Course Program

There are several options available, based on a student's level of Italian proficiency.

Level 1

for students with little or no prior Italian language experience

1. Beginning Italian, Culture and Conversation (two traditional first year semester courses) (6 cr.)

Aims to introduce and familiarize students with Italian grammar, culture and diction while inserting them into a "non-artificial" Italian-speaking environment as soon as possible. Frequent workbook assignments.

Textbooks:

2. One Elective course (see below) (3 cr.)

3. Internship within the Divine Comedy Project (3 cr.)


Level 2

prerequisite: at least one year (2 semesters) of college level Italian or permission of the instructor

1. Intermediate Italian (two traditional second year semester courses) (6 cr.)

Aims at further developing student's confidence in grammar and improve competence in oral and written Italian. This course will include frequent workbook assignment plus selected readings from original sources.

Textbooks:

2. One Elective Course (see below) (3 cr.)

3. Internship within the Divine Comedy Project (3 cr.)


Level 3

prerequisite: at least 4 semesters of college level Italian

1. Advanced Italian Grammar and Conversation (two traditional third year semester courses) (6 cr.)

Aims to strengthen and develop competence in oral and written expression. Practice consists of discussions, classroom presentations, exercises in diction, and oral and written reports. While much of class time focuses on further developing oral/aural skills through discussions and presentations of current events, there will be a significant grammar review and homework assignments include workbook exercises to refine the use of more complex grammatical structures. Weekly journal assignments. This course will focus on "Media Discourse Analyses", analyzing current events through their treatment in the print media.

Textbooks:

2. Advanced Internship within the Divine Comedy Project or Internship at Local Business and Completion of a Research Project/Final Paper (6 cr., 3 cr. without reserach project/paper)

3. One Elective Course (see below) (3 cr.) optional


Advanced Level

prerequisite: at least 5 semesters of college level Italian

1. One Elective Course (see below) (3 cr.)

2. One or two courses at the University of Pisa or Florence (3 or 6 cr.)

3. Advanced Internship within the Divine Comedy Project or Internship at Local Business and Completion of a Research Project/Final Paper (6 cr., 3 cr. without reserach project/paper)


Graduate Students

the graduate student program is designed to offer the most flexibility to graduate students at different levels of their programs. Students may chose to particpate within the Academy's academic programs (suggested for graduate students in fields other than Italian) and Internships or concentrate on their individual research.

1. one of the following:

a. Advanced Internship within the Divine Comedy Project or at a Local Business (optional)

b. 1 or 2 courses at the University of Pisa or Florence (optional)

c. one Elective Course (see below) (optional)

2. one of the following

a. Supervised Independent Reasearch for Thesis/Papers/Scholarly Project/Articles for Publication

b. Supervised Preparation for General Exams in Italian Literature, Renaissance Arts, Italian History and Arts

c. Independent Travel/Research with a Home Base at the Academy, including access to all of its resources and resources within the Florence area


Independent Scholars/Artists

1. Beginning/Intermediate/Advanced Italian (based on level of proficiency)

2. Advanced Internship within the Divine Comedy Project

3. One Elective course (optional)

Independent Scholars/ Artists who wish to attend for a time period less than one full semester should contact ekeckert@fas.harvard.edu for available 4,6,8 and 10 week time frames.



Elective Courses

depending on student interest and preparation, one or two of the following elective courses will be offered:

1. An Introduction to Dante’s Divine Comedy (3 cr.)

Comprehensive introduction to Dante’s life and his masterwork. The Divine Comedy will be studied as one of the most important texts of European literary tradition and a comprehensive synthesis of medieval culture. Part of this course will be weekend excursions to nearby sites described by Dante in his Poem to further the student’s comprehensive approach and experience with the work.

Course taught in English or Italian, depending on student preparation.

