Italian Studies

Winter Quarter

Dept Course No and Title Instructor
Designed for students that are native, heritage, or second-language Spanish speakers, this course is an introduction to speaking, reading, writing and comprehending Italian with an emphasis on the numerous linguistic similarities between Italian and Spanish, and on the fascinating connections that link Italian and Spanish/Latin American cultures. It is an accelerated Italian language course, which covers Italian 1A and half of Italian 1B.  
Continuation of Italian 1A. Upon successful completion of this course, students will have developed the ability to speak and understand conversational Italian through active use of the language in the classroom. They will also be able to recognize and understand important features of Italian society and, most importantly, to use Italian beyond the university setting. This is a hybrid course: M, W, F taught remotely via zoom; Tu, Th online in asynchronous mode. Prerequisites: Italian 1A or permission of instructor.
No detailed description available.
The course has a content-based approach focusing on explorations of themes such as History of Italian language, Migration, Arts, Music and Society. Through authentic materials, students take an ideal “Viaggio in Italia” during the quarter and analyze these themes through literature, history, traditions, popular culture, songs and films. Prerequisites: Italian 2A, placement test, or permission of instructor.
This course examines women’s gendered experience in modern Italian culture. At once Mediterranean and European, majority Catholic but also resolutely secular, Italy offers a study in contrasts regarding the assignment and understanding of feminine gender roles. Ranging from the nineteenth century through the twentieth-century fascist era to Postwar and contemporary Italy, materials will include fiction, journalism, history, and film. Recurring themes will be labor, friendship, marriage, maternity, sexuality, race, reproductive rights, language, and national identity. One prism for considering these topics will be the blockbuster novel series by Elena Ferrante, My Brilliant Friend, and the television series based on those books.
No detailed description available.
No detailed description available.
Of all film genres, none was more quintessentially American than the western - until 1964, when director Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of
Dollars exploded onto the scene, inaugurating a new globalized era of Italian (or ‘spaghetti’) westerns. These films were typically more violent, darker in tone, and more parodic and self-conscious in thematic treatment than their American prototypes. From the mid-60s to the mid-70s more than 600 spaghetti westerns were produced, filmed primarily in Italy and Spain, and taking the genre in radically new directions, often by subverting the ideological underpinnings of theAmerican western. Drawing inspiration from such diverse sources as Japanese samurai film and Greek mythology, the spaghetti western took a fresh look at the American past, often raising to heroic prominence figures typically marginalized in the traditional western –such as Native Americans, Latinos, and Asian immigrants. At the same time, these films turned to new historical subject matter, above all the Mexican Revolution, in order to give expression to contemporary political concerns on the Italian left, such as American imperialism and the exploitation of capitalist underclasses. In this course we will examine a representative sample of the most ground-breaking and influential spaghetti westerns, including A Fistful of Dollars, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, Django, Navajo Joe, The Return of Ringo, They Call Me Trinity, The Big Gundown, A Bullet for the General, Face to Face, and Tepepa. We will consider the historical events, myths and films that spaghetti westerns draw inspiration from, as well as their enduring influence on the cinematic output of subsequent eras, as evidenced most recently in the Mandalorian series. The course will be conducted in English; any film without a satisfactory English-language version will be viewed in the Italian version with English subtitles.
An overview of the development of epic in the West, its themes, topoi and motifs. Understanding the role, nature and identity of the hero; the role of women and the figuration of gender; the development of the person; the nature and possibility of civic life; virtue, vice and their consequences; the relationship between city and countryside, private satisfaction and civic concern. Familiarity with the development of such themes and topoi as the Earthly Paradise; the locus amoenus: vows; rigidity versus flexibility; the meaning of Christian epic; control and containment; disguise; unity and multiplicity; illusion and reality; prudence and recklessness–and their interpenetration and redefinition. Readings will consist of excerpts from Homer, Virgil, Ovid, Dante, Pulci, Poliziano, Ariosto and Tasso..