Graduate Courses, Spring 2005

Italian 634-301
Women in Poetry: From the Trobairitz to the Petrarchans

Prof. Kirkham
R 2:00-4:00

This course explores female voices in medieval and early modern poetry by both women and men from Italy and France. We shall begin with the foundations of the courtly lyric tradition, reading the trobairitz (female troubadours). Next we shall turn to early Italian texts in which woman is the object of a male authorial gaze. We shall consider both the classical "high" style that idolizes woman (Sicilian School, Petrarch) and programmatic departures from it (Dante's "Stony Rhymes," satirical dialogues, and humorous misogyny). Our point of arrival will be the Petrarchan poets of the 16th c. from Pietro Bembo to Vittoria Colonna, Gaspara Stampa, and Laura Battiferra degli Ammannati. What were the literary and philosophical traditions that shaped notions of female identity? How do women establish their own textual space when appropriating a genre that had been the vehicle for a masculine first-person voice? How do the images of women as scripted by men, or staged through male cross-voicing, differ from those in poetry written by women? What are problems and issues in constructing a national literary history that includes women writers? Course conducted in Italian with readings in Italian. Final essay or final paper by arrangement with professor.

Italian 660-301
Reason and Fantasy in Italian Eighteenth-Century Culture

Prof. Cracolici
W 2:00-4:00

This course provides an explorative account of the Italian intellectual development during the course of the Eighteenth Century. The keywords “reason” and “fantasy” serve here as the heuristic labels for a dialectical approach to the unresolved ambiguity between humanity and nature, judgment and emotion, rationality and sensibility in the writings of various Italian poets and philosophers from the foundation of the Roman Accademia degli Arcadi (1690) to the Napoleonic invasion of Italy (1796-1800). The poetic and historic nature of these events provides the direction, from poetry to history, our discussions will take during the coming semester. The course is divided into three diachronic sections, respectively devoted to the aesthetic implications of the Italian Arcadia, to the ethical foundations of Italian Enlightenment, and to the political underpinnings of Italian Neoclassicism. Discussions and readings will be conducted in Italian.

Italian 680-401
Holocaust in Italian Literature and Film

Prof. Marcus
T 2:00-5:00, M 5-7:30

Though Italy's Jewish population had the highest rate of survival of any Nazi-occupied country in Western Europe, the Holocaust has continued to haunt the Italian literary and cinematic imagination in ways that warrant close critical scrutiny. The aesthetic and moral problem of how to represent this event in art gains special urgency in the Italian context, where a realist tradition dating back to Dante and Giotto joins forces with a postwar neorealist impulse to create a series of compelling literary and cinematic works. In keeping with the Holocaust's invitation to interdisciplinary study, the course will examine the intersection of a number of discourses: historical, literary, cinematic--viewed from a variety of perspectives: feminist, generic, philosophical, theological, and historiographic. Since a good portion of the authors will be women, the question of the "voce femminile" and its creation of an alternative, or anti-history, will also be raised. The purpose of the course will be three-fold:
l) to examine what the specificity of Italian cultural traditions brings to bear on our understanding of Holocaust history
2) to examine what effect, in turn, the Holocaust, as problematic object of representation, has on the literary and cinematic means of expression
3) to continue, through this study, the authors' and filmmakers' own commitment to bear witness to what Primo Levi called "the stain, the central fact" of our times.

This course will be conducted in Italian.

Romance Languages 690-301
Applied Linguistics

Prof. McMahon
M 2:00-4:00

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.