Spring 2021 Course Offerings

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The most up-to-date list of course offerings is always available via View Schedule of Classes on BuckeyeLink.

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French 1801 - Masterpieces of the French-Speaking World

Instructor: Mackenzie Leadston, HYBRID, TR 11:10 am - 12:30 pm, 3 credit hours

GE Literature, GE Diversity: Global Studies. Taught in English. 

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While French Existentialism was one of the most popular philosophies of the 20th century, its impact extended far beyond the writings of Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Albert Camus. Their writings and ideas created a cultural movement that still reverberates today, though its official era has concluded. This course will examine not only the origins and central themes of existentialism, but also its cultural, political and artistic implications. We will read literary works by Sartre, Camus, Boris Vian, and Samuel Beckett, and watch films by Agnès Varda and Jean-Luc Godard. In the final part of the course, we will examine the influences of the movement in the work of Richard Wright and more recently by Boots Riley. Through these texts, the course explores the ideas and influences of existentialism and its enduring legacy.


French 1803.01 – Paris: The City of Light from the Revolution to Right Now

Instructor: Jennifer Willging, ONLINE, meets in Zoom on Tuesdays 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm, 3 credits hours

GE Cultures and Ideas. Taught in English.

In this fully on-line course we will explore the city of Paris from the Revolution of 1789 to right now, without the security lines or lumpy hotel beds. We will learn how the city’s geography and society have evolved over the last two centuries by examining representations in a variety of media, such as maps, paintings, photographs, films, and literary and historical texts. We will take a tour of the city over time by delving into a number of sites of memory at key historical moments, such as the Terror of 1793-94, the great renovation of the 1860s under Napoléon III, the American expatriate “colonization” of the 1920s, and the revival of French fashion after the Second World War. This course will meet for discussion in Zoom on Tuesdays 2:30-3:30, and the rest of the material will be presented asynchronously.


FRIT (French and Italian) 2061 - Mediterranean Food Culture

Professor Harry Kashdan, ONLINE, TR 12:45 pm – 2:05 pm, 3 credit hours

GE Culture and Ideas and Diversity: Global Studies. Taught in English.

FRIT 2061 Image

The “Mediterranean Diet” is regularly the subject of breathless speculation in the press. Can olive oil really make you live longer? Is red wine actually good for you? This course uses the popular image of the “Mediterranean Diet” and the associated Mediterranean lifestyle as the jumping off point for an inquiry into the role of food in Mediterranean culture. We will investigate the role of the culinary in Mediterranean identities and pay close attention to how residents of different Mediterranean countries approach the foods of their neighbors. Does a Greek find Turkish food familiar or alien? What does a Tunisian eat in France? How does what we eat matter? What about when, where, and with whom? We will approach these questions through close readings of fiction, cookbooks, and films about Mediterranean food, which we will supplement with selections from a number of scholarly sources on Mediterranean food culture. We will explore culinary metaphors and the relationships between cuisine and language, while discovering what kinds of tools we need to study food as a cultural project. 


Italian 2053 - Introduction to Italian Cinema

Instructor: Giuliano Migliori, 7-week session 2, ONLINE, TR 2:20 pm – 5:00 pm, 3 credit hours

GE Visual Performing Arts and Diversity Global Studies. Taught in English. 

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This course presents students with an overview of Italian cinema of the last seventy years and looks at films and serial television by important Italian directors. We touch upon major genres and movements in Italian screen history, including Neorealism, comedy Italian style, political cinema, the woman’s film, the spaghetti western, mafia movies, the film noir, coming-of-age film, the docudrama, and quality television.


Italian 2055 - Mafia Movies

Professor Dana Renga, ONLINE, WF 12:45pm – 2:05 pm, 3 credit hours

*This class is fully online, with required synchronous meetings taking place via Zoom during the regular scheduled class times.

GE Visual Performing Arts and Diversity Global Studies. Taught in English. 

