Italian Courses - Spring 2021


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.

ROIT 20111-01/02 - (ROIT 10102/20201 combined): Beginning/Intermediate Intensive Italian
MWF 9:10-10:00 & 11:40-12:30
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 T-Th. If you started in ROIT 10101 and would like to shift to the intensive track of language courses, this course is ideal. ROIT20111 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 express themselves better in Italian, and be culturally aware and engaged users of the language. In lieu of a final exam, at the end of the semester students will create an ePortfolio illustrating their coursework and reflecting on their experience in the course. ROIT 20111 is followed by ROIT 20202.

ROIT 20201 / 20202: 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 20202 is a fourth-semester Italian course that is designed to develop written and oral communication skills and to prepare students for upper level courses in the Italian department. Throughout the semester, students will work towards obtaining linguistic fluency while exploring Italian culture through the films of five contemporary well-known directors, including Roberto Benigni, Marco Tullio Giordana, Lina Wertmüller, Marco Bellocchio and Andrea Segre. Each film will be presented in its historical and cultural context, which will provide us with the starting point of our class discussions. Cultural readings and literary excerpts drawing upon the themes of each unit and the themes presented in the films will be provided to supplement our discussion of the film. In lieu of a final exam, at the end of the semester students will add to the ePortfolio created in previous levels (ROIT 20111 or ROIT 20201) to illustrate their coursework in 20202 and reflect on their experience in the course.

ROIT 20300-01 – Let’s Talk Italian I (1.0)
W 3:55-4:55
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 5:40-6:30
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 mid-term.

ROIT 30300-01 – Let’s Talk Italian II (1.0)
R 3:55-5:10

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
TR 12:45-2:00
C. Leavitt

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.

LLRO 30603-01 – Civilizations, Nations and Identities in Modern Europe
TR 11:10-12:25
Andrea Carteny

This course aims to examine European modern history of civilizations, nationalism, religions, identities and ideologies through symbols and facts, in the field of social and cultural studies, with particular attention to many elements related to the social and cultural life of people, in their own environment. The cultural international history approach devotes particular attention to the period between the 15th and 20th centuries, putting emphasis on the “delay of modernity” in Eastern Europe compared to the West as well as to modernization factors (urbanization, centralization, cultural standardization, women empowerment). Taught in English. Cross-listed with EURO 30250, HIST 30521, LLRO 30603.

LLRO 30613-01 – Italy and Islam: Cultural Encounters from Dante to Today
MW 2:20-3:35
L. Dell’Oso

The class will explore the representation of Islam and Muslims in Italian culture from the Middle Ages to the present, and will investigate how the perception of Islam has influenced and shaped the Italian identity. The course will start with an examination of the representation of the Islamic ‘other’ in medieval Italian literature, especially in Dante’s Divine Comedy and Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron. Besides literature, we will also explore the impact of medieval Islamic architecture in Southern Italy, especially in Sicily. We will then deal with the Italian Renaissance and analyze both the relationship between Christian and Muslim characters in epic poems by authors such as Ludovico Ariosto and Torquato Tasso, and the representation of the mori (‘Moors’) in some of the most relevant Italian paintings of the 15th and 16th centuries. We will then investigate nineteenth-century Italian culture, through the analysis of some influential lyric operas of the time. Finally, we will deal with the representation of the relationship between Italians and Muslims in 20th- and 21st-century Italian films and narratives by directors and writers such as Mohsen Melliti, Igiaba Scego, and Amara Lakhous. Students will appreciate how Islam has deeply influenced Italian culture and how Italy, a center of Mediterranean culture, has been meaningfully linked with Islam throughout the centuries. Students will develop an understanding of Italy in a global context thereby increasing their intercultural competency. Taught in English. Cross-listed with ROIT 30613. Ways of Knowing Core designations: Fine Arts and Literature.

