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italian studies

Undergraduate Courses in Italian

Fall 2010

For the full list of Italian Studies electives in Romance Languages and other departments, please see the master course list.

 

(Course information subject to change)
(Cross-reference with Course Timetables)


Ital-110
Elementary Italian I
Staff
(See Course Timetables for time(s))

Italian 110 is an introductory course. Classes are conducted in Italian and emphasize the development of listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing. The course is organized around oral/aural communicative activities such as role-plays and interactive grammar exercises. Your listening skills will be greatly developed for you will be exposed to authentic language spoken at normal speed by native Italians. Some of these are short conversations, songs, and poems. You will also view Italian film clips. Your class work will be supplemented with homework using an online workbook. In class you will get ample opportunity to speak, as much of the class period will be spent working in pairs or small groups. You will also be exposed to simple Italian texts so that your reading skills will be developed. These texts will gradually become more complex as you acquire the vocabulary necessary to read at a higher level. You will also be challenged to work on your writing skills, starting with short paragraphs and building up to longer compositions.

Required Texts :
Julia Cozzarelli, Sentieri, Vista Higher Learning. ISBN: 978-1-60576-259-3 (includes Student Edition, Supersite Passcode & WebSAM Passcode)

The textbook is available directly from the publisher at a site set up for Penn students: http://www.vhldirect.com/store/UPENN.htm

Recommended:
Webster’s Italian dictionary (available at Amazon.com)


Ital-112
Elementary Italian: Accelerated
Staff
(See Course Timetables for time(s))

Italian 112 is an intensive elementary language course for students who have never studied Italian before but who have demonstrated a certain facility for learning languages and who have already fulfilled the language requirement.

The course is designed to help students develop functional ability in reading, writing, listening and speaking and gain familiarity with Italian culture. The primary emphasis of the course is on the development of the oral-aural skills, speaking and listening. Readings from authentic material on topics in Italian culture as well as frequent writing practice are also included.  

As in other Italian courses, class will be conducted entirely in Italian. Your listening skills will be well developed for you will be exposed to authentic language spoken at normal speed by native Italians. Among these are conversations, both brief and lengthy, songs, letters and poems. We will also view Italian film clips and an entire film. In class, you will be guided through a variety of communicative activities which lead from structured practice to free expression. You will be given frequent opportunity to practice your newly acquired vocabulary and grammatical structures in small groups and pairs, doing exercises which simulate real-life situations. You will also be exposed to authentic Italian texts so that your reading skills will be developed. These texts include articles from newspapers and magazines as well as literary pieces. They will become more complex as you acquire the vocabulary necessary to read at a higher level. You will also be challenged to work on your writing skills, for you will be given ample opportunity to write about diverse topics.

Required Texts :
Julia Cozzarelli, Sentieri, Vista Higher Learning. ISBN: 978-1-60576-259-3 (includes Student Edition, Supersite Passcode & WebSAM Passcode)

The textbook is available directly from the publisher at a site set up for Penn students: http://www.vhldirect.com/store/UPENN.htm

Recommended:
Webster’s Italian dictionary (available at Amazon.com)


Ital-130
Intermediate Italian I
Staff
(See Course Timetables for time(s))

Italian 130 is the first half of a two-semester intermediate sequence designed to help you attain a level of proficiency that will allow you to function comfortably in an Italian-speaking environment. The course will build on your existing skills in Italian, increase your confidence and your ability to read, write, speak and understand the language, and introduce you to more refined lexical items, more complex grammatical structures, and more challenging cultural material. You are expected to have already learned the most basic grammatical structures in elementary Italian and to review these. The course textbook, together with all supplementary materials, will allow you to explore culturally relevant topics and to develop cross-cultural skills through the exploration of similarities and differences between your native culture and the Italian world.

As in other Italian courses at Penn, class will be conducted entirely in Italian. Your attendance and participation in Italian is of the utmost importance because you will work collaboratively with your classmates and your instructor towards increased linguistic competence and a more complex understanding of Italian culture. You will be expected to complete homework exercises in preparation for class. Written and oral assignments will provide structured practice of linguistic forms, while also challenging your creative skills.

