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ALL Course Descriptions

FRENCH Course Catalogue
ITALIAN Course Catalogue

French Course Catalogue

Introductory and Intermediate French Language Courses

FRENCH 111-1, 2, 3 Elementary French

Conversation, grammar, reading, and writing for beginners. Four class meetings a week.
French 111-1 Prerequisite: None.
French 111-2 Prerequisite: Grade of at least C- in FRENCH 111-1 or Department placement.
French 111-3 Prerequisite: Grade of at least C- in FRENCH 111-2 or Department placement.

FRENCH 115-1,2 Intensive Elementary French

For students with some previous experience in French. Review and development of skills in speaking, understanding, reading, and writing as preparation for work at the second-year level. Four class meetings a week.
French 115-1 Prerequisite: Department placement.
French 115-2 Prerequisite: Grade of at least C- in FRENCH 115-1 or Department placement.

FRENCH 121-1, 2, 3 Intermediate French

Grammar review, conversation, reading, and writing. Four class meetings a week.
French 121-1 Prerequisite: Grade of at least C- in FRENCH 111-3 or Department placement.
French 121-2 Prerequisite: Grade of at least C- in FRENCH 121-1 or Department placement.
French 121-3 Prerequisite: Grade of at least C- in FRENCH 121-2 or Department placement.

FRENCH 125-1,2, 3 Intensive Intermediate French

French language and culture: conversation, composition, reading of cultural and literary texts, and grammar review. Three class meetings a week.
French 125-1 Prerequisite: Grade of at least C- in FRENCH 115-2 or Department placement.
French 125-2 Prerequisite: Grade of at least C- in FRENCH 125-1 or Department placement.
French 125-3 Prerequisite: Grade of at least C- in FRENCH 125-2 or Department placement.

FRENCH 201-0 Culture and Society

Development of fluency, accuracy, and creativity in speaking, comprehension, reading, and writing French; introduction to social, cultural, and literary topics. Prerequisite: Grade of at least C- in FRENCH 121-3 or Department placement.

FRENCH 202-0 Writing Workshop: Cultural Encounters in Contemporary France

Practical study of French grammar and structure; students develop and improve writing skills through practice in preparing short compositions. Prerequisite: FRENCH 125-3, FRENCH 201-0, or Department placement.

FRENCH 203-0 Oral Workshop: Individual and Society in France Today

Practical course to increase listening comprehension, build vocabulary and idiom use, and enhance communication skills. Prerequisite: FRENCH 125-3, FRENCH 201-0 or Department placement.

FRENCH 204-0 Acting French

Use of dramatic scenes, dialogues, songs and performance to help students improve their language skills and develop their interpretive, interpersonal and intercultural competence at the Intermediate Mid/High level. Prerequisite: FRENCH 121-3 or FRENCH 125-3 or FRENCH 201-0 or consent of instructor.

Introductory French Literature and Culture Courses

FRENCH 210-0 Reading Literatures in French

Introduction to texts in various genres such as essay, poetry, drama, novel, and autobiography, from at least two periods from the Middle Ages to the present. Prerequisite: FRENCH 202-0, AP score of 5, or consent of instructor. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 211-0 Reading Cultures in French

Introduction to French and/or francophone cultures through texts and media from at least two periods; major themes, issues, and debates. Prerequisite: FRENCH 202-0, AP score of 5, or consent of instructor. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 271-0 Introducing the Novel

Textual interpretation and analysis of short French novels from different periods, with special attention to formal issues. Prerequisite: FRENCH 210-0 or FRENCH 211-0, AP score of 5 in literature, or consent of instructor. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 272-0 Introducing Theatre

Textual interpretation and analysis of French plays from different periods, with special attention to formal issues. Principles of tragedy and comedy; contemporary developments. Prerequisite: FRENCH 210-0 or FRENCH 211-0, AP score of 5 in literature, or consent of instructor. Credit not allowed for both FRENCH 272-0 and FRENCH 279-0. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 273-0 Introducing Poetry

Textual interpretation and analysis of French poetry from different periods, with special attention to formal issues. Overview of major poetic movements. Prerequisite: FRENCH 210-0 or FRENCH 211-0, AP score of 5 in literature, or consent of instructor.

French Courses with Reading and Discussion in English

FRENCH 276-0 – Scandal in Modern France: 1848-1914

FRENCH 277-0 French Existentialism

Existentialism in its literary, philosophical, and cultural manifestations. Ethics Values Distro Area. Interdisciplinary Distro. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 279-0 Theater in Translation

Representative French plays from the 17th through 20th centuries; basic concepts of genre; social and historical context. Credit not allowed for both FRENCH 279-0 and FRENCH 272-0. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 371-0 Giants, Cannibals, and Critique

Analysis of works of Rabelais and Montaigne and their techniques of satire and social critique. Readings include related selections from Erasmus, More, La Boétie, and others.

FRENCH 374-0 Proust

Introduces the works of Marcel Proust, a central figure of European literature and thought. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 375-0 French Film

Topics in French cinema: for example, French classical cinema, the New Wave, postcolonial French film, the cinema of Marguerite Duras. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 376-0 Gender & Sexuality

Major trends and perspectives in gender and sexuality studies such as first and second wave feminisms, lesbian writers, AIDS literature, queer theory, gender and orientalism, cross-cultural feminism. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 378-0 Contemporary Theory

Introduction to some major trends in contemporary French theory and the way they have influenced literary studies in the United States. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 379-0 Topics in French Literature and Culture

Advanced exploration of special topics in French studies. May be repeated for credit with change of topic. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

French Courses with Prerequisites in French

FRENCH 300-0 French Phonetics

Development of near-native spoken French through practice in correct pronunciation. Phonetic system of contemporary French; introduction to basic issues of theoretical phonetics. Prerequisite: FRENCH 202-0, FRENCH 203-0, or consent of instructor.

FRENCH 301-0 Advanced Language in Context: Society and Popular Culture

Practical study of structure, syntax, and usage of French through contemporary media, cinema, theater, and popular culture. Prerequisite: FRENCH 202-0 or consent of instructor.

FRENCH 302-0 Advanced Writing: Finding Your Voice in French

Development of written expression for different communicative needs and functions based on the study of French writing styles and techniques. Prerequisite: FRENCH 202-0 or consent of instructor.

FRENCH 303-0 Advanced Conversation: Debating Contemporary France

Development of advanced proficiency and confidence in spoken French through practice of speech and discussion of issues in current French media and culture. Emphasis on culturally appropriate usage. Prerequisite: FRENCH 202-0, FRENCH 203-0, or consent of instructor.

FRENCH 309-0 French For Professions

French language as used in professional contexts. May include study of a specific field and differences from its American counterpart. May be repeated for credit with change of topic. Prerequisite: FRENCH 202-0 or consent of instructor.

