ITAL 5527: Research Methodology

Course Description

Starting from the notion of culture as a total phenomenon and adopting an interdisciplinary methodology, this course has two main objectives: to make M.A. students from both tracks familiar with major trends in critical and cultural theory; and to train students to apply theoretical concepts and approaches to selected expressions of Italian culture. A combination of Italian and foreign theoretical texts will be taken from such diverse areas as literary theory, semiotics, cultural anthropology, sociology, philosophy, and aesthetics, and will help students analyze Italian cultural phenomena in connection with issues of ideology, social class, politics, gender and race. Representative case studies will be carefully selected with particular attention to the main fields of investigation pertaining to the M.A.’s objectives (such as literature, history, sociology, linguistics, politics, media and the arts). The course will be a combination of lectures, class discussions and individual presentations. By the end of the semester each student will have to submit a long research paper on a topic, methodology and disciplinary area reflecting the student’s field of specialization chosen for the M.A.