Students who are lovers of ancient Rome or Renaissance Florence, of soccer, pasta or Petrarch, will find something for them in the Italian program. Our undergraduate curriculum affords preparation in language, literature and culture as well as opportunities for travel and study abroad. We offer a rich variety of courses in Italian language, literature and culture, with particular attention to their relation to history, politics and the arts. Our summer, semester and year-long study abroad programs in Castelraimondo (Le Marche) and Padua also will enable students to immerse themselves in Italian culture, thereby deepening their understanding of it. The study of Italian will prepare students for a career in international business, international medicine, international law, international relations or diplomacy, as well as in the fine arts and teaching.

Italian majors who plan to apply to professional schools or to pursue graduate studies in Italian literature, comparative literature, philosophy, history, art history, music, film or other related fields are encouraged to pursue independent research in the senior year. Writing a senior honors thesis provides students with a unique opportunity to apply the knowledge they acquire in their courses to a topic of their choosing, through close collaboration with a member of our faculty. In this and all aspects of students' preparation, we take an active interest in them, providing support and encouragement throughout their studies as they become dynamic, conscientious and informed members of today's global community. The Italian program extends beyond the courses we teach. We also offer ongoing series of lectures, films and artistic performances, as well as student-organized social activities through ITALO, our student organization, all of which contribute to the intellectually dynamic and personally rewarding social environment of our section. Benvenuti a tutti!

Contact:Professor Michael Sherberg
Phone:314-935-5175
Email:sherberg@wustl.edu
Website:http://rll.wustl.edu

The Major in Italian

Total units required: 27 units (24 for second majors). Of these 27 units, 3 may be taken outside of the Italian department (L36) with the approval of the major adviser.

Required courses (in Italian):

Ital 307DGrammar and Composition I3
Ital 308DGrammar and Composition II3

Two of the following courses: (6 units)

Ital 323CItalian Literature I3
Ital 324WItalian Literature II - Writing Intensive3
Ital 327History of the Italian Language3
Two Italian 400-level seminars6

Additional Information

Students must maintain an average of B- or better and must maintain a B or better in Italian. Courses taken credit/no credit do not count toward the Italian major.

Study Abroad: Students are strongly encouraged to participate in a study abroad program.  We offer a six-week summer program in Castelraimondo in the Marche region and a semester abroad program at our affiliate program with Boston University's Centro in Padua. These programs are considered in residence.

Senior Honors: Students are encouraged to work toward Latin Honors (cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude). To qualify for Latin Honors in the major by thesis, a student must complete special literary research and prepare and orally defend an Honors thesis, which is judged by an Honors faculty committee. To qualify for Latin Honors by course work, a student must enroll in: 1) Ital 4951 (Senior Honors, fall of senior year); and 2) Ital 495 (Senior Honors, spring of the senior year). Recommendations for Honors are based on performance and the quality of the thesis, plus the student's cumulative grade point average. (Please refer to departmental guidelines for more information about Latin Honors.)

Transfer Credits: 18 of the 27 units required for the major must be taken in residence. Courses not taken at Washington University may count toward the major only with departmental permission.

The Minor in Italian

Total units required: 18

Required courses (in Italian):

Ital 307DGrammar and Composition I3
Ital 308DGrammar and Composition II3

Two of the following courses: (6 units)

Ital 323CItalian Literature I3
Ital 324WItalian Literature II - Writing Intensive3
Ital 327History of the Italian Language3

Elective courses:

Ital 301Oral Communication I3
Ital 319Advanced Conversational Italian3
Ital 3221Topics: The Jewish Experience in Italy3
Ital 3224Topics: From Basilisks to Botticelli: The Birth, Development and Politics of Museums in Italy3
Ital 332Topics in Film Studies: Italian Cinema3
Ital 334Topics in Italian Cinema3
Ital 350Special Topics in Italian Literature and Culture
Ital 428The New Sicilian School3
Ital 430Divergent Voices: Italian Women Writers3
Ital 433Literature of the Italian Enlightenment3
Ital 437Caffe, Cadavers, Comedy and Castrati: Italy in the Age of the Grand Tour3
Ital 473Machiavelli and Guicciardini3
Ital 481Dante3
Ital 483Boccaccio: Decameron3
Ital 485Ariosto: Orlando Furioso3
Ital 491Postmodernism3
Ital 492The Italian Detective Novel3

Additional Information

Students must maintain an average of B- or better and must maintain a B or better in Italian. Courses taken credit/no credit do not count toward the Italian major.