Textbooks:

Dante: Inferno, Purgatory, Paradiso (translation and commentary by John S. Singleton, Princeton University Press)
selected secondary articles

2. Medieval and Renaissance Florentine Art History (3 cr.) optional

Study of the classical and Christian roots of the Florentine Renaissance through an hermeneutic and aesthetic analysis of the major architectural, pictorial and sculptural masterpieces of the city and its region, from the XI c. until the XVI c. General survey of the main artistic periods and currents examined from a symbolic point of view in a spiritual and socio-cultural sense. A special emphasis will be put on the works of Cimabue, Giotto, Brunelleschi, Masaccio, Donatello, Paolo Uccello, Piero della Francesca, Leonardo, Michelangelo. A series of lessons will be also devoted to the history of the Italian garden from the Middle Ages through contemporary times, focusing on the most renown examples in the Tuscan area such as the Boboli and Bardini gardens in Florence, the Garzoni estate and Pinocchio’s thematic park in Collodi.

Course taught in English or Italian, depending on student preparation.

Textbooks:

F. Negri Arnoldi, Storia dell'Arte, Voll. I- II, Milano, Fabbri, 1994.

 

selected articles:

 

3. La Divina Commedia – Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso (3 cr.)

Historical and philosophical introduction to hermeneutics as the ‘science of interpretation’. Presentation of the ‘symphonic’ thought and poetic style of Dante in his Poem. Detailed analysis of the various thematic units of a series of cantos from the three canticles. Analysis of the poetic text with a special interest for linguistic ambiguities, recurrent motives, theologic and psychologic symbolism.

Course taught in English or Italian, depending on student preparation.

Textbooks:

selected articles:

4. Italian through Opera

A study of the most important Italian opera libretti. This course is for students with a good elementary knowledge of Italian and who feel comfortable expressing themselves in Italian in class and are aiming at improving their spoken language skills while reading, analyzing and discussing short texts of varying difficulty.
The course focuses on intermediate to advanced language and style, written and oral. This is a course aimed at intermediate to advancd language students, and though we will be using opera libretti, we do so to build your reading, writing, listening and speaking skills, as well as your knowledge of Italian culture.

This course will include at least one trip to assist a live performance at the opera in Florence, Lucca or Pisa.

Course taught in Italian - open to students who are comfortable discussing basic concepts in Italian.

 

5. Three Trips to Hell: Ulysses, Aenes, Dante

This course will examine the three most important "descents into hell" of Western literature: Homer's Odyssey book XI, Virgil's Aeneid book VI and Dante's Inferno.
While Homer's and Virgil's texts will be studied carefully, the main part of the course will necessarily focus on Dante's Inferno. Since no previous experience or study of Dante is required, none of the main aspect's of the Divine Comedy will be ignore - the course, however, will center around the mhythological aspect of Dante's voyage to the underworld and it will take a comparative approach to the three works being studied. Students will be asked to read several other books (or sections thereof) of the Odyssey and the Aeneid, as indicated in the syllabus. Selected secondary sources and articles will occasionally be assigned to deeped our understanding of certain critical issues, but the main focus of the class will always remain on the three primary texts themselves.
This course will require very close and attentive reading of a limited number of pages. Attendance and participation at classroom discussions is absolutely fundamental.
Depending on student interest, reading sections in Ancient Greek, Latin and/or Italian can be arranged to read the most salient parts of the works in their original language.

Course taught in English. Possible readings in Italian, Latin and Ancient Greek.

Textbooks:
Homer: Odyssey (translation: Richard Lattimore)
Virgil: Aeneid (translation: John F. Fitzgerald)
Dante: Inferno (tranlation and commentary: John S. Singleton)

 

6. Crime: fiction and reality in contemporary Italy

Insights into Italian society and culture's obsession with gialli, especially through Italian newspaper and magazine articles, feature films, newsprograms and novels. The course is intended for students who possess a good knowledge of Italian, and who feel comfortable reading short literary texts in the original, and viewing feature length feature films (possibly with Italian subtitles). The course focuses on advanced language and style, written and oral. This is an advanced language course, and though we will be using literature, media and film, we do so to build your reading, writing, listening and speaking skills, as well as your knowledge of Italian culture.

Course might include visits to local carabinieri/police headquarters and guest lectures about crime in Italy today.

Course taught in Italian. Students should be comfortable reading and discussing original texts in the Italian.


In addition to these courses, resident and visiting faculty hold lectures and mini-seminars on Modern Literature, History of the Italian Theater, History of Classical and Contemporary Dance, as well as Socio-Cultural Aspects of Modern Italy throughout the semester, which are an integral part of the educative experience at the CRA-INITS.


 

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