Courses

ITAL 101  Intensive Elementary Italian I: Designed to develop a basic ability to read, write, understand, and speak Italian. Since all linguistic skills cannot be fully developed in 101 alone, stress will be placed on the acquisition of basic structures, which it will be the function of 102 to develop and reinforce. Students who wish to acquire significant proficiency should therefore plan to take both 101 and 102 in sequence. Four hours of class work, plus one required drill hour. Other than beginning students must have the permission of the instructor. (1.50 units, Lecture)

ITAL 102  Intensive Elementary Italian II:  Continuation of 101, emphasizing oral practice, consolidation of basic grammar skills, compositions and reading comprehension. Four hours of class work, plus one required drill hour.  Prerequisite: C- or better in Italian 101 or equivalent. (1.50 units, Lecture)

ITAL 201  Intermediate Italian I: Conversation and Composition:  A review of basic grammar learned in the first-year intensive Italian courses (101 and 102) is integrated with oral and writing practice on topics intended to introduce students to contemporary Italian culture. There will be readings of short stories, newspaper, and magazine articles, viewings of film and video presentations, and weekly compositions and other writing assignments. In order to achieve competence in Italian, students should plan to take 201 and 202 in sequence.  Prerequisite: C- or better in Italian 102 or equivalent. (1.00 units, Lecture)

ITAL 202  Intermediate Italian II: Composition and Literature: The review of grammar begun in Italian 201 will be completed in this course. Students’ oral and writing skills will be enhanced by further exploration of aspects of Italian culture, through a variety of texts and media. While emphasizing students’ communication skills, this course aims to provide them with the basis for linguistic competence in Italian. Prerequisite: C- or better in Italian 201 or equivalent. (1.00 units, Lecture)

ITAL 228  Italian Language and Society: This course will examine the relationship between language and society in contemporary Italy and in countries with high levels of Italian migration, while also developing students’ linguistic skills. Topics include: geographical, class, and generational differences in language, the effects of mass media on language, and the Italian of immigrants to the United States. As part of their coursework, students will conduct interviews with Italian Americans in the Hartford area. Prerequisite: C- or better in Italian 202 or equivalent.( 1.00 units, Lecture)

ITAL 233-06  Food in Italian History, Society and Art : The saying, “A tavola non s’invecchia” (“One does not age at the supper table”), expresses the importance of food and eating for Italians. In this course, we will examine the relationship between food and culture in Italy, from the Romans to the present, through a variety of readings and tasting experiences. Topics include: the importing and exporting of different foods in antiquity as an instance of cultural and economic exchange; medieval beliefs about intellectual and physical aptitudes associated with diet; the representation of food in art, literature, and cinema; regional cuisines and cultural identities; and the language of food. We will also discuss Italian and Italian-American cuisine as the reflection of related, yet very different, cultures. Students may opt to undertake a Community Learning Initiative in consultation with the course instructor. Enrollment limited to 25. (Listed as both LACS 233-41 and ITAL 233-06.) (1.00 units, Lecture)

ITAL 233-08  Enlightenment and Romanticism in Italy:  The saying, “A tavola non s’invecchia” (“One does not age at the supper table”), expresses the importance of food and eating for Italians. In this course, we will examine the relationship between food and culture in Italy, from the Romans to the present, through a variety of readings and tasting experiences. Topics include: the importing and exporting of different foods in antiquity as an instance of cultural and economic exchange; medieval beliefs about intellectual and physical aptitudes associated with diet; the representation of food in art, literature, and cinema; regional cuisines and cultural identities; and the language of food. We will also discuss Italian and Italian-American cuisine as the reflection of related, yet very different, cultures. Students may opt to undertake a Community Learning Initiative in consultation with the course instructor. Enrollment limited to 25. (Listed as both LACS 233-41 and ITAL 233-06.) (1.00 units, Lecture)

ITAL 233-02  Mafia: In contemporary societies there is an intimate contest between two kinds of social order: The rule of law and criminal organization. A remarkable instance may be found in the workings and metamorphoses of the Mafia. From its origins in Sicily, an agrarian society on the periphery of Europe, the Mafia has acquired intercontinental dimensions and a grip on high politics and finance capital. This shadowy phenomenon has been approached and explained in very different ways by historians, anthropologists, sociologists, economists, and political scientists. It has also been the subject of literature and film. We shall discuss outstanding examples of each approach and treatment. The purposes of the course are to make sense of the Mafia, to explore a basic problem of social order and to compare the different styles of reasoning and representation that characterize the various disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. Course requirements: seminar reports, several short papers, and full attendance and participation. (Listed as both LACS 233-17 and ITAL 233-02.) (1.00 units, Lecture) NOTE: This seminar is listed as both LACS-211-17 and ITAL-233-02. Total enrollment in the seminar is limited to 15 students. 10 seats are open to any student (LACS-233-17) and 5 seats are reserved for students who have declared an Italian major or an Italian Studies minor (ITAL-233-02).