FRENCH 310-0 The Middle Ages & Renaissance

Study of literary texts of the French Middle Ages and Renaissance with emphasis on their historical and literary-historical contexts. Prerequisite: FRENCH 271-0, FRENCH 272-0, or FRENCH 273-0, or consent of instructor. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 322-0 Medieval French Narratives 

Major narrative works of the French Middle Ages in historical context. Content varies; may include epics such as the Song of Roland, romances such as Chrétien de Troyes's Perceval, and narratives of childhood. Texts read in modern French versions. Prerequisite: FRENCH 271-0, FRENCH 272-0, or FRENCH 273-0, or consent of instructor. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 333-0 Topics in Renaissance Literature

Study of literary and other texts of the French Renaissance with emphasis on their literary, historical, and political contexts. May be repeated for credit with change of topic. Prerequisite: FRENCH 271-0, FRENCH 272-0, or FRENCH 273-0, or consent of instructor.

FRENCH 334-0 Montaigne and Modernity

In-depth study of the work of Michel de Montaigne and his models within the context of Renaissance history, politics and philosophy. All readings and discussion in French. Prerequisite: FRENCH 271-0, FRENCH 272-0, or FRENCH 273-0, or consent of instructor. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 335-0 17th Century Literature

Topics and issues related to the literature and culture of 17th century France. Content varies; topics covered previously include theater and its social and political contexts, the rise of rational thought, and the development of fiction and poetry. May be repeated for credit with change of topic. Prerequisite: FRENCH 271-0, FRENCH 272-0, or FRENCH 273-0, or consent of instructor. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 340-0 Sexual Politics and the Ancien Regime

Literary, intellectual, and political role of women in view of the debates generated by the issues of women's power in the public sphere before the French Revolution. Prerequisite: FRENCH 271-0, FRENCH 272-0, or FRENCH 273-0, or consent of instructor. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 344-0 Rousseau and the French Revolution

Analysis of Rousseau's political thought and major literary works and their impact on Revolutionary ideology and culture. Prerequisite: FRENCH 271-0, FRENCH 272-0, or FRENCH 273-0, or consent of instructor. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 346-0 Studies in the Enlightenment 

Authors such as Rousseau, Diderot, Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Graffigny in relation to Enlightenment debates about science, religion, political authority, human nature, colonialism, gender, and slavery. Prerequisite: FRENCH 271-0, FRENCH 272-0, or FRENCH 273-0, or consent of instructor. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 350-0 The Novel in French

Content varies; may include the novel of the ancien régime, the psychological novel, and the Bildungsroman in France. Prerequisite: FRENCH 271-0, FRENCH 272-0, or FRENCH 273-0, or consent of instructor. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 355-0 The Invention of Modernity

Study of the origins of modernity in the 19th century, addressing such issues as the rise of mass culture, urbanization, and the beginnings of consumer society. Prerequisite: FRENCH 271-0, FRENCH 272-0, or FRENCH 273-0, or consent of instructor. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 360-0 From Modernism to Postmodernism

Crises and reinventions of French prose from the modernist moment of the early 20th century to the ambiguities of "engaged" literature of the 1930s to postmodernism. Prerequisite: FRENCH 271-0, FRENCH 272-0, or FRENCH 273-0, or consent of instructor. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 362-0 African Literatures and Cultures

Major issues, trends, and authors from francophone Africa. Content varies; may include Shahrazade, narratives of gender relations, law and literature, violence, and writing. Prerequisite: FRENCH 271-0, FRENCH 272-0, or FRENCH 273-0, or consent of instructor. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 364-0 Caribbean Literatures and Cultures

Major issues, trends, and authors from the francophone Caribbean and its diasporas. Content varies; may include Caribbean women writers; slavery, history, and memory; Caribbean identities. Prerequisite: FRENCH 271-0, FRENCH 272-0, or FRENCH 273-0, or consent of instructor. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 365-0 The Maghreb and the Middle East

Major issues in the literatures and cultures of North Africa and the Middle East. Content varies. May include exile in writing; politics of language and translation. Prerequisite: FRENCH 271-0, FRENCH 272-0, or FRENCH 273-0, or consent of instructor. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 366-0 France and East Asia

Interdisciplinary approaches to the history of French-East Asian relations, including French representations of East Asia. May include translation, japonisme, cinema, literary and philosophical avant-gardes, and culture and globalization. Prerequisite: FRENCH 271-0, FRENCH 272-0, or FRENCH 273-0, or consent of instructor.

FRENCH 367-0 Transnational Francophone Studies

Exploration of cultural production in various genres from the French-speaking world, with an emphasis on themes, ideas, and/or forms that traverse national and/or cultural boundaries. Prerequisite: FRENCH 271-0, FRENCH 272-0, or FRENCH 273-0, or consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit when content changes. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 380-0 Political & Social Thought in France

Major political and social trends in France from the ancien régime to the 20th century. Content varies. May be repeated for credit with change of topic. Prerequisite: FRENCH 271-0, FRENCH 272-0, or FRENCH 273-0, or consent of instructor. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 384-0 Women Writing in French

Analysis of texts by women authors with regard to their respective social, cultural, political, and historical contexts. Prerequisite: FRENCH 271-0, FRENCH 272-0, or FRENCH 273-0, or consent of instructor. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 386-0 Gender & Writing

Issues of gender and sexuality in the production of literary and other creative texts in various historical periods. May be repeated for credit with change of topic. Prerequisite: FRENCH 271-0, FRENCH 272-0, or FRENCH 273-0, or consent of instructor. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 390-0 Topics in Literature and Culture

Topics, issues, and questions in French and francophone culture. Content varies; may include French and francophone cinema, the intellectual in France. May be repeated for credit with change of topic. Prerequisite: FRENCH 271-0, FRENCH 272-0, or FRENCH 273-0, or consent of instructor. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

FRENCH 391-0 Theory and Practice of Translation

Intercultural communication through analysis of translation theories and translated works; translation exercises. Content varies; genres may include prose, poetry, graphic novels, and theater. Prerequisite: FRENCH 301-0, FRENCH 302-0, study abroad, or consent of instructor.

FRENCH 393-0 Foreign Language Teaching: Theory and Practice

Theoretical foundation and practical applications of second-language acquisition and applied linguistics. Analysis and design of pedagogical materials. Self-reflection and analysis of teaching style and teaching philosophy. Prerequisite: senior status or consent of instructor.

FRENCH 395-0 Advanced Studies in Culture and Thought

Theoretical perspectives and paradigms for understanding culture through in-depth study of a historical, cultural, or theoretical issue or of a literary or artistic work. Independent term paper. Prerequisite: senior status or consent of undergraduate advisor. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

French Graduate Courses

French 401-0 – Print Culture: Authors

Content varies. Studies of one or several major literary or cultural figures of French and Francophone studies. Emphasizes their status within literary history or the cultural context of their work.

French 403-0 – French and Italian Language Teaching: Theory and Practice

French and Italian Language Teaching: Theory and Practice Theoretical foundation in and practical applications of Second Language Acquisition and Applied Linguistics to the teaching of French and Italian. Analysis and design of pedagogical materials. Self-reflection and analysis of teaching style and teaching philosophy.

French 410-0 – Studies in Medieval Literature

Content varies. Samples: Romances by Chretien de Troyes, Christine de Pizan, and Marie de France.

French 420-0 – Studies in the 16th Century

Content varies. Samples: Renaissance poetry; Rabelais; Montaigne.

