Italian and Italian Studies

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

Faculty

David Cast, Professor of History of Art

Michele Monserrati, Visiting Assistant Professor

Nicholas Patruno, Katharine E. McBride Professor

Pamela Pisone, Instructor

Roberta Ricci, Associate Professor of Italian and Co-Director of Romance Languages

Gabriella Troncelliti, 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, either at the elementary level or, depending on the result of their language placement test, at the intermediate level. 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 she is proficient. Non-native speakers of English may choose to satisfy all or part of this requirement by coursework in English literature.

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
  • CITY B360 Digital Rome
  • 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 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 2016)

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 2017)

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 2016-2017)

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 Italian women writers whose works are also connected with the Holocaust. Course is taught in English. An extra hour will be scheduled for those students taking the course for Italian or Romance Languages credit.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Patruno,N.
(Fall 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
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

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)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

ITAL B214 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. One additional hour for the students who are taking the course for Italian credit. Suggested Preparation: At least two 200-level literature courses.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
Counts towards: Film Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Monserrati,M.
(Spring 2017)

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)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

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)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

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 2016-2017)

ITAL B235 Italian Women’s Movement and National Identity: Heroines In and Out of the Canon

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).
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

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 2016-2017)

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 2016-2017)

ITAL B307 Insiders and Outsiders: Otherness in Italian Literature

This course will introduce students to the most representative works in Italian literature of all genres --poetry, novels, scientific prose, theater, diaries, narrative, epistolary-- with special emphasis on topics such as marginalization, exile, political persecution, national identity, memory, violence, and otherness. We will bring works of literature to the attention of students who are interested in the key role played by Italian culture in the development of a European civilization, including the international debate on modernity and post-modernity. Readings and lectures will move from 14th century writers (Dante, Boccaccio) to Humanistic Thought (Florentine political revolution) and the Renaissance (Machiavelli); from the Enlightenment (Foscolo, Leopardi, Manzoni) to modernity (Pirandello, Svevo) and post-modernism (Italo Calvino).
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Ricci,R.
(Fall 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
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

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
Instructor(s): Ricci,R.
(Spring 2017)

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.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

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 2016-2017)

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
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

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 2016)

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 2017)

ITAL B403 Supervised Work
Offered with approval of the Department.
Units: 1.0
(Fall 2016, Spring 2017)

CITY B360 Topics: Urban Culture and Society

This is a topics course. Course content varies.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Morton,T.

Fall 2016: City of Rome. In this seminar we will study the city of Rome through time and space and will start with the city’s mythical founding and work our way through contemporary Rome. Focal points will include: the Roman Empire, the urban planning of the Baroque popes, Mussolini’s ‘Third Rome,’ and the contemporary city of Renzo Piano, Richard Meier, and Zaha Hadid. Throughout this discussion-based course we will examine innumerable issues, such as the use and abuse of the past throughout the city’s long history.

FREN 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. Prerequisites: FREN 102 or 105.
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Sanquer,M.

Fall 2016: Critic Approaches to the World. This course will be taught in English and focus on works of French feminist, postcolonial and post-structuralist theory. While our primary critical texts will draw from a particular linguistic tradition (namely French), and more or less distinctly circumscribed fields, we will also look at the broader transcultural and translinguistic influences that brought these “schools” into being and, most importantly, what fields of thinking they have subsequently inspired across language traditions.

HART B339 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 2016-2017)

HART B630 Topics in Renaissance and Baroque Art
This is a topics course. Course content varies.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

HIST B238 From Bordellos to Cybersex History of Sexuality in Modern Europe

This course is a detailed examination of the changing nature and definition of sexuality in Europe from the late nineteenth century to the present. Throughout the semester we critically examine how understandings of sexuality changed—from how it was discussed and how authorities tried to control it to how the practice of sexuality evolved. Focusing on both discourses and lived experiences, the class will explore sexuality in the context of the following themes; prostitution and sex trafficking, the rise of medicine with a particular attention to sexology, psychiatry and psychoanalysis; the birth of the homo/hetero/bisexual divide; the rise of the “New Woman”; abortion and contraception; the “sexual revolution” of the 60s; pornography and consumerism; LGBTQ activism; concluding with considering sexuality in the age of cyber as well as genetic technology. In examining these issues we will question the role and influence of different political systems and war on sexuality. By paying special attention to the rise of modern nation-states, forces of nationalism, and the impacts of imperialism we will interrogate the nature of regulation and experiences of sexuality in different locations in Europe from the late nineteenth century to the present.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

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 2016)

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): Troncelliti,G., Monserrati,M.
(Spring 2017)