THE SYLLABUS IS STILL IN PROGRESS AND WILL UNDERGO SOME CHANGES. THE SCHEDULE AND ORDER OF SOME TRIPS AND EVENTS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AS WELL.
B e a u t y , l e a d e r s h i p , a n d i n n o v a t i o n
ITAL-S 190 (33199)
This course counts as one full-year course (8 credits) of degree credit. It is taught in English.
– Classes are on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 11:00-1:00. At IULM: room 112. At Università di Siena: San Niccolò, rooms 149, 356.
– Sections are on Monday, 10:45-12:00. At IULM: rooms 112 (Corrado), 114 (Chris), and 115 (Amelia). At Università di Siena: San Niccolò, rooms 129 (Amelia), 131 (Chris), and 132 (Corrado).
– Field trips are usually on Friday; they last the entire day. There are two two-day trips (June 29-30 and July 5-6). In Milan the bus will pick you up in front of Residence Pola; in Siena you’ll have to walk to Porta Romana (0.2 miles). We usually leave at 7:30 AM and are back around 10:00 PM.
– Events and guided tours are preferably on Wednesday; they last two to three hours.
– Film screenings are on Tuesday or Thursday during the afternoon; they are followed by a discussion with prof. Erspamer. All movies are in Italian with English subtitles. At IULM: room 401. At Università di Siena: Padiglione esterno, room B.
– Italian dinners are usually on Tuesday.
– Aperitivo is usually on Monday.
– Weekends are usually free. There are however two exceptions: June 16 and 17 (welcome dinner and visit to HangarBicocca), and July 14 and 15 (trip to Isola Bella and move to Siena).
– Prof. Erspamer’s office hours are by appointment or on the bus during our Friday trips. At IULM: room TBA. In Siena: in the Refugio.
– Amelia’s office hours are TBA or by appointment. At IULM: room TBA). In Siena: in the Refugio.
– Christopher’s office hours are TBA or by appointment. At IULM: room TBS. In Siena: in the Refugio.
– Corrado’s office hours are TBA. At IULM TBA. In Siena: in the Refugio.
Please note that the program can still undergo a few changes.
[ID]: indicates events that should be reviewed in “Italian Diary” (see Requirements).
#: indicates events that are meant for entertainment and are not part of the course.
This is a very interdisciplinary course, and it is intended for and geared towards students with many different academic backgrounds. No prior courses in the humanities or economics are required. Actually, part of what makes the discussion in this course rich and incisive is the very fact that our group will be composed of students in the arts and humanities, laboratory sciences, and social sciences, all together in one classroom.
Optional Italian language instruction is offered at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced level, though not for credit.
In the beginner and intermediate courses there will be two 75-minute meetings per week (Tuesday and Thursday, 2:30-3:45). IULM classrooms: 147 (beginning, Chris), 151 (beginning, Amelia), and 157 (intermediate, Corrado). Siena classrooms: 455 (beginning Amelia), 456 (beginning Chris), and Refugio (intermediate, Corrado).
The advanced class meets once a week for two hours (Monday, 2:00-4:00). IULM: classroom 124, Corrado. Siena: Refugio.
It is strongly recommended that students with no prior background in Italian take one of the beginner classes, particularly in anticipation of joining Siena’s contrade in the final weeks of the program. Click here for more information about the language program.
Saturday, June 15
Students arrive in Milan
Sunday, June 16
- 5:00 PM: Guided tour of HangarBicocca (Anselm Kiefer’s permanent installation The Seven Heavenly Palaces, and another exhibition (TBA).
- Welcome dinner at pizzeria La Magolfa (via Magolfa 15).
Monday, June 17
– Reading: Douglas Harper, Visual Sociology, chapter 3 (“Reflexivity”).
2:00 PM: Fashion tour with Laura Branchizio, fashion brand adviser
Tuesday, June 18
– Readings: Short selections from the Bible (Genesis, 1-3), Plato’s The Republic (book X, 595a-608b) and Symposium (201d-212a), Baldassare Castiglione’s The Book of the Courtier (1528).
- 8:00 PM: Italian dinner at Trattoria Ferrelli (via Carlo Farini 6).
Wednesday, June 19
– Readings: 1) Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Futurist Manifesto (1909). 2) Arthur C. Danto, The Abuse of Beauty: Aesthetics and the Concept of Art, introduction (“The Aesthetics of the Brillo Box.” 3) Kathleen Marie Higgins, “Whatever Happened to Beauty? A Response to Danto.”
- 3:30 PM: Guided tour of Fondazione Prada (including the new tower designed by Rem Koolhaas and the exhibit Post Zang Tung Tuuum: Art Life Politics, Italia 1918-1943).
