Italian Courses - Spring 2019

Italian Spring 2020 Course Descriptions


ROIT 10101 / 10102 / 10110: First-Level Italian

ROIT 10101 and 10102, Beginning Italian I and II, are the standard first-year language sequence, 4 credits per semester, meeting three hours per week plus one day online.   ROIT 10110, Intensive Beginning Italian, is a computer enhanced 6-credit course, combining traditional classroom time and online instruction, to attain the result of ROIT 10101 and 10102 in one semester. It involves independent work by students, a portion of which will be performed online on the textbook Sentieri Vista Higher Learning Supersite. Part of the work will be done in class with your instructor (MWF) and part will be done online on Tuesdays and Thursdays by reading, listening, completing exercises, posting writing assignments and recording your speech on the Supersite. There are two instructors assigned to this course. One will be present in class on MWF, and the other will be following your progress online during the T-Th sessions.  With the sequence ROIT 10110 - 20215, you can reach upper level culture and literature courses in one year.

ROIT 10107-01: Beginning Italian for Engineers
MW 8:20-9:10

An introduction to Italian similar to 10101-10102, but with a greater emphasis on practical information necessary for engineers planning an international study experience.

ROIT 20111-01/02 - (ROIT 10102/20201 combined): Beginning/Intermediate Intensive Italian
MWF 9:25-10:15 & 10:30-11:20
K. Boyle

ROIT 20111 is a six-credit hybrid intensive course that combines second and third semesters of Italian Language study, offering both traditional classroom instruction (MWF for 50 minutes each) and on-line work on the textbook Supersite on TTH.  This course focuses on refining skills in all communicative aspects of Italian: reading, writing, listening and speaking.  By the end of this intensive course, students will be able to better express themselves in Italian, and be culturally aware and engaged users of the language. ROIT 20111 is followed by ROIT 20202.

ROIT 20201 / 20202 / 20215: Second-Level Italian

ROIT 20201 and 20202, Intermediate Italian I and II, are the standard second-year language sequence, 3 credits per semester, meeting three hours per week, and incorporating more advanced language skills with cultural topics.  ROIT 20215, Intensive Intermediate Italian, is a 6-credit course, meeting 4 days per week with an additional day of work done online, and attaining the result of ROIT 20201 and 20202 in one semester.  With the sequence ROIT 10110 - 20215, you can reach upper level culture and literature courses in one year.

ROIT 20202 is a fourth-semester language course that looks at Italy today. Through the analysis of a wide array of literary and nonliterary texts (poems and song lyrics, newspapers and magazines, interviews, short fiction, focused on topics such as gli anni di piombo, immigration, women in Italy, the changing Italian language, etc.), you will further your speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills as well as grasp of a wide variety of styles and registers in Italian. Spoken and written Italian will be practiced through various classroom activities and assignments. 

ROIT 20300-01 – Let’s Talk Italian I (1.0)
W 3:30-4:30
T. Serafini

This is a one-credit conversation course meant to accompany your regular classroom study of Italian language, literature, and culture.  It will not review grammar, but allow you the opportunity to practice your Italian with other language students while considering specific aspects of Italian culture.  There will be no written work.  The instructor may send articles or assign brief research assignment or vocabulary preparation prior to class to facilitate discussion.

ROIT 21205-01 Pre-Study Abroad
W 5:00-6:15
A. Blad

A mini-course that prepares students accepted for study abroad in Notre Dame’s programs in Italy.  Students are prepared for various cultural and day-today challenges that await them in Italy.  Course begins the after Spring Break.

ROIT 30300-01 – Let’s Talk Italian II (1.0)
R 3:30-4:30
C. Moevs

This mini-course in Italian meets one hour per week for group discussions on varied contemporary issues in Italian culture, society, and politics. Conducted in Italian. Recommended for students in their third or fourth year of Italian.  Meant to accompany another Italian course within the year.