Students are strongly encouraged to participate in a study abroad program. Please refer to the Italian page on the Romance Languages home page for more information on Italian study abroad programs.

Visit online course listings to view semester offerings for L36 Ital.


L36 Ital 1015 Introductory Italian for Visual Arts

This course offers an introduction to the study of Italian in an art and art-historical context. Students learn methods of oral communication in everyday situations and a working vocabulary for the visual arts: drawing, painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, the museum, etc. By semester's end students are able to talk and write about works of art — either their own or others' — in Italian.

Credit 4 units. A&S: LA A&S IQ: LCD, LS EN: H


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L36 Ital 101D Elementary Italian, Level I

Beginning language program stressing rapid acquisition of spoken ability, with some attention to the development of reading, writing and listening skills as well. Designed for students with no prior knowledge of Italian or minimal experience in another Romance language.

Credit 3 units. A&S: LA A&S IQ: LCD, LS BU: HUM


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L36 Ital 102D Elementary Italian, Level II

Continuation of Ital 101D. Course stresses rapid acquisition of spoken ability with increased attention to the development of reading, writing and listening skills. Prerequisite: Ital 101D or placement by examination.

Credit 3 units. A&S: LA A&S IQ: LCD, LS BU: HUM


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L36 Ital 106D Accelerated Beginning Italian I

Designed for students whose previous study of French or Spanish enables them to grasp the principles and rules of Italian grammar more efficiently. Emphasis on all four language skills: speaking, listening, reading, writing. Prerequisites: undergraduates, four years of high school French or Spanish, or French/Span 201D; no prerequisite for graduate students in Romance languages; graduate students in other fields admitted by permission of instructor.

Credit 3 units. A&S: LA A&S IQ: LCD, LS BU: HUM


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L36 Ital 107D Accelerated Elementary Italian II

Continuation of Italian 106D. Designed for students whose previous study of French or Spanish enables them to grasp the principles and rules of Italian grammar more efficiently. Emphasis on all four language skills: speaking, listening, reading, writing. Prerequisite: Italian 106D or permission of instructor.

Credit 3 units. A&S: LA A&S IQ: LCD, LS BU: HUM


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L36 Ital 201D Italian, Level III

This course offers an intensive review of the basics of Italian grammar and introduces new features of Italian necessary for the advancing student. Readings appropriate to the third semester complement the grammar study. Students speak and write in Italian at all times in an effort to integrate what they have learned. Regular compositions and exams, as well as a final exam. Prerequisite: Ital 102D or higher.

Credit 3 units. A&S: LA A&S IQ: LCD, LS BU: HUM


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L36 Ital 215 Conversation/Culture

This course examines popular culture through a focus on what is said and performed. The course consists of thematic units focusing on everyday occurrences and themes that mark the Italian experience, such as conversation in the Italian bar; poignant views of life expressed in films and other media; daily experiences depicted in poems and songs; public and private politics; the role of the meal in real life, art and literature. As students advance through each thematic module, they develop a creative project in which they put into practice (by a skit/presentation/text/art work) what they have learned. Prerequisite: Ital 102D or the equivalent.

Credit 3 units. A&S: LA A&S IQ: LCD BU: HUM


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L36 Ital 216 Conversation

A continuation of Ital 215, this course emphasizes the development of speaking skills in Italian through study of aspects of contemporary Italian culture in particular art, music, film and politics.