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The Mafia in Italy is referred to as an octopus as the organization pervades almost every facet of Italian cultural life. Tony Soprano, Don Vito and Michael Corleone, Lucky Luciano, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, Ciro di Marzio, Peppino Impastato, Roberto Saviano, Christopher Moltisanti, and Donnie Brasco are some of the figures that contribute to the myth of the Italian and Italian-American Mafias. In this course we watch Italian and American mafia movie and television hits, and explore the myth of the Mafia that is so widespread in America, and trace its history as it passes across time and through multiple cultures. We will question whether there exists a unique American or Italian cinema and television treating the Mafia and explore how filmmakers from the two countries approach the subject in dissimilar fashions, especially in terms of stereotyping, gender, and representations of violence and alluring criminals.


Italian 3051 – Italian Romances

Professor Jonathan Combs-Schilling, HYBRID, WF, 11:10 am – 12:30 pm, 3 credit hours

GE Literature, GE Diversity: Global Studies. Taught in English.

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Knights of the Round Table, Amazon warriors, wild-west gunslingers, intergalactic Jedi—these heroic archetypes are linked by the narrative strategy and ideological structures of romance. In this course we examine the enduring influence of romance narrative on how stories are told and communities are represented today. We will begin with the classical and medieval origins of this kind of storytelling (like Homer’s Odyssey) and a few contemporary works (like Monty Python’s Holy Grail) that satirize the genre to become familiar with its conventions. We will then read medieval and renaissance “classics” of the genre, before turning to recent stories that bear the trace of romance, from an historical spy novel to Star Wars: Rogue One. Our focus will be the titanic impact of romance on representations of European cultural values and its frequently problematic depiction of foreign cultures (esp. those of the Middle East). Throughout, we will ask the question: has romance been a site for the “clash of civilizations,” a space for multicultural exchange, or both?


FRIT (French and Italian) 3053 - The Black Mediterranean

Instructor: Harry Kashdan, HYBRID, TR 3:55 pm – 5:15 pm, 3 credit hours

GE Culture and Ideas, GE Diversity: Global Studies. Taught in English.

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The history of the Mediterranean has often been written as one of contact and conflict between the North and West (Europe and Christianity) and the South and East (North Africa, Western Asia, and Islam). Although scholars are increasingly attentive to the place of sub-Saharan African migrants and refugees in the contemporary Mediterranean, the growth of such studies risks suggesting that Blackness is somehow “new” to the Mediterranean space. A careful examination of Mediterranean history and culture shows, instead, that Black peoples have been integral to Mediterranean societies from the beginning. This course offers a broad survey of the Black Mediterranean, from the Ancient World through the present. We will explore Blackness in Classical civilizations, the construction of race in Europe’s Middle Ages, the enslavement of Black peoples in Muslim lands of the Middle East and North Africa, and the legacies of colonialism in France and Italy today. Our course materials will include literary texts, films, and academic treatments of the Black Mediterranean. 


Italian 3798.01 - The Italian City: A Virtual Adventure

Professor Jonathan Mullins, ONLINE, Tuesday/Thursday 11:30 am - 12:25 pm, 3 credits

GE Culture and Ideas, GE Diversity: Global Studies. Taught in English.

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This course “visits” cities to tell the cultural history of Italy, a place which boasts an astonishing variety of famous and captivating urban centers (Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome, Naples, and many more). Through their fertile and competitive interaction with one another, these cities have shaped the dramatic arc of Italian history and launched countless sociocultural phenomena that have spread all over the globe, from the Mona Lisa and modern banking to Gucci and parmesan cheese. Through Zoom lectures and discussions, literary readings, cinematic viewings, and virtual tours, games and scavenger hunts, we will track how the Italian city has acted as a laboratory for the production of economic and intellectual exchange, political and artistic experimentation, scientific breakthroughs, and richly layered forms of cultural identity. 

Students taking this class can still apply to the 2021 session of The Italian City Program. 

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Please refer to the Schedule of Classes via BuckeyeLink to view days and times of these offerrings.

Note about French 1101-1103 classes: The Department of French and Italian offers three types of courses for the French basic language sequence to meet the needs of different types of students. Please read the comparison grid carefully to determine which type of course is best suited for you. 

