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ITAL 110 — Elementary Italian I, 3 credits

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: Tutt* a tavola, vol 1.


ITAL 120 — Elementary Italian II, 3 credits

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: Tutt* a tavola, vol 2. Prerequisite: ITAL 110.


ITAL 126 — Intensive Elementary Italian, 6 credits

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


ITAL 229 — Pic Lit: The Culture of Italian Comics, 4 credits

Course taught in English. This course explores the history of Italian fumetti and graphic novels beginning with comics journals of the early 1900s and ending with contemporary comic books, strips, and graphic novels. Students will learn how to read and interpret the hybrid language of comics, using an appropriate vocabulary for the medium. We will study a number of important historical moments in Italian history, including the ventennio of Fascism, the 1960s and 1970s, and the creation of the EU, connecting them to the history of the publication of Italian comics and graphic novels. With this newly-acquired historical knowledge, students will engage in critical analysis of the texts and will explore how these texts both reflect and engage with Italian society at the time of their production. Ultimately, students will acquire a general knowledge of contemporary Italian history and the ability to read and analyze the medium of comics. In addition, they will develop the skills necessary for critically engaging with pop culture and connecting art to socio-cultural history. Counts towards GenEd requirements (AL, DG).


ITAL 230 — Intermediate Italian I, 3 credits

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 listening, as well as intercultural competence. Text: Torniamo a tavola! Volume 1. Prerequisite: ITAL 120, 126 or instructor's permission.


ITAL 240 — Intermediate Italian II, 3 credits

Course taught in Italian. Readings, discussion, revision of grammar, and exercises. Advanced grammar study and further development of the four acquisitional skills: speaking, reading, writing, and listening, as well as intercultural competence. Text: Torniamo a tavola! Volume 2. Prerequisite: ITAL 230 or instructor's permission.


ITAL 246 — Intensive Intermediate Italian, 6 credits

Course taught in Italian. Reading and discussion, selective grammar review and conversation. Development of reading skills, and introduction to modern Italian literary texts which 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: short stories, poetry, film and/or theater. Prerequisite: ITAL 120 OR 126 OR permission of instructor.


ITAL 250 — Food, History, and Cultural Identity in Italy, 3 credits

Course taught in English. Reading in Italian is available for Italian majors. Italian bread, Italian seasoning, Italian herbs, Italian breadcrumbs, Italian sausage, Italian vinaigrette, and finally "Ristorante Italiano" appear to refer, outside of Italy, to a concept of Italian cuisine that is universally recognized, though very generic and undefined. From the Alps to the coasts of Sicily, over the centuries, Italy has produced countless individual culinary traditions, which express themselves through local products, recipes, rituals, and cooking techniques. Though clearly distinct from each other, these traditions do share a sense of belonging to a national cuisine - loosely identified with the Mediterranean diet - of international recognition, which has in its dramatic diversity and almost infinite variety, its most distinctive traits. The local traditions that make Italian cuisine are the result of the interaction between centuries of history that have forged Italian culture and identity, and a territory that has shaped the inhabitants who are deeply rooted in it. This course will investigate possible strategies to elaborate a credible definition of "Italian cuisine" that is applicable to food in Italy as well as outside the country.


ITAL 251 — Hip Hop and Identity in Contemporary Italy, 4 credits

Course taught in English. This course examines Italy's past and presentperhaps surprisinglythrough the lens of global hip-hop music and culture, an increasingly popular form of expression among first- and second-generation Italians. The course will cover a general history of the hip-hop genre in its relation to social justice. Students will become familiar with the leading voices of Italian hip hop from the past and present, and the role their work plays in the discussion of contemporary issues of diversity, identity, and belonging in Italy. Counts towards Gen Ed requirements (AT, DG).


ITAL 280 — Language Suite Conversation, 2 credits

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 credit.


