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introduction

course offerings

requirements for majors and minors

the language requirement in italian

study abroad

resources

 

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italian studies

Spring 2007

(Course information subject to change)
(Cross-reference with Department Roster)

Italian 110
Elementary Italian
(See timetables for times)

A first semester elementary language course for students who have never studied Italian before or who have taken a placement test and received a score below 380. All students who have previously studied Italian are required to take the placement test. Classes are conducted in Italian and emphasize the development of listening comprehension and speaking, with training in reading and writing. The course is organized around oral/aural communicative activities such as role-plays and interactive grammar exercises. In Italian 110 your listening skills will be greatly developed for you will be exposed daily to authentic language spoken at normal speed by native Italians. Some of these are short conversations, songs, and poems. As the semester progresses the conversations will be longer. Your classwork will be supplemented with homework using a cassette with a workbook, to further enhance your listening skills. 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 sentences and building up to paragraph-length essays.
 

Italian 112
Elementary Italian-Accelerated
(See timetables for times)

Italian 112 is an intensive elementary language course for students who have never studied Italian before and who have already fulfilled the language requirement in another modern language. Students who have fulfilled the language requirement in a language other than a romance language, will be considered on an individual basis.

As in other Italian courses, class will be conducted entirely in Italian. Your listening skills will be well for you will be exposed to daily authentic language spoken at normal speed by native Italians. Among these are conversations, both brief and lengthy, songs, letters, and poems. You will be guided through a variety of communicative activities in class which lead you from structured practice to free expression. You will be given frequent opportunity to practice your newly acquired vocabulary and grammatical structures in a small group and pair work which simulates real-life situations. Your class work will be supplemented with homework using a cassette with a workbook, to further enhance your listening skills. 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.

Italian 120
Elementary Italian
(See timetables for times)

Prerequisite: Italian 110 or a score equivalent for placement in level 120 on the Italian placement exam (see Romance Languages Department). Italian 120 is the continuation of an elementary level sequence designed to develop functional proficiency in the four skills. The primary emphasis is on the development of the oral-aural skills, speaking and listening. Readings on topics in Italian culture as well as frequent writing practice are also included in the course.

Italian 130
Intermediate Italian
(See timetables for times)

Italian 130 is the first half of a two-semester intermediate sequence designed to help you attain a level of competency that should 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 be able to review these on your own. The textbook Ponti and other material (readings, films, songs) will allow you to explore culturally relevant topics, develop cross-cultural skills through the exploration of analogies and differences between your native culture and the Italian world, thus building a bridge (ponte) of cultural and linguistic awareness.

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 an increased linguistic competence and a more complex understanding of Italian culture. You will be expected to read and to complete language exercises in preparation for class. Written and oral assignments will provide structured practice of the linguistic forms necessary for negotiating the concepts and questions presented through the course, while also challenging and improving your linguistic and creative skills.

By the end of the course, you will have refined and improved your ability to communicate in Italian while also acquiring a more subtle understanding of Italian culture. You will be given the tools to express your opinions, and to challenge and debate those of others, both in writing and in conversation. Writing assignments will develop your abilities to communicate creatively, practically, and persuasively. Listening to and reading the perspectives of Italians through authentic documents will help to enrich vocabulary and strengthen language skills. Also, by means of communicative activities, role-plays and sketches you will be able to achieve a greater fluency in the language.

Italian 134
Intermediate Italian-Accelerated
Staff
MW 2:00-3:30, TR 3:00-4:30

Italian 134 is an intensive intermediate course, covering the equivalent of Italian 130 and 140 in one semester. It is primarily designed for students who have completed Italian 112, but students with a particularly strong performance in Italian 120 are allowed to enroll with a departmental permit. Italian 134 covers the materials explored in 130 and in 140: see descriptions of Italian 130 (above) and Italian 140 (below).

Italian 140
Intermediate Italian
(See timetables for times)

Italian 140 is the second half of a two-semester intermediate sequence designed to help you attain a level of competency that should 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.

The textbook Ponti and other material (readings, films, songs) will allow you to explore culturally relevant topics, develop cross-cultural skills through the exploration of analogies and differences between your native culture and the Italian world, thus building a bridge (ponte) of cultural and linguistic awareness. The detective story Una storia semplice, will strengthen your linguistic abilities and introduce you to the fascinating world of Italian literature.

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 an increased linguistic competence and a more complex understanding of Italian culture. You will be expected to read and to complete language exercises in preparation for class. Written and oral assignments will provide structured practice of the linguistic forms necessary for negotiating the concepts and questions presented through the course, while also challenging and improving your linguistic and creative skills.

By the end of the course, you will have refined and improved your ability to communicate in Italian while also acquiring a more subtle understanding of Italian culture. You will be given the tools to express your opinions, and to challenge and debate those of others, both in writing and in conversation. Writing assignments will develop your abilities to communicate creatively, practically, and persuasively. Listening to and reading the perspectives of Italians through authentic documents will help to enrich vocabulary and strengthen language skills. Also, by means of communicative activities, role-plays and sketches you will be able to achieve a greater fluency in the language.

Italian 180
Italian Conversation in Residence
Must be resident of the Modern Language House

Italian 202
Advanced Italian

Prof. Corradi
MTWR 12:00-1:00

This course aims at developing and deepening language abilities acquired in the first two years of study; it also prepares students for upper-level courses in literature, culture or cinema. Students will increase their vocabulary and speaking skills through the reading, analysis, and discussion of Niccolò Amanniti’s best-selling novel Io non ho paura. Other reading materials will open windows onto aspects of contemporary Italian culture and society. We will place special emphasis on a thorough review of advanced grammar. Short weekly compositions and a final project will develop writing skills.