French 3101 French Grammar Review

 

French 1101.01, 1102.01, 1103.01 - Beginning French I, II, and III Classroom (4 credit hours)

French 1101.61, 1102.61, 1103.61 - Beginning French I, II, and III Individualized Distance Learning (2-4 credit hours)

French 1155.01 - Beginning French Review Classroom (4 credit hours)

Italian 1101.02, 1102.02, 1103.02 - Beginning Italian I, II, and III Hybrid (4 credit hours)

Italian 1101.71, 1102.71, 1103.71 - Beginning Italian II and III Online (4 credit hours)


Italian 5101 – Intensive Italian

Instructor: Giuliano Migliori, MWF 9:10 am – 10:05 am, 5 credit hours

GE Foreign Language

Covers the same material in Italian 1101, 1102, and 1103 in one semester course. The course is necessarily fast-paced and ideal for students who find learning foreign languages fun and interesting. Previous foreign language study ideal but not required. Not open to native speakers of Italian.

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French 2101.01 – Introduction to French and Francophone Studies

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Section 19317: Instructor TBD, TR 2:20 pm – 3:40 pm, 3 credit hours

Section 26127: Instructor Jennifer Willging, TR 9:35 am – 10:55 am, HYBRID, 3 credit hours

Welcome to the threshold to the French minor and major! In French 2101.01, you will have the opportunity to practice and improve your reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in French, as well as to continue learning about French and Francophone literatures and cultures through reading, viewing, and interpreting authentic literary and visual texts from around the Francophone world.


French 2101.01H – Honors Introduction to French and Francophone Studies

Instructor: Danielle Marx-Scouras, ONLINE, TR 2:20 pm – 3:40 pm, 3 credit hours

French 2101.01 Honors image

How can the act of opening a door constitute poetry? Why do contemporary French musicians make use of seventeenth and nineteenth century writers such as La Fontaine and Rimbaud? Is hip-hop poetry? Why is Camus still the best-selling author in France? Is the French spoken in Quebec still “French”? What about slang as we read a novel Kiffe kiffe demain (2004), which gives us a very different perspective on what it means to be “French”. Written by Faïza Guène when she was only nineteen years old, this “banlieue” novel has been translated into 26 languages.

Representative works from literature and the media will be read in conjunction with music and film.

This course prepares students for further work in culture, literature, composition, and conversation. Students will gain proficiency in analyzing literary texts and media materials. They are expected to engage in lively class discussions and give oral presentations. Writing is also an essential component of the course. There will be an intensive peer-edited writing workshop that will prepare you for advanced writing in French. The course will also introduce students to the workings of undergraduate research.

Non-honors students are most welcome, but need the permission of the instructor to enroll (marx-scouras.1).


French 3101 - French Grammar Review

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Section 19318: Instructor Gloria Torrini-Roblin, ONLINE, MWF 12:40 pm – 1:35 pm, 3 credit hours

Section 28276: Instructor TBD, TR 12:45 pm – 2:05 pm, 3 credit hours

In this course you will find all the information that you need to speak and write like the French. Review grammar you've seen, learn some you haven't, and practice translations in order to rid your French of those pesky anglicismes! We will look at usage examples in French popular songs, film clips, and short readings, and do plenty of conversation.


French 3102 - French Pronunciation and Performance

Instructor: Kathryn Schlosser, TR 2:20 pm – 3:40 pm, 3 credit hours

*This course in not open to native and near-native students.

Formation of French sounds, rules of pronunciation and diction.  Reading and performing poems, excerpts from plays, public performances, television or film scripts. 


French 3103 - French Conversation

Professor Danielle Marx-Scouras, ONLINE, 7 week session 2: WF 2:20 pm – 5:00 pm, 3 credit hours
 
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*This course in not open to native and near-native students.

Watch Monsieur Nobek Teach Français From Saturday Night Live

L'accent - Fabulous Trobadors

“Parlez-vous Français?

Oui!

Parlez-vous Français?

Oui!

