Spring 2024 - WL 203 D100

Subversive Genres (3)

Class Number: 7684

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 8 – Apr 12, 2024: Mon, 2:30–5:20 p.m.



Explores the destabilizing potential of literary and artistic genres as they move across cultural lines. Focuses on genres that have traveled widely, such as Gothic horror, utopian fantasy, science fiction or ecocriticism and environmental literature. This course may be repeated once for credit when different topics are offered. Breadth-Humanities.


October 2022 marked the centenary of the (in)famous March on Rome which led, for the first time in history, to a Fascist party taking power and ruling a country. From that point on, an obscure and scanty political movement born in Northern Italy and known as Italian Fasces of Combat, became a model for some and a foe for others. Even though a century has passed, Fascistis still an adjective employed the world over in order to disrespect, slander or delegitimate a political antagonist. But what does the term Fascist truly mean and signify in a specific cultural context? In this course, we will aim to broach this question by studying the history of the Fascist movement, as well as its myths and arts, in order to expand and deepen our understanding of said phenomenon. Fascism will be examined vis à vis cultural artefacts (novels, visual arts,etc.). Moreover, we will analyze authors who openly express their opposition to Totalitarianism, denouncing the crimes and brutalities perpetrated during the Italian Fascism regime (Silone’s Fontamara and Miyazaki’s Porco Rosso), Spanish Franquismo (Cercas’ Soldiers of Salamis) and Latin American dictatorships (García Márquez’s The Autumn of the Patriarch).


By the end of this course, students should be able to:
•Identifythe causes that led to the rise of Fascismin its manifold forms andunderstand its influence in other totalitarian political movements.
•Recognize how the Arts and Literature have been used to either inculcate or resist totalitarian ideologies.
•Develop writing skills, using analytical and original thoughts.


  • Attendance & Participation 15%
  • Oral Report 20%
  • Midterm 25%
  • Final Paper Proposal 10%
  • Final Paper 30%



Neville, Peter. Mussolini. Routledge.
ISBN: 2014978-0415734103

Silone, Ignazio. Fontamara. Cluny Media, 2019.
ISBN: 978-1950970544

García Márquez, Gabriel. The Autumn of the Patriarch. Harper, 2006.
ISBN: 978-0060882860

Cercas, Javier. Soldiers of Salamis. Vintage Books, 2020.
ISBN: 978-1984899897

Miyazaki, Hayao. Porco Rosso (Film), Japan,1992.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html