French 421-0 – Visual Culture: Cinema, Performance Studies & Multimedia

Content varies. Contemporary French cinema and film history, television and multimedia cultures, courses on film directors

French 422-0 – Visual Culture: Art History & Literature

Content varies: painting and literature, the circulation of works of art, the history of the relationship between literature and the visual arts

French 430-0 – Studies in the 17th Century

Content varies. Samples: the moralists; power and knowledge in classical theatre; the critique of rationality

 

French 432-0 – French, Francophone & Transnational Studies

Studies of migration and diasporic discourses from missionary discourses and pre-modern travelers to contemporary globalized movements

French 440-0 – Studies in the 18th Century

Content varies. Samples: The rise of the public sphere; Diderot's aesthetics; Rousseau and the French Revolution; the global eighteenth century

French 441-0 – Interdisciplinary, Theoretical and Critical Approaches

An examination of theoretical discourses from disciplines other than literature (linguistics, philosophy, psychoanalysis, historiography) and their relationship to the French and Francophone world; history of ideas

French 450-1 – Studies in the 19th Century

Content varies. Samples: Literature and/of the city; Literature and Revolution.

French 460-0 – Studies in 20th Century Literature

Content varies. Samples: Literature and cultural authority in 20th century France; l'aimance, l'amour, le corps de l¿criture.

French 465-0 – Topics in Francophone Colonial and Postcolonial Studies

Content varies. Literature and culture of one or several geopolitical areas such as the Caribbean, the Maghreb, Sub-Saharan Africa or Vietnam.

French 470-0 – Topics in Literary Studies

Content varies. Studies of a motif, theme, genre or theoretical issue across languages, either Europhone or vernacular and dialectal forms

French 490-0 – Special Topics in Literature

Content varies. Samples: literature of the African diaspora; women's autobiography

French 492-0 – Topics in Culture and Society

Content varies. Samples: culture and politics of the 1920s and 1930s; early modern print culture; the Situationist International

French 493-0 – Topics in Literary Theory

Content varies (e.g., Post-structuralist Theory, Feminist Theory, Post-colonial Theory, Materialist/Marxist Theory, Media Theory).

French 494-0 – Interdisciplinary, Theoretical, and Critical Approaches

Content varies. An examination of theoretical discourses from disciplines other than literature (linguistics, philosophy, psychoanalysis, historiography) and their relationship to the French and Francophone world; history of ideas.

French 495-0 – Practicum in Scholarly Writing and Research

This course, which will be taught every other year, trains students in writing in an academic style by allowing them to develop a term paper and/or in specific research methodologies necessary for their future research. The course will be offered in the Fall or Winter. In the event that students must take the course in the Winter of their third year, they will be required to take only one seminar and register for one unit of 590 in the fall of that year so as to devote time to researching and preparing their Qualifying/Prospectus Exam.

French 498-0 – Independent Reading

Instructor Consent required.

French 499-0 – Independent Study

Permission of instructor and department required. See department for section and permission numbers.

French 590-0 – Research

Independent investigation of selected problems pertaining to thesis or dissertation. See department for section and permission numbers.

French 596-0 – PhD Thesis Tutorial

Instructor consent required.

 

ITALIAN Course Catalogue

ITALIAN Courses Taught in Italian

Italian 101-1,2,3 – Elementary Italian

Emphasis on oral communication, supported by grammar, writing, reading, and listening. Four class meetings a week.
Italian 101-1 Prerequisite: None.
Italian 101-2 Prerequisite: Grade of at least C- in ITALIAN 101-1 or Department placement.
Italian 101-3 Prerequisite: Grade of at least C- in ITALIAN 101-2 or Department placement.

ITALIAN 102-1, 2, 3 Intermediate Italian

Grammar review, conversation, composition, and readings in modern prose and drama. Four class meetings a week.
Italian 102-1 Prerequisite: Grade of at least a C- in ITALIAN 101-3 or equivalent.
Italian 102-2 Prerequisite: Grade of at least a C- in ITALIAN 102-1 or Department placement.
Italian 102-3 Prerequisite: Grade of at least C- in ITALIAN 102-2 or Department placement.

ITALIAN 103-1 Italian for Musicians

Italian language course for musicians, focusing on developing comprehension and pronunciation skills for operatic performance. Analysis of libretti and scores of Italian operas. Prerequisite: Grade of at least C- in ITALIAN 101-2 or Department placement.

ITALIAN 110-0 Italian in the Business World

Italian language course with an emphasis on communication and a cultural focus on business and its practices.

ITALIAN 133-1, 2, 3 and ITALIAN 134-1,2,3 Intensive Italian

Intensive double course covers two years of Italian language, the equivalent of Italian 101 and Italian 102, in a single academic year. Students enroll concurrently in ITALIAN 133-1 and ITALIAN 134-1 and receive 2 credits a quarter. Four two-hour class meetings a week.
Italian 133-1/Italian 134-1 Prerequisite: none.
Italian 133-2/Italian 134-2 Prerequisite: Grade of at least C- in ITALIAN 133-1 and ITALIAN 134-1 or Department placement.
Italian 133-3/Italian 134-3 Prerequisite: Grade of at least C- in ITALIAN 133-2 and ITALIAN 134-2 or Department placement.

ITALIAN 201-0 Italian Through Media

Issues from Italian media; frequent oral and written reports: for instance, America in Italian media, advertising, immigration, youth culture. Students produce a newspaper or newscast at the end of the quarter. Prerequisite: ITALIAN 102-3 or ITALIAN 133-3 / ITALIAN 134-3 or equivalent.

ITALIAN 202-0 Italian Through Performance

Students develop and perform original material on video or live. Content may derive from television, theater, opera, and commedia dell'arte. Prerequisite: ITALIAN 102-3 or ITALIAN 133-3 / ITALIAN 134-3 or equivalent. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

ITALIAN 203-0 Creative Writing in Italian

A course meant to improve written Italian through exercises and experiments in a variety of genres and styles. Prerequisite: ITALIAN 102-3 or ITALIAN 133-3 / ITALIAN 134-3 or equivalent.

ITALIAN 204-0 Introduction to Italian Literature

Introduction to the history, genres, and themes of Italian literature. Course content may vary, focusing on reading, comprehension, and interpretive skills. Prerequisite: ITALIAN 102-3 or equivalent proficiency. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

ITALIAN 205-0 Voyage to Italy

An approach to Italian culture and civilization through exploration of representative Italian cities. Prerequisite: ITALIAN 102-3 or ITALIAN 133-3 / ITALIAN 134-3 or equivalent proficiency.

ITALIAN 206-0 Business Italian

Introduction to the business and economic environment in Italy. Study of business practice and development of linguistic skills necessary for professional communication.

ITALIAN 207-0 Conversation in Italian

Introduction to Italian culture. Emphasizes group activities and focuses on listening comprehension and speaking skills. Prerequisite: ITALIAN 102-3 or ITALIAN 133-3 / ITALIAN 134-3 or equivalent proficiency.

ITALIAN 304-0 Politics and Mass Culture

Culture of Italy from World War II to the present. Novels, films, popular culture.

