Department of Italian, Fall 2020 Courses

New this Fall!!!

ITAL 120: Italian society and pop-culture is a 1-credit course designed mostly for freshmen students. Topics will include Italian life-style, (daily routine, family, work, leisure, travel), news & tabloids, Italian customs and traditions, the role of cuisine, fashion and sports, cultural items linked to the social phenomenon (including songs, films, and TV series), Italy and social media.” The course is asynchronous and taught in English.

ITAL 232 Italian through Art. This is a 1-credit course taught mainly in English that is open to all students. The course will survey the major works of artists such as Brunelleschi, Donatello, Botticelli and Leonardo Da Vinci. Students will learn some technical terminology in Italian.

ITAL 386 Made in Italy: Fashion and Food. This is a three-credit course taught in English that explores the uniqueness of the ‘Made in Italy” brand. Italian goods are recognized worldwide as the embodiment of creativity, elegance, and high quality, the meeting point of centuries-long artisanal and innovative production techniques. This course delves into two of the most influential areas of “Made in Italy,” namely, Fashion and Food, offering a cultural history of their respective productions and their impact on international markets.

For students in the language program. We will be offering ITAL 009: Italian for Romance Language Speakers again. This is an accelerated course that combines Intensive Basic and Intensive Intermediate for students who have never taken Italian before but are fluent in Spanish or another Romance Language.

Students who have completed Intensive Intermediate Italian and above can practice their spoken Italian by signing up for ITAL 409: Italian Practicum. This is a 1-credit Teletandem course in which all students are partnered with a native Italian speaker from the University of Salento in Puglia. There are 3 in-class meetings on ZOOM with your professor during the semester.

Remember that to receive a Minor in Italian you need to complete 6 courses so after ITAL 112 Advanced Italian 2, you only have 2 more courses to go! ITAL 233: Writing and Culture is a requirement for the Minor which will be offered in Spring 2021 so students who have just finished Advanced 2 should consider ITAL 231: Topics in Contemporary Italy.

As for our upper-division courses, check out Ital 319: Italian Translation! In this course students are introduced to the theory and practice of translation, translating texts from a variety of genres from Italian to English and English to Italian.

Note that ITAL 338 Medici, Patrons of the Renaissance: A Dynasty and ITAL-388 Cantautori to Rap are both taught in Italian and satisfy the Diversity and HALC requirements.

Here’s a complete list of all courses offered for Fall 2020

Note: All courses will be taught remotely in Fall 2020


All language courses in the Department of Italian are intensive meeting 4 days a week with asynchronous online 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 Rom Lang Speakers (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 Advanced Italian I

  • ITAL-011 Intensive Basic Italian (6 credits)

This intensive course meets 4 days a week with class online 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 Intensive Intermediate Italian (6 credits)

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

  • ITAL-111 Intensive Advanced Italian I (5 credits)

Intensive Advanced Italian I continues and builds on the work done in Intensive Basic and Intermediate Italian, 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 Intensive Advanced Italian II (5 credits)

Intensive Advanced Italian II continues and builds on the work done in Intensive Basic, Intermediate Italian, and Advanced I 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-408 Italian Practicum (1 credit)

ITAL 409 is a one-credit course that offers you the opportunity to interact with a native speaker of Italian at an Italian university. You will meet your Italian collaborator at least 8 times during the semester for one hour and twenty minutes – you are encouraged to meet once per week. During each session, you will speak for 30 minutes in Italian and 30 minutes in English, and the session will end with 20 minutes of language feedback. To enroll in this course, you must have completed ITAL 011 Intensive Basic Italian.

  • ITAL-231 Contemporary Italy: Topics for Proficiency (3 credits)

This course is designed to integrate language proficiency and area studies by focusing on topics on Contemporary Italy, from demography, geography, history, economics, politics, society, and media to the arts and literature. Students participate in Teletandem sessions with peers at an Italian university during the course of the semester. Conducted in Italian. Note: SFS students may count their final oral examination as their required oral proficiency test.

SFS/RCST Western Europe

  • ITAL 232 Italian through Art (1 credit) Pass/Fail weekly seminar

This course surveys key works of Italian art produced between ca. 1300 and 1500 in a seven-week journey throughout Italian regions. Focusing on major centers such as Florence, Milan, Rome, Ravenna, Napoli, and Venice, as well as smaller courts such as Urbino and Mantua, it considers the works of some of the most important artists of the period, among them Giotto, Brunelleschi, Masaccio, Donatello, Giovanni Bellini, Botticelli, and Leonardo da Vinci. While the course is in English, students will learn technical terms in Italian in order to discuss the works of art. Museum trips to the National Gallery will expose students to original works of art. Open to all majors. No previous knowledge of Italian is required.