ITAL 236  Modern Italy: An introduction to modern Italy, through discussion of outstanding works of history, social science, film, and literature. Topics include the unification of Italy, the sharp changes in relations between church and state, the Great Emigration, Fascism, modernization, the Sicilian mafia, and the persistence of regional divisions. All work is done in English. Students who wish to count this course toward a major in Italian should request permission of the instructor. They will complete their assignments in Italian and will meet with the instructor in supplementary sessions. (Listed as both LACS 233-08 and ITAL 236-01; and under the History Department.) (1.00 units, Lecture)

ITAL 290-01 Italian Cinema:  A study and discussion of Italian cinema from neorealism to the present. The course will cover both formal and thematic trends in the films of the noted postwar Italian directors Roberto Rossellini, Vittorio De Sica, and Luchino Visconti. The course will also consider the trend away from reliance on literary texts toward the development of personal expressions by such author/directors as Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Lina Wertmüller, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, Maurizio Nichetti, and others. Film screenings will be in Italian with English subtitles. Lectures and coursework will be in English. Students wishing to apply this course toward the major in Italian must secure permission of the instructor. They will complete their assignments in Italian and meet with the instructor in supplementary sessions. Faithful attendance is required. (Listed as both LACS 233-05 and ITAL 290-01.) (1.00 units, Lecture)

ITAL 314/401  Letteratura Contemporanea Italiana:  A critical reading of selected novels, short stories, poetry, and plays from the turn of the 20th century to the present. Authors include: Pirandello, Svevo, Aleramo, Montale, Ungaretti, Morante, Calvino, Petrignani, Fo, and other contemporary authors. Emphasis is on the historical and cultural context of the works and on recent trends in Italian literature. Topics include: literature during both world wars and under Fascism, modernism and postmodernism in literature, contemporary women writers, and the role of Italian intellectuals in society. All work is done in Italian. Prerequisite: C- or better in Italian 228 or equivalent. (1.00 units, Lecture)

ITAL 333-01  Dante: The Divine Comedy:  An intensive study of the Divine Comedy (in translation) with particular emphasis on the historical and aesthetic significance of this 'summa.' Students wishing to count this course toward a major in Italian should receive permission of the instructor. (Listed as both LACS 333-12 and ITAL 333-01.) (1.00 units, Lecture)

FYSM 295-01 Introduction to Italian Language and Culture:  To fully understand and appreciate Italy, its people, and its culture, one must have a good grasp of the language. This course, therefore, integrates an intensive study of basic Italian with an overview of contemporary Italian culture. The seminar will meet three days a week for a total of 5 class hours (for 1.5 credits). Students will study grammar and vocabulary and use a language-based approach toward the study of Italian culture. One class hour a week, however, will be devoted to discussion in English of selected readings, film, and music that deal with important topics, such as: the international appeal of Italian art, cinema, design, fashion, food, sports, and music, globalization and Italy’s political role in the Mediterranean region, and the perceptions and stereotypes of contemporary Italy and of Italians in the U.S. and in the international press. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to apply their basic knowledge of Italian to the readings and films and to consider the ways the language is a window on Italian culture. Whereas all films are in Italian with English subtitles, literary and critical readings are in English (except in the case of shorter and more immediately accessible texts which students will read in Italian). After completing this course, students may choose to continue their study of Italian by taking Italian 102 (Intensive Elementary Italian II) in the Spring semester, followed by the more advanced courses in the language sequence. (1.50 units, Seminar)

HIST 113- Early Modern Europe:  This course will survey the formation of Europe from the fall of the Carolingians to the discovery of the New World. We will study the rise of lordship, the struggle between the papacy and secular rulers, the Crusades, the formation of royal law and government, heresy, printing, and the origins of the Renaissance and Reformation in late medieval culture. The course will be taught largely from primary sources. (1.00 units, Lecture)

HIST 221  Science, Religion, and Nature in the Age of Galileo:   The astronomer Galileo Galilei’s trial before the Roman Inquisition nearly four centuries ago endures as a symbol of the clash between science and religion. Undoubtedly, the rise of early modern science in 17th-century Europe provoked its share of battles, but was this the whole story? This course will lead students to consider the origin and extent of the apparently irreconcilable differences between world views. How wide was the rift between science and religion, especially before the Enlightenment? Students will be encouraged to explore this complex relationship in historical context, by weighing the coexistence of scientific curiosity and intense faith, and also by considering the religious response to the expanding horizons of knowledge. The course will highlight investigations of the heavens and the earth, thus seeking instructive comparisons between disciplines such as astronomy, botany, and geology. A number of broad themes will be the focus. These include the understanding of God and nature, authority (classical and scriptural) versus observation, the wide range of knowledge-making practices, the place of magic, and finally the influence of power and patronage. The class seeks to present a rich and exciting picture, looking forward as well to the influence of rational thinking and scientific inquiry on the making of modernity. (1.00 units, Lecture)

HIST 304  Renaissance Italy:  This course explores the origin, distinctiveness, and importance of the Italian Renaissance. It is also about culture, society, and identity in the many “Italies” that existed before the modern period. Art, humanism, and the link between cultural patronage and political power will be a focus, as will the lives of 15th- and 16th-century women and men. Early lectures will trace the evolution of the Italian city-states, outlining the social and political conditions that fostered the cultural flowering of the 1400s and 1500s. We will consider Florence in the quattrocento, and subsequently shift to Rome in the High Renaissance. Later topics will include the papacy’s return to the Eternal City, the art of Michelangelo and Raphael, and the ambitions of the warlike and mercurial Pope Julius II. Italy was a politically fragmented peninsula characterized by cultural, linguistic, and regional differences. For this reason, other topics will include: the fortunes of Venice, the courts of lesser city-states like Mantua and Ferrara, the life of Alessandra Strozzi, and the exploits of the “lover and fighter” Benvenuto Cellini. We will also look at representations of the Renaissance in film. (1.00 units, Seminar)