ITALIAN 306-0 Migrations

Italian literary practice in contact with groups that Italy has defined as other-either beyond or within its geographical boundaries. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

ITALIAN 310-0 Reading Italian Literature (in Italian)

Introduction to principal genres of Italian literature in historical and cultural context from the Middle Ages to the present. Authors include Dante, Boccaccio, Goldoni, Leopardi, Verga, Pirandello, Levi, and Montale. Prerequisite: One 200-level course in Italian or equivalent proficiency. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

ITALIAN 347-0 Italy in Art and Literature

Interdisciplinary course on Italian culture from the Middle Ages to the present. Each week pairs an artist with an author-for instance, Giotto/Dante, Michelangelo/Vittoria Colonna, Caravaggio/Galilei, De Chirico/Pirandello, Fellini/Flaiano. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

ITALIAN 348-0 The Italian Novella

Exploration of Italian culture through the form of the novella from the Middle Ages to the present. Each week is devoted to a groundbreaking author, such as Boccaccio, Sacchetti, Basile, Pirandello, Flaiano, and Calvino. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

ITALIAN 349-0 Topics in Italian Culture and Literature

Advanced exploration of special topics in Italian studies.

ITALIAN Courses with Readings and Discussion in English

ITALIAN 230-0 Italian Theatre and Performance

Introduction to drama and performance in Italy. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area

ITALIAN 250-0 Topics in Italian Culture and Literature

Cross-disciplinary exploration of a defined topic in Italian studies as it interacts with other cultural and literary traditions-for example, aspects of love. May be repeated for credit with change of topic. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area

ITALIAN 251-0 Introduction to Italian Cinema

Focus on filmmakers fundamental to the development of modern cinema (including Rossellini, Fellini, and Antonioni) from 1942 to the present. Emphasis on formal analysis and film criticism. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area

ITALIAN 265-0 Body and Soul from Rome to the Renaissance

Comprehension of the human body and soul in Italy from Augustan Rome to the Renaissance, as seen in literary and religious authors. Readings include Ovid, St. Paul, Gnostics, St. Francis, "dolce stil novo," Boccaccio. Historical Studies Distro Area. Interdisciplinary Distro. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

ITALIAN 270-0 Michelangelo and the Italian Renaissance

Close examination of Michelangelo's life and work in the broader context of Italian Renaissance culture. Historical Studies Distro Area. Interdisciplinary Distro. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area

ITALIAN 275-0 Dante's Divine Comedy

Introduction to the Divine Comedy, its artistic and intellectual achievement, and its cultural and historical context. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area

ITALIAN 277-0 Global Neorealism

Exploration of Italian neorealism and its influence on European (especially the French New Wave), New Latin American, West African, and Indian cinema. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area.

ITALIAN 350-0 Advanced Topics in Italian Culture and Literature

Advanced exploration of special topics in Italian studies determined by the research interests of a visiting scholar. May be repeated for credit with change of topic. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area

ITALIAN 351-0 Italian Film and Transnational Cinema

In-depth exploration of key Italian filmmakers in the context of transnational cinema. Focus on relation between filmmakers (including Visconti/Renoir, Rossellini/Godard, and Antonioni/Wenders) and dynamics of cinematic style and cultural influence.

ITALIAN 360-0 From the Avant-Garde to the Post-Modern

Major authors and movements animating the modern and contemporary literary scene. Content varies-for example, futurism, feminist Italian fiction, and intellectuals and politics from D'Annunzio to Pasolini, Calvino, Eco, and the postmodern. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area

ITALIAN 370-0 Major Figures in Italian History and Culture

Investigation of the strategic roles played by Italian artists (da Vinci), scientists (Galileo), and political philosophers (Machiavelli, Vico) in forming the canon of modern thought.

ITALIAN 374-0 Love and Sexuality in the Early Modern Period

Analysis of how love and sexuality work as generalized symbolic media of communication in early modern Italian society and culture. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area

ITALIAN 377-0 Gender and Sexuality in Italian Culture

Interdisciplinary course on gender and visual practices in Italy (photography, film, television, and video). Prerequisite: ITALIAN 251-0 or consent of instructor. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area

Italian 378-0 – Against Acting: Spectacle and Performance in Italy

Contemporary theatre and performance in Italy from the '70s to the present, with attention to sociopolitical context and trends in European art. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

  

 

FRENCH 105-6 – Freshman Seminar

Fall 2020. THE FICTION OF CLIMATE CHANGE. Rising seas, extreme temperature variations, and life-threatening storms: these are among the building blocks of Climate Fiction (Cli-Fi)--a new literary genre that takes up the challenge of climate change in the Anthropocene, the proposed epoch in which human beings significantly impact the geological and ecological systems of the planet--, to imagine the future to which climate change might give rise and the human beings who will confront it. Climate change novels ask: how might climate change transform the world in which we live? What will the world be like in the future, and what will it mean to the human beings who live in it? The alternative visions of the future elaborated in the works of Cli-Fi often combine characteristics of science fiction with elements of other genres, including the romance, the thriller, and the adventure tale. In addition to inquiring into the issue of how and with what literary means these novels manage to imagine the future, we will also seek to understand: if and how literature imagines a process as widely taken to be “unimaginable” as is climate change, whether fiction might further human knowledge or awareness or if it might modify human actions in the world. We will engage in close and detailed reading of some of the most compelling contemporary Cli-Fi novels and learn to write critically about them.

Spring 2021. Topic: TBA. Description forthcoming.

Introductory and Intermediate Language Courses

FRENCH 111-1, 2, 3 – Elementary French

French 111-1: Fall 2020; French 111-2: Winter 2021; French 111-3: Spring 2021. French 111-1 is the first course of a three-quarter sequence (Fall, Winter and Spring) for beginners. This course covers grammar, vocabulary, reading, writing, conversation and culture. The aim of the course is to learn and develop skills in speaking, understanding, reading, writing and cultural competence. Class meets four times a week and will be conducted in French. 

FRENCH 115-1, 2 – Intensive Elementary French

French 115-1: Fall 2020; French 115-2: Winter 2021. For students with some previous experience in French. Review and development of skills in speaking, understanding, reading, and writing as preparation for work at the second-year level. Four class meetings a week.

Prerequisite: department placement.

FRENCH 121-1, 2, 3 – Intermediate French

French 121-1: Fall 2020; French 121-2: Winter 2021; French 121-3: Spring 2021. Grammar review, conversation, reading, and writing. Four class meetings a week. Successful completion of French 121-3 fulfills the WCAS language requirement.

Prerequisite: 111-3 or 115-2 or department placement

FRENCH 125-1, 2, 3 – Intensive Intermediate French

French 125-2: Fall 2020; French 125-3: Winter 2021; French 125-1: Spring 2021. French language and culture. Conversation, composition, reading of cultural and literary texts, and grammar review. Three class meetings a week. Successful completion of French 125-3 fulfills the WCAS language requirement.

Prerequisite: 115-2 or department placement. Students placed in French 125 in Fall will begin with 125-2 (taught in Fall only).

FRENCH 201-0 – Culture and Society

Fall 2020. French 201-0 is a one-quarter introductory third-year course, offered only in the fall. This course is designed to develop the students' mastery of French by giving them the opportunity to practice the language in a variety of cultural contexts while deepening and expanding their insights into contemporary French culture. French 201-0 will introduce students to a sampling of social and cultural topics central to an understanding of France and French-speaking peoples. Classes meet three times a week and are conducted in French. Students are expected to attend class regularly and prepare outside of class. A grade of C- or above in French 201-0 fulfills the WCAS foreign language requirement.