Si tu peux le parler allez tombez la chemise” (Art vs. Science)

Several decades ago, a colleague asked me why I was teaching slang in my conversation course considering that the students had not mastered French. I replied: “What’s ‘French’?”.

What’s “French” anyway? What does it mean to “master” a language? When someone tells you, “Mais vous n’avez aucun accent,” what are they actually saying? Is slang French? Is Marseillais French? What about French spoken in Quebec and Africa? These are only a few of the questions we shall address in this course.

As we listen to and practice French in a variety of contexts, we shall reflect on what it means for us–as individuals–to speak “French”.  I hope that each one of you will find your own idiolect amidst the endless possibilities that this local, national and world language affords us: an idiolect in which you affirm your unique identity and fluency.

You are expected to attend and actively participate in every single class. No perks for wallflowers! Please practice projecting your voice before the onset of the course so that everyone can hear you from the moment you arrive!

Quelques voix pour vous inspirer!

Recent OSU distinguished invited speaker Ta-Nehisi Coates (Middlebury French language program) (Vimeo) (YouTube)

Bradley Cooper (Studied in Aix-en-Provence for six months)

Angela Davis (French major at Brandeis University, junior year abroad in Paris)

Jodie Foster (attended the Lycée Français in LA)

Shan Sa (French writer)

Jack Kerouac (French-American writer of the Beat Generation)

Kim Thuy (Quebec writer)

David Sedaris (from Me Talk Pretty One Day)


French 3202 – Literary and visual texts of the Francophone World

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Instructor Adela Lechintan-Siefer, HYBRID TR 11:10 am – 12:30 pm, 3 credit hours

This course, taught in French, is multimedia in nature, thereby reflecting the rich literary, cinematographic, and musical diversity of the francophone world. One of our goals will be to understand the ways in which texts, films and music connect to give us an aesthetic, cultural, political and historical understanding and appreciation of France and other Francophone countries.


FRIT (French and Italian) 3301 – Discovering Second Language Acquisition

Instructor: Wynne Wong, ONLINE, TR 9:35 am – 10:55 am, 3 credit hours

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Note: This distance course is taught in English. The course is not language specific and has relevance for the learning and teaching of all languages.

Do you like languages? Are you currently learning a language and wish to understand how to learn it better? Do you hope to teach languages one day? Second Language Acquisition (SLA) is a field that is devoted to understanding and explaining the processes that underlie the learning of another language after one has already acquired a first language. How does second language acquisition happen? How do we create a brand new linguistic system in our heads?

This course introduces undergraduate students to the exciting field of second language acquisition. This course is ideal for language learners who wish to reflect on and improve their own language learning experience, for those who desire to become language instructors, and for anyone who simply has an interest in languages. The questions we will explore include:

  • Is second language acquisition like first language acquisition?
  • Does the first language help or get in the way of SLA?
  • Why do children become universally native-like but second language learners seem not to?
  • Why do we make errors in a second language (or at least appear to)?
  • I took 4 years of Spanish and got all As so why am I not fluent?
  • What’s the difference between learning two languages from birth as opposed to learning a second language later in life?
  • What about individual differences like motivation and aptitude?
  • Why do I still have an accent?
  • Is there a best way to teach languages?
  • How do I design pedagogical practice to facilitate second language acquisition?

You will have the opportunity to design and teach a brief mini online language lesson in the language of your choice.


French 3403 – La Cuisine Française: Gastronomic Culture, Language, and Expression

Instructor: Sarah-Grace Heller, HYBRID, WF 11:10 am – 12:30 pm, 3 credit hours

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Taste fabulous French specialties and learn to cook to some simple and classic French dishes. Explore French and Francophone cultural ideas around dining, good table manners, and the meanings of food through short readings. We will spice things up with a pinch of grammar (sorry, cheesy metaphor!) and plenty of conversation. Learn to read and translate recipes. Discuss and write about your personal experiences with food and with experiencing other cultures. This will be a hands-on, practical, delicious language course.