ROIT 30310-02 – Passage to Italy
MW 2:00-3:15
S. Ferri

In this fifth-semester course you will survey the rich panorama of Italian culture from the origins to the present, and learn to analyze and understand works drawn from the major literary and artistic genres (lyric poetry, prose, theatre, epic, novel, film, opera, contemporary song, as well as art and architecture). At the same time, you will review and consolidate your grasp of the Italian language at an advanced level.   Taught in Italian; counts as a Lit-Culture course for the major.  Pre-requisite: ROIT 20202 or 20215 or equivalent.  Strongly recommended for majors and supplementary majors. LANG - College Language Req, LIT - Univ.Req. Literature, MESE - European Studies Course. Ways of Knowing Core designations: Advanced Language and Culture; Fine Arts and Literature.

ROIT 30721-01- Introduction to Modern Italian Literature and Culture
MW 11:00-12:15pm
S. Ferri

Renowned for its rich past but full of contradictions up to the modern day, Italy has one of the most fascinating histories in the world. This course sheds light on the history of modern Italy and provides a unique perspective onto Italian modernity by exploring the country’s cultural production. We will focus on key issues that unveil the unique “spirit” of modern Italy, such as the importance of the past, the tension between political realism and idealism, the recurrence of social and political crises, immigration, revolution, and youth culture. Through the study of historical and literary texts, films, and other media, the course seeks to understand the development of modern Italy and its future trajectory.  Taught in Italian; counts as a Lit-Culture course. Ways of Knowing Core designations: Advanced Language and Culture; Fine Arts and Literature.

ROIT 40116-01- Dante II
TR 11:00am-12:15pm
C. Moevs

Dante's Comedy is one of the supreme poetic achievements in Western literature. It is a probing synthesis of the entire Western cultural and philosophical tradition that produced it, a radical experiment in poetics and poetic technique, and a profound exploration of Christian spirituality.  Dante I and Dante II are an in-depth study, over two semesters, of the entire Comedy, in its historical, philosophical and literary context.   Dante I focuses on the Inferno and the works that precede the Comedy (Vita Nova, Convivio, De vulgari eloquentia); Dante II focuses on the Purgatorio and Paradiso, along with the Monarchia.  Students may take just one of Dante I and II or both, in either order.   Lectures and discussion in English; the text will be read in a facing-page translation, so we can refer to the Italian (but knowledge of Italian is not necessary).  Counts as an Italian Studies course.  Students with Italian have the option of also enrolling in a one-credit pass/fail Languages Across the Curriculum section, which will meet one hour per week to read and discuss selected passages or cantos in Italian.   NOTE:  the one-semester lecture course ROIT 40114, Dante’s Divine Comedy: The Christian Universe as Poetry, is often offered in place of Dante I. Taught in English.  LIT - Univ. Req. Literature. Cross-listed with LLRO 40116, MI 40553, ROIT 63116, MI 60553. Ways of Knowing Core designations: Catholicism and the Disciplines; Advanced Language and Culture; Fine Arts and Literature.

ROIT 42116-01- Dante II – LAC Discussion Group
T 4:00-5:00
C. Moevs

Students with Italian enrolled in Dante II have the option of also enrolling in a one-credit pass/fail Languages Across the Curriculum section, which will meet one hour per week to read and discuss selected passages or cantos in Italian.

ROIT 40914-01 – Primo Levi: Literature and Life
TR 2:00-3:15
C. Leavitt

Primo Levi has been called “a major, universally recognized, icon in Holocaust literature” (Geerts), indeed “the witness-writer par excellence,” because “his narrative, poetry and essays about his time in Auschwitz are among the most widely read and most widely lauded of all writings on the Holocaust” (Gordon). Levi was this and more: witness and storyteller, scientist and writer, he was among the greatest authors and moral authorities of the twentieth century. In this course, taught in Italian, we will read Levi’s first and most famous work, Se questo è un uomo (If This is a Man, 1947), a masterpiece and milestone in the Italian tradition, in which Levi recounts his internment in Auschwitz. With Levi, we will ask what it means to live, what it means to be human, in and after the Nazi death camps. With Levi, too, we will broaden our exploration to address vital questions of faith, identity, meaning, truth, responsibility, love, friendship, freedom, diversity, survival, science, and salvation as we read selections from such fundamental works as La tregua (The Truce, 1963); Il sistema periodico (The Periodic Table, 1975); Lilìt e altri racconti (Moments of Reprieve, 1978); and I sommersi e i salvati (The Drowned and the Saved, 1986). Throughout the course we will also make use of materials from the Primo Levi Collection of Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Library, one of the world’s foremost collections dedicated to the study of Primo Levi. Taught in Italian; LIT - Univ. Req. Literature. Ways of Knowing Core designations: Advanced Language and Culture; Fine Arts and Literature.