ITAL 297L — New Horizons in Reading, Writing, and Conversation, 3 credits

Course taught in Italian. Italian 297 has the goal of bridging the gap between introductory language courses and upper-level literature and culture classes. Students will complete a variety of written assignments and participate in classroom discussions based on two contemporary Italian films, excerpts from blogs and newspapers, and readings of literary works included in the primary text. Students will review basic grammar and learn advanced grammatical constructs. Themes include, but are not limited to, the changing role and composition of the Italian family and the evolving gender roles in Italian society. Prerequisite: ITAL 240, 246, or instructor's permission.


ITAL 303 — Writing on Language, 3 credits

Course taught in Italian. Readings and discussions will be in Italian; written assignments for most students will be in English, as this course satisfies the departmental junior-year writing requirement (JYW). Students examine various genres of Italian cultural expression, including poetry, songs, short stories, theater, cinema, novels, and, to a limited extent, art history. Emphasis is placed on developing and refining students' written critical responses to the objects of study. Each year the thematic content of the course will vary. Students should contact the designated instructor to apprise themselves of upcoming thematic content. (Past thematic emphases have been 'La Cultura e la letteratura del Mezzogiorno d'Italia' and 'Il paesaggio letterario italiano.')


ITAL 324 — Introduction to Italian Literature I, 3 credits

Course taught in Italian. Designed as one of the first courses in which students read to learn (as opposed to learning to read), Intro to Italian Literature gives a general overview of the main works and trends of pre-modern Italian culture. Authors studied in this course include some of the greatest figures of all time: Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Machiavelli, Michelangelo, and more. Counts toward the Medieval Studies Certificate, a required course for the Italian major and minor.


ITAL 325 — Introduction to Italian Literature II, 3 credits

Course taught in Italian. This course will examine the principal literary movements of the Italian tradition from the 16th century to contemporary times. Works by Galileo Galilei, Cesare Beccaria, Alessandro Manzoni, Giacomo Leopardi, Giovanni Verga, Cesare Pavese, and Natalia Ginzburg, among others, will be studied. Discussions of modernity, Italian history, and literary genre will provide a context for the readings. Required course for the Italian major and minor.


ITAL 328 — Intro to Italian Linguistics, 3 credits

Course taught in Italian. Students in this course will become familiar with the main themes of historical linguistics in the study of Italian, including the language's development from Latin, its evolution in the Middle Ages, and its most characteristic idiosyncrasies. Special emphasis will be placed on phonology and on helping students to eliminate their English accents. Prerequisite: Italian 240 or 246.


ITAL 333 — Women's Bodies: Poetry, Politics, and Power, 4 credits

Course taught in English. This course analyzes selected texts, films, speeches, and art that were produced in Italy from 1900 until today. Lectures will make reference to the Italian literary canon, as well as introduce works by emerging female authors who represent different perspectives within Italian culture and politics. We will read the works of established women writers from the twentieth century, as well as members of the G2, and emerging migrant and queer female voices. Starting with futurism and fascism, we will explore questions of how popular music, literature, films, and politics contain subtle (and not so subtle) messages about the role of women and political and private implications. The works we examine place women's experiences in a global context and encourage students to reflect on how the issues we study (abortion, the erosion of women's rights, civil rights struggles, etc.) connect to students' experiences at UMass and in the United States today. Counts toward Italian major and minor as well as Medical Humanities Certificate and GenEd (AL, DG).


ITAL 334 — The Italian American Experience, 4 credits

Course taught in English. This seminar examines the history and cultural production of Italians in the United States from 1870 to today. The first part of the course discusses the conditions that spurred mass emigration from Italy and led to the constitution of Italian Americans as the fourth largest ethnic group in the United States today. Analyzing literary texts, films, and historical documents, this course follows the evolution of Italian American culture and identity, both collective and personal. The second part of the course focuses in on identity politics and migration in contemporary Italy to show how the Italian American experience has continued to evolve in the new millennium. Counts toward Italian major and minor as well as GenEd (AL, DU).


ITAL 350 — Italian Film, 3 credits

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, mosaics, 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. Counts towards GenEd (AT).


