Topics vary. Please check the department's website for a course description at:
Section 301 - SEM
Humanism and the Renaissance have traditionally been regarded as a dramatic departure from the dark Middle Ages. The first to suggest this interpretation were Renaissance men themselves, and though today that image has been mitigated and corrected, it is undeniable that the Renaissance was actually a period of profound change in values and ways of understanding the world. The rediscovery of long-lost texts and cultural heritage of the ancient world forced Renaissance thinkers to reconsider many of their most traditional assets, while old authorities crumbled before the scrutiny of new methodologies. This course will investigate the Italian Renaissance and Humanism in a wider European and Mediterranean context, focusing on authors such as Petrarch, Machiavelli, Leonardo, Erasmus, More, and Luther. Material from the Rare Books and Manuscript Library will be used throughout the course. The course will be taught in Italian and counts toward the minor in Global Medieval Studies.
MW 0145PM-0315PM
Section 401 - SEM
This course explores life in contemporary and postcolonial Italy and some of its most pressing challenges, including immigration, racial politics, hybrid identities, citizenship, and globalization. Students will focus on the social and cultural changes that altered and complicated Italy’s image and status beginning during the 80’s migration movements (mainly from Africa). Specifically, students will identify the connections between Italy’s present and its (often overlooked) colonial past; analyze what constitute Italian-ness (italianità) and the novel ways of expressing black Italian-ness; reflect on how race and blackness are represented in Italian discourses; discuss which modes of expression are being used to describe the contemporary identity crisis in Italy. At the end of the course, students will be familiar with Black Italian artists, writers, and filmmakers, all of whom offer original and multilayered depictions of the interconnections between Italy and Africa and help to reposition Italy in the broad context of the black diaspora.
TR 1200PM-0130PM