ITAL-GA 1050 Cox. 4 Points.
This course combines elements of a substantive course and of professionalization and training in research and scholarly writing. It takes as its object of study a particular text or artwork; and it engages students in a structured manner in the processes of research, analysis, writing, and revision necessary to produce a publishable research paper on the subject. The first half of the course is taken up with the research process, conducted collectively by the students under the guidance of the instructor. In the second half of the course, the class will collectively write and revise an 8,000-word article suitable for publication as a journal article. In this iteration, the object of study chosen is a late sixteenth-century poetic manuscript containing a copy of a vernacular translation of the seven penitential psalms, by the Benedictine monk, Agostino Cesari, or Cesareo. The manuscript is of interest as evidence of the continuing use of manuscript as a means of circulation in the typographical era; and the work it contains offers a starting place for the study of the fascinating and under-researched field of Counter- Reformation Italian religious literature. Topics covered in the initial, research section of the course include the penitential psalms and their vernacular traditions; the Benedictine order and its contribution to Counter-Reformation religious literature; the sixteenth-century tradition of Petrarchizing rime spirituali; and the relation of manuscript and print.
Studies in Italian Culture
ITAL-GA 1981 Faculty. 4 points.
Variable content course. Recent topics: social and cultural studies (Forgacs); Nietzsche in Italy and France (Merjian); diversity and otherness in contemporary Italy (Forgacs); Pasolini and a politics of art (Merjian); film and urban space in Italy (Forgacs); Florentine Culture, 1250-1600 (Cox); Language and Politics in Italy from the Renaissance to Berlusconi (Cox and Ben-Ghiat).
Topics in Italian American Culture
ITAL-GA 2165 Faculty. 4 points.
Topics range from sociology of immigration to anthropology of ethnic identity, and from Italian American fiction to the contribution of Italian Americans to the visual and performing arts.
Topics in Italian Literature
ITAL-GA 2192 Faculty. 4 points.
Variable content course. Recent topics: gender and writing in Renaissance Italy (Cox); love and magic, words and images in Orlando Furioso and 16th-century culture (Bolzoni).
Guided Individual Reading
ITAL-GA 2891 Faculty. 4 points.
Ph.D. Exam Preparation Seminar
ITAL-GA 3020 Forgacs 4 points.
This course comprises a series of student-led seminars under the direction of the Director of Graduate Studies, intended to prepare students for their Ph.D. exam.
ITAL-GA 2310 Adizzone, Cornish. 4 points.
The course is conceived as a re-reading of Dante’s Inferno. We will start with a general introduction to Dante’s Commedia in order to orient the students to an understanding of Dante’s masterpiece and the Inferno as part of it. Inferno is the first cantica of the Divine Comedy, 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. In the Inferno Dante represents the passions and vices of the human beings and the punishment that God’s justice inflicts upon the sinners. Hell is the place of eternal damnation. The course will provide a fresh approach to the Inferno with a focus on the problem of evil as represented in the Commedia. We will investigate Dante’s dramatization of the ontology of human beings and their inclination to materiality and materialism, which the poet considers the source of evil. The course includes an introduction to Dante’s first work, the Vita Nuova, and a reading of sections of his treatises: On Vernacular Speech and Convivio.
ITAL-GA 2311 Ardizzone, Cornish. 4 points.
This course proposes a reading of Dante’s Commedia considered in light of the theological, philosophical and rhetorical learning of Dante’s time.
Dante and Medieval Thought
ITAL-GA 2314 Ardizzone, Cornish. 4 points.
Dante’s minor works and, in particular, Vita Nova, Convivio, and De Vulgari eloquentia, read in light of the philosophical-theological debate of the time. Focus is on intellectual history, medieval theory of knowledge, intelligence, and speculation from the Pseudo-Dyonisius to Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas, Sigier of Brabant and Bonaventure.
The Italian Lyric Tradition from Petrarch to Marino
ITAL-GA 2323 Cox. 4 points.
This course offers an overview of the development of lyric poetry in Italy from the fourteenth to the early seventeenth century, beginning with Petrarch’s refashioning of lyric style in his Rerum vulgarium fragmenta, and ending with the emergence of the Baroque as a literary movement. Stylistic developments over this period will be related to the differing historical contexts of production and consumption of lyric poetry, with a major thematic focus being the impact of print culture on the sixteenth-century lyric tradition, and another the influence on this tradition of the great religious reform movements of the sixteenth century. Other issues explored in the course are the gendering of the lyric voice in amatory and religious lyric; the emergence of the figure of the female poet in the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries; the relationship between lyric poetry and social history; and the relationship between lyric poetry and the visual arts. The aim of the course is provide a secure grasp of the history of lyric poetry in this period as conventionally told and an acquaintance with its canonical authors (Petrarch, Bembo, Della Casa, Tasso, Marino), while, at the same time, allowing for exploration within new areas of research that have opened up especially in the past decade or so, notably the history of women’s engagement with lyric as readers and writers, and the development of religious lyric through the Counter- Reformation and into the Baroque.