Prerequisite: 121-3 or department placement.

FRENCH 202-0 – Writing Workshop

Fall 2020.  Winter 2021. Spring 2021. This online course is designed to develop and improve writing skills through a variety of classroom activities: discussion, writing, editing. Students will learn how to write a college-level analytical paper. Selected grammar points will be discussed in class, and course content will be provided by a novel and two films. Homework will include short writing exercises and compositions as well as the preparation of grammar exercises related to the writing objectives. This course serves as prerequisite for most other 200 and 300-level French classes.

Prerequisite: 125-3, 201, or placement by department.

FRENCH 203-0 – Oral Workshop

Fall 2020.  Winter 2021. Spring 2021. This course is designed to build fluency in speaking and understanding French. Classes will concentrate on increasing listening comprehension through viewing of videos and films, building vocabulary and idiom use, and enhancing oral communication skills. One group project based on a play.

Prerequisite: 125-3, 201, or placement by department.

Introductory Literature and Culture Courses

FRENCH 211-0-20 – Reading Cultures in French

Fall 2020. “CHANGING FRANCE:" CONTEMPORARY FRENCH IDENTITIES.  An introduction to French culture through study and analysis of major themes, issues, and debates that characterize or preoccupy contemporary French thought and society, this course helps students understand French society and culture in today’s world. We explore the challenges posed to the traditional republican notion of French national identity by colonial history, decolonization, immigration, and globalization by studying a wide range of documents, texts, and films that portray individual and collective experiences. Drawing on the notion of “la France en mutation / changing France,” we study how historical events and French institutions (especially the state and the school) shape identities. Students gain an understanding of questions relating to social inequalities and diversities from a “French Global” perspective, while focusing on French definitions and experiences of (in)equality and diversity, and how these play out in terms of race and ethnicity, gender, class, and sexual orientation. Conducted entirely in French, this course is designed to increase students’ ability to speak, read, and write in French, and improve their aural comprehension. Students also learn techniques of close reading and detailed critical analysis through class discussion and presentations, the creative/reflective assignment, the analytical essay, and the practice of annotation. Prerequisite: French 202-0, AP score of 5, or consent of instructor.

FRENCH 211-0-21 – Reading Cultures in French

Fall 2020. Winter 2021.  WALKING AND THE CITY. This class focuses on the French art of “flânerie,” or the act of strolling aimlessly through the city, in modern and contemporary French culture, from the late eighteenth century to present. Exploring the intersection between the city walker and the urban environments that he or she navigates on foot, this class will provide a unique perspective on the role and place of public space in the construction of urban modernity in France. This class adopts an explicitly class-, race-, and gender-critical approach to the study of “flânerie”—an able-bodied practice that has traditionally been associated with a certain “Baudelairean” archetype of bourgeois masculinity—asking: Who has the right to linger and be seen in public space? How does the act of strolling aimlessly through the city intersect with other forms of societal privilege, and when and where can wandering become a means of protest, resistance, or subversion? By tracing the itineraries and embodied geographies that are traversed by flâneurs and flâneuses alike, this course aims to create a map of social mobility and urban modernity in the ever-evolving French city.

FRENCH 271-0 – Introducing the Novel

Fall 2020. This introduction to the French novel from the 18th to the 20th century aims to familiarize students with key periods in the history of the French novel as well as help them develop skills in literary reading, analysis and interpretation. While introducing students to various genres and periods (the philosophical and epistolary novel, Romanticism, Realism, the Fantastic, the roman beur and migrant Québécois literature), we will focus on the question of identity and the roles of the “other” (race, gender, class, colonial, im/migrant) in the narrative in order to reflect on the relationships between the novel, culture, politics and history. In this course, we will further develop the techniques of close reading and detailed critical analysis through class discussion and presentations, the creative/reflective assignment, the analytical essay, the use of pedagogical editions, and the practice of annotation (using the digital tool LacunaStories). Prerequisite: French 210-0 or French 211-0, AP score of 5 in literature, or consent of instructor.

FRENCH 272-0 – Introducing Theatre

Spring 2021. Textual interpretation and analysis of French plays from different periods, with special attention to formal issues. Principles of tragedy and comedy; contemporary developments. Prerequisite: French 210-0 or French 211-0, AP score of 5 in literature, or consent of instructor. Credit not allowed for both 272 and 279.

FRENCH 273-0 – Introducing Poetry

Winter 2021. This course introduces students to two ap-proaches to reading poetry: we aim, first, to accompany students in developing a personal appreciation for “the possible richness of po-etic parole”, and second, to introduce stu-dents to the close reading and analysis of French poetry. We first read and analyze a few poems from the 16th and 17th centuries to learn about traditional poetic form, language, and expression. We then study representa-tive 19th century poems from movements and poets that are considered “the sources of modern poetry.” Then we explore the “adven-tures” of poetic writing and language in the works of key French and Francophone poets of the 20th and 21st centuries. In our explora-tion of poetry, we study poems in relation to their social and historical contexts. Some of the central questions we reflect on are: How does form relate to meaning? How has poetry evolved in response to historical and social changes? What are the main themes? What is poetry? What are the places and roles of po-etry in the world - past and present? How do answers to these questions vary in time and different cultures? We also focus, among oth-ers, on a central theme that has inspired po-ets of all ages and cultures: Nature. The course incorporates creative elements.

Prerequisites: French 210-0 or French 211-0, AP score of 5 in literature, or consent of instructor.

Courses with Reading and Discussion in English

FRENCH 277-0 – Literature of Existentialism

Winter 2021. This course, taught in English, will serve as an introduction to existentialism, which not only defined the literary, philosophical and political culture for French intellectuals of the post-war period, but also remain indis-pensable for an understanding of various currents of contemporary literature and cul-ture. We shall begin by discussing the philo-sophical and literary foundations of existen-tialism. Then we will examine the moral, so-cial and political questions central to existen-tialism, as worked out in the fiction, drama, and essays of such authors as Sartre, Beau-voir, Beckett, and Fanon. Finally, we will consider the extent to which post-existentialist thought and culture may be read as a continuation of or as a reaction against existentialism.

FRENCH 375-0 – French Film

Spring 2021. Topics in French cinema: for example, French classical cinema, the New Wave, postcolonial French film, the cinema of Marguerite Duras.

FRENCH 379-0 – Advanced Topics in French Culture and Literature

Spring 2021. SCANDAL IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY FRANCE. What do scandals reveal about social, aesthetic and ethical norms of a particular time and place? This course examines the role of scandal in the history of modern artistic and political movements in France from 1848-1914. Special emphasis on critical debates about the artist’s role in society, as well as the public’s response to new works. Study of realism, naturalism, impressionism, and symbolism across art forms. Fiction, poetry, and essays by Baudelaire, Flaubert, Zola and Huysmans; music of Wagner, Debussy, and Stravinsky; the Dreyfus Affair in literature and the press and the advent of the public intellectual. Counts as Area VI Literature and Fine Arts distro. Taught in English.

Please note: this course cannot be used to fulfill requirements in either the French major or minor.