Credit 2 units. BU: HUM


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L36 Ital 247 Freshman Seminar

Taught in English. Small group seminar devoted to readings and study of other texts such as films, paintings, etc.; discussion and writing. Topics vary; interdisciplinary focus.

Credit 3 units.


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L36 Ital 249 Refracted Light: How Others View Italy

Throughout the centuries Italy has both enjoyed and suffered the fascinated gaze of foreigners, who have written about it, painted it, made music and films about it. Drawing principally on prose writings from the 18th to the 20th centuries, in such varied genres as the short story, the novel, the mystery novel, travel writing and the memoir, this course examines the images of Italy that non-Italians project. Beyond learning about Italy, students consider their own "idea" of Italy, examine their own frame of reference and cultural biases, interrogate a variety of stereotypes, and ponder how well one can truly understand a place as an outsider or reader. Authors studied include Stendhal, Dickens, James, Forster and Mann, as well as such contemporary writers as Michael Dibdin and Shirley Hazzard.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM, LCD BU: HUM


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L36 Ital 2991 Undergraduate Independent Study

Prerequisite: Ital 201D and permission of the department. No more than 6 units may be earned by a student.

Credit 3 units. A&S IQ: HUM EN: H


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L36 Ital 301 Oral Communication I

Designed to offer students an opportunity to practice and refine their conversational skills while expanding their practical vocabulary. Wide variety of topics for discussion; brief oral reports. Regular homework assignments with emphasis on web-based research and learning. Prerequisite: Ital 201D.

Credit 3 units. A&S: LA A&S IQ: LCD BU: HUM EN: H


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L36 Ital 307D Grammar and Composition I

This course features advanced lessons in Italian grammar and vocabulary and an introduction to prose analysis, with the goal of improving both reading and writing in Italian. The basis of our work will be a series of readings of major 19th- through 21st-century literary works focused on childhood and young adulthood in Italy. Grammar exams and regular composition assignments. Essential for further study of Italian language and literature, this course must be taken before or concurrently with Ital 323C and 324C. Prerequisite: Ital 201D, or permission of instructor.

Credit 3 units. A&S: LA A&S IQ: LCD, LS BU: HUM


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L36 Ital 308D Grammar and Composition II

A continuation of Italian 307D, this course features advanced lessons in Italian syntax and vocabulary and an introduction to the analysis of poetry and theatrical texts, with the goal of improving both reading and writing in Italian. The basis of our work is a series of readings having a common theme, desire requited and unrequited. We think about what poets desire, how they give verbal expression to it, and how the success or failure of their pursuit informs their writing. Likewise we look at how playwrights exploit this theme as a plot device. Readings include poetry by Petrarch, Michelangelo, Tasso and Montale, as well as two comedies. Grammar exams and regular composition assignments; final exam. Essential for further study of Italian language and literature, this course must be taken concurrently with Italian 323C or 324C. Prerequisite: Ital 307D or permission of instructor.

Credit 3 units. A&S: LA A&S IQ: LCD, LS BU: HUM


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L36 Ital 310 Advanced Italian Grammar in Padua

This advanced Italian grammar course is taught every year in the Boston University program in Padua, Italy, with which Washington University is affiliated. The course allows students to further their mastery of Italian grammar and syntax, in order to achieve a level of full satisfaction of comprehension and active communication. Readings include newspaper articles and literary essays; students write brief compositions while taking weekly tests. Open only to Washington University students enrolled in the Padua, Italy, program with Boston University.

Credit 4 units. BU: HUM


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L36 Ital 311 Introduction to Contemporary Italy

This course is taught every year in the Boston University program in Padua, Italy, with which Washington University is affiliated. The course focuses on refining students' ability to express themselves in Italian while presenting an overview of the history and society of contemporary Italy. Readings include works by authors who are particularly significant to Italian literature of the 20th century, as well as an array of other materials. Open only to Washington University students enrolled in the Padua, Italy, program with Boston University.

Credit 4 units.


