Complete course list for Spring 2021

Department of Italian, Spring 2021


NB All language courses in the Department of Italian are intensive meeting 4 days a week with asynchronous learning on Fridays. This allows students with no prior knowledge of Italian to satisfy their language requirement in 2 semesters with ITAL 011 and ITAL 032, to fast progress towards a minor in Italian, and to be ready to study in Italy through direct matriculation at some of the best universities in Europe in 4 semesters upon completion of ITAL 112. Students in the School of Foreign Service also receive thorough language training that prepares them for their required oral proficiency exam.

  • ITAL-009 Italian for Spanish and Romance Language Speakers (1 section: 12:30 Mon thru Thurs) 6 credits

This intensive Italian language course, designed for native or proficient speakers of Spanish, covers in one semester materials usually taught in two semesters in Basic and Intermediate Italian. The course provides an accelerated introduction to Italian, allowing students who successfully complete it to enroll in ITAL 111

  • ITAL-011 Italian Language and Culture: Beginner (2 sections: 11:00 / 12:30 Mon thru Thurs) 6 credits

This intensive course meets 4 days a week with asynchronous learning on Fridays and provides a first approach to the Italian language for absolute beginners. Attention is devoted to the four skills of speaking, understanding, reading, and writing with a progression from greater emphasis on listening and speaking to a balance of all skills as the semester progresses.

  • ITAL-032 Italian Language and Culture: Intermediate (3 sections: 10:00 / 12:30 / 2:00 Mon thru Thurs) 6 credits

This intensive course meets 4 days a week with asynchronous learning on Fridays and is designed to further develop language ability and knowledge of the Italian culture for students who have completed ITAL 011 or have already had some exposure to the language. As in the case of ITAL 011, the four skills of speaking, understanding, reading and writing are developed in a balanced way.

  • ITAL-111 Adv I Italian: Contemporary Culture and Society (1 section: 11:00 Mon thru Thurs) 5 credits

ITAL 111 continues and builds on the work done in ITAL 011 and ITAL 032, providing a thorough grounding in the essentials of Italian grammar. The course develops the four skills of speaking, understanding, reading, and writing but increases attention to grammatical correctness and the development of literacy with respect to Basic and Intermediate.

  • ITAL-112 Adv 2 Italian: Italian Traditions, History and Art (2 section: 11:00 / 2:00 Mon thru Thurs) 5 credits

ITAL 112 continues and builds on the work done in ITAL 011, ITAL 032 and ITAL 111 providing a review of Italian grammar learned in the previous years and opportunities to develop the four skills of speaking, understanding, reading, and writing at an advanced level.

  • ITAL-120 Italian Society and Pop Culture 1 credit

Italian society and pop-culture is a 1-credit course designed mostly for freshmen students. Topics will include Italian life-style, news & tabloids, Italian customs and traditions, the role of cuisine, fashion and sports, and cultural items linked to social phenomenon. The course is asynchronous and taught in English.

  • ITAL-233 Writing & Culture (I section 2:00 – 3:15 MW) 3 credits

This course is designed to help students of Italian who have reached an advanced level of competence in the language, practice and refine their writing skills through intensive work on a variety of texts that deal with culturally salient topics in modern Italy. The focus of the course is on the process of writing and on the strategies that can be used to improve it. Students are exposed not only to different topics, but also to different writing genres: from literary narrative texts, to academic texts, to argumentative or informative texts taken from Italian newspapers and periodicals. Conducted in Italian.

SFS/CULP Humanities, SFS/RCST Western Europe, HALC – Hum, Art, Lit, Cul 

  • ITAL-237 Business Italian (T/R 12:30 – 1:45) 3 credits

Have you ever dreamed of working for Ferrari, Prada, a Società Italiana Multinazionale, or as an international lawyer? Would you like to wake up in the morning and read the business newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore along with your cappuccino?  Italy, known for its rich artistic patrimony, is also an industrial power with a thriving economy.  This course will introduce students to the Italian business culture, its entrepreneurship, the success of the “made in Italy” brands, and the language of business, finance, and commerce.  The course will also focus on how business is conducted in Italy, taking into account language, customs, regional differences, and politics. Conducted in Italian.