FRENCH 384-0 – Women Writing in French: On Revolution

Fall 2020. ON REVOLUTION. This introduction to women's writing extends from Beauvoir's groundbreaking 1949 essay, Le Deuxième Sexe to the first decade of the 21st century and Chlöe Delaume's riveting engagement with a childhood trauma. Central to our concerns are three overlapping forms of feminist thought and writing that emerged in postwar France--existentialist, psychoanalytic and marxist, and their shared view, articulated by Beauvoir, that one is not born a woman, but becomes one. Our questions include: how does a given author conceptualize 'woman' and 'becoming woman'? what are the implications of that process for women's lived existence? how does that understanding of the social construction of gender shape an author's conception of the political potential of writing? In addition to the literary works with which we begin, we will read numerous critical writings related to these concerns by authors including Cixous and Wittig.

Prerequisite: 271, 272, 273, or consent of instructor.

FRENCH 391-0 – Theory and Practice of Translation

Fall 2020. In French 391, we will develop and apply a translation methodology to French and English texts.
We will begin with prose and poetry, then expand our scope to graphic novels, the performing arts (theater and opera), cinema, and advertising.

Translating such a wide variety of texts will familiarize us with abstract, idiomatic, highly technical, and colloquial French, and it will enhance our cultural and linguistic competence by teaching us to capture intended implications, judgments, subtleties and nuances.
To complement our examination of the issues pertaining to each genre or medium, we will read translation theory and criticism, and we will evaluate published translation works.

Prerequisite: 301, 302, study abroad, or consent of instructor.

FRENCH 395-0 – Advanced Studies in Culture and Thought

Winter 2021. In recent years, increasing attention is being directed to deciphering the eve-ryday with the understanding that monuments, public spaces and everyday objects and cultural practices are bear-ers of layers of meaning. The idea is not new. Twentieth century French thought has produced robust and sustained re-flections on how to understand and re-late to the everyday. Yet, much of these thoughts are too often set aside and for-gotten, naturalizing our relationship to what is actually produced and con-structed in such a way as to do specific ideological work. This course will return to this practice of reading and decipher-ing our everyday myths.

In the first half of the quarter, we will begin with Mythologies Postcoloniales, that reflects on names of public spaces in France, such as streets, through the lens of colonial history. This reading will then be followed by Roland Barthes’ fa-mous Mythologies teaching us in a fluid and enjoyable manner how to read eve-ryday practices and objects. We will then turn our attention to segments of one of the most important theoretical works of the twentieth century in this critical domain, Henri Lefebvre’s La Pro-duction de l’espace, in order to under-stand the ways in which space is pro-duced and signified more broadly. Stu-dents will have the opportunity to prac-tice their own acts of reading and deci-phering in order to put their theoretical knowledge to work. The second half of the course will be dedicated to develop-ing, researching and writing a culminat-ing senior research project.

Required of senior French majors. Prerequisite: senior status or consent of undergraduate advisor.

Courses with Prerequisites in French

FRENCH 300-0 – French Phonetics

Winter 2021. This course is designed to help you improve the pronunciation, intonation, and fluency of your spoken French, as well as to give you an overall under-standing of the phonetic system of the contemporary French language.

Prerequisite: French 202-0, French 203-0 or consent of instructor.

FRENCH 301-0 – Advanced Language in Context: Society and Popular Culture

Winter 2021. Advanced Grammar Through French Media is designed for students who are interested in news media. The purpose of this course is to study, un-derstand and practice grammar in con-text. A variety of authentic documents, from newspapers articles to radio in-terviews, will illustrate and enliven specific grammar points. French 301 will help students master the finer points of French Grammar while pre-paring them to communicate compe-tently (in writing and orally) in informal and formal situations.

Prerequisite: French 202-0 or consent of instructor.

FRENCH 302-0 – Advanced Writing

Fall 2020. FINDING YOUR VOICE IN FRENCH. This online course focuses on the systematic development of written expression in French, organized according to language functions (describing, summarizing, persuading, hypothesizing, etc.) and communicative needs. Emphasis is placed on developing vocabulary, ease of expression, and especially an awareness of appropriate styles of writing. Writing practice will be carried on: portrait, summary, review of film or performance, explication de texte, correspondence, interview, editorial, documentary research and creative writing. Grammar will be reviewed as needed.

Prerequisite: French 202-0 or consent of instructor

FRENCH 303-0 – Advanced Conversation: Debating Contemporary France

Winter 2021. Spring 2021. The goal of this course is the develop-ment of oral proficiency through speech functions, conversational routines and patterns, so as to build confidence in the practice of the French language. In or-der to achieve this goal, emphasis will be put on extensive examination of French press and French television news, French movies, the reading of a book related to the author studied this quar-ter, and spontaneous expression through dialogues and discussion, and even debates. Special emphasis will be placed on group work and culturally ap-propriate usage. The students will par-ticipate actively in the choice of the ma-terials.

Prerequisite: French 202-0, French 203-0, or consent of instructor.

FRENCH 309-0 – French For Professions

Winter 2021. How do healthcare systems and approaches to wellness differ across cultural and linguistic contexts? This course is designed especially for students planning a career in the health professions, global health, and/or public health.” In this course, students will gain knowledge of the different models of healthcare systems in Francophone countries as well as familiarity with some specific terminologies and grammatical structures employed in the field. Using communicative and task-based approaches, students will discuss current issues, examine and reflect on ethical beliefs and values, through topics such as healthcare access, terminal illness, the use of technology etc.
Class discussions and activities as well as written assignments will be based on videos, press articles, and on the reading of a short novel related to the medical field. Students will research topics and share their findings through oral presentations. They will also explore their personal area of interest in the field.

Prerequisite: French 202-0 or consent of instructor.

FRENCH 310-0 – The Middle Ages and Renaissance

Spring 2021. Study of literary texts of the French Middle Ages and Renaissance with emphasis on their historical and literary-historical contexts. Prerequisite: 271, 272, 273, or consent of instructor.

FRENCH 322-0 – Medieval French Narratives

Winter 2021. This course studies French narratives of travel and discovery, both real and fic-tional, including medieval romance, reli-gious pilgrimages, the travels of Marco Polo and early French accounts of colo-nialism in Brazil and Canada.

Prerequisite: 271, 272, 273, or consent of instructor.

FRENCH 333-0 – Topics in Renaissance Literature

Fall 2020.  MONTAIGNE AND MODERNITY. Michel de Montaigne was one of the most important writers and philosophers of the early modern period; his Essais continues to be a book to live by. This seminar explores Montaigne’s writings in depth, along with those of his most important interlocutors, in the context of the emergence of modern subjectivity in the period we call “Renaissance”. Placing the distant past into conversation with the present, we will consider a set of problems relative to the constitution of the self, of the body, of cultural and gender identity, educational ideals, and political freedom. We will explore the rise of cultural norms surrounding death, love, friendship, faith, and violence. Montaigne’s writings are a gateway into a turbulent and transformative period of history, one which has much to say to our own. Prerequisites: 271, 272, 273 or consent of instructor.

FRENCH 360-0 – From Modernism to Postmodernism

Winter 2021. Focusing primarily on first-person narratives and autobiographical fictions, this course will explore how the crises and transformations of narrative form in twentieth-century French and Francophone literature and film both expressed and helped form new notions of memory and identity, as well as articulating new ways of imagining the relationship between collective life and individual experience. Authors read will include such writers and filmmakers as André Gide, Marcel Proust, Jean-Paul Sartre, Georges Bataille, Assia Djebar, Alain Resnais, and Chris Marker.

