A Historical Look at Italy Through the Eyes of Elena Ferrante

Experience the history of modern Italy from a Southern Italian perspective, inspired by the Neapolitan Novels
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1 hour
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Lecture Description
Elena Ferrante (a pseudonymous Italian novelist) has taken the literary world by storm in more recent years, exposing stories of the female experience in postwar Italy up until today. Her depictions of friendship, violence, love, poverty, and determination have resounded among millions of readers. Join an expert in this field on a virtual journey across Italy – inspired by Elena Ferrante's characters.
Meet Your Expert

Danielle Oteri is an expert on Roman, medieval and Renaissance art. She was a Lecturer at the Met Cloisters for fifteen years and has been Program Director of the International Center of Medieval Art since 2008. Danielle has written about art, history, food and travel for Conde Nast Traveler, Gothamist, NPR and Roads & Kingdoms. She is the founder of Feast on History and Arthur Avenue Food Tours.

This discussion will explore the major events in Italian history featured in the books of Elena Ferrante, and make the case that the Neapolitan Novels are a history of modern Italy told from a Southern Italian perspective. We begin with a study of the nation's postwar reconstruction, the rise of the Camorra, the Years of Lead, and conclude with the Irpinia Earthquake.

Danielle Oteri is herself the author of Ferrante Fever: A Naples Guidebook Inspired by Elena Ferrante and is a true expert on this subject, along with other aspects of Naples and Southern Italy. This interactive seminar will focus on details from Ferrante’s catalog that would be unfamiliar to non-Italian readers. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of how Italy is its own character that shapes the expectations and outcomes of Ferrante’s acclaimed novels.
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Is closed captioning (i.e. subtitles) available?
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Our recorded lectures typically run for 60 minutes.

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Sales for recorded lectures are final upon purchase. Please contact us at digital@contexttravel.com if you have any questions or concerns about your purchase.

Can I purchase a gift card for a friend who is traveling?
Absolutely! Gift cards can be purchased here. Gift cards are good for 365 days from the date of purchase.
(5.0) 8 Reviews

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Excellent presentation with great insi
This was an excellent talk about the historical context surrounding the Neapolitan Novels. It was great for a non italian and someone who does not know italian history in depth as it explained a number of things which helped put the story and characters in a different perspective. Daniella is an engaging and enjoyable host to listen to as well.
Excellent insights into the roll of the mafia