ROIT 63011-01 - Introduction to Advanced Studies in Italian
Italian Studies faculty

A two-semester course, meeting one hour a week, co-taught by all the Italian T&R faculty. The course will ensure a solid foundation in the precise analysis of literary texts and other cultural artifacts in the context of Italian Studies, including a survey of metrics, rhetorical figures, narrative techniques, and film analysis. It will also provide an introduction to key terms and forms of critical and literary theory, and develop the skills necessary to pursue advanced independent research projects, including familiarity with bibliographic resources and research methods. During the course of the year students will also review a university-level manual/anthology of Italian literature. Required in their first year of all Master’s and Doctoral candidates specializing in Italian. Passing the final exam of this course is a prerequisite for continuing studies in Italian.

ROIT 63030-01 – Let’s Talk Italian II (1.0)
R 3:30-4:30
C. Moevs

This mini-course in Italian meets one hour per week for group discussions on varied contemporary issues in Italian culture, society, and politics. Conducted in Italian. Recommended for students in their third or fourth year of Italian.  Meant to accompany another Italian course within the year.

ROIT 63090-01 – History of the Italian Language
W 3:30-6:15
T. Cachey

This course introduces some “strumenti di lavoro” and concepts that are essential for the study of the history of the languages and literatures of Italy.  In the first part of the course it traces how Italian became a national language in spite of the peninsula’s proverbial lack of cultural and political unity, over a period stretching from the Duecento to the Italian High Renaissance, from Dante’s De vulgari eloquentia (between 1302 and 1305) and Pietro Bembo’s Prose della volgar lingua (1525).  In the second part of the course, while continuing to read and discuss together in the seminar the early modern and modern history of the Italian language, students will independently develop research projects leading to a brief presentation and a final paper in their specific area of interest, from an angle informed by the linguistic and literary historical concerns introduced during the seminar. Cross-listed with MI 63550-01.

ROIT 63116-01- Dante II
TR 11:00am-12:15pm
C. Moevs

Please refer to the course description for ROIT40116-01 Dante II included above. Taught in English. Cross-listed with ROIT 40116, LLRO 40116, MI 40553, MI 60553.

ROIT 63118-01 – Boccaccio
T 3:30-6:15
C. Moevs

Though one of the most delightful texts in literature, Boccaccio's Decameron has been called "the most enigmatic of medieval texts, richly difficult to fathom."  The work that lies behind Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, much Renaissance and Baroque theatre, and the modern short story, the Decameron is one of the most influential masterpieces in literature, as well as one of the most elusive, complex, and encompassing.  Reading Boccaccio leads to meditation on every aspect of human life, literature, and the world.  The Decameron probes the grounds of faith, the relation between language and reality, the nature of crisis and historical change, how literature responds to human suffering and mortality. It explores fortune, human intelligence and creativity, love, social hierarchy and social order, culture and nature, art, and religious language and practice. It explicitly raises questions of gender and of the position of women in society.  It dissects both capitalism and renunciation.  It is an excellent starting-point for further and varied explorations in late medieval culture, such as magic, the visual arts, mercantile culture, travel and discovery, and new religious practices.  Boccaccio defies, or undermines, any reductive account of reality or human life, or of his own masterpiece.  Thus reading him attentively can help us to grow both intellectually and as human beings.

We will read the entire Decameron carefully, focusing on particular stories and exploring some of the critical literature on the work.  In addition, we will look briefly at a number of Boccaccio’s other works, to gain a sense of his intellectual/literary itinerary, and of the vast experimental, exploratory context for the Decameron.  (Some of those works have great historical and literary importance; for many centuries, Boccaccio was more famous for some of them than for the Decameron.)  We will also trace a few key themes through the Decameron, such as women/gender, nature, religion, capitalism, story-telling or representation, etc...

The course will be conducted in Italian and English (depending in part on the needs of the students); any student who can read the Decameron in the original (with the aid of translations as well) is welcome.

Cross-listed with MI 63563-01.