Thursday, June 20
– Reading: Immanuel Kant, Critique of Judgment (1790), Part I, section I, books I and II.
- Italy on screen (room 401): Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, directed by Giuseppe Tornatore (1988).
Friday, June 21
Field trip: Lake Garda.
- 7:30 AM: Coach bus leaves from the Residence Pola.
- Visit to the Vittoriale, once home to the eccentric writer and political leader Gabriele d’Annunzio and now a museum that preserves his incredible collection of eclectic objects, memorabilia, furniture, and tapestries. [ID: Aditi]
- Class on Gabriele d’Annunzio in the open Amphitheater.
– Reading: Gabriele d’Annunzio, Pleasure (Il piacere) (1881).
- Boat trip around the peninsula of Sirmione. [ID: Michael]
Free time to tour the medieval town or for a swim in the lake.
Monday, June 24
Tuesday, June 25
Guest lecturer: Pier Luigi Sacco, Economy and culture: How culture creates value
– Readings: 1) David Hesmondhalgh, The Cultural Industries, second edition, introduction (“Change and Continuity, Power and Creativity”). 2) Pier Luigi Sacco, “Culture 3.0”.
- 8:00 PM: Italian dinner at Boccino (via Tortona 21).
Wednesday, June 26
– Readings: 1) Thomas Frank, The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism, chapter 6 (“Think Young: Youth Culture and Creativity”). 2) Henry A. Giroux, Disturbing Pleasures: Learning Popular Culture, chapter 1 (“Consuming Social Change: The United Colors of Benetton”). 3) Tibor Scitovsky, The Joyless Economy: The Psychology of Human Satisfaction, chapter 3 (“The Pursuit of Novelty”).
– Slideshow and discussion: The Benetton campaigns.
- 2:30 PM: Italy on screen (room 401): Bella addormentata (Dormant Beauty), directed by Marco Bellocchio (2012).
Thursday and Friday, June 27-28
Field trip: Veneto
- 7:30 AM: Coach bus leaves from the Residence Pola.
- Guided tour of Fabrica, Benetton’s communication research center.
- Prosecco tasting (Cantina Gregoletto).
- Overnight stay in San Martino castle.
- Visit to Vicenza, the city of Andrea Palladio.
– Visit to Villa La Rotonda.
– Lunch at Ristorante Il Ceppo (via Palladio 196).
– Visit to the Teatro Olimpico.
– Visit to Basilica Palladiana and aperitivo.
- Lecture by Luca Baraldi (Istituto Superiore di Scienze Religiose di Monte Berico), The Culture of Carnival.
– Reading: Mikhail Bakhtin, “The Carnival.”
Monday, July 1
[# Palio della Madonna di Provenzano. Broadcasted live on television in the evening].
Tuesday, July 2
Guest lecturer: Pier Luigi Sacco, Culture, crossovers, and innovation
Wednesday, July 3
– Reading: Elaine Scarry, On Beauty and Being Just.
- 2:30 PM: Italy on screen (room 401): Perfetti sconosciuti (Perfect Strangers), directed by Paolo Genovese (2016).
- 8:00 PM: Italian dinner at Antica Focacceria S. Francesco (via S. Paolo 15).
Thursday and Friday, July 4-5
Field trip: Trentino
- 7:30 AM: Coach bus leaves from the Residence Pola.
- Cable car from Molveno to Altopiano di Pradel. Excursion at the foot of the Brenta Dolomites. Visit to to Malga Tovre and its educational farm. [ID: John]
- Overnight stay in a hotel in the Lake Nembia nature reserve.
- Trento: visit to the Gallerie, two former road tunnels that were transformed into a history museum.
- Lecture by Pier Luigi Sacco, Heritage and Public Spaces.
- Visit to MUSE science museum in Trento and Le Albere urban expansion project, both designed by architect Renzo Piano using the most innovative eco-sustainable technologies.
- Free time to visit Trento.
Sunday, July 6
[# Draw of the three contrade that will run the Palio in addition to Civetta, Drago, Giraffa, Leocorno, Nicchio, Pantera, and Tartuca].
Monday, July 8
Tuesday, July 9
Guest lecturer: Massimo Buscema (Semeion Research Center in Rome and University of Colorado, Denver), The beauty of algorithms. Please note: room 502.
– Reading: Dieter Wandschneider, “Beauty in Nature Both in Its Laws and Its Entities.”
- 3:45 PM: Italy on screen (room 401): Il capitale umano (Human Capital), directed by Paolo Virzì (2013).
