Italian

Professor: John AhernaAssociate Professor: Rodica Diaconescu-Blumenfeld; Assistant Professor: Eugenio Giusti; Visiting Assistant Professor: Roberta Antognini; Visiting Instructor: Ornella Mazzuca.

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 (Italian 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. Mr. Giusti.

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 is paid to twentieth century versions of the myth such as Don 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 readings are in English. Mr. Ahern.

Satisfies college requirement for a Freshman Course.

Not offered in 2000/01.

175a. The Italian Renaissance in English Translation (1)

A survey of the masterworks: Dante's Vita Nuova, Petrarch'sCanzoniere, Boccaccio's Decameron, 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.


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 200level courses. Ms. Antognini, 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. Mr. Giusti.

Two 75-minute periods and one hour of conversation.

Prerequisite: Italian 205 or permission of instructor.

220b. 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'sVita nuova; Petrarch's Canzoniere and Italian Humanism; Boccaccio'sDecameron and the "novella" tradition; Ariosto, Tasso and the Italian epic; Machiavelli, Castiglione, Bembo on politics and ideology; Michelangelo, Leonardo, Cellini on words and images. Ms. Antognini.

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 2000/01..

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.

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

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.

[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.

Not offered in 2000/01.

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

For description see Italian 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 neorealism to contemporary auteurs. Ms. Blumenfeld.

Prerequisite: Italian 205 or the equivalent.

Three 75-minute meetings and one film screening.

Not offered in 2000/01.

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.

270a. Advanced Composition and Oral Expression (1)

Development of oral and written skills through extensive conversation and essay writing. The course makes use of a variety of"texts" available in traditional formats (books, magazines, journals, films), as well as web-based materials. The

topics covered are in the area of contemporary issues, with emphasis on cultural

and socio-political phenomena. Ms. Antognini.

Two 75-minute meetings.

Prerequisite: Italian 206 or 220 or 221 or 222 or the equivalent

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 2000/01: Women in Italian Cinema. We study the signifying practices of representing women by male and female filmmakers in contemporary Italian cinema. Films analyzed include Marco Risi's Meri per sempre, Lina Wertmüller's Sottosotto, Federico Fellini's Città delle donne, Giuseppe Bertolucci' Segreti segreti, Readings of literary and critical texts. In Italian. Ms. Blumenfeld.

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

330b. The Italian Renaissance: The Italian Epic Tradition (1)
from 1300-1500

A study of the epic tradition from the romances of chivalry and the "cantari" to the epic poems, with a special focus on the sixteenth century's debate on the canons of the heroic poem. Selected texts from Pulci's Morgante, Boiardo's Orlando innamorato, Ariosto's Orlando furioso, Trissino's L'Italia liberata dai Goti, Bernardo Tasso'sAmadigi, Torquato Tasso's Gerusalemme liberata, and others. Ms. Antognini.

Prerequisite: 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 2000/01.

332a. Italian Autobiography from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern Period (1)

Inasmuch as autobiography is equally a work of art and life, portraying as it does the author's view of himself/herself, it is also a unique literary form. It offers its close readers a complex set of interpretive problems. In this course we examine how different autobiographers, at different times have dealt with the issue of telling their own stories. We analyze various texts which may include selections from Dante's Vita Nuova,Petrarch's prose letters, Cellini's Vita, Silvio Pellico's Le mie prigioni,Lorenzo Da Ponte's Memorie, Neera's Una giovinezza del XIX secolo, Grazia Delledda's Cosima, and Sibilla Aleramo's Una donna.Ms. Antognini.

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

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.

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

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.

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

Vassar-Wellesley Program in Bologna

Vassar College, Wellesley College and Wesleyan University offer a study abroad program at the Università di Bologna in Italy. The program is committed to high academic standards and to providing opportunities for students to develop their knowledge of the Italian language and culture in one of the most venerable and prestigious academic environments in Europe. Undergraduates wishing to study humanities and social sciences may enroll for the fall or spring semesters or for the full academic year. Students who enroll for the full year or for the spring semester and who have at least an intermediate knowledge of Italian will complete two regular university courses at the Università di Bologna, as well as take courses in language and Italian studies offered by the program. The program accepts no more than 45 students from consortium institutions and from other colleges and universities.