Italian Studies (ITAL)

* ITAL 020a / HUMS 020a, Six Pretty Good DogsSimona Lorenzini

We all have heard the phrase “Dogs are man’s best friends.” For thousands and thousands of years there has been an indissoluble friendship between man and dog, an unwritten covenant, a symbiotic relationship that has no equal in the animal world. Why do we consider them our ‘best friends’? And is this always true? If not, why do we sometimes fear dogs? What role have dogs played in our understanding of being human? This course explores images of dogs in 20th-21st Italian literature through six main categories: a man and his dog; dogs and inhumanity; dogs and exile; dogs and children; dogs and folktales; dogs and modern bestiary. We discuss and close read a variety of texts, which are representative of different strategies for reflecting on the self and on the ‘other’ by unpacking the unstable relationship between anthropomorphism, personification, and humanization. Hopefully, these texts impel us to understand how profoundly the animal is involved in the human and the human in the animal. This course is part of the "Six Pretty Good Ideas" program. Enrollment limited to first-year students.  All readings in English.   WR, HU1½ Course cr
MW 4pm-5:15pm

* ITAL 110a, Elementary Italian IStaff

A beginning course with extensive practice in speaking, reading, writing, and listening and a thorough introduction to Italian grammar. Activities include group and pairs work, role-playing, and conversation. Introduction to Italian culture through readings and films. Conducted in Italian.  L11½ Course cr

* ITAL 130a, Intermediate Italian IStaff

The first half of a two-term sequence designed to increase students' proficiency in the four language skills and advanced grammar concepts. Authentic readings paired with contemporary films. In-class group and pairs activities, role-playing, and conversation. Admits to ITAL 140. Conducted in Italian. ITAL 120 or equivalent.  L31½ Course cr

ITAL 150a, Advanced Composition and Conversation:Deborah Pellegrino

Discussion of social, political, and literary issues in order to improve active command of the language. Development of advanced reading skills through magazine and newspaper articles, essays, short stories, films, and a novel; enhancement of writing skills through experiments with reviews, essays, creative writing, and business and informal Italian. Classroom emphasis on advanced speaking skills and vocabulary building. Prerequisite: ITAL 140 or equivalent.  L5
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

* ITAL 159a, History and Culture of NaplesAnna Iacovella

Historical phenomena and literary and cultural movements that have shaped the city of Naples, Italy, from antiquity to the present. The linguistic richness and diversity that characterizes Naples; political, social, and cultural change; differences between standard Italian and the Neapolitan dialect in literature, film, and everyday life.  Prerequisite: ITAL 140 or equivalent.  L5, HU
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

* ITAL 162a, Introduction to Italian Literature: From the Duecento to the RenaissanceSimona Lorenzini

This is the first course in a sequence studying Italian Literature. The course aims to provide an introduction and a broad overview of Italian literature and culture from the Duecento to the Renaissance, specifically focusing on authors such as Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Machiavelli, Ariosto, and literary and artistic movements such as Humanism and Renaissance. These authors and their masterpieces are introduced through readings, works of art, listening materials, videos, and films. Great space is left for in-class discussion and suggestions from students who may take an interest in specific authors or subjects. This course is interactive and open, and the authors mentioned here are only indicative of the path that we follow. At the end of the course, students are able to analyze and critique literary works of different genres and time periods. The course is conducted in Italian. Prerequisite: ITAL 140 or equivalent.  L5, HU
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

ITAL 310a / HUMS 180a / LITR 183a, Dante in TranslationStaff

A critical reading of Dante's Divine Comedy and selections from the minor works, with an attempt to place Dante's work in the intellectual and social context of the late Middle Ages by relating literature to philosophical, theological, and political concerns. No knowledge of Italian required. Course conducted in English.  HUTr0 Course cr
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

ITAL 315a / HIST 280a / RLST 160a, The Catholic Intellectual TraditionStaff

Introductory survey of the interaction between Catholicism and Western culture from the first century to the present, with a focus on pivotal moments and crucial developments that defined both traditions. Key beliefs, rites, and customs of the Roman Catholic Church, and the ways in which they have found expression; interaction between Catholics and the institution of the Church; Catholicism in its cultural and sociopolitical matrices. Close reading of primary sources.  HU0 Course cr

* ITAL 337a / ER&M 236a / LITR 395a / WGSS 364a, Feminism without Women: Modernist and Postcolonial Textual ExperimentsSerena Bassi

Antifeminist critics charge the feminist movement with having forgotten “real women'' in favor of inaccessible theories rejecting the supposedly incontrovertible fact that there are only two sexes and genders. This seminar turns the charge on its head by exploring a theoretical and literary canon that - by questioning the ontological status of the male/female binary - has transformed feminism into a capacious, radically inclusive, revolutionary 21st Century movement. The texts and the theories that we discuss put pressure on the very category of “woman” as they strive to rethink feminism as a non-identitarian world-making project. The class focuses on two movements that employ art and literature to push back against the idea of “women” as the monolithic subject of feminism: Italian vanguard modernism and Italophone literary postcolonialism. We discuss modernist and postcolonial novels, poems, essays, and performative art pieces together with classics of feminist, queer and postcolonial theory. We push our own political imagination further by asking ever more sophisticated questions about gender, sexuality, ethnicity, race, and the way these intersecting social formations mediate the way we see, experience, and represent our material and social reality. The course is taught entirely in English. No previous knowledge of Italian language, art, or literature required. Students seeking departmental credit for Italian do their writing and reading in the original language, and attend a discussion session in Italian.  HU
W 9:25am-11:15am

ITAL 384a / FILM 362a / FREN 384a / JDST 289a / LITR 338a, Representing the HolocaustMaurice Samuels and Millicent Marcus

The Holocaust as it has been depicted in books and films, and as written and recorded by survivors in different languages including French and Italian. Questions of aesthetics and authority, language and its limits, ethical engagement, metaphors and memory, and narrative adequacy to record historical truth. Interactive discussions about films (Life Is Beautiful, Schindler's List, Shoah), novels, memoirs (Primo Levi, Charlotte Delbo, Art Spiegelman), commentaries, theoretical writings, and testimonies from Yale's Fortunoff Video Archive.  WR, HU
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

* ITAL 470a and ITAL 471a, Special Studies in Italian LiteratureSimona Lorenzini

A series of tutorials to direct students in special interests and requirements. Students meet regularly with a faculty member.

* ITAL 491a, The Senior EssaySimona Lorenzini

A research essay on a subject selected by the student in consultation with the faculty adviser.