University of Notre Dame

Center for Italian Studies


Italian Courses, Spring 2019

Italian Spring 2019 Course Descriptions

*Subject to change. Please refer to InsideND for the most up-to-date, accurate information.


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 20111-01/02 -  (ROIT 10102/20201 combined)- Intensive Italian
MWF 9:25-10:15 & 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 / 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 taught in the context of Italian song. Together students will trace a history of poetry, song, and music in Italy from the end of World War II to the present. Through the analysis of song and lyric, you will further your speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills as well as grasp of a wide variety of styles and registers in Italian. Readings include a wide array of literary and nonliterary texts (poems and song lyrics, newspapers and magazines, interviews, short fiction, and so on). Spoken and written Italian will be practiced through various classroom activities and assignments. Click here for the flyer! (633k PDF)

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. Click here for the flyer! (206k PDF)

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. Click here for the flyer! (206k PDF)

ROIT 30310-01 – Passage to Italy
TR 2:00-3:15
C. Moevs

In this fifth-semester course you learn to analyze, understand, and appreciate a sampling of great Italian works drawn from the major literary and artistic genres (lyric poetry, prose, theatre, music, film, art, architecture, theatre, opera) from the Middle Ages to the present, set in their historical context. 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 30510-01 – The Italian Cityscape
MW 2:00-3:15
A. Lo Pinto

Italian cinema provides a key documentation of Italy’s rapid urbanization after World War II, a process that deeply transformed the country’s once rural landscape and tranquil lifestyle. A close examination of the history of Italian cinema reveals the real-life urban complexities beneath the superficial, touristic, and romantic imagery often associated with Italy. This course uses film and other media as lenses to examine the various aspects of contemporary society so that we may more fully understand the urban experience in Italy since the end of World War II. Through the study of major and minor films, literary texts, and other media, we will unveil Italy’s contradictory present and trace its future trajectory.
This course is divided into two sections. The first adopts a geographical approach: we will explore some of the most representative Italian cities such as Rome, Milan, Venice, and Naples. In this section, students will assess the culture of Italian cities through their heterogeneous origins from a mix of republics and city-states through unification in 1861, as well as the more recent homogeneous postwar developments. In the second section, the course will address a number of relevant issues in contemporary Italian urban culture, including industrialization, immigration, urban planning, social marginality, race, class, and gender injustices, and the legacies from Italy’s colonial and fascist past. Some of the questions we will pose include: what is unique to the Italian cityscape and its history? What is shared, if anything, among Italian cities? How do recent developments dialogue with the historical built environment? Taught in English.  Cross-listed with LLRO 30510-01 and FTT30510. Ways of Knowing Core designations: Fine Arts and Literature. Click here for the flyer! (278k PDF)

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. Click here for the flyer! (170k PDF)

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. Click here for the flyer! (258k PDF)

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 40548-01 - Italian Cinema: The Realities of History
TR 12:30-1:45
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 40810-01 - Fascism and Resistance
TR 2:00-3:15
C. Leavitt

We will investigate how Fascism emerged in Italy in the twentieth century, and how some Italians resisted the rise of totalitarianism. Reflecting on the role of culture throughout Italy’s “difficult modernity,” we will examine how leading artists and intellectuals worked to support or to combat the Italian dictatorship. Against the backdrop of the historical crises that both preceded and outlasted the Fascist period, we will engage with Italian literature, cinema, theatre, and art in order to evaluate the complex relationships between culture and power. Taught in Italian; counts as a Lit/Culture course for the Major or Minor. Ways of Knowing Core designations: Fine Arts and Literature. Click here for the flyer! (121k PDF)




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
TR 3:30-4:45
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.
Cross-listed with MI 60558, ENG 90269, THEO 63205.

ROIT 63610-01 – Novels of Revolutionary Italy: Fictions of history
W 3:30-6:15
S. Ferri

The course examines the relationship between history, fiction, and nation-making in Italy through the study of novels written between the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. We will also study shorter prose works and selections from key works of narrative theory. The course will conclude with a foray into the 20th century. Authors include: Vico, Cuoco, Foscolo, Manzoni, Nievo, and Tomasi di Lampedusa.