Welcome to Italian Studies

  • Brown in Bologna

    Brown in Bologna

    A glance of how you can STUDY ABROAD in Bologna, Italy!

    Click here for information.

  • spr 2016

    spr 2016

  • Italian Stuides Professor Receives Award from Leverhulme Trust

    Italian Stuides Professor Receives Award from Leverhulme Trust

Exciting Spring 2016 Courses!


Resounding cinema

Listening to the Soundtrack and Soundscape of Italian Film

with Post Doctoral Fellow Antonella Sisto

ITAL1000H - CRN 26135  /  Tu+Th 6:30-7:50pm with Screenings Mondays 7-9 pm
Mario NascimbeneMario Nascimbene
Have you ever considered how film can get to the depth of our feelings with a cabbage, a kitchen knife and a microphone? We will explore the invisible art of sound for film and how sound colors cinema with noises and notes of joy, fear, and detail that can come from the simplest sound objects as coconut shell for horse hooves or hours of recorded rough sea for that scene on an island, or be musicked in amazing scores from notable Oscar winning composers.

This course explores the synergetic and creative work of synchronized sound in film in a way that reveals to the ear a new understanding and awareness of the audio-visual processes, intricacies and sonic intimacies of the medium: from recording, editing, processing, mixing, to spatializing and emotionalizing the score. We will listen to the films of major Italian directors, like Fellini, Antonioni and Pasolini, who worked ‘ear to ear’ with their music composers -Rota, Fusco, Gelmetti, Gaslini and Morricone. From the late neorealist to contemporary old and new maestri like De Sica, Bellocchio and Diritti, through some exemplary horror and comedy genre film, the sensorial and dynamic impact of sound will be discussed drawing upon a critical, and dialogical listening, and the elaboration of major theories by investigators of sound from Eisenstein to Shaffer and Chion.

Boccaccio's Decameron  - Illustration by Anna and Elena Balbusso (New Yorker)Boccaccio's Decameron - Illustration by Anna and Elena Balbusso (New Yorker)

…ESCAPE THE PLAGUE (into the Garden of Eden)

  Boccaccio's Decameron and the End of the World  

 with Prof. Massimo Riva

Italian Section
ITAL1020 CRN 25900 ,  Q hour,  Th 4 - 6:30 pm
English Section 
ITAL1020 CRN 24287 ,  T, Th 1:00-2:20 pm

Close study and discussion of Boccaccio's collection of 100 tales told by ten young Florentines over a period of two weeks, while in flight from the devastating plague of 1348. The Decameron defined the standard of Italian prose narrative for four centuries and deeply influenced Renaissance drama. We will pay particular attention to visualizations and adaptations of the Decameron into a variety of media, from manuscript illumination to painting, theatre and film. Students will contribute to the Decameron Web, the award-winning Boccaccio web site administered by the department of Italian Studies.  

POPULAR CULTURE, 1400 – 1800    

with Professor Caroline Castiglione


ITAL 1430 S01 or History 1980 U, S01 - CRN 26040
Mon. 3 – 5: 30 pm

How did ordinary people in the past understand the world and their place within it? From folktales to rebel songs, carnival play and everyday rituals, we will explore the  the popular culture of Europe through the lens of Italy.  For their own research paper, students may explore issues in popular culture through any geographical vantage point that opens a window on the multiplicity of popular cultures of the world before 1800. Taught in English. WRIT

Gold Wool & Stone: Painters and Bankers in Renaissance Tuscany

with Prof. E. Lincoln

HIAA 0550 - CRN 25710 
T, Th 1-2:20

Explores the paintings, sculpture, grpahic art and architecture of Tuscany in the 15th century in Florence but also venturing into Siena, Arezzo, Borgo San Sepalcro and elsewhere. Using Renaissance critical terms and analytical tools, we take into account the technical and commercial habits of craftspeople, the economy of the cities and towns, and the forms and function sof art in domestic, civic and religious spheres. WRIT A

Great Authors and Works of the Italian Renaissance

with Prof. Ronald Martinez
ITAL1320.s.1 - CRN 24625  /  Tu-Th 2:30-3:50pm   (Primarily in Italian)
ITAL1320-Great Authors and Works of the Italian RenaissanceITAL1320-Great Authors and Works of the Italian Renaissance

The city of Ferrara was the most fertile source of Italian narrative poetry in the early modern period. There Ludovico Ariosto, a courtier of the Este Dukes of the city, wrote the greatest narrative poem of the Renaissance, the Orlando furioso. Modestly presenting itself as a continuation of the Orlando innamorato of Boiardo, Ariosto’s poem sold more copies than the Bible and spread literacy in Italy and in Europe. Ariosto’s poem, the first great modern epic about madness, also transformed European literature by inspiring Cervantes’ Don Quixote, Montaigne’s Essays, and Byron’s Don Juan. Taught primarily in Italian.

The Southern Question and the Colonial Mediterranean

 with Prof. Nicola Perugini
ITAL 1400P - CRN24507 / Tu 4-6:20PM (Taught in English)

This course examines Antonio Gramsci's interpretation of the Southern Question (quistione) in an attempt to better understand the politics and culture informing the colonial Middle East. Through an analysis of Gramsci’s critique of Southernism –the representation of Southern Italy as a semi-barbarous territory inhabited by “biologically inferior beings”– and his sociological description of pre-World War II Italy, we will acquaint ourselves with some of the key-concepts characterizing his political thought. Next, we will examine how critics of European colonialism in the Mediterranean have adopted this rich epistemological and analytical vocabulary.DPLL LILE WRIT  

The Divina Commedia: PARADISO (in Italian)

with Prof. Ronald Martinez

ITAL1620-CRN 24624
Wednesday 3-5:20PM