French 3502 – French for International Studies

Instructor: Adela Lechintan-Siefer, WF 12:45 pm – 2:05 pm, 3 credit hours

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In this course, taught in French, we will learn about the relations between French-speaking countries and international organizations as well as current events in the French-speaking world by reading short articles, watching news reports and mini-documentaries, participating in debates, and writing short essays in French. Students will develop language skills that they can use in international studies, diplomacy, human rights, journalism, and other professional contexts. Taught in French.


French 4100 - Advanced French Grammar for Contemporary Contexts

Instructor: Gloria Torrini-Roblin, ONLINE, WF 9:35 am – 10:55 am, 3 credit hours

Review and expansion of grammatical structures as they are used in speaking and writing in a variety of especially contemporary contexts.


French 4401 – The Interactive Enlightenment

Instructor: Benjamin Hoffmann, TR 3:55 pm – 5:15 pm, 3 credit hours

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Through close reading and creative writing exercises, seminar participants will interact with the legacy of the French Enlightenment and use literary and philosophical models from the eighteenth-century to reflect on the pressing challenges of our time. Reading literary, theatrical, and philosophical works, we will study the heritage of absolutism, libertinage, new relations between the public and private spheres, changing constructions of individual and national identity, the role of the philosophes and their new criteria of nature and tolerance in the coming of the Revolution, as well as l’esprit encyclopédique and its manifold manifestations. We will ask ourselves what’s left today of the Enlightenment and to what extent we can use the work of its most prominent thinkers to address the challenges of today. Authors to be studied will include Lahontan, Voltaire, Diderot, d’Alembert, Rousseau, Marivaux, and Olympe de Gouges. Conducted in French


French 5403 – Albert Camus: A Writer for Our (All) Time(s)

Instructor: Danielle Marx-Scouras, ONLINE, TR 11:10 am – 12:30 pm, 3 credit hours

French 5403 Visual

Camus’s La peste (1947) has become an international best seller once again: it is “the defining book of the coronavirus crisis” (Samuel Earle). However, this is not the first time that this novel has been so widely read since the 1940s. During the Aids epidemic of the 1980s, Randy Shilts’s And the Band Played On brought Camus to the forefront.

Sixty years after his untimely death at the age of 46, Camus remains the most widely read and popular writer of French expression in the world. In this course, we shall explore not only why Camus’s literary, philosophical, journalistic, and political works have had such an enduring shelf life, but, more importantly, why Camus continues to be a key reference point (and moral compass) in historical moments marked by political uprisings and civil wars, terrorism, identity politics, and pandemics.  Readings by Camus will be supplemented by those of Maghrebian authors such as Tahar Ben Jelloun, Kamel Daoud,  Assia Djebar, and Jean Sénac, as well as by films and popular culture.

This course will be offered in French. In the past, there have been issues registering for French 5403. Please contact me (marx-scouras.1) or Sonya Afanasyeva (afanasyeva.1) if this is the case. French 5403 may be repeated three times. Please be sure to sign up for three credits.  

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French 5403 – Albert Camus: A Writer for Our (All) Time(s)

Instructor: Danielle Marx-Scouras, ONLINE, TR 11:10 am – 12:30 pm, 3 credit hours

French 5403 Visual

Camus’s La peste (1947) has become an international best seller once again: it is “the defining book of the coronavirus crisis” (Samuel Earle). However, this is not the first time that this novel has been so widely read since the 1940s. During the Aids epidemic of the 1980s, Randy Shilts’s And the Band Played On brought Camus to the forefront.

Sixty years after his untimely death at the age of 46, Camus remains the most widely read and popular writer of French expression in the world. In this course, we shall explore not only why Camus’s literary, philosophical, journalistic, and political works have had such an enduring shelf life, but, more importantly, why Camus continues to be a key reference point (and moral compass) in historical moments marked by political uprisings and civil wars, terrorism, identity politics, and pandemics.  Readings by Camus will be supplemented by those of Maghrebian authors such as Tahar Ben Jelloun, Kamel Daoud,  Assia Djebar, and Jean Sénac, as well as by films and popular culture.

This course will be offered in French. In the past, there have been issues registering for French 5403. Please contact me (marx-scouras.1) or Sonya Afanasyeva (afanasyeva.1) if this is the case. French 5403 may be repeated three times. Please be sure to sign up for three credits.  


