Italian and Italian Studies

Students may complete a major or minor in Italian and Italian Studies.

Faculty

David Cast, Professor of History of Art and the Eugenia Chase Guild Chair in the Humanities and Chair of Italian (on leave semester II)

Michele Monserrati, Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Italian

Roberta Ricci, Chair and Associate Professor of Italian

Gabriella Troncellitti, Instructional Assistant

Based on an interdisciplinary approach that views culture as a global phenomenon, the aims of the major in Italian Studies are to acquire a knowledge of Italian language, literature, and culture, including cinema, art, journalism, pop culture, and music. The Department of Italian Studies 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

Before the start of the senior year, each student must complete, with a grade of 2.0 or higher, two units of foreign language. Students may fulfill the requirement by completing two sequential semester-long courses in one language, beginning at the level determined by their language placement. A student who is prepared for advanced work may complete the requirement instead with two advanced free-standing semester-long courses in the foreign language(s) in which the student is proficient.

Major Requirements

Italian Language/Literature (ILL) and Italian Cultural Studies (ICS) Major

The Italian Language/Literature major and the Italian Cultural Studies major consists of ten courses starting at the ITAL 101/102 level, or an equivalent two-semester sequence taken elsewhere. The department offers a two-track system as guidelines for completing the major in Italian or in Italian Studies. Both tracks require ten courses, including ITAL 101 -102. For students in either Track A or B we recommend a senior experience offered with ITAL 398 and ITAL 399, courses that are required for honors. Students may complete either track. Recommendations are included below—models of different pathways through the major:

Majors are required to complete one Writing Intensive (WI) course in the major. The WI courses will prepare students towards their senior project and to competent and appropriate writing, manly in three ways: 1) Teach the writing process – planning, drafting, revising, and editing; 2) Emphasize the role of writing by allocating a substantial portion of the final grade to writing assignments; 3) Offer students the opportunity to receive feedback from professors and peers (through class peer review sessions). In responding to the feedback, students will experience writing as a process of discovery (re-visioning) and meaning. The goal of the new WI course will be to get students to re-think the argument, logical connection, focus, transition, evidence, quotes, organization, and sources.

ILL Major/Track A

Major requirements in ILL are 10 courses. Track A may be appropriate for students with an interest in literary and language studies. Required: ITAL 101/102, plus six courses (or more) conducted in Italian and two selected from among a list of approved ICS courses in English that may be taken in either within the department or in various other disciplines offered at the College (i.e. History, History of Art, English, Visual Art and Film Studies, Philosophy, Comparative Literature, Cities, Archaeology, Classics). Adjustments will be made for students taking courses abroad. Of the courses taken in Italian, students are expected to enroll in the following areas: Dante (ITAL 301), Renaissance (ITAL 304 or 302), Survey (ITAL 307), and two courses on Modern Italian literature (ITAL 380, ITAL 310, ITAL 320) .

ICS/Track B

Major requirements in ICS are 10 courses. Track B may be appropriate for students with an interest in cultural and interdisciplinary studies. The concentration is open to all majors and consists of both interdisciplinary and single-discipline courses drawn from various academic departments at the college. Required: ITAL 101/102, plus three courses conducted in Italian and five related courses in English that may be taken either within the department or in an allied-related fields in various disciplines throughout the college, or courses taken on BMC approved study-abroad programs, such as: Culture, History, History of Art, English, Visual Art and Film Studies, Philosophy, Comparative Literature, Cities, Archaeology, Classics.

*Faculty in other programs may be willing to arrange work within courses that may count for the major.

Major with Honors

Students may apply to complete the major with honors. The honors component requires the completion of a year-long thesis advised by a faculty member in the department. Students enroll in the senior year in ITAL 398 and ITAL 399. Application to it requires a GPA in the major of 3.7 or higher, as well as a written statement, to be submitted by the fall of senior year, outlining the proposed project (see further below) and indicating the faculty member who has agreed to serve as advisor. The full departmental faculty vets the proposals.

