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La Dolce Vita: A Mediterranean Reflection on Indolence

Date: 08/08/2013

Time: 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Location: Continuing Education and Conference Center

Cost: $50


This summer morning seminar is offered by the College of Continuing Education's LearningLife program.


"Indolence is sweet, and its consequences bitter."

Why is idleness or indolence such a problematic concept in modern society? Why does the famed slow life of Mediterranean cultures (la dolce vita) evoke such mixed emotions in our hyper-connected world? Is there any virtue or social use to being able to unplug and do nothing? This seminar traces the history of thinking about indolence as a vice. Examining the relationship between productivity and slowness, you will discuss the social, historical, and cultural values we assign to how time is "spent" or "wasted." Ultimately you will question whether, in today's fast-pacedsociety, this vice might not in fact be a virtue to protect and cherish. Born in Italy, the instructor is both fascinated and disturbed by modern society's views of Italy's "quaint" leisurely lifestyle. She offers only one theoretical caveat: your time will not be wasted here.

Tuition includes refreshments.

Susanna Ferlito is an associate professor in the department of French and Italian at the University of Minnesota. She earned a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of California, Los Angeles, and researches Italian literary and cultural practices from the 18th century to contemporary times. 


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LearningLife is a program of the University of Minnesota College of Continuing Education. Established in 1913, the College provides high-quality continuing education and lifelong learning opportunities for professional development, personal enrichment, career transitions, and academic growth.


  • Name: College of Continuing Education Information Center
  • E-mail: cceinfo@umn.edu
  • Phone: 612-624-4000
  • Sponsored by: College of Continuing Education

More information: http://z.umn.edu/ddj

Disability Options:

To request disability accommodations, please contact the College of Continuing Education Information Center at 612-624-4000 or at cceinfo@umn.edu.

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