French 8302 – Issues in Second Language Acquisition

Instructor: Wynne Wong, ONLINE, R 2:20 pm – 5:00 pm, 3 credit hours

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Instructed second language acquisition (ISLA) as a subfield of second language acquisition (SLA) has become an increasingly important area of study within second language studies. This is evidenced by a surge in the number of books and volumes on the effects of instruction the last few years, particularly in the area of focus on form instruction. What is the relationship between instructed second language acquisition and second language acquisition more generally? To what extent is the former informed by the latter? To what extent is focus on form in classroom practice informed by theory and research in both areas?

In this distance course we will (among other things):

  • discuss some major theories in SLA;
  • examine research in the area of ISLA with particular attention to focus on form research;
  • look at how (or if) ISLA research is informed by SLA theory;
  • analyze various focus on form practices to determine how (or if) they are informed by research & theory in SLA;
  • create pedagogical activities that are informed by theory and research;
  • design a research proposal to investigate an issue in instructed ISLA/focus on form.

Prerequisite for the course: There is no pre-requisite but a basic course in second language acquisition is strongly recommended. Course is taught in English.


FRIT (French and Italian) 8601 – Theories of Fashion and Consumption

Instructor: Sarah-Grace Heller, W 2:20 pm – 5:00 pm, 3 credit hours

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Literature and media are at once objects of consumption, and narratives employing representations of consumption.  The unique logic of Fashion can explain many impulses and patterns that Reason finds inexplicable. We will explore attempts by philosophers, essayists, anthropologists, psychologists, and sociologists to understand fashion-based behaviors of consumption. Readings will include Roland Barthes’s Fashion System, Jean Baudrillard’s Consumer Society, Pierre Bourdieu’s Distinction, Gilles Lipovetsky’s The empire of fashion: dressing modern democracy, Honoré de Balzac’s Traité de la vie élégante, Baudelaire’s Peintre de la vie moderne, and Montaigne’s essays, among other texts.

Why do people consume? Why does consumption inspire rage and protest, at times?  Fashion is a complex system that engages personal psychology, as well as social hierarchy; a society’s broader economy, as well as the minute expenses of small, individual choices. Fashion is time: each ephemeral wave of style rejects the recent past, but often recycles a more distant one. The timelines of these incremental reactions offer archeologists and historians tools for dating works, and authors tools for showing time’s passage in long stories.  Fashion theory can serve as a framework for analyzing works that were popular in their own time but fell into obscurity once outmoded and overdone. Fashionable objects (clothing among other things), when put to narrative use, can construct characters, announce transitions, and ignite readers’ fantasies. Fashion places cultural value on pleasure, and so to study it is to examine the mechanisms of desire.

Students may read either in French or English translation. There will be discussion groups in each language. 

Assignments: Discussion Forums with short essays and reactions, presentation of a critical work, and final project applying a variety of these theories to the student’s own ongoing research interests.

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Italian 2102 - Contemporary Italian Studies

Instructor TBA, TR 9:10 am – 10:05 am, 3 credit hours

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In this course you will learn about a variety of aspects of Italian contemporary society and culture, while at the same time focusing on the four language skills: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Since you are transitioning from the elementary to the intermediate level, at this point more emphasis will be placed on developing your reading skills, so you will be exposed to a lot of authentic Italian in different genres. (However, your listening, writing, and speaking skills will not be ignored!) You will learn techniques to improve your reading in Italian and you will progress from reading relatively short texts to reading a short novel. Grammar will be reviewed and tested throughout the course. The targeted structures are: irregular plurals of nouns and adjectives, the forms and functions of the regular and some irregular present indicative verbs, direct and indirect object pronouns; the passato prossimo, the imperfect, and the past perfect (trapassato prossimo), and the remote past.


Italian 3223 – The Regions of Italy

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Instructor: April Weintritt, MW 2:20 pm – 3:40 pm, 3 credit hours

Development of language skills while studying the histories and cultures of a variety of regions of Italy. Not open to native speakers of Italian.


