Italian

Professor: John AhernabAssistant Professors: Rodica Diaconescu-Blumenfeld, Eugenio GiustiabVisiting Instructors: Monica Rossi, Ornella Mazzuca.

ab Absent on leave for the year.

Courses are conducted in Italian, except for 170, 175, 237, 238, 242, 250, 255, 286. Medieval and Renaissance Studies 220, or a course in Linguistics, such as Anthropology 150 or 252, may be counted in the required 10 units.

Requirements for Concentration: 10 units including 220, 221, 222, 301.

Senior-Year Requirements: Italian 301 and 2 units of 300-level courses. Students who wish to be considered for departmental honors must also complete a Senior Project (300).

Recommendations: Summer study at the Vassar program in Siena. The department strongly recommends that students interested in the Junior Year in Italy begin the study of Italian in their freshman year. Majors in their junior year are encouraged to participate in programs in Italy in the Eastern Colleges Consortium in Bologna (ECCO).

Advisers: The department.

Correlate Sequence in Italian: Students majoring in other programs may elect a correlate sequence in Italian.

Requirements: 6 units chosen from the following: Italian 205, 206, 220, 221, 222, 260, 265, 301, 330, 331, 337, 338. At least one course must be taken at the 300 level. All courses must be taken for the letter grade. Courses taken in Italy or during the summer may be substituted with department approval.


I. Introductory

105a-106b. Elementary Italian (1)

Introduction to the essential structures of the language with emphasis on oral skills and reading. Analysis of a play by contemporary authors and short fiction in the second semester. The department.

Open to all classes; four 50-minute periods; one hour of drill and one hour of videolab in the Foreign Language Resource Center.

107b. Intensive Elementary Italian (2)

A single-semester equivalent of Italian 105-106. Ms. Blumenfeld.

Open to all classes; four 75-minute periods; one hour of drill and one hour of aural-oral practice or videolab in the Foreign Language Resource Center.

[170. Don Giovanni and His Transformations] (1)

The opera Don Giovanni (libretto by Da Ponte, music by Mozart) is the central representation of the Don Juan myth in Western culture and the focus of this course. After reading and viewing performances of this opera (Sellars, Losey, Karajan), we examine the figure of Don Giovanni in earlier and later representations. As we follow the myth's development through various genres (drama, short story, philosophical discourse, narrative poetry) we place it in various frames (literary, historical, social, religious), paying particular attention to Enlightenment debates on pleasure, class conflict, as well as traditions of courtly love. Central themes: seduction, abandonment, vengeance, religious unbelief. Some attention will be paid to twentieth century versions of the myth such asDon Juan de Marco. Readings include: Tirso de Molino, Molière, Carlo Goldoni, Lorenzo Da Ponte, Lord Byron, Sören Kierkegaard, E. T. A. Hoffman, G. B. Shaw. All reading are in English. Mr. Ahern.

Satisfies college requirement for a Freshman Course.

Not offered in 1999/00.

[175b. The Italian Renaissance in English Translation] (1)

A survey of the masterworks: Dante's Vita Nuova, Petrarch's Canzoniere, Boccaccio'sDecameron, Castiglione's Book of the Courtier, Machiavelli's Mandragola, and Ariosto's Orlando Furioso. Mr. Giusti.

May not be counted towards the Italian major. Satisfies college requirement for a Freshman Course.

Not offered in 1999/00.


II. Intermediate

205a. Intermediate Italian I (1)

Narration in popular culture, literature, and film. Analysis of folktales by Calvino, short stories by Maraini, Sciascia, Ginzburg, poems by Maraini, Pasolini, and Gabriele Salvatores' film Turné. Strong emphasis on effective oral expression. Successful completion of this course provides a suitable background for other 200-level courses. Ms. Rossi, Ms. Mazzuca.

Three 50-minute periods and one hour of conversation.

206b. Intermediate Italian II (1)

Italy today: the image in the Italian media. Analysis and discussion of the strategies of representation in newspapers (La Repubblica, Paese Sera), magazines (Espresso), television and radio, advertisements, and cinema. Formal study of grammar. Strong emphasis on effective oral expression. The department.

Two 75-minute periods and one hour of conversation.

Prerequisite: Italian 205 or permission of instructor.

220a. Italian Civilization: Interpreting the Texts I (1)

From the origin of the Italian language to the masterpieces of the Renaissance. Selected texts from the "Dolce stil nuovo" and Dante's Vita nuova; Petrarch's Canzoniere and Italian Humanism; Boccaccio's Decameron and the "novella" tradition; Ariosto, Tasso and the Italian epic; Machiavelli, Castiglione, Bembo on politics and ideology; Michelangelo, Leonardo, Cellini on words and images.

Prerequisite: Italian 205 or special permission of instructor.