Thesis

Students will write and research a 40-50 page thesis that aims to be an original contribution to Italian scholarship. As such, it must use primary evidence and also engage with the relevant secondary literature. By the end of the fall semester, students must have completed twenty pages in draft. In April they will give an oral presentation of their work of approximately one hour to faculty and interested students. The final draft is due on or around 30 April of the senior year and will be graded by two faculty members (one of whom is the advisor). The grade assigned is the major component of the spring semester grade. Proposals for the thesis should describe the questions being asked in the research, and how answers to them will contribute to scholarship. They must include a discussion of the primary sources on which the research will rest, as well as a preliminary bibliography of relevant secondary studies. They also must include a rough timetable indicating in what stages the work will be completed. It is expected that before submitting their proposals students will have conferred with a faculty member who has agreed to serve as advisor.

Study Abroad

Students who are studying abroad for the Italian major for one year can earn two credits in Italian Literature and two credits in allied fields (total of four credits). Those who are studying abroad for one semester can earn no more than a total of two credits in Italian Literature or one credit in Italian Literature and one credit in an allied field (total of two credits).

University of Pennsylvania

Students majoring at BMC cannot earn more than two credits at the University of Pennsylvania in Italian.

Minor Requirements

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

Elective Courses

ARTW B240/COML B240 Literary Translation
CITY B207 Topics in Urban Studies
COML B225 Censorship: Historical Contexts, Local Practices and Global Resonance
COML B213 Theory in Practice: Critical Discourses in the Humanities
CSTS B207 Early Rome and the Roman Republic
CSTS B208 The Roman Empire
CSTS B220 Writing the Self
CSTS B223 The Early Medieval World
CSTS B310 Forming the Classics
ENGL H385 Topics in Apocalyptic Writing – at Haverford College
ENGL H220 Epic – at Haverford College
HART B104-001 Critical Approaches to Visual Representation: The Classical Tradition
HART B253: Survey of Western Architecture: 1400-1800
HART B323: Topics in Renaissance Art
HART B630:Topics in Renaissance and Baroque Art: Mannerism
HART/RUSSIAN B215 Russian Avant-Garde Art, Literature and Film
HIST B208 The Roman Empire
HIST B212, Pirates, Travelers and Natural Historians
HIST B238 From Bordellos to Cybersex History of Sexuality in Modern Europe
HIST B319 Topics in Modern European History
MUSC H207 Italian Keyboard Tradition
LATN 200 Medieval Latin Literature
SPAN 202 Introduction to Literary Analysis

COURSES

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 attention 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.
Approach: Course does not meet an Approach
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Troncelliti,G., Monserrati,M.
(Fall 2015)

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 attention 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 or placement.
Approach: Course does not meet an Approach
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Monserrati,M.
(Spring 2016)

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 newspaper and magazine articles to analyze aspects on modern and contemporary Italy. We will also view and discuss Italian films and internet materials.
Approach: Course does not meet an Approach
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Ricci,R.
(Fall 2015)

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 to analyze aspects on modern and contemporary Italy. We will also view and discuss Italian films and internet materials. Prerequisite: ITAL B101 or placement.
Approach: Course does not meet an Approach
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Ricci,R.
(Spring 2016)

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. Prerequisite: ITAL102 or placement.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Monserrati,M.
(Fall 2015)

ITAL B201 Focus: Italian Culture and Society I

Language and Cultural Studies course with a strong cultural component. It focuses on the wide variety of problems that a post-industrial and mostly urban society like Italy must face today. Language structure and patterns will be reinforced through the study of music, short films, current issues, and even stereotypes. Prerequisite: ITAL 102, or equivalent.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 0.5
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

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 (ITAL 301).
Approach: Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

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 for students who want Italian credit (ITAL B303)
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Health Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

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.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
Crosslisting(s): HEBR-B211; COML-B211
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

ITAL B212 Italy Today: New Voices, New Writers, New Literature

This course, taught in English, 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. The course will focus on works by writers who are now integral to Italian canon – among them: Cristina Ali-Farah, Igiaba Scego, Ghermandi Gabriella, Amara Lakhous. As part of the course, movies concerned with various aspects of Italian Migrant literature will be screened and analyzed.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies; Film Studies
Crosslisting(s): COML-B214
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

ITAL B213 Theory in Practice:Critical Discourses in the Humanities

An examination in English of leading theories of interpretation from Classical Tradition to Modern and Post-Modern Time. This is a topics course. Course content varies.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Crosslisting(s): ENGL-B213; FREN-B213; GERM-B213; COML-B213; HART-B213; RUSS-B253; PHIL-B253
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Higginson,P.