Course materials/textbooks for all sections of this course will be available at the
Penn BOOKSTORE
( 3601 Walnut Street; (215)898-7595).


Ital-134
Intermediate Italian: Accelerated
Staff
(See Course Timetables for time(s))

Italian 134 is the intensive and accelerated course that combines in one semester the intermediate sequence (130 and 140). It will build on your existing skills in Italian, increase your confidence and your ability to read, write, speak and understand the language, and introduce you to more refined lexical items, more complex grammatical structures, and more challenging cultural material. You are expected to have already learned the most basic grammatical structures in elementary Italian and to review these on your own. The course will allow you to explore culturally relevant topics and to develop cross-cultural skills through the exploration of similarities and differences between your native culture and the Italian world.

As in other Italian courses at Penn, class will be conducted entirely in Italian. Your attendance and participation is of the utmost importance because you will work collaboratively with your classmates and your instructor towards increased linguistic competence and a more complex understanding of Italian culture. You will be expected to complete homework exercises in preparation for class. Written and oral assignments will provide structured practice of linguistic forms, while also challenging your creative skills.

Course materials/textbooks for all sections of this course will be available at the
Penn BOOKSTORE
( 3601 Walnut Street; (215)898-7595).


Ital-140
Intermediate Italian II
Staff
(See Course Timetables for time(s))

Italian 140 is the second half of a two-semester intermediate sequence designed to help you attain a level of proficiency that will allow you to function comfortably in an Italian-speaking environment. The course will build on your existing skills in Italian, increase your confidence and your ability to read, write, speak and understand the language, and introduce you to more refined lexical items, more complex grammatical structures, and more challenging cultural material. You are expected to have already learned the most basic grammatical structures in elementary Italian and to review these on your own. The course will allow you to explore culturally relevant topics and to develop cross-cultural skills through the exploration of analogies and differences between your native culture and the Italian world. The course will move beyond stereotypical presentations of Italy and its people to concentrate on specific social issues together with cultural topics.

As in other Italian courses at Penn, class will be conducted entirely in Italian. Your attendance and participation is of the utmost importance because you will work collaboratively with your classmates and your instructor towards increased linguistic competence and a more complex understanding of Italian culture. You will be expected to complete homework exercises in preparation for class. Written and oral assignments will provide structured practice of linguistic forms, while also challenging your creative skills.


Ital-180
Italian Conversation in Residence
Staff
(See Course Timetables for time(s))


Ital-202
Advanced Italian
Staff
(See Course Timetables for time(s))

This course focuses on a recent movie by Italian director Tullio Giordana, La meglio gioventú (2002), which will be used as a point of departure to explore contemporary Italian culture following its development since the 1960s.  Another recent movie, Mio fratello è figlio unico (2007), will be viewed and analyzed at the conclusion of the course as compared to La meglio gioventú.  Pertinent literary texts, newspaper articles, as well as material in other media will complement the analysis of the film and allow an in depth discussion of the most important topics.  The cultural material of the course will be also used as a basis for a systematic review of advanced grammar.

The goal of Italian 202 is to prepare students for study in upper level courses in Italian literature and cinema. It is also suggested for those students who do not intend to pursue a Major or Minor in Italian but would like to further improve their knowledge of the Italian language and culture. Class work will center primarily on conversation to improve students? fluency, vocabulary and accuracy in speaking.  Homework will consist primarily, but not exclusively, of compositions to improve students? ability to express themselves correctly and elegantly in written Italian.

This course can be taken after completion of Italian 140 (or its equivalent) at the University of Pennsylvania or exemption from the language requirement in Italian and is a prerequisite for other 200- and 300-level Italian courses.


