Italian

Professor: John Ahern; Associate Professor: Rodica Diaconescu–BlumenfeldbAssistant Professor: Eugenio Giusti; Visiting Assistant Professor: Roberta Antognini.

Courses are conducted in Italian, except for 170, 175, 237, 238, 242, 250, 255, 270, 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, 270, 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. Antognini.

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.

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. Blumenfeld.

Two 75–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. Instructor to be announced.

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. Mr. Giusti.

Prerequisite: Italian 205 or special permission of instructor.

[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 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.

250a. Italian Cinema in English (1)

For description see Italian 260a.

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 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.

Not offered in 2001/02.

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.

[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 2001/02.

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 2001/02: Because autobiography is equally a work of art and of life it is also a unique literary form. To close readers it offers a complex set of interpretive probleMs. We examine how different autobiographers at different times have confronted the various issues raised by telling their own stories. Analyzed texts include selections from Dante's Vita Nuova, Petrarch's Epistles, Cellini's Vita, Lorenzo Da Ponte's Memorie, Silvio Pellico's Le mie prigioni, Neera's Una giovinezza del XIX secolo, Grazia Deledda's Cosima, and Sibilla Aleramo's Una donna. Ms. Antognini.

Prerequisites: Italian 220 or the equivalent.

330b. The Italian Renaissance Epic, Fiction, Letters, Memoirs (1)

A study of Italian literature and civilization. Texts include Boccaccio'sDecameron, selections from the epic poems of Pulci and Boiardo, Arisoto's Orlando furioso, Tasso's Gerusalemme liberata, selected novelle by Bandello and Firenzuola, Aretino (theater), Vespucci's letters to Lorenzo de' Medici, Cellini's Vita and Vasari's Le vite. Mr. Giusti.

Prerequisites: Italian 220 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 2001/02.

[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 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 the equivalent.

Not offered in 2001/02.

382a. Dacia Maraini: scrivere dalla parte delle donne (1)

In this course we examine the complex literary production of contemporary Italian writer Dacia Maraini. We explore the relation of feminism to other radical political movements, the transformations and new freedoms of contemporary Italian women, the de–ideologization of feminism, and the intersection of feminist analysis with the analysis of class. Texts may include: Dialogo di una prostituta con il suo cliente, Una donna in guerra, Voci, as well as various other texts by Maraini (poetry, films, critical essays). Ms. Blumenfeld.

Prerequisite: Italian 220 or the equivalent.

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

Eastern Colleges Consortium 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.