HIST 38595 Italian Mafia

Course Name: HIST 38595 Italian Mafia

Description: This course analyzes the infamous criminal organizations of Italy from their origins to their evolution as an intrinsic part of Italian, and global, history. The relationship between Mafia and politics, its internal rules and codes, its business activities, and its deep connection to the society and the culture of Sicily and the Italian South are some of the important aspects that are examined in depth. Through current literature and media the international reach of the Italian Mafia and its effect on the collective imagination will be examined. The relationship and differences between the Italian and the American Mafia will also be an important component of the course.  In the historical introduction, the origins of the Sicilian Mafia will be explained in the context of the Italian Unification, as well as the development of the Mafia from its agrarian origins to its infiltration into the political realm of the Italian State. The rebirth and transformation of the Mafia after its suppression during World War II is an important historical turning point, one which ultimately led to the institutionalization of the fight against the Mafia, which will also be analyzed from both a political and cultural perspective. Contemporary Mafia activity and its expansion by Italian Mafia organizations, such as the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta and the Neapolitan Camorra, will be studied after the presentation of the Mafia’s history.

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisites: None