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L36 Ital 319 Advanced Conversational Italian

Designed to offer students with strong proficiency in Italian an opportunity to practice and refine their conversational skills through the study, rehearsal and performance of theatrical scenes or an Italian comedy from the repertoire of such chief literary figures as Machiavelli, Goldoni, Pirandello, Natalia Ginzburg and Dario Fo. Prerequisite: Ital 215 or placement by examination.

Credit 3 units. A&S: LA A&S IQ: LCD BU: HUM


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L36 Ital 321 Independent Study

Credit variable, maximum 3 units.


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L36 Ital 322 Topics

Same as Drama 3221. A multidisciplinary course focusing on a significant aspect of Italian culture. The topic differs from semester to semester and may draw on art, film, history, gender studies, literature, music, philosophy, politics, science. Prerequisite: previous or concurrent enrollment in Ital 307D.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM, LCD BU: HUM EN: H


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L36 Ital 3221 Topics: The Jewish Experience in Italy

This course will examine the social and political history of the Jews of Italy from the period of Italian unification through the end of World War II. We will look through two different prisms: first, the constant of Jews' minority status in a Catholic country at a time when Church doctrine was hostile to them, and second, their changing status during significant moments in the brief history of the Italian monarchy. Under the latter rubric, we will study the rehabilitation of the Jews under liberal political philosophies, their problematic relationship with Fascism, and finally the arrival of the Holocaust in Italy and efforts to defend Jews against Nazi genocide. We will approach these topics wherever possible through primary texts, including essays, memoirs and novels. Reading knowledge of Italian is not required. Readings in English; some readings in Italian for Italian majors. Discussion in English. Prerequisite for Italian majors: Ital 307D; no prerequisite for students in other majors. Three five-page papers. Please note: The Ital 5221 cross-listing course is for graduate students only.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM, LCD EN: H


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L36 Ital 3224 Topics: From Basilisks to Botticelli: The Birth, Development and Politics of Museums in Italy

This course investigates the rise and cultural authority of museums in Italy from the Renaissance to the 20th century. The course unfolds chronologically, beginning with the distant precursors and etymological roots of the museum in ancient Alexandria and Rome. We trace the origins of the museum in the art collection and patronage that surged during the Renaissance, including the 16th- and 17th-century Curiosity Cabinet with its fossils, mythical basilisks, gems and weapons and church displays of religious and classical art. We will study the establishment during the Enlightenment in Italy of the first public art museums epitomized by the Vatican Museums, the Uffizi Gallery and the Capitoline Museums. We will conclude by examining the impact on national and cultural identity of Fascist propaganda museums instituted under Mussolini's regime. No prerequisites.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM, LCD EN: H


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L36 Ital 323C Italian Literature I

Introductory survey of Italian literature from its beginnings in the Middle Ages through the late Renaissance. Analysis of the predominant genres: lyric, religious narrative, novella, treatise, chivalric epic. Previous or concurrent enrollment in Ital 307D or 308D recommended. Prerequisite: Ital 201D.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Art: HUM BU: HUM, IS EN: H


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L36 Ital 323W Italian Literature I — Writing-Intensive Seminar

Introductory survey of Italian literature from its beginnings in the Middle Ages through the late Renaissance. Analysis of the predominant genres: lyric, religious narrative, novella, treatise, chivalric epic. This is a writing-intensive version of the previously offered course Ital 323C. Prerequisite: Ital 201D. Previous or concurrent enrollment in Ital 307D or 308D recommended.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, LA, WI A&S IQ: HUM, LCD, LS, WI BU: IS EN: H


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L36 Ital 324C Italian Literature II

Framed by the age-old questions of Italian national identity and language, this introductory literature course undertakes a chronological survey of the history of Italian literature from the 1600s to the present day. We will study select works by major authors, including Galileo Galilei's "heretical" dialogues, the realistic comedies of Carlo Goldoni, poems and essays by the Romantic poet Giacomo Leopardi, the revolutionary dramas of Luigi Pirandello, the Futurist's celebration of speed, war and technology in the visual and literary arts, and the postmodern fiction of Italo Calvino. Prerequisite: Ital 201D. Previous or concurrent enrollment in Ital 307D or 308D recommended.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Art: HUM BU: IS EN: H


