2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog

Italian


Students may complete a major or minor in Italian.

Faculty

David J. D. Cast, Professor and Acting Chair
Dennis James McAuliffe, Visiting Associate Professor
Nicholas Patruno, Katherine E. McBride Professor
Giuliana Perco, Lecturer
Roberta Ricci, Associate Professor (on leave semesters I and II)
Mary Sisler, Lecturer
Gabriella Troncelliti, Language Assistant

Based on an interdisciplinary approach that views culture as a global phenomenon, the aims of the major in Italian are to acquire a knowledge of Italian language and literature and an understanding of Italian culture, including cinema, art, journalism, pop culture, and music. The Department of Italian also cooperates with the Departments of French and Spanish in the Romance Languages major and with the other foreign languages in the TRICO for a major in Comparative Literature. The Italian Department cooperates also with the Center for International Studies (CIS).

College Foreign Language Requirement

The College’s foreign language requirement may be satisfied by completing ITAL 105 (intensive) with a grade of 2.0, or by completing ITAL 101 and 102 (non-intensive) with an average grade of at least 2.0 or with a grade of 2.0 or better in ITAL 102.

Students may obtain permission from the instructor to transfer from a regular language course to an intensive language course.

Major Requirements

Major requirements in Italian are 10 courses: ITAL 101, 102 and eight additional units, at least three of which are to be chosen from the offerings on the 300 level, and no more than one from an allied field. All students must take a course on Dante (301), one on the Italian Renaissance (304), and two 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 ITAL 101 and 102 or from ITAL 105.

Honors

The opportunity to conduct a project of supervised sustained research (ITAL 403 Independent Study) is open to all majors with a 3.7 GPA. Students who want to graduate with honors are asked to write a senior thesis and to discuss it with members of the Italian Department and/or a third outside reader at the end of the senior semester. Students wishing to do so will present a topic that a faculty member is willing to supervise, a written proposal of the topic chosen, and, if approved by the department, will spend one semester in the senior year working on the thesis.

Minor Requirements

Requirements for the minor in Italian are ITAL 101, 102 and four additional units including two at the 200 level and two at the 300 level. With departmental approval, students who begin their work in Italian at the 200 level will be exempted from ITAL 101 and 102 or from ITAL 105. 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. Bryn Mawr’s interdisciplinary summer program at the University of Pisa offers a great opportunity for students of Italian to study in Pisa for six weeks and take courses for major credit in Italian (both in Intensive Elementary/Intensive Intermediate and in Italian Literature/Culture/Cinema). 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 (Department of Italian).

ITAL B001 Elementary Italian
The course is for students with no previous knowledge of Italian. It aims at giving the students a complete foundation in the Italian language, with particular at-tention to oral and written communication. The course will be conducted in Italian and will involve the study of all the basic structures of the language—phonological, grammatical, syntactical—with practice in conversation, reading, composition. Readings are chosen from a wide range of texts, while use of the language is encouraged through role-play, debates, songs, and creative composition. (Sisler, Language Level 1)

ITAL B002 Elementary Italian II
This course is the continuation of ITAL B001 and is intended for students who have started studying Italian the semester before. It aims at giving the students a complete foundation in the Italian language, with particular at-tention to oral and written communication. The course will be conducted in Italian and will involve the study of all the basic structures of the language—phonological, grammatical, syntactical—with practice in conversation, reading, composition. Readings are chosen from a wide range of texts, while use of the language is encouraged through role-play, debates, songs, and creative composition. Prerequisite: ITAL B001 (Sisler, Language Level 1)

ITAL B010 Intensive Elementary Italian I
This intensive communicative course is an accelerated introduction to speaking, understanding, reading, and writing. It is intended for students with no previous knowledge of Italian. Aspects of Italian culture and contemporary life also are introduced through the use of video, songs, audio clips, etc. The course is taught completely in Italian, and authentic contemporary materials are used to immerse the student into an integrative linguistic environment. Attendance to the 4 drills classes each week is required. This course meets 9 hours per week.
(Perco, Language Level 1)

ITAL B011 Intensive Elementary Italian II
This course is the continuation of ITAL B010 and is intended for students who have started studying Italian the semester before. Aspects of Italian culture and contemporary life also are introduced through the use of video, songs, audio clips, etc. The course is taught completely in Italian, and authentic contemporary materials are used to immerse the student into an integrative linguistic environment. Attendance to the 4 drills classes each week is required. This course meets 9 hours per week. Prerequisite: ITAL B010
(Perco, Language Level 1)

