Italian Department

Courses are conducted in Italian, except for Italian 175, 177, 178 ,237, 238, 242, 250, and 255.

Requirements for Concentration: 10 units including Italian 220, 222, or equivalent, 301. (One course, such as Anthropology 150, or Italian 250/255, may be counted in the required 10 units.)

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: 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 Italy in the Eastern College 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, 217, 218, 220, 222, 260, 265, 301, 330, 331, 337, 338, 342, 380, 385, 387, 389. 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. Elementary Italian (1)

Introduction to the essential structures of the language with emphasis on oral skills and reading. Reading and performance of a play by a contemporary author in the second semester. Supplementary material from "Andiamo in Italia", a web-based trip to Italy. The department.

Yearlong course 105-106.

Open to all classes; four 50-minute periods; one hour of drill and one hour of aural-oral practice. Electronic versions of required materials are not accepted.

106b. Elementary Italian (1)

Introduction to the essential structures of the language with emphasis on oral skills and reading. Reading and performance of a play by a contemporary author in the second semester. Supplementary material from "Andiamo in Italia", a web-based trip to Italy. The department.

Yearlong course 105-106.

Open to all classes; four 50-minute periods; one hour of drill and one hour of aural-oral practice. Electronic versions of required materials are not accepted.

107a and b. Intensive Elementary Italian (2)

A single-semester equivalent of Italian 105-106. Mr. Giusti (a). Ms. Antognini (b).

Open to all classes; four 75-minute periods; one hour of drill and one hour of aural-oral practice. Supplementary material from Andiamo in Italia, a web-based trip to Italy. Electronic versions of required materials are not accepted.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

175. The Italian Renaissance in English Translation (1)

In this course we analyze the development of the concept of individuality and its representation from the early Humanists (XIV century) to the end of the Renaissance (XVI century). Cultural, philosophical, aesthetic, and gender issues are investigated through the reading of literary and theatrical masterpieces. We read excerpts from Petrarch (Canzoniere and Letters), Boccaccio (Decameron), poems and letters by women Humanists (Isotta Nogarola, Cassandra Fedele, Laura Cereta), Machiavelli (The Prince and La Mandragola), Castiglione (The Book of the Courtier), Gaspara Stampa and Veronica Franco (Poems). In order to foster the student’s self-awareness and creativity, experiential practices, and a creative project, based on the course content, are included. Mr. Giusti.

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

Two 75-minute periods.

Not offered in 2013/14.

177. Italy and the Modern Self (1)

In this course we analyze the ways in which the experience of modernity has shaped Italian literature at the beginning of the 20th century. In particular we focus on the crisis of the self and its literary expressions: fragmentation, illness, madness, but also masquerading and performance. Frequently employed as metaphors for the alienated condition of the artist and intellectual in modern society, these ideas contribute to redefine the notion of self in a country increasingly concerned with progress and modernization while still looking to the past in search of a national identity. While the radical changes in material and social structures, gender roles, moral values challenge traditional certainties, artists and intellectuals challenge formal traditions and provide multiple definitions of the modern experience. Readings include works, in English translation, by Luigi Pirandello, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Eugenio Montale, Italo Svevo and others. As a Freshman Writing Seminar, the course is designed to help students develop analytical and critical skills, and to practice clear and persuasive writing. Students produce a variety of brief informal writing assignments and formal interpretive essays. Ms. Bondavalli.

May not be counted towards the Italian major.

Satisfies the college requirement for a Freshman Writing Seminar.

Two 75-minute periods.

Not offered in 2013/14.

178. With Dante in Hell (1)

Where is Hell? Who goes there? Why? Is it organized? How can a poet know so much about it? We read the Inferno in the context of Italy in the Middle Ages. Topics include: political persecution and expulsion, the reciprocal imitation of Empire and Church, the interaction of desire, deceit, and violence, the dialogue of the classical past and the chaotic present, proto-capitalism and radical religious poverty. There are also selected readings from some of Dante’s sources, parallel texts, and critical responses to the poem from the fourteenth-century to the present. Using a bilingual edition, we read the poem in translation with a glance at the original Italian. There are brief weekly writing assignments. Mr. Ahern.

May not be counted towards the Italian major.

Satisfies the college requirement for a Freshman Writing Seminar.

Two 75-minute periods.

Not offered in 2013/14.

II. Intermediate

205a and b. Intermediate Italian I (1)

Narration in popular culture, literature, and film. Analysis of folktales, short stories, and a contemporary feature film. Strong emphasis on effective oral expression. Formal study of grammar. Successful completion of this course provides a suitable background for other 200-level courses. The department.

Two 75-minute periods and one hour of conversation. Electronic versions of required materials are not accepted.

Prerequisite: Italian 105-106, 107 or permission of the instructor.