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L36 Ital 327 History of the Italian Language

In this course we trace the evolution of Italian from its very earliest written manifestations to its increasing internationalization in the 20th and 21st centuries. We study the natural evolution of Italian up until the 16th century; its codification as a literary language during the 16th century; the debates over the institution of a national language that coincided with the unification of Italy in the 19th century; the recovery of dialects as literary languages in the 20th century; and the more recent incorporation of words and phrases originating outside of Italy. Along the way we come to understand the reasons why we study a particular form of Italian in school, and we consider the implications of these choices not only for our own learning but for Italian literature and its sense of nationhood.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, LA A&S IQ: HUM, LCD, LS BU: IS EN: H


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L36 Ital 332 Topics in Film Studies: Italian Cinema

Among the great European- and world-cinematic traditions, Italian cinema ranks near the top. Making its breakthrough around 1945, it has continued to surprise and challenge audiences in the decades that followed. After a brief review of the early decades of Italian film, we focus on the first two decades of postwar cinema, beginning with neorealism, continuing through the boom years of the 1950s, and ending with the new introspection of the 1960s. Looking at the movies of five great directors — Rossellini, De Sica, Fellini, Antonioni and Visconti — we consider their evolving aesthetic and their engagement with both history writ large and the social and political issues that inform Italian life as the nation struggles to reconstruct an identity shattered by fascism and war. Course conducted in English; Italian majors must read in Italian, others in English translation. Three class hours per week plus a three-hour film viewing.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Art: HUM BU: IS


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L36 Ital 334 Topics in Italian Cinema

A companion to Ital 332, this course focuses on a select topic in the history of Italian cinema, such as the work of a single director or a significant cinematic movement. Course conducted in English. Italian majors read in Italian, others in English translation. Prerequisite for Italian majors: Ital 307D. Prerequisite for nonmajors: Ital 332, Film 220, or permission of instructor.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH BU: IS


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L36 Ital 404 Senior Independent Study in Italian

Prerequisites: senior status; Ital 307D, 308D, 323C, 324C; and permission of instructor.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH


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L36 Ital 419 Feminist Literary and Cultural Theory

This course is intended to acquaint students with basic ideas and issues raised by a diversity of voices in contemporary feminist and cultural theory. Readings cover a wide range of approaches and tendencies within feminism, among them: French feminism, Foucauldian analyses of gender and sexuality, lesbian and queer theories, Third World/postcolonial feminism, and feminism by women of color. Given that feminist theories developed in response to and in dialogue with wider sociopolitical, cultural and philosophical currents, the course explores feminist literary and cultural theory in an interdisciplinary context. Note: This course is in the core curriculum for the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies graduate certificate. Prerequisite: advanced course work in WGSS or in literary theory (300-level and above) or permission of the instructor.
Same as L77 WGSS 419

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM Arch: HUM Art: HUM


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L36 Ital 428 The New Sicilian School

The unification of Italy in the mid-19th century led to the creation of a new "Sicilian School," the first since that of the court poets associated with Frederick II in the 13th century. These new Sicilian writers have given us many narrative masterpieces, focusing on common concerns such as the island's identity over two millennia and the impact of Italian nationalism; the rise of bourgeois culture and the decline of indigenous patriarchal structures; the rule of law and the role of the Mafia; and the politics of language. We read novels by Verga, Pirandello, Vittorini, Brancati, Tomasi di Lampedusa and Sciascia. Course taught in Italian or English.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, WI A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Art: HUM EN: H


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L36 Ital 430 Divergent Voices: Italian Women Writers

This course engages the fictional and political works of Italian women writers from the 17th century to the present day. We will read one of the acclaimed Neapolitan novels of Elena Ferrante, who is considered by many to be the most important Italian fiction writer of her generation. We will examine a cloistered Venetian nun's defiant 1654 indictment of the misogynist society that forced her into the convent. We will confront the reality of a woman writer who in 1901 was compelled to choose between her child and her literary career. Among other contemporary writers, we will study the humorous and radical feminist one-acts of playwright Franca Rame. Taught in English. No final.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, SD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD EN: H