- 7:30 PM: apericena at Bar Bistro Squisitezze (via Gustavo Fara 30).
Wednesday, July 10
– Readings: Gregory Currie, “Realism of Character and the Value of Fiction.” 2) Franco Moretti, Signs Taken for Wonders: On the Sociology of Literary Forms, chapter 4 (“Homo Palpitans: Balzac’s Novels and Urban Personality”). 3) Thomas G. Pavel, Fictional Worlds, chapter 6 (“The Economy of the Imaginary”).
3:00 PM: A conversation on identity design with Antonio Romano, CEO of Inarea Identity & Design Network, and Eduardo Salierno, strategic consultant, in their new Milan office (via Andrea Doria 7).
– Workshop: Creating our program’s logo.
Thursday, July 11
3:00 PM: Fashion tour with Federico Poletti (fashion journalist and independent curator). [ID: Junho]
Visit to Milano Unica at Fiera di Milano, one of the most important European exhibition of textile materials and trends.
Friday, July 12
Field trip: Lake Maggiore
- 9:00 AM: Coach bus leaves from Residence Pola.
- Visit of Isola Bella and its terraced gardens; guided tour of Borromeo Palace.
- Lunch on the Isola dei Pescatori.
Saturday, July 13
- 11:00: Guided tour of Armani/Silos, a fashion art museum dedicated to the Armani style.
Sunday, July 14
Program moves to Siena.
- 9:00 AM: Coach bus leaves from Residence Pola.
- Italian dinner at Trattoria Papei.
Monday, July 15
Sections (schedule TBA).
- Savor Siena walk (2 hours; first group: 9:00 AM; second group: 11:00 AM; third group: 1:00 PM): taste cheeses, salami, ham, bread, olive oil, aged vinegar, wine, coffee, cakes, honey, saffron—with an emphasis on what is typical of Siena.
Tuesday, July 16 (room 149)
– Reading: 1) Jane Tylus, Siena: City of Secrets, chapter 4 (“Neighborhoods”).
- 4:00 PM: Film (location Padiglione esterno, room B): Palio, directed by Cosima Spender (2015).
- 7:00 PM: Dinner at Contrada del Bruco (via del Comune 30). During the dinner each student is assigned to a contrada and will then participates in the preparations for the Palio and the ceremonies and events that precede it.
Wednesday, July 17 (room 149)
– Readings: 1) Brian Boyd, On the Origin of Stories: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction, part 2 (“Evolution and Art”).
Thursday, July 18 (room 356)
– Reading: Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince (1513).
- 4:00 PM: Italy on screen (Padiglione esterno, room B): L’ultimo bacio (The Last Kiss), directed by Gabriele Muccino (2001).
Friday, July 19
Field trip: The Val d’Orcia and Montalcino. With archeologist Stefano Campana (University of Siena). [ID: Laura]
- Along the old Via Francigena, through the Crete Senesi hills.
- Visit to the archeological site of Pieve di Pava, the hot springs of Bagno Vignoni, and the Abbey of San’Antino.
- Wine tasting in Montalcino, home of the famous Brunello wine.Free time to visit the medieval town.
Monday, July 22
Tuesday, July 23 (room 101)
– Readings: 1) Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities (Le città invisibili). 2) Giovanni Boccaccio, Decameron (1350), Introduction to Day 1, novelle I, 1 (Ciappelletto), X, 9 (Messer Torello).
- 4:00 PM (Santa Maria della Scala, Sala S. Ansano): Guest lecturer: Pier Luigi Sacco, Culture and health.
– Guided tour of Santa Maria della Scala, former hospital of the city, now a museum.
- Italian dinner at Il Pomodorino (via Camporegio 13).
Wednesday, July 24 (room 101)
Guest lecturer: Pier Luigi Sacco, The Creative City.
– Reading: Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities.
- 3:00 PM: Italy on screen (location: Padiglione esterno, room B): La dolce vita, directed by Federico Fellini (1960). Discussion to follow at the Refugio..
Thursday, July 25
Field trip: Florence.
- 8:20 AM: Bus leaves from via Roma in front of former Ospedale Psichiatrico (where the bus left us after our trip from Milan).
- 10:00 AM: Visit to Museo Ferragamo, a fashion museum dedicated to the life and work of Italian shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo and his company. [ID: Nikole]
- 1:00, 3:00, and 5:00 PM: Discovery coffee course at the Espresso Academy, in Florence (2 hours). Instructor: Gabriele Cortopassi, barista, restaurant manager, coffee expert. [ID: Samantha]
See how coffee is blended and roasted. Learn the main types of coffee and the techniques for preparing espresso, cappuccino, latte. Then make your cappuccino with the heart
Friday, July 26
LONG WEEKEND: NO CLASSES
Monday, July 29
Tuesday, July 30 (room 149)
– Readings: 1) Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (1936). 2) Anthony Julius, Transgressions: The Offences of Art, chapter 1 (“A Transgressive Work and its Defences”)..
