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Fall 2013 Literature and Culture Courses


ITAL V3333x Introduction to Italian Literature I

Paola Castagna

Mondays, Wednesdays 11:40-12:55, 316 Hamilton

Forms a sequence with ITAL W3334y that is the basic course in Italian Literature. Authors and works from the duecento to the cinquecento. In Italian.


Italian V3642 Contemporary Italian Arts – Film

Nelson Moe

Wednesdays 6:10-10pm

Explores the representation of national identity in Italian cinema from the Facist era to the present. Examines how both geography and history are used to construct an image of Italy and the Italians. Special focus on the cinematic representation of travel and journeys between North and South. Films by major neo-realist directors (Rossellini, De Sica, Visconti) as well as by leading contemporaries (Moretti, Amelio).


ITAL W4000 Stylistics

Paola Castagna

Mondays, Wednesdays 6:10pm-7:25pm

Prerequisites: ITAL V3336 or the equivalent and instructor's permission. Students read short texts, analyze the anatomy of an Italian essay, observe and practice sophisticated sentence structures, solidify their knowledge and usage of Italian grammar, and expand their vocabulary. After discussing and analyzing examples of contemporary prose, students will integrate the structures and vocabulary they have acquired into their own writing.


ITAL G4009 Development of Italian Language

Jo Ann Cavallo

Mondays 2:10-4:00pm

The external history and internal development of the Italian language from its origins to the present.


ITAL G4009 Italian Travel Literature to Jerusalem, Egypt and Asia (13th -17th c.)

Pier Mattia Tommasino

Wednesdays 2:10-4:00pm

Prerequisites: Knowledge of Italian The seminar offers an interdisciplinary analysis of several travelogues to the Middle East and beyond, written in Italian between the 13th and the 17th century. Using this approach, perspective, and secondary readings from the field of literary criticism and textual bibliography - and with the addition of many interdisciplinary readings - we will discuss the role of Italy and the Italian language in the making of a transnational literary genre.


ITAL G4010 Italian Food in a Globalized World

Barbara Faedda

Mondays 4:10-6:00pm 

This seminar examines the many meanings of food in Italian culture and tradition; how values and peculiarities are transmitted, preserved, reinvented and rethought through a lens that is internationally known as “Made in Italy”; how the symbolic meanings and ideological interpretations are connected to creation, production, presentation, distribution, and consumption of food. Based on an anthropological perspective and framework, this interdisciplinary course will analyze ways in which we can understand the ‘Italian taste’ through the intersections of many different levels: political, economic, aesthetic, symbolic, religious, etc. The course will study how food can help us understand the ways in which tradition and innovation, creativity and technology, localism and globalization, identity and diversity, power and body, are elaborated and interpreted in contemporary Italian society, in relation to the European context and a globalized world. Short videos that can be watched on the computer and alternative readings for those fluent in Italian will be assigned. In English.


ITAL G4050 Medieval Lyric

Teodolinda Barolini

Tuesdays 4:10-6:00pm

This course maps the origins of the Italian lyric, starting in Sicily and following its development in Tuscany, in the poets of the dolce stil nuovo and ultimately, Dante. Lectures in English; text in Italian, although comparative literature students who can follow with the help of translations are welcome.


ITAL G4079 Boccaccio’s Decameron

Teodolinda Barolini

Thursdays 4:10-6:00pm

While focusing on the Decameron, this course follows the arc of Boccaccio's career from the Ninfale Fiesolano, through the Decameron, and concluding with the Corbaccio, using the treatment of women as the connective thread. The Decameron is read in the light of its cultural density and contextualized in terms of its antecedents, both classical and vernacular, and of its intertexts, especially Dante's Commedia, with particular attention to Boccaccio's masterful exploitation of narrative as a means for undercutting all absolute certainty. Lectures in English; text in Italian, although comparative literature students who can follow with the help of translations are welcome. *ITALIAN MAJORS AND ITALIAN DEPT GRADUATE STUDENTS MUST REGISTER FOR SECTION 001*


ITAL G4391 Italian Women Writers 1945-1990

Elizabeth Leake

Thursdays 2:10-4:00pm

Addresses women writers working in Italy from the postwar period to the 1990s. Analyzes the historical novel, fantastic fiction, and autobiography. Against the backdrop of the critical debate on the literary canon, explores the specificity of women's writing and the way these articulated their difference by subverting and altering dominant literary codes. In English.


ITAL G4401 Holocaust & Resistance in Italy

Elizabeth Leake

Tuesdays 2:10-4:00pm


The political, social, and cultural issues affecting Italy in the crucial, dramatic years between 1943 and 1945. More specifically, the canonical literary and cinematic representations of the war, the "Resistenza" and the Holocaust and the aesthetic issues related to the encounter between history and fiction, reality and imagination. Further examination of how the war has affected women: such an inquiry will require the evaluation of lesser-known women's texts. Topics to be addressed include: war and gender, women as subjects of history, the intersection of the political and the private.


ITAL W4502   Italian Cultural Studies I

Nelson Moe

Tuesdays, Thursdays 10:10-11:25 am

An interdisciplinary investigation into Italian culture and society in the years between Unification in 1860 and the outbreak of World War I. Drawing on novels, historical analyses, and other sources including film and political cartoons, the course examines some of the key problems and trends in the cultural and political history of the period. Lectures, discussion and required readings will be in English. Students with knowledge of Italian are encouraged to read the primary literature in Italian.


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