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Department of French and Italian

The Italian Program at Northwestern has particular strength in the field of Visual Culture. With courses in both English and Italian, our curriculum centers especially on the tradition and problems of visual communication from the Renaissance to contemporary media.  Courses in English offer undergraduate students the opportunity to explore, for example, Michelangelo, Italian cinema, theater, and the representation of bodies and sexuality from the Middle Ages to the present day. Courses in Italian offer seminar courses for advanced undergraduates on specific topics related to visuality and representation, as well as literature and history. Please peruse the course list below and refer to our faculty pages to discover the research interests and courses of the Italian faculty: Prof. Alessia Ricciardi, Prof. Marco Ruffini, Prof. Domietta Torlasco, and Lecturer Thomas Simpson.

Courses Taught in Italian

Prerequisites for all 300-level courses taught in Italian: Two 200-level courses in Italian or equivalent.

Italian 101-1,2,3 Elementary Italian
Emphasis on oral communication supported by grammar, composition, reading. Four class meetings a week. Prerequisite: none.

Italian 102-1,2,3 Intermediate Italian
Grammar review, conversation, composition, and readings in modern prose and drama. Four class meetings a week. Prerequisite: 101-3 or equivalent.

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: 101-2 or equivalent.

Italian 133-1,2,3/134-1,2,3 Intensive Italian
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 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: 102-3 or 133-3/134-3 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: 102-3 or 133-3/134-3 or equivalent.

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: 102-3 or 133-3/134-3 or equivalent.

Italian 204-0 Introducing Italian literature
An introduction to the history, genres, and themes of Italian literature. Course content may vary, focusing on reading, comprehension, and interpretive skills. Prerequisites: 102-3 or equivalent proficiency.

Italian 205-0 Reading Italian Cities
An approach to Italian culture and civilization through an exploration of representative Italian cities. Prerequisite: 102-3 or 133-3/134-3 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: 102-3 or 133-3/134-3 or equivalent proficiency.

Italian 304-0 Modern Italian Cultural Studies
Culture of Italy from World War II to the present. Novels, films, popular culture.

Italian 306-0 Borders and Margins
Italian literary practice in contact with groups that Italy has defined as other —  either beyond or within its geographical boundaries.

Italian 347-0 Visual and Literary Culture in Italy
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,  Germi/Flaiano.

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.

Italian 349-0 Topics in Italian Culture and Literature
Advanced exploration of special topics in Italian studies. Italian 399-0 Independent study Supervised independent reading. Consult the director of undergraduate studies. Courses with reading and discussion in English. No prerequisites in Italian.

Italian 230-0 Italian Theatre and Performance
Introduction to drama and performance in Italy.

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 in topic.

Italian 251-0 Introduction to Italian Cinema: Passion and Defiance
Introduction to postwar Italian cinema, with an emphasis on textual analysis and film criticism.

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.

Italian 270-0 Michelangelo and the Italian Renaissance
A close examination of Michelangelo’s life and work in the broader context of Italian Renaissance culture.

Italian 275-0 Dante’s Divine Comedy
Introduction to the Divine Comedy, its artistic and intellectual achievement, and its cultural and historical context.

Italian 277-0 Neorealism and International Film: Framing Reality
Exploration of Italian neorealism and its influence on European (especially the French New Wave), New Latin American, West African, and Indian cinema.

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 in topic. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

Italian 351-0 Advanced Italian Cinema: Powers of Form  In-depth exploration of postwar Italian cinema. Focus on specific filmmakers (for instance, Antonioni, Visconti,  Pasolini) and/or topics relevant to students within the larger field of cinema and media studies. Prerequisite: 251 or consent of instructor.

Italian 360-0 From the Avant-garde to the Postmodern Major authors and movements animating the modern and contemporary literary scene. Content varies — for example, futurism, feminist Italian fiction, intellectuals  and politics from D’Annunzio to Pasolini, Calvino, Eco, and the postmodern.

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 Italian early modern society and culture. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

Italian 377-0 Gender and Sexuality in 20th-Century Italian  Culture Interdisciplinary course on gender and visual practices in Italy (photography, film, television, and video). Prerequisite: 251 or consent of instructor.

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.