Italian Courses - Fall 2020

Italian Fall 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.  By taking ROIT 10110, you can reach upper level culture and literature courses after three semesters.

ROIT 20111-01/02 - (ROIT 10102/20201 combined): Beginning/Intermediate Intensive Italian
MWF 11:30-12:20
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: 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 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             
P. Vivirito      
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 20612-01 - Genesis of the Italian-American Identity
MW 2:00-3:15    
K. Boyle
At the turn of the twentieth century, the US experienced one of the largest immigration waves in its history. Millions of Italian immigrants who made their way through Ellis Island at the time would leave a permanent imprint on the American landscape and social texture, just as the American experience would shape their identity in the new country. In this course, we will explore the reasons for leaving, the reception upon arriving, and the sometimes paradoxical romanticized view of both their country of origin and arrival. We will examine the desire to assimilate, even when met with resistance and exclusion, and the contributions of Italian Americans to their new home. This semester we will discuss the many cultural aspects that define Italian-Americans while also challenging the stereotypes, which all too often simplify the stories of the Italian American experience. Taught in English. Cross-listed with LLRO 20612. Ways of Knowing Core designations: History.

ROIT 21205-01 Pre-Study Abroad
W 5:00-6:00
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 Fall 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. Does not count toward Italian major or minor requirements.

ROIT 30310-01 - Passage to Italy           
MW 11:00 - 12:15                     
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 30600 - All Roads Lead to Rome
D. Lummus

This is a three-credit foundational course for students interested in studying about Rome. The course is designed to satisfy the University of Notre Dame's literature, history, and fine arts requirement (old and new core). Students in this course start to understand Rome by experiencing the complexity of its urban network; by studying the ruins of antiquity and the splendors of Renaissance, Baroque and 18th-century Rome; by tracing the epic adventure that reunited Italy and led to the establishment of Rome as its capital (so that today it is at the heart of two states: the Italian Republic and the Vatican); by revisiting the tragedies of modern times, including fascism and the civil war; and by learning about the Rome of postwar and contemporary Italy. Pending travel and budgeting conditions, students in the course will travel to Rome for a period of 7-14 days during Fall break or early December to attend intensive on-site classes taught by the Rome-based faculty. At the end of the course every student submits a research paper on a topic of his or her choosing. PLEASE NOTE THAT FALL 2020 STUDY ABROAD IN ROME IS STILL PLANNED TO TAKE PLACE AS SCHEDULED. Enrollment in this course does not exclude students from participation in study abroad programs in future semesters and summer. Course instructors will support student applications for study abroad, internships or research programs offered by the University. Taught in English in collaboration with Rome Global Gateway Prof. Chiara Sbordoni. Univ.Req. Literature; History. Ways of Knowing Core designations: Fine Arts and Literature; History.

LLRO 30613-01 - Italy and Islam: Cultural Encounters from Dante to Today
MW 3:30-4:45
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 and MI 30561. Ways of Knowing Core designations: Fine Arts and Literature.