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L36 Ital 432 Divergent Voices: Italian Women Writers

This course examines select novels, poetry and political writings by such noted authors as Sibilla Aleramo, Dacia Maraini, Luisa Muraro and Anna Banti. Special attention is paid to the historical, political and cultural contexts that influenced authors and their work. Textual and critical analysis focuses on such issues as historical revisionism in women's writing, female subjectivity and the origins and development of contemporary Italian feminist thought and practice. Taught in English.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, SD, WI A&S IQ: HUM, LCD, SD Art: HUM


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L36 Ital 433 Literature of the Italian Enlightenment

This course aims to explore the spectrum of intellectual and literary discourse of the Italian Enlightenment by examining a wide array of texts and genres. Readings include selections from Enlightenment and popular periodicals, scientific tracts on human anatomy, women's fashion magazines, the reformed theater of Carlo Goldoni, as well as Arcadian poetry, and literary criticism. We study the rise and characteristics of "coffee culture" during this age. We pay special attention to the "woman question," which stood at the center of 18th-century Italian intellectual discourse, and which was critical to the contemporary drive to define the enlightened nation-state. The class is conducted as a workshop in which students and instructor collaborate in the realization of course goals. Readings in Italian or English; discussion in English. Prerequisite: Ital 323C or Ital 324C.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, WI Art: HUM


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L36 Ital 437 Caffe, Cadavers, Comedy and Castrati: Italy in the Age of the Grand Tour

Taught in English. With French libertine philosopher the Marquis de Sade, German novelist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Romantic poet Lord Byron and other illustrious travelers of high birth and good fortune who sought finishing enrichment by making their Grand Tour to Italy from the mid-18th through the early 19th centuries, we explore the richness and variety of Italian life and culture as depicted by both Grand Tourists as well as their Italian interlocutors. Chief among our destinations are Venice, Bologna, Florence and Rome. Attractions typical of the early modern Tour circumscribe our journey. Coffee houses first appeared in the 18th century and, in ways strikingly similar to their function today, became the real and symbolic centers of social, intellectual and civil exchange. We explore 18th-century coffee culture through comedies and Enlightenment and popular journals that took them as their theme, as well as through a study of the coffee houses themselves, a number of which are still in existence. Theaters, concert halls, gaming houses, literary and scientific academies, galleries, churches and universities are part of the standardized itinerary we follow. During the period, anatomy and physiology attained new legitimacy as crucial scientific disciplines and we visit both the anatomical theater at the University of Bologna, where the annual Carnival dissection took place, as well as the first museum of anatomy and obstetrics founded in the Bolognese Institute of Sciences in 1742 by Pope Benedict XIV. We visit archeological excavation sites, in particular Pompeii, first unearthed in 1748. Fashion, an obsessive preoccupation of the day, also is a point of interest in our travels. Through primary and recently published secondary sources we also encounter the remarkable authority of Italian women unmatched anywhere else in Europe at the time. Prerequisite: at least one 300-level literature course. Readings in Italian or English.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, CD, WI A&S IQ: HUM, LCD BU: HUM EN: H


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L36 Ital 456 Romance Philology

Study of the evolution of the major Romance languages from their common Latin origins. Knowledge of classical Latin not required, but acquaintance with phonetics of at least one Romance language extremely helpful. Conducted in English. Prerequisites: French 325 and French 326 or one of these courses and the equivalent Washington University transfer literature course from Toulouse or Paris. One-hour preceptorial for undergraduates.
Same as L34 French 456

Credit 3 units. A&S: LA


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L36 Ital 462 Prose Writers of the 16th Century

