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italian studies

Undergraduate Courses in Italian

Fall 2011

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)


Italian 110
Elementary Italian I
Staff
See Timetable(s) 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.

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


Italian 112
Elementary Italian: Accelerated
Staff
See Timetable(s) 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.

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


Ital-130
Intermediate Italian I
Staff
See Timetable(s) 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 this course will be available at the Penn Book CENTER (130 S. 34th Street; (215) 222-7600).


Italian 134
Intermediate Italian: Accelerated
Staff
See Timetable(s) 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 this course will be available at the Penn Book CENTER (130 S. 34th Street; (215) 222-7600).


Italian 202
Advanced Italian
Staff
See Timetable(s) 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.


Italian 203
Italian Literature
Prof. Benini
See Timetable(s) 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 expand their vocabulary, improve their skills in critical interpretation and reinforce their written and oral competence 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.

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


Italian 205
The many face[t]s of contemporary Italy
Prof. Veneziano Broccia
See Timetable(s) for time(s)

This course, conducted in Italian, is among the elective courses valid for both minor and major at the University of Pennsylvania.

In “ Viva Voce” participants will deepen their knowledge of Italian Language and Culture through some thought-provoking movies by important contemporary Italian directors, through music and songs, and through some literary works by contemporary novelists with the aim of exploring the many ‘face[t]s’ of Italy today, from the recent immigration and its impact on the Italian society to the changes within family; from school to work and unemployment.

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

Crucial grammar issues will be also reviewed, as they arise; 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. Johnston
See Timetable(s) for time(s)

The course is conducted entirely in Italian and should be taken after completion of Italian 202.  It is designed to enable students acquire language proficiency in the current Italian business and labor world. Business terminology will be used in specific business situations such as banking, trade, communications, etc. The course will examine Italian business practices, cultural differences such as the attitude towards money, work, leisure and consumerism through websites, newspaper and magazine articles, and video clips.  Students will learn to read 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 300-401
Food and Culture of Italy
Prof. Finotti
See Timetable(s) for time(s)

Food is culture. Food is language. The course will explore the anthropology of food and the cultural aspects of gastronomy in Italian History. We will focus on the communication through food not only in social life but also in different textual genres: narrative, poetry, cinema, visual arts, advertising. 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. The course is conducted in English. It counts for the Major and Minor in both Italian Culture and in Italian Literature, and has no prerequisite. 


Italian 340
The Genius of the Renaissance
Prof. Johnston
See Timetable(s) for time(s)

This course will analyze how the genius of the Renaissance is manifested in different areas of human endeavor, primarily literature and the visual arts, between the Quattrocento and the Cinquecento.  Our exploration will begin with Leon Battista Alberti’s model of the Renaissance man and will be centered on artists like Leonardo and Michelangelo, who were also writers, and on the patrons and literati that surrounded them.  We will read from works in verse and prose by authors ranging from Lorenzo de’ Medici and Poliziano to Petrarchist poets like Vittoria Colonna, Gaspara Stampa, and Laura Battiferra, to humanists and politicians from Poggio Bracciolini to Machiavelli.

The course is taught in Italian and is open to students who have completed Italian 202.  The goal of the course is to give students a basic understanding of Italian Renaissance and literature, while also presenting an opportunity to enrich their knowledge of the Italian language, through exposure to a variety of texts, oral discussions, and written assignments.

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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 19, 2011
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