ITAL 201

 Intermediate Italian I

Sara Marzioli

M T W    9:00 am-10:00 am




This course intends to reinforce students’ skills in grammar, composition, and spoken proficiency, through intensive grammar review, conversation practice, reading/analysis of short texts, writing simple compositions, as well as the use of magazine articles, video and songs.  Students engage in discussion and must complete compositions and oral reports based on Italian literary texts and cultural material. Prerequisites: Two semesters of elementary Italian or Intensive Italian 106 (or the equivalent).  Class size: 20



ITAL 231

 THE MIDDLE SEA: Mediterranean Encounters in Italy

Franco Baldasso

 T            11:50 am-1:10 pm

      Th    11:50 am-1:10 pm





Since Homer, the Mediterranean Sea had inspired the founding myths of countless civilizations that prospered and clashed on its shores. The “Middle Sea” represented for millennia the locus of cultural encounters par excellence. As the current migration crises showcase, however, it also constitutes a key geopolitical space of negotiation between national pretenses and transnational mobility of ideas, cultures, and bodies. By virtue of its position at the center of the Mediterranean, Italy and its multilayered culture offered a number of provisional answers to the ceaseless struggles taking place between North and South, East and West, Orientalism and Occidentalism. The course will address pivotal works of Italian literature and cinema able to destabilize acquired assumptions on identity, migration, gender and exile, from Boccaccio to Montale, to Pasolini and Carlo Levi, with a particular focus on Mediterranean artists working in Italy today, such as Predrag Matvejevic, Boris Pahor, Elvira Dones and Ferzan Özpetek.   Conducted in Italian. Class size: 20



ITAL 318


Franco Baldasso

M            1:30 pm-3:50 pm

OLIN 301



In his essays Traveling Theory and Traveling Theory Reconsidered, Edward Said underscored the importance of context and geographical dispersal for revolutionary potential to emerge—or to turn into domestication. In 1909 Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, an Italian poet stationed in Milan, but born in Alexandria (Egypt), founded in Paris the modern avant-garde with the publishing of his first Futurist Manifesto. Futurism’s breakthrough claims of refashioning Western culture from its very foundations rapidly spread all over the world. Futurism’s inextricable conundrum of art, politics and performance would then impact not only historical avant-gardes, from Dada to Surrealism, but also the idea of the intellectual as “arsonist” throughout the 20th Century.  This course approaches Italian Avant-gardes—with a focus also on Metaphysical Art and Magical Realism—in the transnational circulation of aesthetics of the early 20th Century, between bombastic nationalist claims and tragic negotiations with Fascism. Engaging with both literature and art, the course unravels the intricate, yet fascinating knot of aesthetics and politics at the core of modernism, by studying the birth of the avant-garde and its many contradictions between national anxieties and global movements of ideas.  Class size: 20