Prerequisite: 271, 272, 273, or consent of instructor.

FRENCH 365-0 – The Maghreb and the Middle East

Fall 2020. AUTHORITY AND NARRATION IN 1001 NIGHTS AND BEYOND. This course focuses on the relationship between authority, in its diverse forms, and storytelling. We will begin with one of the classics of world literature, A Thousand and One Nights, whose multi-pronged history and authorship allow us to consider the relationship between works of literature and the institution of authorship and authority. We will be able to examine this question not only through the work’s form and its history but also through the play of authority, power, and storytelling as its content.

In the second segment of the course, we will explore the legacies of 1001 Nights in contemporary literature,  in particular war literature. We will begin with a short story by the Algerian writer, Assia Djebar, that expands the framework of Nights into the context of the Algerian civil war of 1990s, mobilizing it as a resource and insight into problems of authority, power, violence, identity etc. We will then turn to three novels, each reflecting on the relation between authority and narration: the Franco-Afghan writer and filmmaker, Atiq Rahimi, explores storytelling in the time of the Taliban; the Lebanese-American writer, painter and essayist, Etel Adnan, reflects on the long Lebanese civil war of 1975-1990; and the French writer and poet, François David imagines a scene of story-telling in a concentration camp. To help us better understand the relationship between narration, authority, war and history, we will read two theoretical essays by Michel Foucault and Walter Benjamin. 

Students will be invited to reflect throughout the quarter on the ways in which storytelling is linked to the questions of life, death and survival both through the form of the works we read and their content. In order to expand our understanding of these complex interconnected questions, students will be asked to consult additional scholarly articles related to their presentations and final paper projects.  Prerequisitie: 271, 272, 273, or consent of instructor.

Graduate Courses

French 401-0 – Print Culture: Authors

Fall 2020. ABDELKEBI KHATIBI. This course is dedicated to the influential work of the Moroccan writer and thinker Abdelkebir Khatibi, with particular emphasis on the question of language. A novelist, poet, philosopher and essayist, Khatibi’s nuanced and often quite challenging thought and writing have enriched the work of scholars in literary studies, philosophy, postcolonial/decolonial theory, poststructuralist theory and political thought well beyond the Maghreb. Yet, very few have attended to the diversity of his corpus. While his exemplary novel, Amour bilingue is perhaps his best-known work, he is the author of a large body of novels, drama and poetry. A trained sociologist, his writing in this field engages with diverse visual, textual and artistic cultural spheres from North Africa, Europe and Asia, offering us a critical vocabulary and much needed methodology in our approach to studying these areas of cultural production. The author of two biographies where the question of biography as a necessity and as a genre is theorized, Khatibi invites us to dwell on this practice both broadly and contextually. Furthermore, he is one of the most imaginative and provocative interpreters of the Islamic artistic, philosophical and theological traditions.

Khatibi was consistently in dialogue with broad philosophical and literary traditions across the world. His dialogues with Jacques Derrida have been registered in a number of texts by both thinkers, but these by no means limit his wide-ranging intellectual contacts and conversations. While the course is built around Khatibi’s novels and theoretical writings, students will be invited to explore in their research projects for the class the broader corpus of his work and its intellectual connections in ways that will be most promising and relevant for their own thinking and research interests.

French 410-0 – Studies in Medieval Literature

Winter 2021. This course provides a comprehensive introduction to medieval lyric poetry in Occitan and Old French. The trouba-dours flourished in the south of France during the twelfth and thirteenth centu-ries, producing a dazzlingly varied and innovative corpus of lyrics, which exer-cised a profound influence on the devel-opment of lyric poetry in other Europe-an vernaculars, notably the Old French trouvère tradition. We will examine troubadour lyrics and the cultural con-texts that produced them, and also think more broadly about the construction and function of literary traditions, both medieval and modern.

French 430-0 – Studies in the 17th Century

Spring 2021. Content varies. Samples: the moralists; power and knowledge in classical theatre; the critique of rationality

French 470-0 – Topics in Literary Studies

Spring 2021. Content varies. Studies of a motif, theme, genre or theoretical issue across languages, either Europhone or vernacular and dialectal forms

 

French 492-0 – Topics in Culture and Society

Fall 2020. EARLY MODERN SOCIETY AND ITS DISCONTENTS. This seminar considers the intersections of literature and social commentary in Renaissance France and Europe. The 16th century saw the heights of humanism and the progression to what we now call early modernity. Focusing on the works of Rabelais and Montaigne who exemplify these two moments, we will consider the interactions between literature and society, politics and intellectual and religious culture. What literary techniques make up the central engines of social commentary? How do texts construct a self and others as vehicles for critique? How do laughter, skepticism and vituperation enable and/or challenge critical interpretation? Examining the tools with which literature probes the world, we will also read works by Thomas More, Desiderius Erasmus, Etienne de la Boétie, Pico della Mirandola, Niccolò Machiavelli and others.

In addition to our early modern texts, this class will also include discussion of issues and best practices in academic research and the profession.

* Class discussion will be predominantly in French*

French 493-0 – Topics in Literary Theory

Winter 2021. Spring 2021. The aim of this course is to introduce new graduate students to twentieth-century theo-ries of film, media, and sound studies, with special emphasis on the French and German contexts. We will work around specific ques-tions and trace the ways in which they have been pursued by theorists and practitioners alike. How can we conceptualize the relation between art and technology? Can we speak of perception and memory independently of specific technical apparatuses? What is at stake in the shift from analog to digital media at the level of both inscription and reception? As we focus on different kinds of media, we will read texts by Roland Barthes, Walter Benjamin, Friedrich Kittler, Bernard Stiegler, and Lisa Nakamura, among others. We will also analyze films and art installations by Guy Debord, Harun Farocki, Hito Steyerl, and John Akomfrah.

Courses Taught in Italian

ITALIAN 101-1, 2, 3 – Elementary Italian

Italian 101-1: Fall 2020, Winter 2021; Italian 101-2: Winter 2021, Spring 2021; Italian 101-3: Spring 2021. Emphasis on oral communication supported by grammar, composition, reading. Four class meetings a week.

Prerequisite: none.

Italian 102-1,2,3 – Intermediate Italian

Italian 101-1: Fall 2020; Italian 101-2: Winter 2021; Italian 101-3: Spring 2021.Grammar review, conversation, composition, and readings in modern prose and drama. Four class meetings a week.

Prerequisite: 101-3 or equivalent.

ITALIAN 106-0

Spring 2021. Course description TBA.

Italian 133-1,2,3/134-1,2,3 – Intensive Italian

Italian 133/134-1: Fall 2020; Italian 133/134-2: Winter 2021; Italian 133/134-3: Spring 2021. Intensive double course covers two years of Italian language, the equivalent of 101 and 102, in a single academic year. Students enroll concurrently in 133 and 134 and receive 2 credits per quarter. Four two-hour class meetings per week.

Prerequisite: none.

