Attendance is required. Students must attend all course meetings and arrive on time. Intelligent, informed participation in seminars and sections is also required.
Readings: Students must read all assigned materials before the due date and be prepared to discuss them in class. Don’t forget to bring the assigned texts or book to class. Comments and questions about the readings are welcome in class and during office hours.
The reading is not extensive—on average, approximately 200 pages per week. But the materials are very diverse and they are a necessary prerequisite for lectures and class discussion. Exams will test students’ comprehension of these texts.
The following five books should be purchased by all students prior to their departure and must be brought to Italy; please acquire the recommended editions. Even large Cambridge bookstores may not have enough copies for all of you so you must look for them as soon as possible. Preferably buy books in bookstores: it saves jobs and communities.
– Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities, trans. William Weaver (Harcourt) ISBN 9780156453806;
– Gabriele d’Annunzio, Pleasure, trans. Lara Gochin Raffaelli (Penguin Classics) ISBN 9780143106746;
– Immanuel Kant, Critique of Judgement, trans. J. H. Bernard (Dover Philosophical Classics) ISBN 9780486445434. [This book can be purchased online directly from the publisher].
– Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, trans. Peter Bondanella (Oxford World’s Classics) ISBN 9780199535699;
– Elaine Scarry, On Beauty and Being Just (Princeton University Press) ISBN 9780691089591.
Purchase a paper copy rather than an ebook. If you have to buy an ebook, be sure that it is the same edition (in particular, the same translators and publishers).
All other readings will be available online as PDF files. Only students enrolled in this program have access to them. To download the files click here and log in to the Canvas site of the course with your HUID.
You may want to read at least D’Annunzio’s book and Kant’s selection from the Critique of Judgment before leaving for Italy.
You will have to bring the books with you and to class on the appropriate date.
Calvino, D’Annunzio and Machiavelli’s books may be read in Italian. Please note that Calvino is an easier read than the other two books. The following are the recommended editions, to be purchased in a bookstore as soon as you arrive in Italy: Italo Calvino, Le città invisibili (Mondadori); Gabriele d’Annunzio, Il piacere, introduzione di Giovanni Ragone (Einaudi); Niccolò Machiavelli, Il principe, a cura di Giorgio Inglese (Einaudi).
Oral presentation: Each student has to read one chapter of Sartwell’s Six Names of Beauty and present it in class on July 12.
Final project: At the orientation students are introduced to the field of visual sociology and encouraged to use their cellphones, tablets, or cameras to photograph ordinary people, places, and events, as opposed to iconic monuments or tourist attractions. With the help of their instructors, students should soon identify a specific topic that they want to document and explore. The final project, due by August 9, consists of a short introduction (400 to 800 words) and a slideshow of ten pictures, each captioned with relevant information. All projects will be presented in class on August 12.
Italian Diary: Each student will have to select one event from the program—a visit to a museum or another place, a show, one of our Friday-trip destinations—and write a short article (400 to 500 words) about it. Our goal is to publish most if not all of these articles in a column on the online newspaper, La Voce di New York. Your piece should provide some basic and practical information but also refer to your personal experience and impressions. We’ll talk more about the format of these reviews during our orientation meeting on June 18th. Before then you’ll have to select and rank five or more events that you’d like to write about, including at least one in the first week; please let me know your choices by June 1st. As any single event will be reviewed by one student only, I won’t be able to satisfy all of your requests. The article should be sent to me by email as a Word file no later than three days after the event.
Midterm exam: 90 minutes, on July 14. It will include several identification questions and two short-answer questions on the assigned readings and topics addressed in class and during the trips and events.
Final exam: Oral exam, on August 13 and 14 (approximately 45 minutes per student). It addresses the entire course, including readings, trips and events.
- 35% Class participation
- 5% Oral presentation
- 15% Midterm exam
- 5% Logo project
- 25% Final exam
- 10% Final project
- 5% Article for “Italian Diary”
Italian language course: Students participating in Beginning Italian need to purchase a textbook before leaving for Italy. You may purchase the 4th or 5th edition (they are both available used) of Parliamo Italiano: A Communicative Approach! By Suzanne Branciforte and Elvira Di Fabio. If you plan to continue studying Italian in the fall, then you should invest in the 5th edition, which is the required edition for Italian 10 and 11 at Harvard. Please contact Julianne VanWagenen firstname.lastname@example.org or Chiara Trebiaocchi email@example.com if you are ready to purchase your Italian-language textbook, and would like advice about purchasing options. If you purchase the textbook near the end of the Spring Semester, we may be able to put you in contact with students of Italian who are selling their books and arrange a reduced price.