Italian

Website:  italian.sewanee.edu

Italian language and culture are taught in a full-immersion, communicative classroom, where students can work toward gaining proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and listening over as much as four semesters of study. The fourth semester, ITAL 301, combines an advanced grammar review with a focused introduction to Italian literature. Italian studies is excellent preparation for students wishing to study in Italy, as well as for students pursuing studies in literature, music, or art history. It is possible to satisfy the college’s general education requirement in a second language, or in the learning objective tagged as “comprehending cross-culturally” with ITAL 301.

Italian House

Students are encouraged to live for a semester or year in the Italian house.

Language Laboratory

The E.L. Kellerman Language Resource Center provides an opportunity for students in the modern foreign languages to immerse themselves in the sounds and culture of their target language. The facility features a state of the art Sanako Lab 100 system for practice with listening and speaking; a Satellite TV with stations in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish; wireless Apple Macbooks which can be checked out; a Sympodium for multimedia displays; and a cozy reading and viewing lounge with a library of foreign language books, magazines, and videos. Students can also access subscriptions to web-based language learning programs for reinforcing what is being taught in class as well as for learning languages not currently taught at the University. There is also Rosetta Stone software for Arabic, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Thai, and Turkish. Faculty and students alike take advantage of the language center’s audio- and video-editing equipment and analog-to-digital-conversion facilities in preparing engaging presentations for class. The Language Resource Center is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. except for Fridays when it closes at 4 p.m. and then reopens Sunday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The Italian studies minor is an interdisciplinary program of study in Italian language, literature, art, history, and culture. A semester of study at an approved program in Italy is highly recommended, but not required.

The minor offers some flexibility and can be tailored to complement major studies in English, Spanish, French, history, art history, medieval studies, music, international and global studies, and anthropology.

As a rule, the Department of Italian will offer two 300-level courses per year: one in English in the Advent semester and ITAL 301/ITAL 302/ITAL 303 in the Easter semester. Students with linguistic competency in Italian are encouraged to take the Italian language option for courses taught in English, which entails reading the original texts, participating in regular Italian-language discussion hours, and completing coursework in Italian.

Requirements for the Minor in Italian Studies

The minor requires successful completion of the following:

Course Requirements
Select one of the following:4
Introduction to Italian Literature
Introduction to Drama
Introduction to Prose
Select one of the following:4
An approved study abroad content course taught in Italian
An unduplicated course from ITAL 301, ITAL 302, or ITAL 303
Select three additional approved electives numbered 300 or above 1,212
Total Semester Hours20

Italian Courses

ITAL 103     Elementary Italian I  (4)

An intensive, introductory course with emphasis on the fundamentals of grammar (both written and spoken) and extensive practice in listening comprehension and reading. Four class hours per week.

ITAL 104     Elementary Italian II  (4)

An intensive, introductory course with emphasis on the fundamentals of grammar (both written and spoken) and extensive practice in listening comprehension and reading. Four class hours per week. Prerequisite: ITAL 103 or placement.

ITAL 203     Intermediate Italian  (4)

An intensive grammar review. Emphasis is on correct expression, vocabulary, and reading facility. Students completing this class may register for ITAL 301. Prerequisite: ITAL 104 or placement.

ITAL 301     Introduction to Italian Literature  (4)

This course serves as a bridge from language and culture courses to literary studies. Students read Italian poetry from the thirteenth century to the present, with discussions focusing on the comprehension of complex grammatical structures, tools for literary analysis, and historical-cultural analysis of Italian poetic works. Taught in Italian. Prerequisite: ITAL 203 or placement.

ITAL 302     Introduction to Drama  (4)

This course serves as a bridge from language and culture courses to literary studies. Students read Italian plays from the sixteenth century to the present, with discussions focusing on the comprehension of complex grammatical structures, tools for literary analysis, and historical-cultural analysis of Italian poetic works. Taught in Italian. Prerequisite: ITAL 203 or placement.

ITAL 303     Introduction to Prose  (4)

This course serves as a bridge from language and culture courses to literary studies. Students read texts in a variety of major genres (letters, short stories, travelogues, treatises, novels) from the fourteenth century to the present. Students also continue to develop language skills by observing complex grammatical structures while acquiring the tools needed to conduct literary analysis and criticism. Taught in Italian. Prerequisite: ITAL 203 or placement.

ITAL 304     Petrarch's Many Tongues  (4)

Petrarch has many claims to fame: master of the love sonnet, obsessive curator of the lyric self, father of humanism, stylistic exemplar to the Renaissance. Students will delve deeply into Petrarch's Canzoniere -- his major collection of poetry -- and his pithy works in prose, gaining a nuanced understanding of the 14th-century Italian author's contribution to the Western literary canon. All texts will be read and discussed in English; students with knowledge of Italian or Latin are encouraged to read in the original language.

ITAL 310     Being Good in Medieval and Renaissance Italy  (4)

This course involves the examination of medieval and Early Modern Italian texts that aim to define morals, ethics, or manners. What does it mean to be a good person? What makes for a good community? How should one order one's responsibilities to the self, community, and God? What is justice, and where might it be found? If people desire good things, why do they often find vice more interesting than virtue? Such questions are addressed through analysis of selected writings by Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch, Machiavelli, Baldassare Castiglione, and Giovanni Della Casa. Taught in English, but students with the equivalent of four semesters of Italian language may elect to do some reading or other coursework in Italian.

ITAL 325     Women Writers in Early Modern Italy  (4)

A study of poetry, plays, letters, treatises, and prose written by Italian women in the fifteenth-seventeenth centuries. Students examine the varied ways in which women in early modern Italy engaged questions of gender, aesthetics, ethics, and philosophy in their writings, encountered here in translation.

ITAL 350     Special Topics  (4)

Study of a variable topic of special interest pertaining to Italian literature, culture, or cinema. May be repeated when topic differs. Taught in English.

ITAL 355     Special Topics  (4)

An introduction to a literary genre or other special topic of interest in Italian literary or cultural studies. May be repeated when topic differs. Taught in Italian. Prerequisite: ITAL 203.

ITAL 440     Directed Reading  (4)

A study of Italian literature from the twelfth century to the present. Texts selected will vary each spring. Taught in Italian. May be taken more than once for credit. Prerequisite: Professor consent and prerequisite override required.