Graduate Courses, Spring 2004

Italian 536-401
Medieval Allegory

Prof. Brownlee, Prof. Copeland
T 2-5

The seminar considers the theory and practice of medieval allegory in a variety of literary and philosophical contexts. The major focus is on the 12th through the 14th centuries in both the vernacular and Latin, with an awareness of Late Antique philosophical and theological approaches. We will also utilize selectively various modern perspectives on the history and theory of allegory. Readings will include selected texts from Alain de Lille, the Roman de la Rose, Dante, Boccaccio, Chaucer, Gower, Langland, and Christine de Pizan.

Italian 539-401
Cracking the Code

Prof. Kirkham
R 2-4

This course reconstructs traditions of Western number symbolism from antiquity (Plato, the Pythagoreans) to the early modern period with readings both in
encyclopedic treatises on Arithmetic (Macrobius, Martianus Capella, Rhabanus Maurus) and in literary texts that are numerical compositions (Augustine's
Confessions, Petrarch's epistle on the ascent of Mt. Ventoux, Dante's Vita
Nuova
and Commedia, Boccaccio's Diana's Hunt, the Old French Vie de St.
Alexis
, and Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose). Discussion will focus on
numerology as it relates to the medieval esthetic of order, the literary text
as microcosmic counterpart to God's macrocosm, veiled meaning, and "difficult"
poetics. We shall also consider the end of the tradition and what changes in
science and culture brought about the disappearance of number symbolism in
literature, except for a few moderns (e.g. Thomas Mann).

Italian 591-401
International Film Theory/ Italian Film Practice

Prof. Marcus
W 5-7:30, F 2-5

As the "new" art form of the 20th century, film immediately and continuously invited theoretical attempts to define its nature and function. This course will involve a study of the major theoretical approaches to film study, including, but not limited to, psychoanalysis, feminism and gender, genre theory, structuralism and narratology, formalism, realism and phenomenology, auteurism, inter-arts adaptation, semiotics, ideological critique, and postmodernism. Because I believe that the inestimable value of theory is its power to open up texts, our study of each theoretical approach will be grounded in a specific film. My choice of the Italian case reflects, of course, my own career-long research experience. In-depth analysis of exemplary films within a certain cultural context will allow us to apply theoretical paradigms in the most informed possible way. Our exercises in applied theory will aim at exploring the limitations as well as the strengths of a given model. We will screen a film each week (during the Wednesday time slot), and dedicate Friday's seminar to both an examination of a particular approach through the writings of theorists and their critical commentators, and then to an analysis of the film in the light of this paradigm. Films to be considered (tentative and partial list):
Rossellini's Paisan, Vittorio De Sica's Two Women and Bicycle Thief , Nichetti's Icicle Thief, Bertolucci's The Spider Stratagem and The Last Emperor, Antonioni's Blow-Up, Pasolini's Decameron, Fellini's La strada and 8 1/2, Leone's The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Visconti's Death in Venice.

Romance Languages 690-301
Applied Linguistics

Prof. McMahon
M 2-4

Romance Languages 690 is a course required of all Teaching Assistants in
French and Italian 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.

Romance Languages 691-401
Technology and Foreign Languages

Prof. McMahon / Prof. Frei
T 9-10:30; R 4-5:30

This course will introduce participants to the field of technology and foreign language teaching and learning. It will review the pertinent theoretical underpinnings for the pedagogically sound use of technology in the teaching of languages, starting with a brief overview of the historical development of the field. Students will learn to evaluate existing programs and applications with a critical eye through a systematic examination of projects that have been implemented both here at Penn and elsewhere. The course will also have weekly hands-on workshops to introduce participants to the design and development of multimedia materials, including image, video, and sound editing. The focus will be primarily on Web-based design and delivery. All participants will select a project to work on during the course of the semester; in addition they will develop an on-line teaching portfolio.