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italian studies

Undergraduate Courses in Italian

Spring 2009

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 Department Roster)


Italian 110
Elementary Italian
Staff
(See Roster for time(s))

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
Staff
(See Roster for time(s))

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 II
Staff
(See Roster for time(s))

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.

Prerequisite(s): Italian 110 or a score equivalent for placement in level 120 on the Italian placement exam (see Romance Languages Department).


Italian 130
Intermediate Italian
Staff
(See Roster 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.

Prerequisite(s): Completion of Italian 120 at Penn or a placement score between 450 and 540 on the Achievement Exam (SAT II).


Italian 134
Intermediate Italian: Accelerated
Staff
(See Roster for time(s))

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 an exceptionally strong performance in Italian 120 are allowed to enroll with a departmental permit. See course descriptions of Italian 130 and 140.


I talian 140
Intermediate Italian II
Staff
(See Roster for time(s))

Prerequisite(s): Italian 130 or a score equivalent for placement in level 140 on the Italian placement exam (see Romance Languages Department).

Italian 140 is the second half of a two-semester intermediate sequence, which 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 course textbook, together with all supplementary materials, will allow you to explore culturally relevant topics and develop cross-cultural skills through the exploration of analogies and differences between your native culture and the Italian world, thus building a bridge of cultural and linguistic awareness and strengthening your language skills. 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.


Italian 180
Italian Conversation in Residence
Staff
TBA

Must be resident of the Modern Language House


Italian 202
Advanced Italian
STAFF
(See Roster for time(s))

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 203
(cross listed: COLL-228; COML-203)

Italian Literature
Prof. Benini
(See Roster 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.


Italian 204
(cross listed: CINE-240)
History on Screen: How Movies Tell the Story of Italy
Prof. Kirkham
(See Roster for time(s))

Italian civilization in its encyclopedic sweep, from ancient Rome to the contemporary scene, will be studied through the historian’s eye and the film maker’s lens. How does history “change” depending on the time, place, and medium of our retrospective? How do movies, with their stories of military conquests, cultural heroes, romantic intrigue and scandal, differ from accounts in the annals of history? Do directors from other cultures see it differently from natives? Are there stereotypes? Readings (Machiavelli’s Prince, modern historical texts) will be paired with a a range of film types (the spectacle with a cast of thousands, costume drama, Neorealist slice-of-life, political exposé, documentary recreation) focused on successive periods: the Roman Empire, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Unification, Turn of the Century, Fascist era, World War II, post-war years, and Italy today. Students will independently view one film per week (available in the library); supplementary clips will be shown by the professor in class for comparison. Course taught in English; films with English subtitles, all readings in English. No prerequisites.


Italian 205
Italia Viva Voce
Prof. Longo
(See Roster for time(s))

In this advanced conversation course, taught exclusively in Italian, students will perfect their communication skills and learn to use the most appropriate register in a variety of formal and informal situations while exploring significant aspects of contemporary Italian culture. Listening and speaking activities - role plays, discussions, oral presentations, internet forums, etc. - will be based on audio-visual material (songs, pictures, audio and video clips) and written texts (newspaper articles, literary texts) provided by the instructor and/or proposed by the students themselves based on their explorations of the Italian web. Linguistic structures will be revised as needed. Some writing will also be required in preparation for class discussions, oral presentations, and as part of the final project.

Prerequisite(s): Either completion of Italian 202 or enrollment in Italian 202 concurrently with enrollment in Italian 205. Heritage speakers and students who have completed five semesters of Italian at another institution will be considered on an individual basis.  


Italian 208
Business Italian
STAFF
(See Roster for time(s))


 Italian 300
Codifying Society: the Italian Treatise from the Trecento to the Cinquecento
Prof. Johnston
(See Roster for time(s))

This course will explore the treatise as literary genre and document of the development of Italian society from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century.  We will take into consideration treatises ranging in subject from love to economics, from science to politics to art.  Some of the authors we will discuss are Dante, Leon Battista Alberti, Leonardo, Castiglione, and Machiavelli.  The varied and varying interests of the growing Italian cultural elite as revealed in our readings will be discussed in relation to relevant historical and cultural events of the time.  The course will be taught in Italian.  All materials will be available online or at the Van Pelt Library Rosengarten Reserve.


Italian 380
(cross listed: CINE-340; COML-382)

Family and Society in Italian Cinema and Culture
Prof. Finotti
(See Roster 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.


 Italian 398
Honors Thesis
Staff


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: December 16, 2008
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