Most courses can count toward the "Culture & Society" or "Literature" component of the Italian Studies major/minor, Romance Languages major, and Italian and Linguistic major. Contact email@example.com if you are unsure what requirements a course fulfills.
There are no prerequisites for content courses taught in English. The prerequisite for content courses when taught in Italian is Advanced Review of Modern Italian (ITAL-UA 30) or permission of the instructor. Either Readings in Medieval and Renaissance Literature (ITAL-UA 115) or Readings in Modern Italian Literature (ITAL-UA 116) is a recommended prerequisite.
Machiavelli (ITAL-UA 147) - MW 9:30-10:45
Identical to MEDI-UA 147 and HIST-UA 123. Albertini. 4 points.The inventor of modern political science, Niccolo Machiavelli is one of the most original thinkers in the history of Western civilization. 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.
Love and War in Renaissance Italy: Chivalric Romance and Epic (ITAL-UA 145) - MW 12:30-1:45
Caiazza. 4 points. Study of Lodovico Ariosto’s Orlando furioso (1532) and Torquato Tasso’s Gerusalemme liberata (1581) in their historical context and in relation to the rich literary traditions of romance and epic that converge in them. Thematic focuses include the construction of gender and the representation of religious and racial “otherness.”
Topics in Italian Literature & Culture (ITAL-UA 172)
Offered every semester. 4 points.
Ital-UA 172.001 - Italian Anarchists in America- TR 12:30-1:45
Cipani. This course will examine the ideas and actions of Italian anarchists in America during the late 19th - early 20th centuries and their impact on the social and political landscape of the United States. We will begin by exploring the philosophical and historical underpinnings of anarchism, tracing the roots of Italian anarchism and discussing its relevance in the context of Italian immigration. The course will then examine the emergence of Italian anarchist communities in America, focusing on their organizational structures, cultural expressions, and political activities — such as their role in the labor movement and their struggle for equality. We will also explore the ways in which Italian anarchist ideas influenced American society, including their impact on literature, art, and popular culture. Students will analyze the works of Italian anarchist writers and artists, such as Errico Malatesta, Pietro Gori, and Carlo Tresca, as well as documents related to the Sacco and Vanzetti case, a landmark cause célèbre that brought the issues of anarchism and immigrant rights to the forefront of American consciousness. Through an appreciation of the significance of Italian Anarchists in America, the course aims ultimately to provide a nuanced understanding of anarchism's historical development, key concepts, and contemporary relevance.
Ital-UA 172.002 - Italian Romanticism: Inventing a Nation. Revolt, Tradition, Ideologies - MW 2:00-3:15
Ardizzone. Please see Albert for more details about this course.
Ital-UA 172.003 - Media, Politics & Society in Italy 1943-2023 - TR 12:30-1:45
Forgacs. The course studies how mass communications – film, radio, television, internet – have interacted with political communications and social change in Italy between World War Two and now. Italy is a fascinating case of these interrelations because of its checkered political history and accelerated modernization. Its population went from predominantly rural and poor to urban in less than a decade (1951-61). Big industry expanded then declined. Its diverse regions became more connected and visible to one another. It became more secularized, people’s diets, sexual behaviors and attitudes changed, mass emigration was replaced by mass immigration. Politically it moved from Fascism to the Cold War to a phase of radical protest and terrorist violence to the rise of the new right. Organized crime and corruption remained major problems, despite attempts to eradicate them. In all these areas, communications media played a central role: changing the way politics and politicians acted and were perceived, connecting the nation but also enabling diverse sub-communities, spreading information but also fostering sexism, racism and intolerance.By the end of the course, students will have learned about all these things and will have developed methods for examining how media interact with politics and society that can be applied to other cases. No knowledge of Italian language and no prior knowledge of Italian history is required. All materials will be studied in translation or subtitled.
Topics in Italian Culture (ITAL-UA 177)
Offered every semester. 4 points.
Ital-UA 177.001 - The Color Line: Race in Italy & the US- MW 2:00 - 3:15
This course will be structured around reading Igiaba Scego’s 2020 novel, La linea del colore [The Color Line]. The novel weaves together the story of a present-day Afro-Italian art history student and the story of African American woman Lafanu Brown, living in Rome in the late 1800s. Using this story as our touchstone, we will explore how conceptions of race have converged and diverged between Italy and the US from the late 1800s to the present day, through supplemental readings of primary and secondary sources. Since this course will be conducted in Italian and our readings will be primarily in Italian, you will improve your academic reading, speaking, and writing skills in Italian. You will also have the opportunity to practice translating from Italian, and we will compare our choices to the ones made in the novel’s recent English translation.
Drama Queens: Opera, Gender & the Poetics of Excess (ITAL-UA 180) - TR 2:00-3:15
Refini. 4 points. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a drama queen is “a person who is prone to exaggeratedly dramatic behavior.” While drama queens exist in real life, opera is their ideal environment. Echoing back to their tragic fates, the powerful voices of opera’s heroines never ceased to affect their empathetic public. In fact, excess and overreactions are key to the operatic experience both on stage and in the audience. By focusing on the ways in which drama queens are brought to life, the course explores the social, political, and gender dynamics that inform the melodramatic imagination. Along with a broad introduction to the development of opera from 1600 to 1900, the course offers a theoretical background across literature and musical culture, reception, voice/sound and gender studies. Case studies include works by Monteverdi, Mozart, Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi, Puccin. No musical skills required.
Dante’s Divine Comedy (ITAL-UA 270) - TR 9:30-10:45
Identical to MEDI-UA 271, COLIT-UA 270, and ENGL-UA 142. Cornish. 4 points. Students study The Divine Comedy both as a mirror of high medieval culture and as a unique text that breaks out of its cultural bounds. The entire poem is read, in addition to selections from the Vita Nuova and other complementary minor works.
I, the Author: Autofiction, Autobiography & Fiction in Contemporary Literature (ITAL-UA 303) - TR 11:00-12:15
Identical to FYSEM-UA 800. Marchelli. 4 points. This course will focus on identity and the autobiographical experience as narrated by a selection of contemporary American and European authors, with a particular attention to Italian examples. Through the analysis of their work, it will focus on how authorship and the identity/presence of the author have evolved in contemporary times, and how this evolution reverberates beyond national borders. We will investigate what moves these authors, what aspects of their experience they choose to narrate and how they relate to their own subjectivity and the world. We will explore thematic differences and convergences, social and historical influences, the relationship between the self and society, the evolution of narrative languages and purposes.
From Polenta to Marinara: History of Italian Food (ITAL-UA 405) - TR 11:00-12:15
Identical to Food-UE 1052. Scarcella-Perino. 4 points. In this course we will cover the Italian varieties of 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, the relationship between Italian Futurism and food. The second part of the course will introduce students to the regional varieties of Italian food. 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.
La bella figura: Self & National Identity in Italian Fashion (ITAL-UA 410) - MW 11:00-12:15
Bresciani. 4 points. If, in the collective imaginary, fashion is linked to glamour, style, and aesthetics, than 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 19th and 20th centuries, concluding with a close look at contemporary fashion as a creative force of socio-cultural change.