Graduate Courses, Fall 2011

Ital 535-401
The Poetics and Politics of the Modern Lyric Self

Prof. Brownlee

The course will explore the development of a new authorial subject over the course of the trecento, in the works and the life of Petrarch. Our principal focus will be a reading of the Canzionere (the Rime Sparse) with special attention to "confessional" and "conversionary" first-person narrative modes, to the divided first-person subject, and to the poetics of the lyric collection. In the Trionfi we will explore the poetics of erudition in a first-person mode that attempts a new kind of vernacular poetic practice with a different relation to the Dantean model. The Secretum will reveal the full religious dimension of the divided Petrarchan self, in a dialogic context in which his deeply problematic relationship to Dante as privileged precursor plays an important role. Issues of Petrarch's epic (and in part political) voice will feature in our reading of selections from the Africa, which will also explore his use of genealogical tropes of authority. The Petrarchan self in history and politics will be studied in his Coronation Oration (at the occasion of his being crowned poet laureate at Rome in 1341), and in his hortatory letters to the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV. Taught in English and cross-listed as Comp. Lit. 535

Course materials/textbooks for all sections of this course will be available at the
Penn BOOKSTORE
(3601 Walnut Street; (215)898-7595).

Ital 640-301
Comedy in Italian Renaissance

Prof. Finotti

In Renaissance courts life acquires a theatrical character. The courtier moves
on a stage that conditions his behavior and discourse. How does the
extraordinary rebirth of comic theater connect to this wide-spread
“dramatization” of courtly life? The course will focus on the following general themes:

1) From sacred to profane theater.
2) Performances and translations of Plautus.
3) Italian, English and European tradition: from Aretino to Shakespeare.
4) The comic character of sixteenth-century dialogues
5) Satyrs, shepherds, gods, and the birth of melodrama.

The course will be conducted in Italian. Undergraduates may register with permission from instructor.

Ital 681-401
Representation of Women in Italian Cinema

Prof. Benini

 This course wants to explore examples of representations of women on the cinematic Italian screen, from passive “donne oggetto,” to femme fatales, from desperate housewives to victims of male violence and rape, from mothers to saints, from prostitutes to women with agency.

In our lessons we will contextualize the construction of the image of women since Fascism up to “Berlusconi’s age,” articulating the relationship between different stages of the history of Italian cinema and the correspondent women’s images produced in films. We will be screening movies by De Sica, Rossellini, De Santis, Visconti, Germi, Zurlini, Fellini, Wertmuller, Bertolucci, Pasolini, Tornatore, Crialese, Comencini, and Infascelli. The course will be taught in Italian.

Ital 690-401
Language Teaching/Learning

Prof. McMahon

Ital 690 is a course required of all Teaching Assistants in French, Italian, and Spanish in the second semester of their first year of teaching. It is designed to provide instructors with the necessary practical support to carry out their teaching responsibilities effectively, and builds on the practicum meetings held during the first semester. The course will also introduce students to various approaches to foreign language teaching as well as to current issues in second language acquisition. Students who have already had a similar course at another institution may be exempted upon consultation with the instructor.