ROIT 30721-01 – Introduction to Modern Italian Literature and Culture
TR 2:20-3:35pm
C. Leavitt

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 11:10am-12:25pm
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 40548-01 – Italian Cinema: The Realities of History
TR 9:35-10:50
Z. Barański

Italian film-making continues to be most highly regarded for the films made by directors, such as Vittorio De Sica, Roberto Rossellini, and Luchino Visconti, who belonged to the Neo-realist movement (1945-53) and who tried to make films that examined the contemporary experiences of ordinary Italians. The films were inspired by the belief that, by presenting a truthful reflection of life in Italy which gave spectators information about the experiences of their fellow citizens, they would lead to greater understanding, and hence to a better society. Such was the impact of Neo-realist cinema on Italian culture in general and on Italian film-making in particular that its influence may be discerned in most films that have been made from the mid-1950s to this day. This state of affairs has led to the assumption that Neo-realism marks a decisive break with Italy’s pre-war past. Yet, even though Neo-realism did constitute, in ideological terms, a clear departure from fascism, its stylistic roots, its sense of the need for commitment, and its faith in the efficacy of a realist aesthetic all establish ties both with Liberal and Fascist Italy. The principal aim of the course is to explore the construction and development of the Italian cinematic realist tradition from the silent era to the early 1970s, although its primary focus is on the period 1934-1966. In particular, the course examines the formal and ideological continuities and differences between Neo-realist films and their silent and fascist predecessors. In a similar way, it analyses Neo-realism’s impact on later film-makers, such as Federico Fellini, Pietro Germi, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Gillo Pontecorvo, Dino Risi, and Francesco Rosi, who attempted to develop new versions of cinematic realism.  Taught in English; counts as an Italian Studies course. Cross-listed with LLRO 40548, FTT 40249, ROIT 63548. Ways of Knowing Core designations: Advanced Language and Culture; Fine Arts and Literature.

ROIT 40617-01 – Literary Translation in Italian
MW 12:30-1:45
D. Lummus

In this course, we will explore different ways of approaching the work of literary translation as we practice the art of translation itself. Practicing translation will allow us to improve our linguistic abilities in reading, writing, and speaking and will increase our intercultural competencies. Translation requires not only a comprehension of the relationship between two languages and their related cultures but also a linguistic and literary analysis of texts at multiple levels: from the nuances of the single word to the structure of a sentence or text to the possible meanings of the translated text. We will examine questions of grammar, register, tone, style, rhythm, rhyme, and meter in prose and verse texts from the Middle Ages to the contemporary era. In addition to weekly translation exercises and discussion of methods, theories, and history of translation, there will be two translation projects—one of prose and one of verse.  Taught in Italian; counts as a Lit-Culture course. Ways of Knowing Core designations: Advanced Language and Culture; Fine Arts and Literature.

ROIT 42116-01 – Dante II – LAC Discussion Group
T 3:30-4:30
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 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 63216-01 – Poetry in Motion: Petrarch’s Life in Writing
W 3:55-6:40
T. Cachey

Francis Petrarch (1304-1374), the son of a Florentine exile, “begotten and born in exile,” famously described himself a “peregrinus ubique” (a stranger everywhere [Epystole 3.19.16]).  Seeking to transcend the alienations of the journey of life and his exiled existential status, the poet restlessly pursued in his writings an unstable equilibrium between arrival and departure, shuttling back and forth between residences and literary works: between Avignon and Vaucluse, between the De viris and the Africa, between Naples and Parma, between the De vita solitaria and the De otio, between Milan and Venice, between the Bucolicum carmen and the Epystole, between Padua and Arquà, between the Canzoniere and the Triumphi.  The seminar will be offered in English and will focus on Petrarch’s vernacular poetry, both the Canzoniere (Songs and Sonnets) and the Triumphi (The Triumphs), upon which his worldwide literary reputation is based.  But before taking up the Canzoniere and the Triumphi, we will consider the life of Petrarch, his intellectual activities and his other works, including selections from his epistolary collections (Familiarum Rerum Libri [Letters on Familiar Matters] and Seniles [Letters of Old Age]) and other Latin works, especially the Secretum. In recognition of the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death in 2021, Petrarch’s complex response to the imposing legacy of his predecessor will constitute an important strand of inquiry throughout the course. Advanced undergraduate students are welcome. English translations of Italian and Latin primary sources will be made available and utilized. Requirements: seminar presentations, and a final paper. Cross-listed with MI 63560-01.

ROIT 63540-01 – Renaissance Italian Theater: Origins through the Commedia dell’Arte
T 3:55-6:40
C. Moevs

A study of Italian Renaissance theater in all its dimensions (literary, cultural, social, technical, philosophical, political) from the birth of modern theater in the late Middle Ages to the birth of the commedia dell’arte and opera.