Graduate Courses, Fall 2010

Culture and Religion

Prof. Finotti

Dante's Commedia

Prof. Brownlee

Worldviews in Collision: The Reformation and Scientific Revolution in Italy

Prof. Kirkham

This course explores the impact of paradigm shifts on culture. Radical conflicts developed in 16th- and 17th-century Europe when Protestant reformers, scientific discoveries, and geographical explorations challenged a long-held Medieval worldview and the authority of the Roman Catholic Church, which pursued its own reform at the Council of Trent (1545-1563). How did these historical upheavals influence changing styles in poetry and art from the high Renaissance to Mannerism and the Baroque? What kinship connects with this historical past comparable paradigm shifts (Darwin, Freud, Einstein) in the 19th- and 20th-centuries? Readings will include: Machiavelli's comic play Mandragola, the vitriolic polemic involving Martin Luther, Thomas More, and King Henry VIII; Tommaso Campanella's Utopian dialogue The City of the Sun, selections from Galileo and The History of the Council of Trent by the Venetian Paolo Sarpi; poetry from Petrarch to Marino and Marinismo, parallel examples in the visual tradition from Leonardo to Bernini; and on the modern end, John Osborne's Luther, Bertholt Brecht's Galileo, and a classic Hollywood film Utopia, Frank Capra's Lost Horizon.

Course Materials/Textbooks for this course will be available at the Penn Book CENTER (130 S. 34th Street; (215) 222-7600).

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.