ITAL 371 — Advanced Grammar and Composition, 3 credits

Course taught in Italian. The goal of the course is to improve the understanding of advanced Italian 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 their written and spoken communication skills. Active class participation is essential and will be a part of the evaluative process. Requirements include weekly assignments, formal compositions, a midterm, and a final exam. Prerequisite: Italian 240 or 246.


ITAL 394MI — Italy and the Mediterranean, 3 credits

Course taught in English. This course will approach the rich Mediterranean tapestry by focusing on connections among the various cultures of the Mediterranean basin. Emphases on art/architecture, literature, environmental practices, commerce, and food, from a historical perspective. Examples will be taken chiefly from Sicily and Southern Italy, North Africa, Venice, Turkey (Constantinople/Istanbul) and the Middle East, Spain, and France; from the medieval period to more recent colonial occupations and contemporary migrations. Counts as Integrative Experience (IE) course.


ITAL 420 — Expressions of the Modern, 3 credits

Course taught in Italian. This course addresses the notion of "Modernity" in Europe through the wide rage of its expressions in different fields such as philosophy, literature, figurative arts, music, etc. Italian Modernism will be presented against the backdrop of the European modernist movement, emphasizing its constant dialogue with other national cultures, as well as with its own cultural tradition and contemporary social and political situation. Cross-listed with ITAL 520, with different requirements, for graduate students.


ITAL 422 — Literatures of Fascist Italy 3 credits

Course taught in Italian. Course cross-listed at the 400 and 500 levels, with different course requirements for graduate and undergraduate students. The course will present an overview of the many aspects of Italian literary culture during and around the years of the fascist regime: from the hi-brow poetry of Eugenio Montale and Umberto Saba to the cultural debate on pro-fascist and antifascist periodicals, to the bestsellers of the time such as the novels of fascist propaganda, those meant for educating the large public of female readers, the so-called "erotic" literature and many other aspects of Italian culture under the regime. Strong emphasis will be placed on the social and historic circumstances of which each text examined was an expression, thus providing an accurate account of the many aspects of fascism in Italy in relation with the larger European context. Requirements: Two formal assignments, midterm, presentations, and final paper. Cross-listed with ITAL 522 for graduate students. Prerequisite: Italian 240 or 246.


ITAL 428 — Boccaccio's Decameron, 3 credits

Taught in Italian. An Italian masterpiece and one of the most important collections of short fiction in the history of World Literature, the Decameron is also the story of ten college-aged Florentines who isolate themselves in the countryside in an attempt to escape from the plague. Sound familiar? The community they form and the tales they tell each other are as pertinent to our lives today as they were in the years of the Black Death. Prerequisite: ITAL 240, 246 or equivalent. Counts toward Medieval Studies Certificate and cross-listed with ITAL 528 for graduate students.


ITAL 497AF — The "Maestri" Antonioni and Fellini, 3 credits

Course taught in Italian. This course examines the parallel work of two recognized masters of world cinema, Michelangelo Antonioni (1912-2007) and Federico Fellini (1920-1993), between the 1950s and the early 1970s, from their common origins and collaboration to their gradually diverging ways of coping with Italy’s progressive modernization and finally to their complementary ideas of the world and of cinema, which have now become global paradigms. Course cross-listed with ITAL 597AF, with different course requirements for graduate and undergraduate students.


ITAL 497CF — A Hard Look on Reality: Italian Neo-Realism and Beyond, 3 credits

Course taught in English. 19461953: after the end of the war, Italy finally gets its chance of becoming a modern nation. Political and historical contradictions, memories of the recent past, expectations for the imminent future, and social conflicts converge into some of the most important productions in the history of the film form, which historians will later regroup under the rubric "neo-realism." Actors and film directors like Vittorio De Sica, Luchino Visconti, and Roberto Rossellini revolutionized the film form and function in a way that would later prove crucial throughout worldwide filmmaking. The course investigates the writings and the major feature films of these directors and of others to understand the aesthetic and ideological implications of their ways of representing reality. Cross-listed with ITAL 597CF for graduate students.