  • ITAL-337 Italian Cinema (TR 12:30 – 1:45) 3 credits

A study of Italian cinema as a reflection of Italian culture. Historical overview of the major periods of Italian film: Neorealism ’50s, the 1960s, and the 1970s. Analysis of the historical setting and world vision of the directors. Conducted in Italian.

SFS/RCST Western Europe, Core:HALC – Hum, Art, Lit, Cul

  • ITAL 350 Italian Renaissance Women (M/W 11:00 – 12:15) 3 credits

“Did women have a Renaissance?” Joan Kelly polemically asked in 1977, only to answer in the negative: “there was no ‘renaissance’ for women, at least not during the Renaissance.” The extraordinary amount of scholarship conducted in the last forty years, however, allows us to provide a more nuanced answer. While women’s status did not improve dramatically during the Renaissance, it is now clear that many factors—from the development of the printed press to the rediscovery of Plato—led to a more positive view of women’s role in society and of their very nature. One particularly fascinating aspect of this phenomenon is the unprecedented emergence of women writers, a distinctive feature of early modern Italian culture. Women also explored other forms of creativity and affirmed themselves as composers, painters, and actresses. This course explores some of the protagonists of this extraordinary season, from writers to painters, from the humanists of the late fifteenth century—such as Isotta Nogarola and Cassandra Fedele—to Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia who in 1678 became the first woman in the world to receive a university degree. Conducted in Italian
Core:HALC – Hum, Art, Lit, Cul

  • ITAL-383 Dante’s Afterlife Pop Culture 3 credits (T/F taught online)

This course has a twofold goal: reading selected cantos from Dante’s Divine Comedy and exploring its rewritings and adaptations in popular culture including literature, comics, cinema, rock/pop songs, television and the visual arts. The course entertains the question of why and how Dante’s Divine Comedy, written seven-hundred years ago, still continues to inspire creative artists in all fields of the arts and beyond. From Milton to Dan Brown and Matthew Pearl, from Salvador Dali to Sandow Birk and Go Nagai, and from Chaucer to David Fincher, artists have adapted and referenced the Divine Comedy as the most relevant text depicting afterlife in all ages and cultures. This course combines close readings of selected passages from Dante’s masterpiece with their analyses vis-à-vis with the many texts, songs, video games, traditional and graphic novels and movies which it has inspired.

  • ITAL 444 Discourse, Identity and Narratives (TR 11:00 – 12:15) 3 credits

The study of identity is at the core of many disciplines in the social sciences and humanities, however there is a special link that connects language and discourse to identities. Not only does the way people speak reveal a lot about who they are, but it also predominantly through discourse and communication that individuals and communities convey and negotiate their sense of self. Among discourse genres, narrative has a privileged role in constructing and conveying identities and constitutes one of the main arenas in which such processes are negotiated. This course aims at reflecting on and learning about these connections between discourse and identity, with a particular focus on narrative and storytelling. Taught in English

Xlist Ling444

  • ITAL-460 Dante (T/R 2:00 – 3:15) 3 credits

The course will unfold as a reading of selected cantos of the Divine Comedy (Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise) and will highlight the thematic and conceptual continuity and unity of Dante’s poem. The course will stress the historical context, relations with Middle-Ages arts, the narrative structure of the poem and how it answers the question of spiritual conversion. It will discuss Dante’s involvement with the moral and political values of Florence and Italy and Dante’s political position with regards to the Empire and the Papacy; and it will emphasize both the stages in the pilgrim’s moral reformation and the poet’s deepening sense of his poetic art. It will end with an exploration of Dante’s representation of Paradise. Conducted in Italian.

SFS/RCST Western Europe, College/SFS/European Stud Cert, X-List: CATH, X-List: MVST