Studies in Medieval Culture
ITAL-GA 2389 Ardizzone, Cornish.
Variable content course. Recent topics: bodies, passion, and knowledge; Stilnovisti: poetry and ntellectual history; politics, poetics, and imagination in 13th-century poetry: from the Sicilian School to Cino da Pistoia; Dante, the Prose Works as an Intellectual Autobiography.
Florentine Culture in Context, 1250-1600
ITAL-GA 2565 Cox. 4 points.
This course offers the opportunity to study some of the key works of latemedieval and Renaissance Florentine literary, intellectual and artistic culture in their social and political contexts, and hence to engage diachronically with the broader theoretical question of the ways in which elite culture is inflected by socioeconomic and political developments. The choice of texts to be studied has been calculated to provide both a sense of the diversity of Florentine culture and its continuities. Besides texts that conventionally fall under the rubric of literature, such as lyric poetry, verse narrative, and drama, the syllabus encompasses chronicles, sermons, and works of political, rhetorical, social, and aesthetic theory. Thematic focuses include civic and family identity; gender and sexuality; and the relationship between language and political power.
The Arts of Eloquence in Medieval and Early Modern Italy
ITAL-GA 2588 Cox. 4 points.
Recent scholarship in medieval and early modern culture has increasingly stressed the centrality of the study of rhetoric in these periods and the range of its influence, not simply on literature but on everything from art, music, and architecture to political thought. This course serves as an introduction to medieval and early modern rhetoric in Italy, conceived of broadly as a global art of persuasive discourse, spanning both verbal and nonverbal uses.
Studies in Renaissance Literature
ITAL-GA 2589 Cox, Bolzoni. 4 points.
Variable content course. Recent topics: The Italian Lyric Tradition from Petrarch to Marino (Tylus); art and literature, poetry and portrait in Italian Renaissance (Bolzoni); the literature of pilgrimage in early modern Italy (Tylus) 2014-15.
The Courtesan in Early Modern Italian Society and Culture
ITAL-GA 2590 Cox. 4 points.
Examines the figure of the so-called cortigiana onesta within 16th- to 17th-century Italian culture, with a particular focus on the role courtesans played within the literary culture of the period, both as authors and as the subject of literary works. Also pays some attention to representations of courtesans within the visual arts and to their role within the musical culture of the time and in the early history of Italian theatre.
Studies in Early Modern Literature
ITAL-GA 2689 Cox. 4 points. Variable content course.
Seminar on Dante
ITAL-GA 3142 Ardizzone, Cornish. 4 points.
This course proposes a reading of Dante’s Commedia and prose works.
19th and 20th Centuries
This seminar looks at the interplay of “truth” and “fiction” in Alessandro Manzoni’s I promessi sposi. By engaging in a close-reading of the novel, students will have the opportunity to situate Manzoni’s masterwork within a set of questions relevant to both the development of the genre in nineteenth-century Europe and the specific place of the Italian tradition within such development. Along with the text of I promessi sposi, the seminar will cover other writings by Manzoni as well as works (both literary and theoretical) by other authors revolving around the complex relationship between historical truth and its reshaping through fiction.
ITAL-GA 1980 Ben-Ghiat. 4 points.
This course examines the Neorealist movement in cinema and literature that swept Italian culture just after World War Two. We will explore the varieties of Neorealist styles and ideologies, Neorealisms, cultural and political context (Reconstruction, the Cold War, the legacies of fascism, war trauma), and its influence in later Italian culture and film.
ITAL-GA 2972 Ben-Ghiat. 4 points.
Explores Italian colonialism from the late 19th century through decolonization. Through readings of colonial travel literature, novels, films, diaries, memoirs, and other texts, students address the meaning of colonialism within Italian history and culture, the specificities of the Italian colonial case within broader trends of European imperialism, and the legacies of colonialism in contemporary Italy.
20th-Century Italian Poetry
ITAL-GA 2984 Ardizzone. 4 points.
Reading and analysis of major poetic texts of the century until contemporary poetry. Principal authors: D’Annunzio, Pascoli, Luzi, Montale, Saba, Sereni, Ungaretti, Zanzotto. Focus is on movements such as symbolism, decadentism, ermetism, as well as the discourse of the avant-garde.
Studies in 20th-Century Literature
ITAL-GA 2989 Variable content course. Staff. 4 points.