ITAL 497DF — The Divas: Feminine Icons in Italian Cinema, 3 credits

Course taught in English. The course explores the social role and meaning of some of the most important actresses of post-WWII Italian cinema (Anna Magnani, Sofia Loren, and Monica Vitti, among others) as both metamorphic representatives and problematic probes of a rapidly modernizing society, and proposes a model of the female figure as "the active face of the crisis" (Giorgio Tinazzi). Cross-listed with ITAL 597DF for graduate students.


ITAL 497FB — Italian Film/History and Memory: Fascism Revisited by Italian Democracy, 3 credits

The course examines how major film directors, novelists, and poets have revisited the encumbering inheritance of the ventennio fascista ("twenty years of fascism") in a nation whose cultural identity is based on anti-fascism and whose constitution forbids the reconstitution of the Fascist Party. Questions of national identity will be addressed. Lectures and readings shall be in English, but primary texts of fiction and poetry shall be available (and required) for those who need credits in Italian. Cross-listed with ITAL 597FB for graduate students.


ITAL 497FL — F. Fellini: the Liar, 3 credits

The course investigates how Federico Fellini's work seeks to construct the fiction now globally understood as Italian identity also through the relationship between the camera and the audience. Cross-listed with ITAL 597FL for graduate students.


ITAL 497L — Lit, Theory, and Thinking in Calvino's Narratives, 3 credits

Taught in Italian. The course will address, in particular, the relationship between literature, theory, and thinking in Italo Calvino's late works and essays. Special emphasis will be placed on Calvino's effort to approach the complexity of modern experience through his encyclopedic writing technique. Requirements: weekly readings and assignments, two compositions, midterm, presentation, and final exam. Cross-listed with ITAL 597O, with different course requirements for graduate and undergraduate students.


ITAL 497LP — Literary Periodicals/Italy, 3 credits

The 20th century in Italy is often referred to as "the century of periodicals." This is due to the lively cultural debates that took place in 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. Cross-listed with ITAL 597LP for graduate students.


ITAL 497S — History of Italian Gastronomy, 3 credits

Taught in Italian and open to advanced undergraduate and graduate students. Graduate students should register for ITAL 597R. The course provides an overview of the development of Italian cuisine and dominant taste from the Middle Ages to the late 19th century tracing the origins of modern Italian culinary tradition as we know it today. Through the analysis of original cookery manuals we will explore ingredients, recipes, and menus of the medieval banquet and its importance as a social event, its transformation through the Renaissance and the culinary revolution of the 18th century, leading to the creation of the new cuisine of the upcoming middle class of modern Italy.


ITAL 497T — Early Renaissance, 3 credits

Course taught in Italian. This course presents a detailed look at the birth of Humanism, beginning with Petrarca, Boccaccio, Salutati, Valla, Poliziano, and Alberti. We then follow selected humanistic themes into the High Renaissance, giving special attention to Ficino, Pico, Pulci, Michelangelo, and the courtly scrittori and scrittrici. Cross-listed with ITAL 514 for graduate students. Prerequisite: ITAL 240, 246 or instructor's permission.


ITAL 507 — Dante and the Duecento, 3 credits

Taught in English. In this course, students will become familiar with the major currents of 13th-century Italian poetry and will explore Dante's Divine Comedy as an encyclopedic compendium of medieval thought as well as a very personal vision of the individual's place in the universe, a journey that is as meaningful now as it was 700 years ago. Counts toward Italian major and minor as well as the Medieval Studies Certificate


ITAL 580 — Contemporary Italian Literature: Voices of the New Millennium, 3 credits

Course taught in Italian. This course explores several significant literary works, figures, and movements of the 21st century in Italy thus far. These include the genre-bending cultural phenomenon of Roberto Saviano and Gomorra; the international juggernaut of Elena Ferrante; and the addition of "new" voices of first and second-generation writers who interrogate "Italianness" and identity in the Italy of today. These contemporary texts shed light on modern Italian history and contain themes that are both uniquely Italian and also universal. This course will also include television and cinematic adaptations of many of the literary texts and will analyze the role of mass media in contemporary literature and culture.  
 


