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Italian Studies, Deparment of Languages, Literatures and Cultures


Undergraduate Courses

Course Descriptions for the Fall 2015 semester

ITAL 110 - Elementary Italian I, 3 cr.

Training in the four basic skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. This course, the first of the two-part elementary Italian sequence, quickly takes students from knowing no Italian at all to the point where they can understand and enjoy the language. In addition to using the textbook and its online components, students also learn about Italy's culture through innovative activities in class. Oral drills, written exercises, 3 hours per week. Training in the four basic skills: speaking, reading, writing and understanding. Text: Avanti!, 2nd ed. with online component.

ITAL 120 - Elementary Italian II, 3 cr.

Continued training in the four basic skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. Building upon what they learned in 110, students in this class are exposed to all principal grammar points that remain. Added emphasis on communication skills and on developing the ability to complete a wide range of linguistic tasks as well as on acquiring familiarity with Italian culture. Text: Avanti!, 2nd ed. with online component. Prerequisite: ITAL 110.

ITAL 126 - Intensive Elementary Italian, 6 cr.
Course taught in Italian.

Lecture with student participation. Acquisition of the four language skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. For students with no previous study of Italian. Course covers the same material as one year of Elementary Italian (110 and 120). Successful completion of ITAL 126 followed by ITAL 246 allows student to satisfy CAS language requirement in one year. Especially recommended for students intending to participate in the Siena Program.

ITAL 230 - Intermediate Italian I, 3 cr.
Course taught in Italian.

Readings, discussion, revision of grammar and exercises. Review of first-year grammar and further development of the four acquisitional skills: speaking, reading, writing, and understanding. Prerequisites: ITAL 120, 126 or instructor's permission.

ITAL 246 - Intensive Intermediate Italian, 6 cr.
Course taught in Italian.

Reading and discussion, selective grammar review and conversation. Development of reading skills, introduction to modern Italian literary texts that will serve as basis for class discussion and writing assignments. Grammar review and reinforcement will respond to student needs. Selected readings from the works of contemporary Italian authors, including short stories, plays, poetry and so on. Prerequisite: ITAL 120, 126 or permission of instructor.

ITAL 280 Language Suite Conversation, 2 cr.
Course taught in Italian.

Thatcher House, by arrangement. First year Programs feature small classes or discussion sections of lecture classes taught in the residence halls. In order to participate, students must register for at least two residentially based courses in each of their first two semesters at the University. Honors Colloquium (ITAL 280 H01) available. 1 cr.

ITAL 297L - New Horizons in Reading, Writing and Conversation, 3 cr.
Course taught in Italian.

Consolidation of language skills (esp. speaking, reading and writing). Students will broaden their exposure to Italian culture and literature through progressively more complex readings, writing, and other cultural experiences (music, film, etc.). The course will count as an elective towards the Major or Minor. 3 credits. Prerequisite: ITAL 240, 246 or permission of instructor.

ITAL 350 - Introduction to Italian Cinema, 3 cr.
Course taught in English.

This course is a historical overview of how the most modern form of visual and narrative art responded to Italian culture, i.e. one of the richest traditions in painting, mosaic, and theater. From silent movies to current productions, the history of Italian film parallels and documents also the history of a modern nation, from pre-industrial to post-industrial economy.

ITAL 371 - Advanced Grammar and Composition, 3 cr.
Course taught in Italian.

The goal of the course is to improve the understanding of Italian advanced grammar. This will be accomplished through: reading, analysis and discussion of a wide range of Italian texts, both literary and non-literary, in order to gain familiarity with many styles, registers and uses of the language. Students will also be involved in a substantial amount of guided writing in which they will have the opportunity to practice and experiment with topics in grammar, style, register and literary genres as they are discussed throughout the semester. Focusing on these areas will allow students to improve written and spoken communication skills. Active class participation is essential and will be a part of the evaluative process. Requirements: Weekly assignments, formal compositions, a midterm and a final exam. Prerequisite: Italian 240 or 246.

ITAL 497LP - Literary Periodicals of Italy, 3 cr.
Course taught in Italian

The 20th century in Italy is often referred to as "the century of periodicals." This is due to the lively cultural debate that took place on dozens of literary periodicals that sprung up all over the Nation. Evidently, this was the result of the urgent need felt by intellectuals, often young and highly engaged, to create new opportunities outside the formal academic context to share ideas and participate in the cultural debate of one of the most interesting and exciting eras of Italian and European history. This course will provide a synchronic view of this cultural debate as it happened in real time through the pages of some of the most representative periodical publications during the first six decades of the last century, from the pre-WWI years to the immediate WWII aftermath. Born around the tables of literary cafés in Florence, Rome, or Turin and animated by the newest literary theories, artistic avant-garde movements, and social and political turmoil, literary periodicals offered an open forum to Italian intellectuals to share ideas and to explore and interact with the other European cultures, at a time – such as the fascist ventennio – of strict cultural nationalism and censorship. The UMass and Five College libraries offer an outstanding collection of literary periodicals. Throughout the semester we will hold a number of hands-on classes in our libraries in order to familiarize ourselves with the original documents and the appropriate research techniques. Prerequisite: Italian 240 or 246.

ITAL 500 and above are listed under Graduate Course Descriptions.