Italian 5101 – Intensive Italian

Instructor: Giuliano Migliori, MWF 9:10 am – 10:05 am, 5 credit hours

GE Foreign Language

Covers the same material in Italian 1101, 1102, and 1103 in one semester course. The course is necessarily fast-paced and ideal for students who find learning foreign languages fun and interesting. Previous foreign language study ideal but not required. Not open to native speakers of Italian.


Italian 5331 – History of the Italian Language

Instructor: Janice Aski, TR 11:30 am – 12:25 pm, 3 credit hours

Italian 5331 image

This course will be a deep dive into the evolution of Italian from Latin. We will discuss the development of the sounds and structures and examine the first attestations of these transformations in some of the oldest texts written in the volgare (the spoken language, not Latin). After this, we will explore the earliest literary works written in the volgare during the Duecento and Trecento and their role in the famous 'Question of the Language'. Finally, we will follow the development of Italian from the Quattrocento to today. We will conclude by exploring why the Italian presented in grammar books does not match spoken Italian today.

*Have no fear, undergraduate students; Although this course has a 5000-level number, there will be no graduate students enrolled.

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Italian 5101 – Intensive Italian

Instructor: Giuliano Migliori, MWF 9:10 am – 10:05 am, 5 credit hours

GE Foreign Language

Covers the same material in Italian 1101, 1102, and 1103 in one semester course. The course is necessarily fast-paced and ideal for students who find learning foreign languages fun and interesting. Previous foreign language study ideal but not required. Not open to native speakers of Italian.


Italian 5331 – History of the Italian Language

Instructor: Janice Aski, TR 11:30 am – 12:25 pm, 3 credit hours

Italian 5331 image

This course will be a deep dive into the evolution of Italian from Latin. We will discuss the development of the sounds and structures and examine the first attestations of these transformations in some of the oldest texts written in the volgare (the spoken language, not Latin). After this, we will explore the earliest literary works written in the volgare during the Duecento and Trecento and their role in the famous 'Question of the Language'. Finally, we will follow the development of Italian from the Quattrocento to today. We will conclude by exploring why the Italian presented in grammar books does not match spoken Italian today.

*Have no fear, undergraduate students; Although this course has a 5000-level number, there will be no graduate students enrolled.


FRIT (French and Italian) 8601 – Theories of Fashion and Consumption

Instructor: Sarah-Grace Heller, W 2:20 pm – 5:00 pm, 3 credit hours

FRIT 8601 image

Literature and media are at once objects of consumption, and narratives employing representations of consumption.  The unique logic of Fashion can explain many impulses and patterns that Reason finds inexplicable. We will explore attempts by philosophers, essayists, anthropologists, psychologists, and sociologists to understand fashion-based behaviors of consumption. Readings will include Roland Barthes’s Fashion System, Jean Baudrillard’s Consumer Society, Pierre Bourdieu’s Distinction, Gilles Lipovetsky’s The empire of fashion: dressing modern democracy, Honoré de Balzac’s Traité de la vie élégante, Baudelaire’s Peintre de la vie moderne, and Montaigne’s essays, among other texts.

Why do people consume? Why does consumption inspire rage and protest, at times?  Fashion is a complex system that engages personal psychology, as well as social hierarchy; a society’s broader economy, as well as the minute expenses of small, individual choices. Fashion is time: each ephemeral wave of style rejects the recent past, but often recycles a more distant one. The timelines of these incremental reactions offer archeologists and historians tools for dating works, and authors tools for showing time’s passage in long stories.  Fashion theory can serve as a framework for analyzing works that were popular in their own time but fell into obscurity once outmoded and overdone. Fashionable objects (clothing among other things), when put to narrative use, can construct characters, announce transitions, and ignite readers’ fantasies. Fashion places cultural value on pleasure, and so to study it is to examine the mechanisms of desire.

Students may read either in French or English translation. There will be discussion groups in each language. 

Assignments: Discussion Forums with short essays and reactions, presentation of a critical work, and final project applying a variety of these theories to the student’s own ongoing research interests.