Graduate Offerings


ITAL 514 — Early Renaissance, 3 credits

Course taught in Italian. This course presents a detailed look at the birth of Humanism, beginning with Petrarca, Boccaccio, Salutati, Valla, Poliziano, and Alberti. We then follow selected humanistic themes into the High Renaissance, giving special attention to Ficino, Pico, Pulci, Michelangelo, and the courtly scrittori and scrittrici. Cross-listed with ITAL 497T for undergraduate students. Prerequisite: ITAL 240, 246 or instructor's permission.


ITAL 520 — Expressions of the Modern, 3 credits

Course taught in Italian. This course addresses the notion of "Modernity" in Europe through the wide range of its expressions in different fields such as philosophy, literature, figurative arts, music, etc. Italian Modernism will be presented against the backdrop of the European modernist movement, emphasizing its constant dialogue with other national cultures, as well as with its own cultural tradition and contemporary social and political situation. Cross-listed with ITAL 420, with different requirements, for undergraduate students.


ITAL 522 — Literatures of Fascist Italy 3 credits

Course taught in Italian. Course cross-listed at the 400 and 500 levels, with different course requirements for graduate and undergraduate students. The course will present an overview of the many aspects of Italian literary culture during and around the years of the fascist regime: from the hi-brow poetry of Eugenio Montale and Umberto Saba to the cultural debate on pro-fascist and antifascist periodicals, to the bestsellers of the time such as the novels of fascist propaganda, those meant for educating the large public of female readers, the so-called "erotic" literature and many other aspects of Italian culture under the regime. Strong emphasis will be placed on the social and historic circumstances of which each text examined was an expression, thus providing an accurate account of the many aspects of fascism in Italy in relation to the larger European context. Requirements: Two formal assignments, midterm, presentations, and final paper. Cross-listed with ITAL 422 for undergraduate students. Prerequisite: Italian 240 or 246.


ITAL 528 — Boccaccio's Decameron, 3 credits

Taught in Italian. An Italian masterpiece and one of the most important collections of short fiction in the history of World Literature, the Decameron is also the story of ten college-aged Florentines who isolate themselves in the countryside in an attempt to escape from the plague. Sound familiar? The community they form and the tales they tell each other are as pertinent to our lives today as they were in the years of the Black Death. Cross-listed with ITAL 428 for undergraduate students. Prerequisite: ITAL 240, 246, or equivalent.


ITAL 572 — Basic Methods of Teaching, 3 credits

Course is taught in English. This course will explore the teaching of foreign/second languages from theoretical, historical and practical perspectives. Students will engage in a range of activities designed to reinforce their understanding of the material and guide its application to their developing language teaching practices. The course is intended for both experienced and inexperienced language teachers.


ITAL 580 — Contemporary Italian Literature: Voices of the New Millennium, 3 credits

Course taught in Italian. This course explores several significant literary works, figures, and movements of the 21st century in Italy thus far. These include the genre-bending cultural phenomenon of Roberto Saviano and Gomorra; the international juggernaut of Elena Ferrante; and the addition of "new" voices of first and second-generation writers who interrogate "Italianness" and identity in the Italy of today. These contemporary texts shed light on modern Italian history and contain themes that are both uniquely Italian and also universal. This course will also include television and cinematic adaptations of many of the literary texts and will analyze the role of mass media in contemporary literature and culture.  