Fall 2015: Critical Theories. Structuralism, Poststructuralism, Feminism, Postcolonialism.

ITAL B215 The City of Naples

The city of Naples emerged during the Later Middle Ages as the capital of a Kingdom and one of the most influential cities in the Mediterranean region. What led to the city’s rise, and what effect did the city as a cultural, political, and economic force have on the rest of the region and beyond? This course will familiarize students with the art, architecture, culture, and institutions that made the city one of the most influential in Europe and the Mediterranean region during the Late Middle Ages. Topics include court painters in service to the crown, female monastic spaces and patronage, and the revival of dynastic tomb sculpture.
Approach: Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Crosslisting(s): CITY-B216
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

ITAL B219 Multiculturalism in Medieval Italy

This course examines cross-cultural interactions in medieval Italy played out through the patronage, production, and reception of works of art and architecture. Sites of patronage and production include the cities of Venice, Palermo, and Pisa. Media examined include buildings, mosaics, ivories, and textiles.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Crosslisting(s): HART-B219
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

ITAL B225 Italian Cinema and Literary Adaptation

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 Italian literary sources will be followed by evaluation of the corresponding films by well-known directors, including female directors. We will study, through close analysis, such issues as Fascism, nationhood, gender, sexuality, politics, regionalism, death, and family within the European context of WWII and post-war Italy
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
Counts towards: Film Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

ITAL B229 Food in Italian Literature, Culture, and Cinema

Taught in English. A profile of Italian literature/culture/cinema obtained through an analysis of gastronomic documents, films, literary texts, and magazines. We will also include a discussion of the Slow Food Revolution, a movement initiated in Italy in 1980 and now with a world-wide following, and its social, economic, ecological, aesthetic, and cultural impact to counteract fast food and to promote local food traditions. Course taught in English. One additional hour for students who want Italian credit . Prerequisite: ITAL 102
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Film Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

ITAL B235 The Italian Women’s Movement

Emphasis will be put on Italian women writers and film directors, who are often left out of syllabi adhering to traditional canons. Particular attention will be paid to: a) women writers who have found their voices (through writing) as a means of psychological survival in a patriarchal world; b) women engaged in the women’s movement of the 70’s and who continue to look at, and rewrite, women’s stories of empowerment and solidarity; c) “divaism”, fame, via beauty and sex with a particular emphasis on the ‘60s (i.e. Gina Lollobrigida, Sofia Loren, Claudia Cardinale).
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Ricci,R.
(Spring 2016)

ITAL B255 Uomini d’onore in Sicilia: Italian Mafia in Literature and Cinema

This course aims to explore representations of Mafia figures in Italian literature and cinema, with reference also to Italian-American films, starting from the ‘classical’ example of Sicily. The course will introduce students to both Italian Studies from an interdisciplinary prospective and also to narrative fiction, using Italian literature written by 19th, 20th, and 21st Italian Sicilian authors. Course is taught in Italian. Prerequisite: ITAL B102 or permission of the instructor.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
Counts towards: Film Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

ITAL B301 Dante

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. Prerequisite: At least two 200-level literature courses.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

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 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: At least two 200-level literature courses. Taught in Italian.
Counts towards: Health Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

ITAL B304 Il Rinascimento in Italia e oltre

Students will become familiar with the growing importance of women during the Renaissance, as women expanded their sphere of activity in literature (as authors of epics, lyrics, treatises, and letters), in court (especially in Ferrara), and in society, where for the first time women formed groups and their own discourse. What happens when women become the subject of study? What is learned about women and the nation? What is learned about gender and how disciplinary knowledge itself is changed through the centuries? Prerequisite: At least two 200-level literature courses. Taught in Italian.
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

ITAL B310 Detective Fiction

In English. Why is detective fiction so popular? What explains the continuing multiplication of detective texts despite the seemingly finite number of available plots? This course will explore the worldwide fascination with this genre beginning with European writers before turning to the more distant mystery stories from around the world. The international scope of the readings will highlight how authors in different countries have developed their own national detective typologies while simultaneously responding to international influence of the British-American model. 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. Suggested Preparation: One literature course at the 200 level.
Major Writing Requirement: Writing Intensive
Counts towards: Film Studies
Crosslisting(s): COML-B310
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

ITAL B311 The Myth of Venice (1800-2000)