This course is a prerequisite for other 200-level courses.

Italian 208
Business Italian

Prof. Gentili
MW 5:00-6:30

This course wishes to enable students to acquire language proficiency in the area of current Italian and European Community business-related culture. Students are expected to perfect the study of business language and culture in terms of structural language knowledge and form of cultural behavior. Through a communicative approach, the course intends to develop students' understanding in real situation by perfecting those two competencies, linguistic and cultural, in an interactive way by adapting the contexts with the aid of textbooks and other related literature available to them. Classes will also include lectures on current political, economic, and labor developments in Italy as well as in the European Community. The students will have two oral presentations during the semester, a midterm, and a final exam. Because the course is conducted entirely in Italian, it requires an intermediate/high level knowledge of the language. The pre-requisite for this course is ITAL 202 or an equivalent course taken abroad.

Italian 210
Viva Voce Italian Conversation and Culture
Prof. Costantini
TR 3-4:30

An advanced course on conversational interactions, the aim of this class is to enhance audio-oral skills of students and help them to understand and talk more easily and comfortably in a variety of formal and informal situations through communicative practice activities. Authentic listening and speaking activities will be based on Italian news broadcasts, interviews, debates, discussions, audio clips and selected readings on Italian contemporary culture. For each topic some time will also be allowed to revisit specific language functions and points of grammar.

Italian 215
Introduction to Literature
Prof. Benini
MWF 11-12

This 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, the course explores genres, themes and cultural debates by analyzing texts within their socio-political context.

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

All readings and class discussion will be in Italian. The pre-requisite for this course is Italian 202 or an equivalent course taken abroad. This course is a requirement for all majors and minors in Italian, as well as for all 300 level courses.

Italian 217
Italian Drama and the Performance of a Nation
Prof. Pellicone
MWF 2-3

How did some of the most influential Italian political theorists, philosophers, artists, authors, and actors construct an Italian national identity?  In this course we will trace the trajectory of Italian drama and film, discussing the stages of development of an Italian national identity. We will pay particular attention to the contributions of individuals such as Machiavelli, Aretino, Bruno, Goldoni, Pirandello, Fellini, and Fo to discuss how their artistic achievements provided the backdrop for the performance of various social constructs such as gender roles, class, and ethnicity in the production of what we might now recognize as an Italian identity.  When possible we will attend local theatrical performances and view screenings of relevant productions.  All works will be read in English (with attention when possible to the original Italian). No prior knowledge of Italian is expected.

Italian 310
The Medieval Reader
Prof. Kirkham
TR 12-1:30

Through a range of authors including Augustine, Dante, Petrarch, Galileo, and Umberto Eco, this course will explore the world of the book in the manuscript era. We shall consider 1) readers in fiction-male and female, good and bad; 2) books as material objects produced in monasteries and their subsequent role in the rise of the universities; 3) medieval women readers and writers; 4) medieval ideas of the book as a symbol (e.g., the notion of the world as God's book; 5) changes in book culture brought about by printing and electronic media. Lectures with discussion in English, to be supplemented by slide presentations and a visit to the Rare Book Room in Van Pelt Library. No prerequisites. Satisfies General Requirement in Arts and Letters.

Italian 340
Renaissance Literature, Art, and Theater
Prof. Finotti
TR 10:30-12

The course will provide a comprehensive introduction to Italian Renaissance society, art, intellectual and political history. We will discuss the various aspects of a movement which played a key role in western culture, producing new models of identity and behaviour. We will draw on the works of Machiavelli, Ariosto, Castiglione, Leonardo da Vinci, Raffaello, Tiziano, Tintoretto, Veronese, Palladio, addressing questions concerning the construction and the representation of social hierarchies, with particular emphasis on the interactions between literature, art, theatre, social conventions.

The class will be taught in Italian. 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.

Italian 380-401 (Cross-listed with CINE 340-401)
Children in Modern Literature and Film
Prof. Finotti
TR 1:30-3

Children play a prominent role in Italian Neorealism. We will examine the cultural construction of childhood 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 childhood 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 Italian. 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.

Italian 380-402
Visible Cities
Prof. Benini
MWF 1-2

From Magna Graecia’s poleis, to the Roman urbes, from the medieval “Comuni” (city states) to “ Seafaring Republics”, from the Early modern ideal cities to the modern metropolis, Italian cities carry a tradition of their own uniqueness and marked identity. As repositories of memory they have always fascinated the gaze of artists, writers, filmmakers and cultural historians. This course will explore Italian cities in their “textual” complexity, rooted in landscapes, bodies, language and imagination. Turin, Trieste, Milan, Genoa, Venice, Bologna, Florence, Rome, Naples and Palermo will be the destinations of this “grand tour” into the Italian cityscapes, as they appear fictionalized in 20 th century Italian literature and cinema. After investigating the city as a trope through the lens of Italo Calvino’s “Invisible Cities,” we will venture into the different narratives of these cities as seen through the eyes of high modern and contemporary writers, movie directors, painters and cartoonists, photographers and songwriters. We will analyze their own peculiar geographies of identity, linguistic enclaves, maps of inequalities, fabrics of memories . Readings and discussion will be in Italian.

The pre-requisite for this course is Italian 215 or an equivalent course taken abroad.

 

 

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