ITAL B101 Intermediate Italian
This course provides students with a broader basis for learning to communicate effectively and accurately in Italian. While the principal aspect of the course is to further develop language abilities, the course also imparts a foundation for the understanding of modern and contemporary Italy. Students will gain an appreciation for Italian culture and be able to communicate orally and in writing in a wide variety of topics. We will read a novel, as well as newspaper and magazine articles to analyze aspects on modern and contemporary Italy. We will also view and discuss Italian films and discuss internet materials.
(Perco, Staff, Language Level 2)

ITAL B102 Intermediate Italian
This course provides students with a broader basis for learning to communicate effectively and accurately in Italian. While the principal aspect of the course is to further develop language abilities, the course also imparts a foundation for the understanding of modern and contemporary Italy. Students will gain an appreciation for Italian culture and be able to communicate orally and in writing in a wide variety of topics. We will read a novel, as well as newspaper and magazine articles to analyze aspects on modern and contemporary Italy. We will also view and discuss Italian films and discuss internet materials.
(Sisler, Language Level 2)

ITAL B105 Intensive Intermediate Italian
This course builds on the previous two courses of intensive Italian (010-011) in the development of speaking, understanding, reading, and writing, and completes the study of Italian grammar. In addition to enriching students’ knowledge of both written and spoken Italian, this course will provide a window onto aspects of contemporary Italian culture and society. Students will read a variety of different texts in Italian, from literary prose, to newspaper articles, lyrics from songs, essays, and so on. Attendance to both master and drills classes is required for a total of 5 hours per week.
(Perco, Language Level 2)

ITAL B200 Pathways to Proficiency
This course is intended for students who have already completed the elementary-intermediate sequence and who are interested in pursuing the study of Italian. The aim of the course is to improve students’ proficiency in the Italian language, so that they will be able to take more advanced courses in Italian literature and cultural studies. The focus of this course is to expose students to crucial issues that have influenced Italian culture and society, concurring to develop distinctive ways of thinking, cultural artifacts (literary works, music, works of art, and so on), and that are at the core of contemporary Italian society.
(Perco)

ITAL B202 Italian Short Story
(Ricci, Division III: Humanities)
Not offered in 2010-11.

ITAL B203 Italian Theater (in Italian)
The course consists of a close reading in Italian of representative theatrical texts from the contemporary stage to the origins of Italian theater in the 16th century, including pieces by Dario Fo, Luigi Pirandello, Carlo Goldoni, the Commedia dell’arte and Niccolò Machiavelli. Attention will be paid to the development of language skills through reading out loud, performance, and discussion of both form and content, enhanced by the use of recordings and videos. Attention will also be paid to the development of critical and analytical writing skills through the writing of short reviews and the research and writing of a term paper.
(McAuliffe, Division III: Humanities)
Not offered in 2010-11.

ITAL B204 Manzoni
Why is I promessi sposi considered by many the best historical novel in Italian and one of the best in any language? What contribution did Manzoni’s novel make to the development of the Italian language? to the Italian unification movement? to the understanding of Italian Catholicism? to the Italian romantic movement? Seminar discussions will be based on a close reading of the novel, as well as short selections of Manzoni’s other works. A variety of critical methods of interpretation will be explored both in class and in research projects leading to a critical analytical research paper. Conducted in Italian.
(McAuliffe, Division III: Humanities)
Not offered in 2010-11.

ITAL B207 Dante in Translation
A reading of the Vita Nuova (Poems of Youth) and The Divine Comedy: Hell, Purgatory and Paradise in order to discover the subtle nuances of meaning in the text and to introduce students to Dante’s tripartite vision of the afterlife. Dante’s masterpiece lends itself to study from various perspectives: theological, philosophical, political, allegorical, historical, cultural, and literary. Personal journey, civic responsibilities, love, genre, governmental accountability, church-state relations, the tenuous balance between freedom of expression and censorship—these are some of the themes that will frame the discussions. Course taught in English; One additional hour for students who want Italian credit.
(McAuliffe, Ricci, Division III: Humanities)