Italian 204-0 – Introducing Italian literature: La lingua piu' bella al mondo

Winter 2021. This course will explore the development of Italian literary discourse and its func-tions from its origins to the 21th century. At a time when the official culture was latinate, the first 'literary' text written in Italian vernacular was a prayer to the Lord. From this humble and devout origin Italian became the language of choice for poets who, writing about love, addressed read-ers, above all women, who were other-wise excluded from literary consump-tion. By these means, the Italian vernacu-lars gained authority and expanded their field of application: Machiavelli wrote in 'Italian' for politicians and rulers, Vasari compiled the first history of art 'manual'. Italian became the 'national language' of culture. In the second part of the course we will explore the way in which literary Italian developed in a fully blown range of genres and styles: novels, children litera-ture, theatre and poetry. We will considers texts ranging from Pinocchio to Pirandel-lo's theatrical texts, from Foscolo's roman-tic novels to the novellas written by Verga to give a voice to the poor and humble. We will also consider literary works recently written by migrants as well as by Roberto Saviano to expose the cancer of mafia.

Italian 205-0 – Voyage to Italy

An approach to ltalian culture and civilization through an exploration of representative ltalian cities. Prerequisite: 102-3 or 133-3/134-3 or equivalent proficiency.

Italian 304-0 – Politics and Mass Culture

Fall 2020. This course will explore the role that mass media have played in shaping Italian political culture from the end of World War II to the present. In particular, we will focus on the 1948 general elections, which were heavily influenced by Cold War dynamics; the global upheaval of 1968; the turmoil of the 1970s (the so-called Years of Lead); and the rise to power of Silvio Berlusconi, the media tycoon and populist politician who has prompted more than one comparison with Donald Trump. While drawing from the fields of cultural and media studies, we will analyze how film, television, and social media have contributed to forming our sense of belonging to—or being excluded from—a political community.

Italian 349-0 – Topics in Italian Culture and Literature

Spring 2021. Advanced exploration of special topics in Italian studies.

Courses with Readings and Discussion in English

Italian 250-0 – Topics in Italian Culture and Literature

Fall 2020. STORYTELLING FOR HEALING. Students in this course will explore one of the most significant masterpieces of medieval narrative: the Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio. Written soon after the black death that killed millions of people in Europe in 1347-51, this work collects hundreds of short-stories on the driving forces of life: sex, love, money, success, power, and curiosity. Responding to the drama of loss and chaos, the writer offers memorable portraits of men and women fighting to survive, with skills or might, the ups and downs of life and chance. Boccaccio’s humanity is not blameless, but its vitality appears as the best answer to the trauma of collective death caused by the plague. Such vitality will mark the work and life of Renaissance artists and writers who believing in the motto that transformed and transported the Middle Ages into modernity: ‘Humanity is the maker of its own fortune.’ 

*May be repeated for credit with change in topic.

Italian 275-0 – Dante’s Divine Comedy

Winter 2021. Refashioning the conventions of poet-ry, Dante (1265-1321) used the ac-count of his presumed journey through the three realms of the Christian after-life – Hell, Purgatory and Paradise – to explore the world at the close of the Middle Ages. The poem is both an ad-venture story and an exhaustive, as-sessment of the state of politics, socie-ty, religion, literature, philosophy, and theology at the beginning of the four-teenth century. This course examines a selection of cantos Dante's Inferno and Purgatorio in its cultural, social and political context. In particular we will explore how the underground world imagined by the poet relates to late medieval urban life and culture. A guiding concern of the discussion is to assess the ways in which Dante changed our understanding of the re-lationship between the human and the divine, justice and love, will and rea-son, happiness and knowledge, litera-ture and the Bible. Political turmoil, philosophical and theological para-digms social and religious conflict all converge in the making of Inferno and Purgatorio and will thus form crucial elements of our investigation. Taught in English.

Italian 350-0 – Advanced topics in Italian Culture and Literature

Fall 2020. GRAMSCI FOR THE PRESENT: TOWARD A GENEALOGY OF CULTURAL STUDIES. This course explores the continued centrality of Antonio Gramsci’s thought to contemporary discussions of politics and culture.  Arguably the most influential post-Marxist political thinker not only in Europe, but also in India and Latin America, Gramsci’s ideas have been crucial when it comes to establishing the fields of Cultural Studies, Postcolonial Studies, and Subaltern Studies.  In his eyes, a cultural strategy was a necessary element of the political struggle of the left (an intuition disconcertingly coopted by the right in more recent times).  We may well ask, however, is culture in itself sufficient to articulate a political struggle?  How did Gramsci define culture in his times and how do we?  We will analyze in particular eight “traveling concepts” from the Prison Notebooks: Subaltern, Hegemony, Passive Revolution, Organic Intellectual, Education, National-Popular, The Southern Question, and Americanism/Fordism.  We will examine these notions in their original historical context while also exploring the current horizon in which they have proven to be productive in very different geopolitical arenas. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

*Taught in English, seminar-style (no knowledge of Italian is necessary). May be repeated for credit with change in topic.

Italian 360-0 – From the Avant-garde to the Postmodern

Fall 2020. RHYTHM IN ART AND PHILOSOPHY. Whether you are breathing, dancing, or thinking, your activity is marked by a certain rhythm. Rhythm stands at the cusp between body and mind, movement and memory, experience of the self and interaction with others. This course will attend to diverse and at times contradictory notions of rhythm as they have emerged in modern and contemporary Western art and philosophy. After a brief and yet crucial return to ancient Geek philosophy (Plato and the Pre-Socratics), we will focus on Soviet avant-garde cinema (Sergei Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov), Italian Neorealism (Vittorio De Sica and Roberto Rossellini), Jean-Luc Godard’s recent films, and Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s philosophy. We will devote particular attention to the role that rhythm has played in shaping our understanding of the relation between aesthetic experience and political life: what is the relation between rhythm and power? how do different ideas of rhythm in artistic practice relate to different ideas of society and order? In addition to the aforementioned bodies of work, we will consider contributions from the fields of psychoanalysis, critical race theory, and feminist/queer theory.

Italian 370-0 – Major Figures in Italian History and Culture

Spring 2021. Investigation of the strategic roels played by Italian artists (da Vinci), scientists (Galileo), and political philosophers (Machiavelli, Vico) in forming the canon of modern thought.

Italian 377-0 – Gender and Sexuality in 20th-Century Italian Culture: Feminist Utopias/Dystopias in Art, Film, and Literature

Winter 2021. How can we imagine modes of life that oppose social injustice and the tangle of race, gender, and class hierarchies that sustains it? What would a world that radically promotes or even realizes jus-tice look like? This course will investigate the ways in which feminist writers, art-ists, and filmmakers have denounced the present and imagined a future that does not resemble the past, reinventing for us the very texture of daily life. Among the themes we will explore are the relation between architecture, ur-ban planning, and various forms of sur-veillance/control; the relation between work and life, with a focus on domestic labor and the struggles of the 1970s in-ternational feminist movement; and the relation between the demands of the community and personal freedom. While concentrating on 20th and 21st century, we will draw our cases from literature and speculative science fiction (Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower and Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale) and a variety of media practices: film (Lizzie Borden’s Born in Flames and Elizabeth Tadic’s Umojia: No Men Al-lowed), performance and video art (Martha Rosler’s Semiotics in the Kitchen and Beyoncé’s Lemonade), and TV series (Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake and the recent The Handmaid’s Tale).


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