The Republic of Venice existed for over a millennium. This course begins in the year 1797 at the end of the Republic and the emerging of an extensive body of literature centered on Venice and its mythical facets. Readings will include the Romantic views of Venice (excerpts from Lord Byron, Fredrick Schiller, Wolfang von Goethe, Ugo Foscolo, Alessandro Manzoni) and the 20th century reshaping of the literary myth (readings from Thomas Mann, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Gabriele D’Annunzio, Henry James, and others). A journey into this fascinating tradition will shed light on how the literary and visual representation of Venice, rather than focusing on a nostalgic evocation of the death of the Republic, became a territory of exploration for literary modernity. The course is offered in English; all texts are provided in translation. Suggested Preparation: At least two 200-level literature courses.
Counts towards: Film Studies
Crosslisting(s): COML-B311
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Monserrati,M.
(Spring 2016)

ITAL B320 Nationalism and Freedom: The Italian Risorgimento in Foscolo, Manzoni, Leopardi

This course deals with 19th century Italian poetry and literary movement for Italian unification inspired by the realities of the new economic and political forces at work after 1815. As a manifestation of the nationalism sweeping over Europe during the nineteenth century, the Risorgimento aimed to unite Italy under one flag and one government. For many Italians, however, Risorgimento meant more than political unity. It described a movement for the renewal of Italian society and people beyond purely political aims. Among Italian patriots the common denominator was a desire for freedom from foreign control, liberalism, and constitutionalism. The course will discuss issues such as Enlightenment, Romanticism, Nationalism, and the complex relationship between history and literature in Foscolo, Manzoni, and Leopardi. This course is taught in Italian. Prerequisite: one 200 level Italian course.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

ITAL B330 Architecture and Identity in Italy: Renaissance to the Present

How is architecture used to shape our understanding of past and current identities? This course looks at the ways in which architecture has been understood to represent, and used to shape regional, national, ethnic, and gender identities in Italy from the Renaissance to the present. The class focuses on Italy’s classical traditions, and looks at the ways in which architects and theorists have accepted or rejected the peninsula’s classical roots. Subjects studied include Baroque Architecture, the Risorgimento, Futurism, Fascism, and colonialism. Course readings include Vitruvius, Leon Battista Alberti, Giorgio Vasari, Jacob Burckhardt, and Alois Riegl, among others.
Crosslisting(s): CITY-B330
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

ITAL B340 The Art of Italian Unification

Following Italian unification (1815-1871), the statesman, novelist, and painter Massimo d’Azeglio remarked, “Italy has been made; now it remains to make Italians.” This course examines the art and architectural movements of the roughly 100 years between the uprisings of 1848 and the beginning of the Second World War, a critical period for defining Italiantà. Subjects include the paintings of the Macchiaioli, reactionaries to the 1848 uprisings and the Italian Independence Wars, the politics of nineteenth-century architectural restoration in Italy, the re-urbanization of Italy’s new capital Rome, Fascist architecture and urbanism, and the architecture of Italy’s African colonies.
Major Writing Requirement: Writing Intensive
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

ITAL B380 Modernity and Psychoanalysis: Crossing National Boundaries in 20th c. Italy and Europe

Designed as an in-depth interdisciplinary exploration of Italy’s intellectual life, the course is organized around major literary and cultural trends in 20th century Europe, including philosophical ideas and cinema. We investigate Italian fiction in the global and international perspective, from modernity to Freud and Psychoanalysis, going beyond national boundaries and proposing ethical models across historical times. Prerequisite: One 200-Level course in Italian
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Ricci,R.
(Fall 2015)

ITAL B398 Senior Seminar

This course is open only to seniors in Italian and in Romance Languages. Under the direction of the instructor, each student prepares a senior thesis on an author or a theme that the student has chosen. By the end of the fall semester, students must have completed an abstract and a critical annotated bibliography to be presented to the department. See Thesis description.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Ricci,R.
(Fall 2015)

ITAL B399 Senior Conference

Under the direction of the instructor, each student prepares a senior thesis on an author or a theme that the student has chosen. In April there will be an oral defense with members and majors of the Italian Department. See Thesis description. Prerequisite: This course is open only to seniors in Italian Studies and Romance Languages.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Ricci,R.
(Spring 2016)

ITAL B403 Supervised Work

Offered with approval of the Department.
Units: 1.0
(Fall 2015, Spring 2016)