Seriously is a creative school based on television series.
This page is a brief summary of the most important topics for our foreign readers. Further excerpts of writings and speeches given by Italian university lecturers, writers, journalists and essayists are also available. Fill out the form if you would like to receive full English translations by e-mail.
GUESTS & CONTRIBUTORS
▪ Media expert Alberto Abruzzese (born 1942) has taught in the universities of Rome, Naples and Milan. He was Dean of the Degree Course of Communication Sciences at “La Sapienza” University of Rome from 2000 to 2002. He has carried out research on variety shows, TV series and soap operas for the Italian national public broadcasting company (RAI), the private media company Mediaset, the National Research Centre (CNR) and for the Italian government.
In his article “Beyond Institutions – there is always more inside us”, Abruzzese makes a critical diagnosis of Italian education system which he concludes is “incapable of meeting modern challenges and adapting to the needs of the times”.
▪ Marcello Aprile teaches Italian Linguistics at University of Salento. He is the founder of Monitoring Centre for Tv Series, located in Lecce, Italy.
In his article “How to stop the sloppy language in tv series”, Aprile analyzes the use of slang and jargon in Italian tv shows. “Elisa di Rivombrosa is set in Piedmont during the nineteenth century”, he says, “and Piedmont was a northern Italian reign. But the characters talk in the romanic vernacular”.
▪ Film critic Luca Bandirali writes for the Italian daily newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano and he has worked with filmmaker Sabina Guzzanti. He teaches at the university and has published an essay on the subject of TV series called Filosofia delle serie tv. Dalla scena del crimine al trono di spade (Mimesis 2013).
In his article “Let’s study basic narrative structure to make political training”, Bandirali eloquently explains the narrative functions and the inter-action between characters. “Detailed stories and extremely sophisticated characters is the legacy of TV series over the last few years”, he says.
▪ Italian writer Pietrangelo Buttafuoco (born 1963) has published several novels: Le uova del drago. Una storia vera al teatro dei pupi (Mondadori 2005), L’ultima del diavolo (Mondadori 2008), Il lupo e la luna (Bompiani 2011), Il dolore pazzo dell’amore (Bompiani 2013), I cinque funerali della signora Goring (Mondadori 2014). He has published several essays on politics, islam and the western civilization. He writes for Italian newspapers Il Foglio, Repubblica and Il Fatto Quotidiano.
In his article “The TV Series Theme of Power”, Buttafuoco analyses TV Shows Game of Thrones and House of Cards wich he says are a wonderfully sour take on power and geopolitics.
▪ Stefano Cristante (born 1961) is Dean of the Degree Course in Communication Sciences at University of Salento. He has published several essays on mass media and communication. His first book of poems is Anima Lunga (Besa 2012).
Cristante’s article “Homeland devastating, there cannot be only the dark side of the force” is an extensive, wide-angled analysis of Carrie Mathison, the protagonist of the TV drama-thriller Homeland. “I believe that Carrie is a really exciting character because we would not expect a woman with bipolar disorder taking clozapine to lead the great game», he says. “The reason for this is perhaps that disease itself allows her to move more freely compared to other pawns in the game of chess”.
▪ Sociologist Alessandro Dal Lago (born 1947) has taught in the universities of Milan, Bologna and Genoa. He was Dean of the Degree Course in Learning Sciences at University of Genoa from 1996 to 2002. In 1991, he was visiting professor at the School of Romance Languages at Pennsylvania University. He has published prominent essays in several research fields, from classical sociological thought to migration and multiculturalism, sociology of deviance and social control, sociology of sport, art and literature.
In his article “TV series and Globalization”, Dal Lago analyses his favourite TV shows, Six Feet Under, The Shield, Fargo which he says are “very useful as complements to a real education”. “On the other hand, it is important to remember that universities in the United States move according to the common organization of the market. The market creates new supply and new demand and so on…”.
▪ Carlo Formenti (born 1947) is an italian journalist and scholar. He has worked for one of Italy’s most innovative review, Alfabeta, and he has written for Corriere della Sera. He has published essays on post-workerism, cyberspace and the net economy. His latest book is entitled Utopie letali. Contro l’ideologia postmoderna (Jaka Book 20013).
In his article “Jumping into the digital revolution”, Formenti analyses the functional dynamics of technological innovation systems. “Today we are watching tv shows on smartphone, it would have been unthinkable ten years ago”, he says. “It is an anthropological revolution”.
Annalisa Galardi is public and corporate communication professor at Università Cattolica of Milan. She is partner and communication strategist at Hitrea and managing board member at Fondazione Adriano Olivetti.
In his article “Transmedia storytelling: making learning fun”, Galardi explains how to study with passion, “altough italian institutional forms of learning always missed this”.
▪ Filippo La Porta (born 1952) is a leading literary critic in Italy, essayist and journalist from Rome. He writes for Italian newspapers Corriere della Sera, Il Sole 24 Ore, Il Messaggero, as well as for magazines such as L’Espresso. His latest book is entitled Poesia come esperienza. Una formazione in versi (Fazi 2013).