With the triumph of the vernacular in 16th-century Italy, the peninsula bore witness not just to an outpouring of poetic works but to the arrival of some of the most important prose works in the Italian canon prior to the advent of the novel. In this course we'll conduct close readings of two treatises, Machiavelli's Prince and Castiglione's Book of the Courtier. We'll study these works for their linguistic and rhetorical features as well as their historical context and ideological content. We'll also consult some secondary readings to help us understand the place of each in the political and cultural landscape of Renaissance Italy. Readings in Italian or English; discussion in English.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH


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L36 Ital 473 Machiavelli and Guicciardini

The development of modern political science in 16th-century Italy. We address questions of both theory and methodology in Machiavelli's and Guicciardini's political visions. We also pay close attention to the Florentine context of their work, as well as to the influence of historical examples, both classical and contemporary, in the development of their analyses. Finally, we ask how the examples they set, and the theories they promulgate, can have resonance in addressing political questions in our own age. Readings in Italian or English; discussion in English.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, WI A&S IQ: HUM, LCD EN: H


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L36 Ital 481 Dante

This course features an in-depth approach to Dante's "Inferno," the first, and in many ways the most famous, of the three parts of the Divina Commedia. We study the structure of the poem as well as the structure of Dante's Hell, his verse form and use of the vernacular, his notion of sin and punishment and its relation to the theological traditions of which he is an heir. Because so much of the poem is rooted in and extends Dante's autobiography — literary, sentimental and political — we also read two other important texts by him, his early Vita Nuova (New Life) and his political treatise, Monarchy. Reading knowledge of Italian helpful but not required. Course conducted in English.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Arch: HUM Art: HUM


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L36 Ital 483 Boccaccio: Decameron

The unrivaled master of late medieval Italian prose, Boccaccio is also a strikingly modern author whose works address such questions as the relationship between literature and history; God and man; storyteller and audience; gender, language and power; literature and truth. With these and other concerns in mind, we read his masterpiece, the Decameron, a collection of 100 tales set in the Black Plague of 1348. We then contrast it to his late Corbaccio, ostensibly a misogynist novel but a text that finally resists such a flattening judgment. Readings in Italian or English; discussion in English. Prerequisite: 3 units of literature.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, WI A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Art: HUM


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L36 Ital 485 Ariosto: Orlando Furioso

A close reading of this Renaissance masterpiece with attention to questions of structure and sources, the themes of love and madness, the representation of court life. Readings in Italian or English; discussion in English.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM, LCD Art: HUM


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L36 Ital 491 Postmodernism

This course explores the complex significance of Italian Postmodernism through an examination of the theoretical arguments and literary works that have shaped the cultural and political debate of the past 50 years. Students study, among others, the critical theories of "open work" (Umberto Eco), "literature as lie" (Manganelli), and "weak thought" (Gianni Vattimo) that developed from the neo–avant-garde movement of the 1960s. Analysis focuses on the novels of four authors who have had a defining influence on Italian postmodern thought and narrative forms: Carlo Emilio Gadda, Italo Calvino, Luigi Malerba and Umberto Eco. Course conducted in English; Italian majors read in Italian, others in English translation. Prerequisite for Italian majors: Ital 307D or permission of instructor.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, WI


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L36 Ital 492 The Italian Detective Novel

The detective novel has an unusual and exceptionally brief history in Italy. Only within the past 35 years has an Italian version or, more precisely, subversion of the genre emerged and come to dominate the Italian literary scene. Prominent Italian writers such as Italo Calvino, Umberto Eco, Leonardo Sciascia and Luigi Malerba have deconstructed the conventions of the detective novel in order to portray the disorder and arbitrary meaning of the postmodern world. This course explores the history of the "anti-detective" novel in Italy and the philosophical and political questions the genre evokes. Readings in Italian and English. Conducted in English.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, WI Art: HUM


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L36 Ital 495 Senior Honors

Prerequisites: senior standing, at least one course at the 400 level, and acceptance into the Honors program.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH


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L36 Ital 4951 Honors

Prerequisites: senior standing, at least one course at the 400 level, and acceptance into the Honors program. Pass/fail.

Credit 3 units. A&S: TH EN: H


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