206b. Intermediate Italian II (1)

Advanced formal study of grammar, with strong emphasis on expansion of vocabulary, complex linguistic structures, the use of dialect. Through analysis and discussion of strategies of representation in a contemporary novel and a film, students develop writing skills and effective oral expression. Ms. Blumenfeld.

Two 75-minute periods and one hour of conversation.

Prerequisite: Italian 205 or permission of the instructor. Electronic versions of required materials are not accepted.

217. 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. and the DVD Ritorniamo in Italia. The topics covered are in the area of contemporary and historical issues, with emphasis on Italy’s variety of cultural, socio-political, and linguistic phenomena. Advanced grammatical topics, related to the reading material, are reviewed or introduced. Mr. Giusti.

Prerequisite: Italian 205, 206 or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

Not offered in 2013/14.

218a. Giorgio Bassani's The Garden of the Finzi-Contini's (1)

Giorgio Bassani's The Garden of the Finzi-Contini's. Bassani's novel is the story of the decadence of a Jewish family, from the proclamation of the Mussolini's Racial Laws in 1938, to the deportation of Italian Jews to Nazi death-camps in 1943, to the present of the narrator some 15 years later. Through social, historical, intellectual contextualizations, we engage in extensive linguistic, literary, and aesthetic analysis. Particular attention is devoted to the development of oral and written skills. Individual and group multi-media projects. Ms. Antognini.

Prerequisite: Italian 206, 207, 217 or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

220b. Italian Civilization: Interpreting the Texts (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'sDecameron and the "novella" tradition; Ariosto, and the Italian epic; Machiavelli, Castiglione, Bembo on politics and ideology; Michelangelo, Stampa, Franco on gender in literature. Ms. Antognini.

Prerequisite: Italian 217, 218 or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

222. Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Italian Culture (1)

The course introduces students to the transformation of Italian society from the second half of the 20th century to the present through its cinematic representation: movements of protest in the Sixties, the political terrorism of the Seventies, the crisis of ideology in the Eighties, the fall of the First Republic and the emergence of Berlusconi in the Nineties, globalized crime and post-ideological forms of social commitment in the new millennium. While previous experience with film studies is not required, the course is designed to train students to approach film critically and become familiar with the basic terms of film analysis in Italian. The viewing and discussion of films will be accompanied by critical readings and regular writing practice. Films by Marco Bellocchio, Nanni Moretti, Matteo Garrone, and Marco Tullio Giordana, among others. The course is conducted in Italian. Films are in Italian with English subtitles. Ms. Bondavalli.

Prerequisite: Italian 217, 218 or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

Not offered in 2013/14.

237b. 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.

Two 75-minute periods.

238. Dante's Divine Comedy in Translation (1)

Not offered in 2013/14.

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 342.

Two 75-minute periods.

Not offered in 2013/14.

250. Italian Cinema in English (1)

Cultural, ideological, and aesthetic issues in the history of Italian cinema from neo-realism to contemporary auteurs. Ms. Blumenfeld.

Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. May be counted towards the Italian major.

Two 75-minute periods and two film screenings.

Not offered in 2013/14.

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

(Same as Film 255) Close analysis of the narrative and visual styles of Michelangelo Antonioni, Bernardo Bertolucci, Lina Wertmüller, Gianni Amelio and Nanni Moretti, in the context of post war Italian cinema and culture. Theoretical literature on these directors and on approaches to the interpretation of cinematic works aid us in addressing questions of style and of political and social significance. Ms. Blumenfeld.

No prerequisites.

Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. May be counted towards the Italian major.

Two 75-minute periods and two film screenings.

Not offered in 2013/14.

290a or b. Field Work (1/2 or 1)

297. Reading Course (1/2)

297.01. Reading Course. Topics in Seventeenth Century.

297.02. Reading Course. Topics in Eighteenth Century.

297.03. Reading Course. Topics in Nineteenth Century.

The department.

298a or b. Independent Work (1/2 or 1)

III. Advanced

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 2013/14b.Calvino and Pasolini: Two Perspectives on the 20th Century. The course focuses on the works of Italo Calvino and Pier Paolo Pasolini, arguably the most representative Italian authors of the second half of the 20th century. A world-famous storyteller and essayist translated into 45 languages, and a poet, novelist, essayist and filmmaker whose use of language reflects the diversity of Italian dialects, Calvino and Pasolini deal with the crisis of modernity in ways that are emblematic of opposing attitudes towards literature, history and the culture industry. We study a selection of fiction, poems, essays, and film and examine the parallel and often contrasting views of the two authors as they relate to modern Italian culture and ideology; the role of intellectuals in society; the definition of literature and its relationship with tradition, and the use of a national language. Ms. Bondavalli.

Prerequisite: Italian 220, 222 or 218 with permission of the instructor.

One 2-hour period, and one film screening.

302a. Senior Project (1/2)

Yearlong course (302-303). The department.

303b. Senior Project (1/2)

Yearlong course (302-303). The department.