ITAL 597AF — The "Maestri" Antonioni and Fellini, 3 credits

Course taught in Italian. This course examines the parallel work of two recognized masters of world cinema, Michelangelo Antonioni (19122007) and Federico Fellini (19201993), between the 1950s and the early 1970s, from their common origins and collaboration to their gradually diverging ways of coping with Italy’s progressive modernization and finally to their complementary ideas of the world and of cinema, which have now become global paradigms. Course cross-listed with ITAL 497AF, with different course requirements for graduate and undergraduate students.


ITAL 597CF — A Hard Look on Reality: Italian Neo-Realism and Beyond, 3 credits

19461953: after the end of the war, Italy finally gets its chance of becoming a modern nation. Political and historical contradictions, memories of the recent past, expectations for the imminent future, and social conflicts converge into some of the most important productions in the history of the film form, which historians will later regroup under the rubric "neo-realism." Actors and film directors like Vittorio De Sica, Luchino Visconti, and Roberto Rossellini revolutionized the film form and function in a way that would later prove crucial throughout worldwide filmmaking. The course investigates the writings and the major feature films of these directors and of others to understand the aesthetic and ideological implications of their ways of representing reality. Cross-listed with ITAL 497CF for undergraduate students.


ITAL 597DF — The Divas: Feminine Icons in Italian Cinema, 3 credits

Course taught in English. The course explores the social role and meaning of some of the most important actresses of post-WWII Italian cinema (Anna Magnani, Sofia Loren, and Monica Vitti, among others) as both metamorphic representatives and problematic probes of a rapidly modernizing society, and proposes a model of the female figure as "the active face of the crisis" (Giorgio Tinazzi). Cross-listed with ITAL 497DF for undergraduate students.


ITAL 597FB — Italian Film/History and Memory: Fascism Revisited by Italian Democracy, 3 credits

The course examines how major film directors, novelists and poets have revisited the encumbering inheritance of the ventennio fascista ("twenty years of fascism") in a nation whose cultural identity is based on anti-fascism and whose constitution forbids the reconstitution of the Fascist Party. Questions of national identity will be addressed. Lectures and readings shall be in English, but primary texts of fiction and poetry shall be available (and required) for those who need credits in Italian. Cross-listed with ITAL 497FB for undergraduate students.


ITAL 597FL — F. Fellini: the Liar, 3 credits

The course investigates how Federico Fellini's work seeks to construct the fiction now globally understood as Italian identity also through the relationship between the camera and the audience. Cross-listed with ITAL 497FL for undergraduate students.


ITAL 597LP — Literary Periodicals/Italy, 3 credits

The 20th century in Italy is often referred to as "the century of periodicals." This is due to the lively cultural debates that took place in 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 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. Cross-listed with ITAL 497LP for undergraduate students.


ITAL 5970 — Lit, Theory and Thinking in Calvino's Narratives, 3 credits

Taught in Italian. The course will address, in particular, the relationship between literature, theory and thinking in Italo Calvino's late works and essays. Special emphasis will be placed on Calvino's effort to approach the complexity of modern experience through his encyclopedic writing technique. Requirements: weekly readings and assignments, two compositions, midterm, presentation, and final exam. Cross-listed with ITAL 497L, with different course requirements for graduate and undergraduate students.


ITAL 597R — History of Italian Gastronomy, 3 credits

Taught in Italian and open to advanced undergraduate and graduate students. Graduate students should register for ITAL 497S. The course provides an overview of the development of Italian cuisine and dominant taste from the Middle Ages to the late 19th century tracing the origins of modern Italian culinary tradition as we know it today. Through the analysis of original cookery manuals, we will explore the ingredients, recipes, and menus of the medieval banquet and its importance as a social event, its transformation through the Renaissance and the culinary revolution of the 18th century, leading to the creation of the new cuisine of the upcoming middle class of modern Italy.


ITAL 608 — Dante's Comedy, 3 credits

Taught in English. In this course, students will become familiar with the major currents of 13th-century Italian poetry and will explore Dante's Divine Comedy as an encyclopedic compendium of medieval thought as well as a very personal vision of the individual's place in the universe, a journey that is as meaningful now as it was 700 years ago.