ROIT 30711-01 - Medieval / Renaissance Literature and Culture
TR 2:00-3:15          
C. Moevs  
This course helps you to understand and interpret the most important works of medieval and Renaissance Italian literature, painting, sculpture, architecture, and music, in their historical, social, and cultural context.  We will analyze key texts from Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Machiavelli, and Ariosto, among others, and learn to appreciate key works of art and architecture by Duccio, Giotto, Ghiberti, Donatello, Brunelleschi, Alberti, Masaccio, Botticelli, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael, among others.  We will seek to make the historical and social context come alive, especially in Florence, Rome, Milan, Urbino, and Venice, and focus on some of the most extraordinary personalities of an age of great personalities (e.g., Isabella d'Este, Federico da Montefeltro, Michelangelo, Pietro Aretino). The ultimate aim is to reflect in an informed and sensitive way on the great political, social, intellectual, cultural, and spiritual changes that occur between 1200 and 1550 in Italy, the epicenter of one of the most extraordinary periods of human accomplishment in world history, and on how those changes reflect a profound and shifting understanding of self, of the world, and of God. The course also aims to help you speak, understand, and write Italian with more confidence, accuracy, and ease (we will spend a little time in each class reviewing and practicing more sophisticated structures in the language).  Requirements include brief discussion forum entries, four brief analytical papers (2-3 pages each), a midterm, and a final.  Taught in Italian; counts as a Lit-Culture course; required for majors and supplementary majors in the Lit Culture concentration; this course or ROIT 30721 required for majors in the Italian Studies concentration. Cross-listed with MI 30577, MI 60577 and ROIT63711. 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 40114-01 - Dante's Divine Comedy: The Christian Universe as Poetry
TR 12:30-1:45      
Z. Barański    
Dante is the greatest religious poet of Western culture, and his great epic poem, the Divine Comedy, offers a remarkable and original synthesis of his view of the fundamental relationship between God and humanity. The course offers an introduction to Dante's Commedia (the title of the poem is Comedy and not Divine Comedy as is commonly believed) by focusing on the first of its three parts, Inferno, while also paying significant attention to its other two parts, Purgatorio and Paradiso. Classes principally concentrate on providing readings of individual cantos. (The course is divided into 4 introductory lectures, 12 classes on Inferno, 7 on Purgatorio, and 6 on Paradiso.) At the same time, broader issues central to Dante's masterpiece will be discussed. In particular, attention will be paid to Dante's ties to classical and Christian culture, his political views, his ideas on language, his involvement in contemporary intellectual debates, his efforts to use poetry for ethical and religious ends, and his literary experimentation (including his perplexing choice of title for his masterpiece).  The course is taught in English. Dante's poem, too, will be read in English translation, though students with a reading knowledge of Italian are encouraged to read it in both languages. The translation is that found in the annotated bilingual edition by Robert and Jean Hollander (the three-volume-Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso-paperback edition is published by Anchor Books, an imprint of Random House).  Counts as an Italian Studies course for the Major or Minor.  Cross-listed with MI 40565/MI 60552, LLRO 40114.

ROIT 53000-01 - This is Italy: Four Masterpieces in Context (Italian Seminar)
TR 11:00-12:15
C. Moevs     
Four masterpieces in four genres (short story, play, opera, film) from four centuries (medieval, Renaissance, Romantic, modern), in their historical / cultural context.  While exploring these works, you develop your own research project / paper on anything Italian, from any era.  The course will guide you in the entire process of doing research and preparing a scholarly paper or thesis. Required for anyone writing an ROIT Senior or Honors Thesis, but open to anyone who meets the prerequisite.  Taught in Italian, but Italian Studies majors or Minors have the option of writing in English.  Pre-requisite:  two 30000 or 40000 level courses taught in Italian. Counts as a Lit-Culture course; required for the Lit-Culture Major or Supplementary Major. Ways of Knowing Core designations: Advanced Language and Culture.


ROIT 63010-01 - 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 63113-01 - Dante's World of Books
T 2:00-4:30
Z. Barański

"Dante's World of Books" aims to examine the oeuvre and career of, arguably, the most original and influential writer in Western culture from three closely interlinked perspectives. First, the course provides an overview of all Dante's writings, the books he actually produced. Second, it explores his intellectual formation and his attitude towards the literary tradition-the books that were probably present in his 'library'. Third, it will assess the manner in which Dante synthesized his different ideological and poetic interests in order to develop an incisive and powerful assessment and critique of humanity's position in the order of divine creation. In the Middle Ages, the created universe was often metaphorically described as "God's book" or the "book of creation". The course thus attempts to investigate the complex inter-relationship that Dante forged between his books and the 'book' of the Supreme Artist, a popular and highly influential medieval image for God the Creator. Taught in English. Cross-listed with MI 60558, ENG 90269, THEO 63205.

ROIT 63960-01 - The Italian Atlantic
M 3:30-6:15      
C. Leavitt     
This course examines how Italian culture has imagined, internalized, and engaged with the African-American struggle for freedom and equality from the nineteenth century to the present day. Exploring a range of texts and films by Italian and African-American authors, we will consider how they intersect to construct a discourse of solidarity, of common cause and a common front across continents and cultures. We will analyze and contextualize this discourse as it is made manifest across the modern history of Italy, from the Risorgimento to the First World War, from Fascism to Resistance, from 1968 to the Years of Lead, and into the new Millennium. Taught in English. Cross-listed with LLRO 63960.