La Porta’s article “On Poetry – True Detective and Breaking Bad” deals with the many detailed issues of relationships between lyric formal structures and TV shows, referring to the masters of modern literature such as Giacomo Leopardi and Walt Whitman: “Those stories help us to figure out Pier Paolo Pasolini’s interpretation of Lettera a una professoressa by Don Milani: ‘Poetry is what turns hate to love’. So, True Detective turns hate, violence, atrocity in today’s American society, into a possible love, in a possible light, the starry sky above us”.
▪ Italian writer Nicola Lagioia (born 1973) has published several novels: Tre sistemi per sbarazzarsi di Tolstoj (Minimum Fax 2001), Occidente per principianti (Einaudi 2014), Riportando tutto a casa (Einaudi 2009), La ferocia (Einaudi 2014). He was a selector for Venice International Film Festival in 2013 and 2014.
Lagioia’s article “Renzi kick politicians out of RAI and we’ll have the italian House of Cards” is a critical assessment of politics, education and TV series in Italy. “I like education/Tv shows combo if we are talking about the Italian National Film School, but I have my doubts about high school. We run the risk of ending up in Marilyn Monroe School… Do you remember Bianca by Nanni Moretti?”.
▪ Giancarlo Loquenzi (born 1960) is radio-anchorman at RAI and associate editor of the geopolitical review Longitude. He was editor-in-chief of online newspaper L’Occidentale and Radio Radicale and managing editor of Radio 24, Sole 24 Ore’s radio channel. He has worked for L’Indipendente, Liberal and Il Foglio. From 2002 to 2006 he was chief press officer of the Italian Senate.
In his article “Rethinking J-education: The Newsroom”, Loquenzi better explains how we can ensure a training and encouraging of the next generation of journalists through the television/political drama created by Aaron Sorkin. “Too often, entering graduate students of journalism believe that the news reporter is a kind of big hero that fights power. They say evil is the exercise of power for itself, forgetting the role of news media power. The HBO show is a lesson of day-to-day pragmatics that can help students to do their job better”.
▪ Italian filmmaker Luca Merli, author and founder of Block10, has produced film and web series “Onde Nostre” and “Ritratti di surf”. Merli provides a window into the Mediterranean soul and shows the world that Italy can be a surfer’s paradise.
Merli’s article “A practical handbook for global web series” shows how we provide low cost and successfull web series by surf culture.
▪ Italian writer Massimiliano Parente (born 1970) has published several novels: Mamma (Castelvecchi 2000), Contronatura (Bompiani 2008), L’inumano (Mondadori 2012), Il più grande artista del mondo dopo Adolf Hitler (Mondadori 2014), an essay on the Recherche, L’evidenza della cosa terribile (Cooper 2010) and the pamphlet La casta dei radical chic (Newton Compton Editori 2010). He writes for the italian newspaper Il Giornale.
Parente’s article “Why we love female Tv shows characters to have a decent life” is a declaration of love between the author and several Tv celebrities such as Connie Sellecca and Kaley Cuoco.
▪ Italian writer Aldo Nove (born 1967) has published several tales and novels, Superwoobinda (Einaudi 1998), La vita oscena (Einaudi 2010), Tutta la luce del mondo (Bompiani 2014), and poems collection, Maria (Einaudi 2007) and Addio mio Novecento (Einaudi 2014). Woobinda Animal Doctor was a 1960s Australian TV series about a Vet in the Australian bush.
In his article “I make a course about the Simpsons and the students were astonished”, Nove speaks about education and TV shows in Italy. “We are lagging behind the opportunities presented by the new media. I mean, you know, the problem is that the new media have been for nearly half a century“.
▪ Giorgio Tacchia is the Founder and CEO of CHILI TV. Previously he was one of the first employees of the FASTWEB Start-up in 2000. He subsequently held various roles, amongst which Planning Manager for Large Accounts Division, Manager for Business Plan and M&A and Manager Media & TV.
In his article “Doing business in Italy with Tv Series”, Tacchia explains how the university system and the business community “must work together to promote italian culture”.
▪ Maurizio Stefanini (born 1961) is an Italian journalist and author. He writes for Italian newspapers Il Foglio and Libero. He has published essays on Italian politics and journalism and biographies of Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro.
In his article “Obama soft power and geopolitics of TV Shows”, Stefanini argues that after the politics of muscle, adopted in response to 9/11 attacks, television series are a measure of soft power for the US. “TV series are not mere fantastical myth but entirely relevant to the present day”, he says.
▪ Roberto Santoro (born 1972) is the founder of Seriously. Roberto has taught creative writing for the Degree Course of Communication Sciences at “La Sapienza” University of Rome and in other Italian universities. He has written for several magazines and newspapers such as Storie, Nazione Indiana, l’Occidentale, Il Tempo, the AEI Blog. He has published books and essays on such subjects as comics, Googlecrazia, and Naples’ waste disposal crises.