[221b. Italian Civilization: Interpreting the Texts II] (1)

The formation of modern Italy out of the experience of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The Baroque, Commedia dell'Arte, Arcadia, the Enlightenment, and the role of opera in national life. Le Cinesi, an opera by Metastasio and Gluck, selected texts by Vico, Alfieri, Parini, Foscolo, Leopardi, Manzoni, Mazzini, and Verga, as well as Don Giovanni (Da Ponte and Mozart) and Cavalleria Rusticana (Verga and Mascagni). Mr. Ahern.

Prerequisite: Italian 205 or special permission of instructor.

Not offered in 1999/00.

[237b, 238a. Dante's Divine Comedy in Translation] (1)

A close reading of the entire Comedy in its historical, philosophical, theological, and literary contexts. Conducted in English. Mr. Ahern.

Open to all classes. Italian majors see Italian 337-338.

Not offered in 1999/00.

[242. Boccaccio's Decameron in Translation: The "Novella" as Microcosm] (1)

A close reading of the one hundred tales with emphasis on social, cultural, and gender issues of the later Middle Ages. Reference is made to classical sources (Ovid, Petronius, Apuleius), the French Fabliaux, and Courtly Literature. The course also analyzes contemporary rewritings of the text in different genres and media. Conducted in English. Mr. Giusti.

Open to all classes. Italian majors see Italian 387a.

Two 75-minute meetings.

Not offered in 1999/00.

250a. Italian Cinema in English (1)

Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. May not be counted towards the Italian major. Two 75-minute meetings and one film screening.

[255a. Four Italian Filmmakers (in English)] (1)

For description see 265. Ms. Blumenfeld.

No prerequisites. Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

May not be counted towards the Italian major

Two 75-minute meetings and two film screenings.

260a. Italian Cinema (1)

Cultural, ideological, and aesthetic issues in the history of Italian cinema from the golden age of the silent epics to contemporary auteurs. Ms. Blumenfeld.

Prerequisite: Italian 205 or the equivalent.

Three 75-minute meetings and one film screening.

[265a. Four Italian Filmmakers] (1)

Close analysis of the narrative and visual styles of Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Bernardo Bertolucci and Gianni Amelio. Ms. Blumenfeld.

Three 75-minute meetings and two film screenings.

Prerequisite: Italian 205 or the equivalent.

Not offered in 1999/00.

290. Field Work (1/2 or 1)

297.01. Reading Course in Boccaccio (1/2)

The department.

297.02. Reading Course in Verga (1/2)

The department.

297.03. Reading Course in Svevo (1/2)

The department.

297.04. Reading Course in Pirandello (1/2)

The department.

297.05. Reading Course in the Modern Italian Novel (1/2)

The department.

298. Independent Work (1/2 or 1)


III. Advanced

Prerequisite for all advanced courses: 2 units at the 200-level or by permission.

300a. Senior Project (1)

The department.

301b. Senior Seminar (1)

An examination of selected topics in recent Italian culture or of a single topic across several centuries. May be taken more than once for credit when topic changes. Required of all senior majors.

Topic for 1999/00: The Representation of the Other: Italian National Identity 1980-1995. We shall study various representations of foreigners and outsiders, both non-European and European, in recent Italian cinema. Ms. Rossi.

Prerequisites: Italian 220 or 221 or the equivalent.

[330a. The Italian Renaissance: Epic, Fiction, Letter, Memoirs] (1)

A study of Italian literature and civilization. Selected texts by Pulci and Boiardo, Ariosto'sOrlando furioso and Tasso's Gerusalemme Liberata. Boccaccio's Decameron and selected "novelle" by Bandello and Firenzuola. Vespucci's letters to Lorenzo de' Medici, Cellini's Vita, and Vasari's Le vite. Mr. Giusti.

Prerequisites: Italian 220 or 221 or 222 or the equivalent.

[331a. The Italian Renaissance: Poetry, Theater, Politics, and Ideology] (1)

A study of ethnic, religious, and sexual otherness as represented in classical Renaissance texts. Selected readings of Michelangelo, Gaspara Stampa, Veronica Franco (poetry); Ariosto, Machiavelli, Aretino (theatre); Colombo, Vespucci, Castiglione, and Della Casa (politics and ideology). Mr. Giusti.

Prerequisites: Italian 220 or 221 or 222 or the equivalent.

Not offered in 1999/00.

[337b., 338a. Dante's Divine Comedy] (1)

A close reading of the entire Comedy in its historical, philosophical, theological, and literary contexts. Designed for Italian majors in their senior year. Students in this course attend the same lectures as in Italian 237, 238, but do the reading in the original, attend a separate discussion class, and take separate exams. Mr. Ahern.

Not offered in 1999/00.

[342a. Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron: The "Novella" as a Microcosm] (1)

Students in this course attend the same lectures as in Italian 242, but do the readings in the original, attend a separate discussion class, and take separate exams. Mr. Giusti.

Prerequisite: Italian 220 or 221 or 222.

Not offered in 1999/00.

399. Senior Independent Work (1/2 or 1)