Ital-203
Italian Literature
Prof. Johnston
(See Course Timetables for time(s))

Ital 203 is an introductory course aimed to offer students the opportunity to discover Italian Literature and Civilization through readings and reflections upon significant texts of the Italian literary and artistic tradition. From the underworld of Dante to the love poetry of Petrarch, from the political vision of Macchiavelli to the scientific revolution of Galileo, from the modernist fragmentation of Pirandello to the postmodern creations of Calvino, up to the latest trends in Italian cinema, the course explores a wide range of literary genres, themes and cultural debates by analyzing texts within their socio-political context.

The course will help students to expand their vocabulary, to improve their skills in critical interpretation and to reinforce their written and oral competences in Italian through a variety of activities such as class discussions, presentations, short papers and research projects.

All readings and class discussion will be in Italian. The prerequisite for this course is Italian 202 or an equivalent course taken abroad. This course is a requirement for all majors and minors in Italian Literature. It may be taken any time in the curriculum after 202, and by permission, concurrently with 202.


Ital-204
Italian History On Screen
Prof. Veneziano Broccia
(See Course Timetables for time(s))

How has our image of Italy arrived to us? Where does the story begin and who has recounted, rewritten, and rearranged it over the centuries? In this course, we will study Italy’s rich and complex past and present. We will carefully read literary and historical texts and thoughtfully watch films in order to attain an understanding of Italy that is as varied and multifaceted as the country itself. Discussions and readings will allow us to examine the problems and trends in the political, cultural and social history from ancient Rome to today. We will focus on: the Roman Empire, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Unification, Turn of the Century, Fascist era, World War II, post-war and contemporary Italy.

Students will independently view one film per week, available at Rosengarten Reserve. Film screenings will also be scheduled for those that prefer to watch the movies as a class. All students are expected to see all films and be prepared to participate in in-class discussion as well as to write journal entries. All readings are also required and students are expected to read carefully, prepare specific questions to share with the class and contribute thoughtfully to their own journal entries and time lines. Course taught in English; films with English subtitles, all readings available in English. No prerequisites.

Course Materials/Textbooks for this course will be available at the Penn Book CENTER (130 S. 34th Street; (215) 222-7600).


Ital-205
The many faces of contemporary Italy
Prof. Pasqui
(See Course Timetables for time(s))

This is an advanced course, conducted in Italian, in which participants will deepen their knowledge of Italian Language and Culture through thought-provoking movies by important contemporary Italian directors, music and songs, and through literary works by contemporary novelists with the aim of exploring the many ‘faces’ of Italy today (ex.: recent immigration and racial issues, education, work and unemployment, etc.).

Thorough in-class analysis and discussion of selected scenes from both a linguistic and a cultural point of view will allow students to improve their comprehension and conversational skills.

Crucial grammar issues, as they arise, will be also reviewed; students will increase vocabulary and learn about past and present-day Italian culture.

Participants will be required to watch movies and read the assigned materials outside class, and come to class prepared to participate in discussion and conversation.

Course Materials/Textbooks for this course will be available at the Penn Book CENTER (130 S. 34th Street; (215) 222-7600).


Ital-208
Business Italian I
Prof. Marrero
(See Course Timetables for time(s))

The major purpose of this course, which is conducted entirely in Italian (therefore intermediate to advanced fluency is required), is to enable students to acquire language proficiency in the current Italian business and labor worlds. Business terminology will be used in specific business situations such as banking, trade, communications, etc. Classes will also include lectures on current economic, political, labor developments in Italy as well as an examination of different viewpoints of the role of Italy in the European and international markets.

The course will examine through websites, newspaper and magazine articles, and video clips Italian business practices, cultural differences such as the attitude towards money, work, leisure and consumerism which will help students understand the business Italian world, comprehend business publications, write and compose business texts, and participate in business-related conversations.

Course Materials/Textbooks for this course will be available at the Penn Book CENTER (130 S. 34th Street; (215) 222-7600).