Wednesday, July 31 (room 149)
– Readings: Martha Nussbaum, Poetic Justice: The Literary Imagination and Public Life, chapter 4 (“Poets as Judges”). 2) Doris Sommer, The Work of Art in the World, chapter 1 (“From the Top: Government-Sponsored Creativity.”
- 3:00 PM: Italy on screen (Padiglione esterno, room B): Le fate ignoranti, (The Ignorant Fairies / His Secret Life), directed by Ferzan Özpetek (2001).
- 8:30: Italian dinner at Trattoria Fonte Giusta (via Camollia 102).
Thursday, August 1 (room 356)
– Reading: Giovanni Della Casa, Galateo (1558).
- 4:00 PM: Meeting with the deputy mayor of Siena and visit to Palazzo Pubblico. With a close analysis of Lorenzetti’s Allegory of Good and Bad Government. [ID: James]
- 7:30 PM: Aperitivo and techno dj set with The Misha Sessions feat. PLS. At Cacio e pere (via dei Termini, 70).
Friday, August 2
Field trip: Lucca
- 8:00 AM: Coach bus leaves from Porta Romana.
- 10:00 AM: Guided visit to Piaggio Museum in Pontedera and to its collection of Vespa scooters. [ID: Alex]
- Lunch at Trattoria Giulio in Pelleria (Lucca, via delle Conce 45).
- Lecture by Emanuele Vietina (Lucca Comics and Games) and Cosimo Lorenzo Pancini (Studio Kmzero), “E3 – Exhibition, Event, Experience: Art & Gaming: a new perspective on dealing with a constantly changing audience.” [ID]
- Free time to visit Lucca.
Saturday, August 3, and Sunday, August 4
[# Antiques market in Arezzo.]
Monday, August 5
Tuesday, August 6 (room 149)
– Readings: 1) Pico della Mirandola, On the Dignity of Man (1486). 2) Giorgio Vasari’s life of Michelangelo (from The Lives of the Artists, 1550). 3) Jonathan K. Nelson and Richard J. Zeckhauser, The Patron’s Payoff: Conspicuous Commissions in Italian Renaissance Art, chapter 3 (“Theories of Distinction: Magnificence and Signaling”)..
- 8:15 PM: Italian dinner at Osteria Castelvecchio (via Castelvecchio, 65).
Wednesday, August 7 (room 149)
– Readings: Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, In Praise of Athletic Beauty, chapter 1 (“Definitions”).
- 3:00 PM: Italy on screen (Padiglione esterno, room B): La grande bellezza (The Great Beauty), directed by Paolo Sorrentino (2013).
Thursday, August 8 (room 356)
– Reading: Crispin Sartwell, Six Names of Beauty: students can choose which one of the six chapters they prefer to read.
- 8:15 PM (sala S. Ansano, Santa Maria della Scala): Guest lecturer: Silvana Kühtz (Università della Basilicata/Associazione Leggo quando voglio), Sensory concert: A reading of Italian poetry. With Susanna Crociani, sax. [ID]
[# Palio events: Terra in piazza (early morning: preparation of the dirt track in Piazza del Campo)].
Friday, August 9 (room 356)
– Readings: 1) John Dewey, Art as Experience (1934), chapters 1 (“The Live Creature”) and 14 (“Art and Civilization”). 2) David Rotheberg, Survival of the Beautiful: Art, Science, and Evolution, chapter 6 (“Creative Experiments”).
- 2:30 PM: Guided tour of Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the oldest bank in the world still operating (it was founded in 1472). [ID: Taimur]
Monday, August 12
- 3:30 (at the Refugio)
- Slideshow and discussion of the final projects.
- Slideshow and discussion of the logo projects.
[# Palio events: 7:00 PM presentation of the drappellone (banner) in Cortile del Podestà, in Palazzo Pubblico]. [ID]
Tuesday, August 13
[# Palio events: 1:00 PM (be there 20 minutes earlier): La tratta (selection of the horses); 7:00 PM: first trial]. [ID]
Wednesday, August 14
[# Palio events: second and third trials.]
Thursday, August 15
Ferragosto: national holiday
[# Palio events: prova generale (final trial); and cena della prova generale (open-air dinner in each contrada).] [ID]
Friday, August 16
(rain date: Saturday, August 17)
Sunday, August 18