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Students may complete a major or minor in Italian.


Titina Caporale, Lecturer
Nicholas Patruno, Professor and Chair
Roberta Ricci, Assistant Professor
Ute Striker, Instructor at Haverford College
Nancy J. Vickers, Professor

The aims of the major are to acquire a knowledge of Italian language and literature and an understanding of Italian culture. The Department of Italian also cooperates with the Departments of French and Spanish in the Romance Languages major.

Major Requirements

Major requirements in Italian are 10 courses: Italian 101, 102 and eight additional units, at least two of which are to be chosen from the offerings on the 300 level, and no more than two from an allied field. All students must take a course on Dante, one on the Italian Renaissance and one on modern Italian literature. Where courses in translation are offered, students may, with the approval of the department, obtain major credit provided they read the texts in Italian, submit written work in Italian and, when the instructor finds it necessary, meet with the instructor for additional discussion in Italian.

Courses allied to the Italian major include, with departmental approval, all courses for major credit in ancient and modern languages and related courses in archaeology, art history, history, music, philosophy and political science. Each student’s program is planned in consultation with the department.

Students who begin their work in Italian at the 200 level will be exempted from Italian 101 and 102.


The requirements for honors in Italian are a grade point average of 3.7 in the major and, usually, a research paper written at the invitation of the department, either in Senior Conference or in a unit of supervised work.

Minor Requirements

Requirements for the minor in Italian are Italian 101, 102 and four additional units including at least one at the 300 level. With departmental approval, students who begin their work in Italian at the 200 level will be exempted from Italian 101 and 102. For courses in translation, the same conditions for majors in Italian apply.

Study Abroad

Italian majors are encouraged to study in Italy during the junior year in a program approved by the College. The Bryn Mawr/University of Pennsylvania summer program in Florence offers courses for major credit in Italian, or students may study in other approved summer programs in Italy or in the United States. Courses for major credit in Italian may also be taken at the University of Pennsylvania.

ITAL B001, B002 Elementary Italian

A practical knowledge of the language is acquired by studying grammar, listening, speaking, writing and reading. Coursework includes the use of the Language Learning Center. The course meets in intensive (eight hours a week at Bryn Mawr) and nonintensive (five hours a week at Bryn Mawr and Haverford) sections. (Caporale, Patruno, Striker)

ITAL B101, B102 Intermediate Course in the Italian Language

A review of grammar and readings from Italian authors with topics assigned for composition and discussion; conducted in Italian. The course meets in intensive (four hours a week) and nonintensive (three hours a week) sections. (Caporale, Patruno, Ricci)

ITAL B200 Advanced Conversation and Composition

The purpose of this course is to increase fluency in Italian and to facilitate the transition to literature courses. The focus is on spoken Italian and on the appropriate use of idiomatic and everyday expressions. Students will be expected to do intensive and extensive language drills, orally and in the form of written compositions as well as Web-related exercises. Literary material will be used; conducted in Italian. (Caporale, Patruno)

ITAL B203 Italian Theater (in Italian)

A survey of Italian theater from the Renaissance to the present. Readings include plays by Alfieri, Dario Fo, Natalia Ginzburg, Goldoni, Dacia Mariani, Pirandello, Ruzante and Verga. (staff, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

ITAL B205 The Short Story of Modern Italy

Examination of the best of Italian short stories from post-unification to today's Italy. In addition to their artistic value, these works will be viewed within the context of related historical and political events. Among the authors to be read are Buzzati, Calvino, D'Annunzio, Ginzburg, Moravia, Pirandello and Verga. (Patruno, Division III)

ITAL B207 Dante in Translation

An historical appraisal and critical appreciation of the Vita Nuova and the Divina Commedia. (Patruno, Ricci, Vickers, Division III)

ITAL B211 Primo Levi, the Holocaust and Its Aftermath

A consideration, through analysis and appreciation of his major works, of how the horrific experience of the Holocaust awakened in Primo Levi a growing awareness of his Jewish heritage and led him to become one of the dominant voices of that tragic historical event, as well as one of the most original new literary figures of post-World War II Italy. Always in relation to Levi and his works, attention will also be given to other Italian women writers whose works are also connected with the Holocaust. (Patruno, Division III; cross-listed as COML B211 and HEBR B211)

ITAL B212 Italia D'Oggi

This course, taught in Italian, will focus primarily on the works of the so-called "migrant writers" who, having adopted the Italian language, have become a significant part of the new voice of Italy. In addition to the aesthetic appreciation of these works, this course will also take into consideration the social, cultural and political factors surrounding them. (Patruno, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

ITAL B225 Italian Cinema and Literary Adaptation

A survey, taught in English but also valid for Italian languages credit for those who qualify to do reading and writing in Italian, of Italian cinema with emphasis placed on its relation to literature. The course will discuss how cinema conditions literary imagination and how literature leaves its imprint on cinema. We will "read" films as "literary images" and "see" novels as "visual stories." The reading of the literary sources will be followed by evaluation of the corresponding films (all subtitled) by well-known directors, including Bellocchio, Bertolucci, Rosi, the Taviani brothers and L. Visconti. (Ricci, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

ITAL B230 Poetics of Desire in the Lyric Poetry of Renaissance Italy and Spain

(Quintero, Division III; cross-listed as COML B230 and SPAN B230) Not offered in 2005-06.

ITAL B301 Dante

A study of the Vita Nuova and Divina Commedia, with central focus on Inferno. Prerequisite: two years of Italian or the equivalent. (Patruno, Ricci, Vickers, Division III)

ITAL B303 Petrarca and Boccaccio

(Patruno, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

ITAL B304 Il Rinascimento

Topics include courtliness, images of power, epic romance and the lyric voice. Prerequisite: two years of Italian or the equivalent. (Ricci, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

ITAL B399 Senior Conference

Under the direction of the instructor, each student prepares a paper on an author or a theme that the student has chosen. This course is open only to senior Italian majors. (Patruno, Ricci, Vickers)

ITAL B403 Independent Project

Offered with approval of the department. (staff)

Bryn Mawr College · 101 North Merion Ave · Bryn Mawr · PA · 19010-2899 · Tel 610-526-5000