304. Senior Project Seminar (1)

The course is intended to provide Italian majors, who have chosen to produce a senior project, with a collective and regular learning environment. They will receive systematic guidance from their instructor, and discuss problems they encounter in various stages of their project creation with both the instructor and their peers. The class meets three times a semester for two hours. One hour individual meetings are scheduled bi-weekly. Mr. Giusti.

Prerequisite: one 300-level course.

Not offered in 2013/14.

338b. 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. Conducted in Italian. Mr. Ahern.

Prerequisite: Italian 220, 222 or 218 with permission of the instructor.

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

A reading of the one hundred tales with specific emphasis on social, cultural and gender issues of the later Middle Ages, as represented in the novella genre. Particular attention is devoted to the Decameron’sframe as a connective tissue for the one hundred tales and a space for gender debate and social re-creation. Reference is made to some of theDecameron's subtexts (Apuleius' The Golden Ass, the Novellino, the French Fabliaux, and Courtly Literature). Critical interpretations are analyzed after the reading of the entire masterpiece. Issues related to textual censorship, and contemporary re-writings through different media are addressed. Mr. Giusti.

Prerequisite: Italian 220, 222 or 218 with permission of the instructor.

One 2-hour period.

380. Modernity in Italy (1)

This course explores different manifestations of modernity in Italian literature and culture in the early twentieth century. We will consider both objective and subjective transformations, focusing on the impact of urban life, war, Fascism, and technological modernization on literary creation and its aesthetic and social function. How do Italian writers of the early 20th century relate to modernity and define it? How are the ideas of progress, tradition, and avant-garde defined, expressed and questioned? How does the affirmation of mass culture affect the perceived role of poets? How do artists and intellectuals redefine their role in relation to bourgeois materialism, war propaganda, censorship, or spectacular politics? These are some of the questions that will inform textual analysis, class discussion and students’ writing. In studying specifically Italian modernism, we also investigate how its origins at the peripheries of the nation shape its relation to Italian history and literary tradition. The texts examined include poetry, narrative, theory, and programmatic writings by such authors as Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Guido Gozzano, Aldo Palazzeschi, Luigi Pirandello, Italo Svevo, Eugenio Montale among others. Ms. Bondavalli.

Prerequisite: Italian 220, 222 or 218 with permission of the instructor.

One 2-hour period.

Not offered in 2013/14.

381. Gender Effects: Women in Italian Cinema (1)

Through analysis of various filmic portrayals of the female body, narratives of female subjectivity, articulations of female desire, and experiments with female and feminist agency, we raise questions about female characters in Italian cinema, and the gendering significance of formal cinematic features. We study such films as Pier Paolo Pasolini'sMamma Roma, Federico Fellini's City of Women, Lina Wertmüller's Love and Anarchy, Bernardo Bertolucci's Besieged, Pappi Corsicato's Libera. Readings of pertinent works from feminist film theory in English and Italian. Ms. Blumenfeld.

Prerequisite: Italian 220, 222 or 218 with the permission of the instructor.

385a. Three Contemporary Women Writers: Dacia Maraini, Rossana Campo, Liana Borghi (1)

This course explores new literary styles that reflect the new freedoms of contemporary Italian women and women writers. We study the texts of these writers from the 1970s to 1990s, from the early days of feminist activism, to recent transformations in literature and politics, asking whether postmodernism leads to the de-ideologization of feminism. Ms. Blumenfeld.

Prerequisite: Italian 220, 222 or 218 with permission of the instructor.

One 2-hour period.

389. The Impossible Task of Translating: An Introduction of Literary Translation from Italian to English (1)

Whether translation between two languages is at all possible is a question as old as translating itself, but no matter how many answers have been given, the truth of the matter remains that we have always translated and we will continue to do so. Translation studies have flourished in the last few years and literary translation is more and more considered a creative undertaking rather than an unoriginal and quite tedious activity. Given the intrinsic bilingualism of the foreign literature classroom, translation is particularly intertwined with teaching and learning and becomes an integral part of the course. As a result, many students choose to complete their B.A. in Italian with a literary translation. Translating is above all a decision process-- careful interpretation and intelligent notation-- and as such it requires passion, accuracy, careful attention to details, together with a knowledge and understanding of both the source and the target language and culture. This course aims to give students of Italian some insight into the field --historical and theoretical--as well as a solid grasp of the tools required to be a literary translator. While analyzing different translation strategies and doing practical exercises, such as contrasting and comparing different versions of the same source text, students will devote time to studying not only Italian grammar but also English. By the end of the semester, they will produce a final original translation, accompanied by a "translation diary" , a metatextual description of the problems encountered during their work. Our theoretical background will be Umberto Eco's considerations on translating, both as a writer and as a translator. Ms. Antognini.

Prerequisite: Italian 220, 222 or 218 with permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

Not offered in 2013/14.

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