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 six books should be purchased by all students prior to their departure and must be brought to Italy; please acquire the recommended editions.
– Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities, trans. William Weaver (Harcourt) ISBN 9780156453806;
– Gabriele d’Annunzio, Pleasure, trans. Lara Gochin Raffaelli (Penguin Classics) ISBN 9780143106746;
– Giovanni Della Casa, Galateo, trans. M. F. Rusnak (University of Chicago Press) ISBN 9780226010977;
– Immanuel Kant, Critique of Judgement, trans. James Creed Meredith (Oxford World’s Classics) ISBN 9780199552467;
– 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.
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. Please 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 translator and publisher).
You may want to read at least D’Annunzio’s book and Kant’s selection before leaving for Italy.
You will have to bring the books with you and to class on the appropriate date.
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.
Calvino, D’Annunzio, Della Casa, and Machiavelli’s books may be read in Italian. Please note that Calvino is an easier read. The following are the recommended editions, to be purchased as soon as you arrive in Italy: Italo Calvino, Le città invisibili (Mondadori); Gabriele d’Annunzio, Il piacere (Einaudi); Giovanni Della Casa, Galateo, a cura di S. Prandi (Einaudi); Niccolò Machiavelli, Il principe, a cura di G. Inglese (Einaudi).
Oral presentation: Each student has to read one chapter of Sartwell’s Six Names of Beauty and present it in class on August 6.
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 10, consists of a short introduction (100 to 200 words) and a slideshow of ten pictures, each captioned with relevant information. All projects will be presented in class on August 14.
Italian Diary: Each student will have to write a short article (400 to 500 words) about one event from the program—a visit to a museum, a cultural attraction, a dinner at a local restaurant, one of our Friday-trip destinations. Our goal is to publish most if not all of these articles in a column on the online journal of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Romance Sphere. 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 among those with the indication [HD-00], 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 a week after the event.
Midterm exam: 90 minutes, on July 12. 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.
- 25% Class participation
- 5% Oral presentation
- 10% Italian Diary
- 20% Midterm exam
- 5% Logo project
- 25% Final exam
- 10% Final project
Italian language course: Optional, not for credit. Click here for more information..