Italian Culture Courses in English

The Italian Progran offers courses in English about Italian culture in its different manifestations over the centuries and in different locations around the world: ITAL 262, 275, 276, 280, 377, 379, 380, 381. Please see an advisor to learn more about these courses.

For the latest information, visit the Course Catalog:

See course descriptions below:

ITAL 262     Italian Americans in Film (3 hours lecture)     3

A historical overview of images of Italian Americans on the screen from the earliest years of cinema to the late 20th century, the course provides a background for the Italian experience in the U.S. and in particular in the NY-NJ area through a wide spectrum of films including silent, noir, drama, comedy, and documentaries, as well as a range of established and lesser known directors. While showing how Italian American film has established itself in the national canon, the course offers a number of critical tools for unpacking how ethnicity is represented and mediated in the film genre. It is designed for students who are interested in a critical analysis of popular films such as Goodfellas and The Godfather, curious about the historical evolution of on-screen images of Italian Americans from The Sheik starring Rudolph Valentino to Saturday Night Fever starring John Travolta, and looking for a reading of ethnic representation in classics such as Do The Right Thing and Kiss of Death. Meets GenEd 2002 requirement - World Literature/General Humanities. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: ENWR 105 or HONP 100 or ENWR 106 or HONP 101.

ITAL 275        Italian American Experience                3

The Italian American Experience: On the Margins or in the Mainstream? An introduction to Italian American Studies offering an overview of the Italian experience in the United States from the first great waves ofimmigration to today. Focus will be on the politics of representation of Italian American identity in works from a wide textual base: literature and journalism, cinema, the figurative arts, music, television, advertising, etc.Themes to be investigated include the trauma of separation, relationships with the dominant culture and other ethnic communities, and the formulation of ethnic identity in a U.S. context. A major component of this course will be oral history research in the local community. Taught in English. Cross listed with Classics, GNHU 176; Educational Foundations, EDFD 176. 3 hours lecture.

ITAL 276           The Italian Cinema                   3

Italy on the Silver Screen: Topics in Italian Cinema. A course focusing on the major exponents of and themes in Italian cinema from Neo-Realism to the present. The selected films, illustrating a variety of styles and ideological underpinnings, explore crucial moments in the development of modern Italian society. Topics for a given semester will be selected from the following: film aesthetics and film theory, the development of the Italian cinema industry, history in cinema, national identity, immigration and ethnicity, representations of masculinity and femininity, the class struggle, and cinematic adaptations of literary works. Taught in English. Cross listed with Classics GNHU 277. 3 hours lecture.

ITAL 280      20th Century Italian Literature                     3

20th Century Italian Literature. Selected writers illustrating the main currents of 20th century Italian literature. Pirandello, Ungaretti, Montale, Pavese, Betti, Vittorini, Silone, Moravia, and others. Taught in English. Not for major credit. 3 sh.

ITAL 337       Italian American Novel                                 3

The Italian-American Novel. Prerequisites: Departmental approval. A presentation of representative works of Italian-American authors dealing with the problems of the Italian immigrant as he/she inserts him/herself into the American mainstream. Didonato's Naked as an Author, Puzo's Godfather and the Fortunate Pilgrim, and Fante's Dago Red are some of the works to be considered. Taught in English. Not for major credit. 3 sh.

ITAL 379        Dante                                                         3

Dante. Prerequisites: Departmental approval. A critical study of Dante, considering especially the Divine Comedy and other selected works in their medieval context. Taught in English. Not for major credit. 3 sh.

ITAL 380        Italian Humanism & Renaissance               3

Italian Humanism and Renaissance. Prerequisites: Departmental approval. The works of Petrarch, Boccaccio and Machiavelli, and a secondary consideration of works of other authors of the Renaissance. Taught in English. Not for major credit. 3 sh.

ITAL 381          Contemporary Italian Cultural Studies         3

Contemporary Italian Cultural Studies. Prerequisites: Italian majors or minors or departmental approval. Introduction to and critical assessment of social, political, historical, economic, and religious aspects of Italian life through a wide range of subtopics such as immigration, racism, identity, ethnicity, popular culture, stardom, icon worship, and others in search of a broader understanding of Italian culture. Interdisciplinary methodologies based on cultural anthropology and sociology and critical and theoretical approaches such as Gramscian Marxism, Feminism, and Postmodernism are employed to question the humanistic distinction between high and low culture. Comparisons drawn between Italian and American cultures. Required for majors. Taught in English. 3 hours lecture.