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italian studies

Undergraduate Courses in Italian

Spring 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 100
The Medieval and Early Modern Reader
Prof. Johnston
(See Course Timetable(s) for time(s))

What was life like in the Italy of the Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period? What did people believe in and how did their beliefs shape individual lives, society, and culture at large? In order to find the answers to these questions, we will read and discuss a variety of literary and visual texts by the most significant late medieval and early modern Italian writers and artists, men and women, ranging from Saint Francis and Giotto to Leonardo da Vinci and Machiavelli, by way of the three Crowns of Florence – Dante, Petrarca, and Boccaccio – Catherine of Siena, Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Lucrezia Tornabuoni, Lorenzo de’ Medici, Angelo Poliziano, Botticelli, and others. We will learn how to analyze a text so that it reveals much more than what immediately apparent at a first reading or at first sight and see how religion, science, literature and the arts were closely interrelated. Classes will be conducted in English and all written materials will be available in English translation. The course may be counted towards the Major or Minor in Italian Studies.


Italian 110
Elementary Italian I
Staff
(See Course 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 all sections of this course will be available at the
Penn BOOKSTORE
( 3601 Walnut Street; (215)898-7595).


Italian 112
Elementary Italian: Accelerated
Staff
(See Course 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 all sections of this course will be available at the
Penn BOOKSTORE
( 3601 Walnut Street; (215)898-7595).


Italian 120
Elementary Italian II
Staff
(See Course Timetable(s) 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).

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


Italian 134
Intermediate Italian: Accelerated
Staff
(See Course 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 all sections of this course will be available at the
Penn BOOKSTORE
( 3601 Walnut Street; (215)898-7595).


Italian 140
Intermediate Italian II
Staff
(See Course Timetable(s) 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.

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


Italian 202
Advanced Italian
Staff
(See Course 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 Course 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. Pasqui
(See Course Timetable(s) for time(s))

In this sixth-semester conversation course in Italian, 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, such as the recent immigration and its impact on the Italian society; the role changes within family; fashion and food as a mirror of contemporary Italian society; school and education; 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. Some written essays will be also part of students’ homework.

This course is one of the elective courses valid for both minor and major at the University of Pennsylvania.


Italian 300
Literature and the Visual Arts
Prof. Veneziano Broccia
(See Course Timetable(s) for time(s))

This course will be taught in Italian and is open to students who have completed Italian 202. It will explore the relationship between literature and the visual arts in Italian culture. After tracing the relationship between poetry and painting in Dante, Petrarca, and Boccaccio, we will focus on the role of art in humanist education and on the debate on the sister arts and the "paragone" in the Quattrocento, particularly in Leonardo's Tratise on Painting. Our exploration will then continue on to later periods and texts ranging from tratises such as Ludovico Dolce's Dialogo della pittura to Giambattista Marino's poems on works of art, Foscolo's "Carme ad Antonio Canova", futurist manifestoes and visual poetry, to conclude with the intertwining of literature and painting on film.

All materials will be available on Blackboard and at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries.


Italian 333
Dante's Divine Comedy
Prof. Johnston
(See Course Timetable(s) for time(s))

In this course we will read the Inferno, the Purgatorio and the Paradiso, focusing on a series of interrelated problems raised by the poem: authority, fiction, history, politics and language. Particular attention will be given to how the Commedia presents itself as Dante's autobiography, and to how the autobiographical narrative serves as a unifying thread for this supremely rich literary text. Supplementary readings will include Virgil's Aeneid and selections from Ovid's Metamorphoses.

All readings and written work will be in English. Italian or Italian Studies credit will require reading Italian texts in their original language and doing the written assignments in Italian.

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

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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: March 22, 2011
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