ITAL B208 Petrarca and Boccaccio in Translation
The course will focus on a close analysis of Petrarch’s Canzoniere and Boccaccio’s Decameron, with attention given also to their minor works and the historical/literary context connected with these texts. Attention will also be given to Florentine literature, art, thought, and history from the death of Dante to the age of Lorenzo de’ Medici. Texts and topics available for study include the Trecento vernacular works of Petrarch and Boccaccio; and Florentine humanism from Salutati to Alberti. Course taught In English; one additional hour of target language instruction for students who want Italian credit.
(McAuliffe, Ricci, Division III: Humanities)

ITAL B209 Humanism and the Renaissance in Translation
As well as detailed analysis of some of the most fascinating texts of the period, the opportunity is offered to explore broader questions, such as the impact of the massive expansion of the printing industry on literary culture, the nature of the cultural impact of the Counter Reformation on literature, the construction of gender and the place of women in Cinquecento literary culture, the Questione della lingua and its impact on literary culture, chivalric and epic genre, the Counter Reformation and its cultural effects, and the neo-Platonic debate on beauty. Prerequisite: two years of Italian or the equivalent.
(Ricci, Division III: Humanities)
Not offered in 2010-11.

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: Humanities)
Cross-listed as COML B211
Cross-listed as HEBR B211

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. Counts toward Film Studies concentration.
(Ricci)
Not offered in 2010-11.

ITAL B235 The Italian Women’s Movement
Examination of the medieval and early modern roots of the women’s movement in Italy. Literature produced by women in Italy from 1200 to 1600 has it its center universal themes of the position of women in society and the struggle for equality and justice for women. Readings will include works by mystic women writers (Chiara d’Assisi, Caterina da Siena, Angela da Foligno, Caterina da Genova) and women poets (Vittoria Colonna, Veronica Gambara, Veronica Franco, Moderata Fonte). (In Italian)
(McAuliffe, Ricci, Division III: Humanities)

ITAL B255 Uomini d’onore in Sicilia
The course will explore historical and fictional presentations which contribute to the myth of the Italian and Italian-American mafia in Italian literature and cinema, starting from the “classical” example of Sicily. Introduces Italian studies from an interdisciplinary perspective and Italian narrative fiction. Presents the historical development of the Sicilian Mafia from the mid-1800s through the 1980s with the examination of official documents, such as court files, documentaries and newspaper articles. Prerequisite: ITAL B102 or B105 or permission of the instructor.
(Ricci, Division III: Humanities)
Not offered in 2010-11.

ITAL B301 Dante
Prerequisite: two years of Italian or the equivalent. Taught in Italian. See course description for ITAL B207.
(McAuliffe, Ricci, Division III: Humanities)

ITAL B303 Petrarca and Boccaccio
The focus of the course is on The Decameron, one of the most entertaining, beloved and imitated prose works ever written. Like Dante’s divine comedy, this human comedy was written not only to delight, but also to instruct by exploring both our spiritual and our natural environment. The Decameron will be read in its entirety in Italian. Attention will also be paid to Petrarca’s Canzoniere, of which a small selection will be read in Italian. Topics will include how each author represented women in the context of 14th-century Italy. Prerequisite: two years of Italian and at least a 200-level course. Taught in Italian.
(McAuliffe, Ricci, Division III: Humanities)
Not offered in 2010-11.

ITAL B304 The Renaissance in Italy: Literature and Beyond

Italian literature, art, thought, and history from the death of Dante to the Reformation. Texts and topics available for study include the Trecento vernacular works of Petrarch and Boccaccio; Florentine humanism from Salutati to Alberti; and the literary, artistic, and intellectual culture of the Medici court in the 1470s and 80s (Ficino, Poliziano, Lorenzo de’ Medici, Michelangelo); Machiavelli; Ariosto; and women poets. Prerequisite: two years of Italian or the equivalent. Taught in Italian.
(McAuliffe, Division III: Humanities)

ITAL B310 Italian Popular Fiction
This course explores the Italian “giallo” (detective fiction), today one of the most successful literary genres among Italian readers and authors alike. Through a comparative perspective, the course will analyze not only the inter-relationship between this popular genre and “high literature,” but also the role of detective fiction as a mirror of social anxieties. In Spring 2011, ITAL B310 will be offered in English. Italian majors taking this course for Italian credit will be required to meet for an additional hour with the instructor and to do the readings and writing in Italian. Prerequisites: one literature course at the 200 level.
(Perco, Division III: Humanities)
Cross-listed as COML B310

ITAL B398 Senior Seminar
(Ricci)

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.
(Ricci, McAuliffe)

ITAL B403 Supervised Work
Offered with approval of the department.
(Ricci)