Ital-232
The World of Dante
Prof. Kirham
(See Course Timetables for time(s))

The Divine Comedy will be read in the context of Dante Alighieri's fourteenth-century cultural world. Discussions, focussed on selected cantos of the Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso, will connect with such topics as: books and readers before the invention of printing (e.g, how manuscripts were made from sheepskins, transcribed, and decorated), life in a society dominated by the Catholic church (sinners vs. saints, Christian pilgrimage routes, the great Franciscan and Dominican religious orders), Dante's politics as a Florentine exile (power struggles between Pope and Emperor), his classical and Christian literary models (Virgil's Aeneid, Ovid's Metamorphoses, the Bible), and his genius as a poet in the medieval structures of allegory, symbolism, and numerology. One class will be held in the Rare Book Room at Van Pelt Library to view illustrations of the Comedy, from early illuminated manuscripts to Renaissance printed books, and see first-hand how they trace a history of the forms in which the poem has flourished for seven hundred years. Class conducted in English. The Divine Comedy will be available in a text with facing English and Italian versions. May be counted toward an Italian Studies major or minor.

Course Materials/Textbooks for this course will be available at the Penn Book CENTER (130 S. 34th Street; (215) 222-7600).


Ital-288
Blood, Sweat and Pasta: Italian-American Representations in American Popular Culture
Prof. Pellicone
(See Course Timetables for time(s))

American popular culture frequently serves up the public often unflattering representations of Italian-Americans to an audience often hungering for something more substantial. In this course we will explore various social conditions, aesthetic trends, and political motivations behind the proliferation of ruthless gangsters, lovable buffoons, and claustrophobic families comprising the pantheon of Italian-Americans images pervading our shared consciousness. To understand the rise of these popular stereotypes, and, perhaps, to dismantle them we will read novels by authors such as Cesare Pavese (The Moon and the Bonfire), Mario Puzo (The Fortunate Pilgrim),Pietro di Dinato (Christ in Concrete), Helen Barolini (Umbertina), Jerre Mangione (Mount Allegro),and playwrights Tennessee Williams (The Rose Tattoo), Arthur Miller (A View From the Bridge) and Albert Innaurato (Gemini). We will also read critical essays and selections from authors such as Camille Paglia, Gay Talese, Fred Gardaphe, Mary Ann De Marco, and Don DeLillo. Along with literary analysis, we will discuss representation of Italian-Americans in American cinema such as The Godfather, Saturday Night Fever, Rocky, Moonstruck, True Romance, My Cousin Vinny, and Marty, and episodes of television shows such as The Golden Girls, The Sopranos, and Everyone Loves Raymond and Jersey Shore.


Ital-300
Real & Ideal Places
Prof. Johnston
(See Course Timetables for time(s))

This course will explore real and ideal places in Italian culture, across the ages.  Destinations on our voyage will include Dante's Florence and the otherwordly realms of the Comedia; the real and ideal cities of Renaissance architects and Tommaso Campanella's utopian City of the Sun; the Venice of several authors from Dante to Italo Calvino; and many more. We will visit these places through literary, artistic, social and historical documents in print, film, and on the internet.

The course will be taught in Italian and all material will be available through Blackboard and the University of Pennsylvania libraries.  


Ital-380
Family and Society in Italian Cinema and Culture
Prof. Finotti
(See Course Timetables for time(s))

Families play a prominent role in Italian Neorealism. We will examine the cultural construction of Family after the World War 2, drawing on the movies of Rossellini, De Sica, Pasolini, Fellini, Benigni, Amelio, Giordana, as well as on the novels of Calvino, Elsa Morante, Gianni Rodari. The course will investigate the issue of Familyhood exploring the interaction between adult and child characters. We will discuss the relationship between authority and freedom, history and creativity, tradition and innovation, normalization and difference, experience and innocence.

The class will be taught in English. The reading material and the bibliographical references will be provided in a course reader. Further material will be presented in class. Requirements include class attendance, preparation, and participation, a series of oral responses, and a final oral presentation.


Please note that some graduate courses are open also to advanced undergraduates.  Check the graduate courses web page and speak directly to faculty members regarding availability.

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This page last modified on: October 22, 2010
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