile (Pigpen) (1969)

Medea (1969)


February 3

Last day to meet with me about your paper.


February 13

Appunti per un’Orestiade Africana (Notes Towards an African Oreste) (1970)

Il Decameron The Decameron (1971)


February 15

Finish Pasolini, Heretical Empiricism, except for “Repudiation of the Trilogy of Life.”




February 20

I racconti di Canterbury (The Canterbury Tales) (1972)


February 22





February 27

Il fiore delle mille e una note (Arabian Nights) (1974)


February 29



March 5

Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma (Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom) (1975)


March 7

Finish Pasolini, In Danger.

Finish “Repudiation of the Trilogy of Life” in Pasolini, Heretical Empiricism.



March 16

Final Paper Due via email to schwartl@ohio.edu


Academic Dishonesty

The Ohio University Student Code of Conduct prohibits all forms

of academic dishonesty.  These include cheating, plagiarism and

forgery.  If a student engages in course-related academic

dishonesty, his or her grade on the work in question or in the course may

be lowered by the instructor.  Any student wishing to protest the

instructor’s action has recourse to the established grievance procedures,

starting at the department level.  (See the Student Handbook or

contact University Judiciaries for further information.)


Instructors may also report cases of academic dishonesty to the Director

of University Judiciaries for further action; however, by so doing, an

instructor does not in any way relinquish the right to assign a grade in

a course.  The student my appeal the grade through the

appeal-of-grade procedure of Section IV.C.3.  Any student

accused of academic dishonesty by University Judiciaries is entitled to

notice of charges being made against him or her and to a full

hearing.  If suspension or dismissal is recommended, the student is

further entitled to appeals procedures and will not be suspended or

dismissed from the University while appeals are in process.




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