11:00-12:15 Mondays & Wednesdays; Professor Elena Ducci — 4 credits
Introductory-level literature course that, through a close reading of authors such as Foscolo, Leopardi, Manzoni, Verga, Deledda, Ortese, Calvino, Morante and Ferrante, focuses on how to understand a literary text in Italian. Covers Italian literature from the 18th century to the contemporary period.
Conducted in Italian.
9:30-10:45 Mondays & Wednesdays; Professor Stefano Albertini — 4 credits
The inventor of modern political science, Niccolo Machiavelli is one of the most original thinkers in the history of Western civilization. In this course, Machiavelli?s political, historical, and theatrical works are read in the context in which they were conceived?the much tormented and exciting Florence of the 15th and early 16th centuries struggling between republican rule and the magnificent tyranny of the Medici family. The course also aims at dismantling the myth of evilness that has surrounded Machiavelli through the centuries, especially in the Anglo-Saxon world, through a close reading of such masterpieces as The Prince, The Discourses, and The Mandrake Root.
2:00-3:15 Tuesdays & Thursdays; Professor Nicola Cipani — 4 credits
This course examines objects with a dual nature: literary artifacts that are also visual nature: literary artifacts that are also visual compositions, texts that function simultaneously as pictures. While a primary focus will be on Italian 20th century experimental literary forms (parole in libertà, poesia visiva, concrete poetry), students will also explore a wider historical range of such textual-visual hybrids, from the classical world to the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Baroque period. In order to trace the transnational circulation of visual models, comparative examples and references from English and other languages will be offered. specific readings / discussions will address theoretical issues raised by iconic texts—how do we read visual poetry? What does it mean to be a reader and a viewer at the same time?
12:30-1:45 Tuesdays & Thursdays; Professor Nicola Cipani — 4 credits
What we call the Italian language today is only one variant among many languages spoken within the peninsula. Local dialects continue to have a significant cultural role in literature, music and cinema. Moreover, because of the recent increase in immigration, there is now a significant number of speakers of other languages living in Italy. An awareness of this linguistic diversity is essential to communicate effectively. This course is intended to introduce students to the linguistic history of Italy and the key socio-linguistic notions that account for language use today. As such, the course is an ideal complement to the study of Italian as second language.
Taught in English.
12:30-1:45 Mondays & Wednesdays; Professor Laura Bresciani — 4 credits
If in the collective imaginary fashion is linked to glamour, style, and aesthetics, no country more actively evokes and embodies these concepts than Italy. Italian identity, culture, and economy remain deeply connected to fashion as both an institution and industry. Well before Italy’s belated unification in 1861, fashion long played a key role in the construction of national style and courtly life from the Middle Ages and Renaissance to the twentieth-century design houses which reshaped not only commercial and aesthetic trends, but solidified Italy’s association with post-war design culture more broadly. This course explores the development of Italian fashion from its roots in Medieval Communes to the dynamics of the modernity and the post-modernity of the 19 th and 20 th centuries, concluding with a close look at contemporary fashion as a creative force of socio-cultural change.
12:30-1:45 Mondays & Wednesdays; Visiting Professor Joe Perna — 4 credits
Shortly before he was imprisoned in 1926, the political theorist and philosopher Antonio Gramsci began an essay that addressed “some aspects of the Southern Question”—shorthand for the uneven development and mutual skepticism that cut Italy in two, but also for the possibility of new alliances between north and south. Decades earlier, the Sicilian author Giovanni Verga had similarly found that he could only reflect on his origins—could only, in that way, confront the “Southern Question”—from the vantage point of Milan; it was there that he began to narrate stories that refused the triumphant narrative of progress. This course explores how a series of writers and intellectuals have wrestled with the Italian South as a category, home, place of exile, and laboratory for political action. Authors include Verga, Matilde Serao, Carlo Levi, Curzio Malaparte, Anna Maria Ortese, and Elena Ferrante; we will also look at how these views have taken shape on screen in films by Luchino Visconti, Elvira Notari, Roberto Rossellini, and the ongoing Rai/HBO adaptation of My Brilliant Friend.
2:00-3:15 Mondays & Wednesdays; Professor Maria Luisa Ardizzone — 4 credits
The Divine Comedy is a very long poem traditionally judged to be one of the most important in Western culture. At the center of the poem is the human being, his condition in the after life and his punishment or reward. Taken literally, the theme is the state of the souls after the death. But allegorically, the true subject is moral life and thus the torments of the sins themselves or the enjoyment of a happy and saintly life. Since the beginning of its circulation the Divine Comedy has been seen as a text to be read in context, that is in light of the cultural tradition Dante was channelling and interpreting. This course proposes a reading of Dante's Commedia, considered in light of the ancient and medieval idea of learning. The objective of the course is to familiarize students with one of the most important author of Western culture. Through Dante's texts, students will gain a perspective on the Biblical, Christian, and Classical traditions as well as on the historical, literary, philosophical context of medieval Europe.
2:00-3:15 Tuesdays & Thursdays; Professor Roberto Scarcella-Perino — 4 credits
In this course we will cover the varieties of Italian food in their past and present forms. First, we will explore the history of food from past civilizations, leading up to World War I, just after the great immigration to the New World. Time periods examined will be ancient Rome, Medieval, Renaissance, Risorgimento, leading to the modern era. This course includes topics ranging from Pellegrino Artusi’s famous cookbook in the contest of Italian unification to the relationship between Italian Futurism and food. The second part of the course will introduce students to the regional diversity of Italian food using mediums such as TV, art, and film. We will examine the ways in which food shapes contemporary Italian society, from the more intimate family kitchen to the most elegant Italian restaurant in New York City.
11:00-12:15 Tuesdays & Thursdays; Professor Josephine Hendin — 4 credits
Italian American writers have expressed their heritage and their engagement in American life in vivid fiction or poetry which reflects their changing status and concerns. From narratives of immigration to current work by "assimilated" writers, the course explores the depiction of Italian American identity. Readings both track and contribute to the course of American writing from realism, through beat generation writing and current, innovative forms. Challenging stereotypes, the course explores the changing family relationships, sexual mores, and political and social concerns evident in fiction, poetry and selected film and television representations. Situating the field of Italian American Studies in the context of contemporary ethnic studies, this course highlights its contribution to American literature.