Departmental Learning Goals

First Year Language and Culture

ITAL 000 Level (Beginning I and II)

  • Develop the ability to autonomously speak and write in Italian at an elementary level
  • Develop the ability to use Italian to effectively communicate with other Italophones about practical aspects of life
  • The mode of instruction revolves around the ability to produce authentic artifacts (audiomessages, letters, social media posts, reviews, etc.) in Italian, and to use the language in everyday college life in the US
  • The cultural content of the courses aims to make students able to understand and comment on aspects of Italian culture and current events directly in Italian
  • After acquiring “survival skills” in the language, students will improve their ability to autonomously speak and write in Italian at a more sophisticated level on various topics, from basic routine tasks to popular, historical, and practical aspects of Italy’s transnational culture.
  • The course is designed as two sequences, and the second module builds directly on what students have learned in the first, completing the range of grammar and cultural topics that an independent speaker would be expected to know in most contexts
  • Language instruction is based on in-class interaction: fluency will be acquired through active, embodied learning; problem-solving activities; and mimetic/gestalt applications that precede comprehension. An essential goal is to develop a learning routine outside of class (task-based activities, homework, and departmental events) to cultivate language and culture beyond class meetings

Second Year Language and Culture I

TAL 100 Level (Intermediate Italian Through Culture I and II)

  • Develop the ability to autonomously speak and write in Italian at an intermediate level
  • This course builds on existing skills in Italian, increase confidence and ability to read, write, speak, understand the language, introduce refined lexical terms, complex grammatical structures, and challenging cultural authentic material
  • Students will be exposed to, and be able to understand, literary, cultural, and cinematic texts that can facilitate transition towards 200 level content courses
  • Students will gain an appreciation for many aspects of Italian culture in its broad spectrum and will be able to communicate orally and in writing in a wide variety of topics
  • Students will be prepared to be catapulted in the junior study abroad semester/year

Third Year Literature, Culture, Cinema

ITAL 200 Level Courses in Italian

  • Broaden the students’ cultural horizon and make them ready for advanced courses in Italian (at the college or abroad), while fostering a dynamic and collaborative multilingual learning community
  • Enable students to read and understand complex and authentic texts in Italian, also outside the realm of literature and scholarship, and to extract, synthesize, and critically comment cultural information
  • Sustain prolonged and sophisticated discussions and present ideas, both written and orally, by using pertinent vocabulary and critical terminology, demonstrating a grasp of advanced structures of the Italian language
  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the historical context, contemporary cultural and political landscape in Italy (including current events) through a variety of media and sources
  • Conduct a critical analysis of Italian literary texts/films and cultural items in Italian, identifying key issues and themes, style, and forms
  • Write with analytic clarity by demonstrating ability to grasp abstract concepts, synthesizing them, and applying them to a variety of context.
  • Conduct advanced bibliographical research in Italian, use electronic resources, and master citation techniques
  • Awareness of the social and historical forces that have affected writing as a social action
  • Develop the Italian writing and oral skills of students so that they can participate in a critical discussion about the country and its culture
  • Students will be empowered to approach texts not as unquestionable authorities but as malleable sources of inspiration that directly invite them to action as readers, translators, and creators of content

ITAL 200 Level Courses in Translation with extra hours in Italian

  • Through literary analysis and a collective discussion of relevant scholarship and contextual information, students will acquire the power to interpret foundational texts of western literature. At the same time, through the formal and sociological analysis of films and trans- historical routes of transmission, they will learn to question the reason why such texts are considered foundational, and to de-center them in a post-colonial perspective
  • To contaminate backgrounds and aspirations in the macro-fields of modern, textual and visual cultures. At the end of the semester, all participants will be able to cross disciplinary boundaries in order to make sense of humanistic questions that transcend traditional approaches
  • Students will not only acquire foundational skills in the interpretation of European films, culture, visual art and recent scholarship. They will also, and foremost, learn how to mix and intersect those skills, and they will be empowered to use them to produce creative artifacts rooted in academic thought
  • By the end of the semester, students will have acquired individual experience in the practice of translation. This guided experience will extend to inter-media acts of trans-codification, which will be not only explored as objects of study but also directly attempted in a workshop setting.
  • By blending theoretical approaches with practical ones across disciplines, students will acquire multi- literacy skills that can be spent in the pursue of different majors in the Humanities and Arts

Fourth Year Italian -ITAL

ITAL 300 Level Courses in Italian

  • Critically describe and interpret major artistic and intellectual trends, movements, and authors. Identify cultural terms and practices relevant in the Italian context
  • Demonstrate detailed knowledge of a number of works of Italian literature, literary genres, and authors
  • Capable of producing a well-researched, well written, and persuasively argued, extended analytical essay on a topic of their choosing
  • Produce oral and written reports with suitable accuracy and confidence on cultural topics, treated both abstractly as well as concretely, by using new and specialized lexicon.
  • Search and use electronic and non-electronic library resources
  • Students will not only acquire foundational skills in the interpretation of recent scholarship. They will also, and foremost, learn how to mix and intersect those skills, and they will be empowered to use them to produce creative artifacts rooted in academic thought

ITAL 300 Level Courses in translation with extra hours in Italian

  • To develop familiarity with the formal and ideological traits that distinguish works from the main movements of Europe’s avant-garde and neo-avant-garde
  • To experimentally develop effective analytical approaches to abstract and unreadable readings and images, and to be aware of this process by journaling about it while studying and doing research
  • To understand the major developments of Italian modern experimentalism through works made by or revolving around women
  • To be able to describe avant-garde and neo-avant-garde artifacts through original research based on theoretical and historical knowledge

Fourth Year Senior thesis (two courses taken sequentially in the student’s fourth year)

ITAL 398-399

  • Acquire critical self-reflection and self-assessment skills through a writing (prewriting, drafting, and revising with attention to linguistic skills, personal style) process that includes the development and refinement of research questions, methodologies, literature reviews/bibliographies, and work plans
  • Become adept at close reading of both primary and secondary sources. To make connections between disparate ideas, identify and utilize primary research to develop compelling arguments. This work is facilitated through training in library research and through the use of citation formatting techniques
  • Present work in various forms not only to fellow students and faculty, but also to alumni, parents, and a broader intellectual community. Synthesize research insights.
  • Foster student research concentrations in particular areas of Italian Studies that reflect individual interests and goals
  • Acquired individual experience in multi-literacy skills that can be spent in pursuing careers in different fields in the Humanities and Arts

Contact Us

Transnational Italian Studies Department

Old Library 103
Bryn Mawr College
101 N. Merion Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-2899
Phone: 610-526-5198
Fax: 610-526-7479

Roberta Ricci, Chair
Phone: 610-526-5048

Oliva Cardona, Program Assistant
Phone: 610-526-5198