  • ITAL-319 Italian Translation (3 credits)

This course is designed to introduce advanced students of Italian to the theory and practice of translation. Students learn to translate texts (Italian to English and English to Italian) from a variety of topics and genres. By learning fundamental theoretical concepts and techniques of translation, in this course students also gain practical experience in reading, paraphrasing, summarizing, editing and proofreading. They also learn the criteria for evaluating translations. The texts used in Italian Translation come from authentic sources and cover a variety of genres, including newspapers, commercials, cartoons, songs, movie subtitles and literature sources. Requirement: Intensive Advanced Italian II and Writing and Culture. Credits: 3 Prerequisites: ITAL-233

  • ITAL 338 Medici, Patrimony of the Renaissance: A Dynasty (3 credits)

The course will explore the Medici, one of the most powerful and important families of the Italian Renaissance.  As bankers, politicians, patrons, writers, cardinals, popes the Medici represent the perfect example of a civilization that used beauty and the arts to achieve power, and dynastic prestige.  

The course will explore literary texts, paintings, plays, political and economic aspects related to such a prominent family. Also, it will explore diversity issue, such as the African origins of the first Duke of Florence, or homosexuality on Renaissance Italy and Florence.  The importance of patronage cannot be stressed enough, as well as the importance of political meanings and messages “carved” into some of the most beautiful, and influential masterpieces of all times.  Also, the strategies that the Medici adopted to achieve wealth and power are of particular interest even today.

The course will also explore thinkers such as Machiavelli, or great architects such as Brunelleschi, and Alberti, or artists, and the relation that the Medici had with the political and cultural milieu of Florence.  Finally, one of the goals of the course is to present the meaningful intersections between politics, art, literature and religion.  

The course is taught in Italian.

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

  • ITAL 386 Made in Italy: Fashion and Food (3 credits)

For the last decades, the “Made in Italy” brand has connoted the uniqueness of the Italian merchandise in the domains of fashion, food, furniture, and industrial design. The meeting point of centuries-long artisanal tradition and innovative production techniques, Italian goods are recognized worldwide as the embodiment of creativity, elegance, and high quality.

This course, taught in English, delves into two of the most influential areas of the “Made in Italy,” namely, Fashion and Food, offering a cultural history of their respective productions and their establishment in international markets. Adopting an interdisciplinary and comparative approach, it examines the centrality of garments and nourishment in the shaping of individual and collective identities, political norms, and moral values at pivotal moments of the Italian nation-building process, from the development of the bourgeoisie to the contemporary phenomena of migration and globalization. As it approaches the present, the course devotes particular attention to sustainability, counterfeit clothing, and the slow food movement. 

The course will also include guest lectures by renowned specialists, and field trips to places and events related to the issues raised during the semester.

For the wide-ranging topics it addresses, “Made in Italy: Fashion and Food” welcomes students with very diverse interests, from international business and economics to anthropology, history, literatures (Italian and beyond), arts, and humanities at large.

SFS/RCST Western Europe, MSB/IB Area Course

  • ITAL-388 Italian Songs: Cantautori to Rap (3 credits)

This course surveys the evolution of Italian song from World War II to the present time, with an emphasis on auteur song, canzone d’autore. Starting in the 1960s, the cantautori (singer-songwriters) produced music and lyrics of a novel kind which broke with tradition. Songwriters such as Fabrizio De André, Francesco De Gregori, Roberto Vecchioni, Francesco Guccini and others changed the key of Italian popular music: for the first time the authors of the songs were also their interpreters. The cantautori have chronicled in a direct, unabashed way, the history and changes of modern-day Italy.

The social and political commitment of the cantautori becomes manifest through their employment of literary references and distancing from the clichés of the Festival of Sanremo and mainstream music. In addition to reinforcing linguistic skills and cultural competences of the students, this course provides an in-depth analysis of the changes in Italian folk, pop and rock songs and their relations to literature. Instruction in Italian. Readings in English and Italian.

Diversity/Global, Core:HALC – Hum, Art, Lit, Cul

  • ITAL-489-01 Senior Seminar: Texts in Contexts (3 credits)

The senior seminar is a capstone course designed to familiarize students with the most significant theories and practices of critical analysis. It discusses the principles of the major approaches (such as Marxist, semiotic, and gender criticism), while testing their validity through applications to specific texts. Students will learn to recognize the different perspectives, select the most appropriate approach for a given context, and develop their own critical discourse. Conducted in Italian.

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