Graduate Courses Sponsored by the Goggio Chair

ITA1736H  Righteous Indignation in Italian Contemporary Literary Narrative and Film / S. Lucamante |  ITA1736H The Italian Novel from Foscolo to Svevo / M. Palumbo | ITA1535H Animal and Human in Contemporary Narrative and Philosophy / L. Re | ITA1736H The Italian language: The notion of standard / L. Lepschy and G. Lepschy | ITA2051H Words and Forms in the Decameron /N. Maraschio | ITA2052H The Medieval Origins of Italian Literary Culture / P.Colilli | ITA1736H Italian Dialectology and the Questione della Lingua / L. Lepschy and G. Lepschy | ITA2054H Registers and Subcodes in Italian / C. Marcato | ITA2053H Boccaccio / E. Menetti | ITA2051H Italian Language After Unity / F. Bruni

ITA1736H the Italian Novel from Foscolo to Svevo (Winter 2014)
Prof. Matteo Palumbo, Università di Napoli “Federico II”

Il corso propone una riflessione sulle forme principali del romanzo italiano. Il punto di partenza, cronologico e teorico insieme, è costituito dalle Ultime lettere di Jacopo Ortis di Ugo Foscolo. L’opera si presenta come una radicale novità rispetto ai romanzi precedenti e si offre come un modello particolarmente indicativo del genere epistolare. I testi successivi, che saranno volta per volta discussi, sono esempi di romanzi continuamente differenti. Manzoni utilizza l’involucro del romanzo storico per contrastare qualunque astrattezza e riportare le azioni degli uomini nei limiti della storia umana. Verga si serve del ciclo dei vinti per analizzare il meccanismo variegato delle passioni individuali. Il romanzo umoristico di Pirandello dissolve l’unità dell’io e condanna il soggetto a una perenne esclusione dalla vita. Tozzi mette in scena il conflitto senza soluzione tra padri violenti e figli incapaci di ripetere il loro modello. Il romanzo psicanalitico di Svevo affronta in maniera inedita la questione della salute e della malattia. L’intero percorso, raccontando la storia di un genere, prova a intendere i modi con cui i singoli autori hanno rappresentato il loro confronto con la storia e con l’esistenza.

The course, which will be conducted in Italian, is structured as a seminar, which means students are encouraged to take active part in the discussion. No critical or theoretical background is necessary to take and do well in this class; some background in Italian literature is welcome but not required.

Matteo Palumbo is Professor of Italian Literature at the University “Federico II” in Napoli. He has published several books and articles on Medieval and Renaissance Literature, on poetry and fiction from the nineteenth to the twentieth centuries. His most recent works are a monograph on Foscolo (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2010), a critical edition of Foscolo’s poetry (Milano: Rizzoli, 2010), and a collection of essays on Francesco Guicciardini (Mutazione delle cose e pensieri nuovi. Bruxelles: Peter Lang, 2013).

ITA1535H  Animal and Human in Contemporary Narrative and Philosophy (Fall 2013)  Prof. Lucia Re, University of California, Los Angeles

The “question of the animal” has played a pivotal role for modern thought, culminating in recent works that treat animality and the human/animal divide as constitutive of ethical and political traditions, the relation of humans with the natural world, and human identity.  This course will explore the question of the animal, “animalization” and the animal/human dichotomy in modern Italian literature, with particular reference to the work of Italo Calvino, Primo Levi and Anna Maria Ortese.  Other writers discussed will include Gabriele d’Annunzio, Grazia Deledda, Giacomo Leopardi, Eugenio Montale, Elsa Morante, Umberto Saba and Giovanni Verga.  What insights do these writers provide into the question of the animal?  How do they represent the animality of humans and the humanity of animals?  A selection of critical and philosophical essays on the theme “animal and human” will be considered, including works by Giorgio Agamben, John Berger, Rosi Braidotti, Paola Cavalieri, Jacques Derrida, Umberto Eco, Edoardo Esposito, Horkeimer and Adorno, and Peter Singer.

Lucia Re is a Professor of Italian Literature and Gender Studies at the University of California in Los Angeles.  She has published on modern and contemporary literature and culture, has translated works by Rosa Rosà and Amelia Rosselli ans is one of the founders of the electronic interdisciplinary scholarly journal California Italian Studies, for which she co-edited (with Claudio Fogu) the volume Italy in the Mediterranean (2010).  She is working on a book on Italian modernism and Africa.

ITA1736H The Italian language: The notion of standard (Fall 2013)
Prof. Laura Lepschy, Professor Emerita at University College London
Prof. Giulio Lepschy, Professor Emeritus of the University of Reading
For Prof. Lepschy biographical profile, please see below.

They will discuss the notion of standard language (spoken and written) in the perspective of (1) linguistic theory; (2) the history of linguistic thought; (3) the history of the Italian language; (4) controversial questions concerning the standard in modern Italian; (5) the questione dellla lingua”.

ITA2051H Words and Forms in the Decameron (Winter 2013)
Prof. Nicoletta Maraschio, Università di Firenze and Accademia della Crusca

In coincidenza con il settimo centenario della nascita di Giovanni Boccaccio (2013), il corso intende affrontare l’analisi linguistica del Decameron, il capolavoro letterario che has avuto un ruolo determinante nella storia della lingua italiana.  La presenza dell’autografo (codice Hamilton 90 della Staatsbibliothek di Berlino) ci consente di ricostruire con assoluta sicurezza l’intero tessuto linguistico creato dal Boccaccio (dalla grafia alla fonetica, dalla morfologia fino alla sintassi e al lessico), proiettandolo sul quadro del fiorentino trecentesco quale risulta dalla ricca documentazione pervenutaci di scritture sia pratiche che letterarie.  La recente pubblicazione della Grammatica dell’italiano antico a cura di Salvi-Renzi (2010) potrà fornire utili elementi comparativi.

Ma sarà interessante considerare anche la fortuna delle scelte linguistiche boccacciane, a cominciare di primi decenni del Cinquecento quando il Decameron sarà  assunto a modello di lingua e quindi variamente utilizzato da grammatici e lessicografi all ricerca regole normative.  Come è noto l’opera, censurata dall’Inquisizione, sarà “riscritta” da Vincenzio Borghini e poi da Lionardo Salviati, che la studierà a fondo nei suoi Avvertimenti della lingua sopra’l Decamerone (1584-1586).  E attraverso la riscrittura salviatesca il Decameron entrerà largamente tra i “citati” del Vocabulario degli Accademici della Crusca (1612).  Una parte del corso sarà dedicata a questo importante episodio.  E proprio all luce della selezione, operata nel corso del Cinquecento, di tratti specifici dell’uso del Boccaccio si evidenzieranno alcuni elementi significativi di continuità e discontinuità tra la sua lingua e l’italiano contemporaneo.

Nicoletta Maraschio is a full professor of History of the Italian Language at the University of Florence.  Since 2008 she has been President of the Accademia della Crusca.  She is the first woman to hold such a position.  Her research activities deal with various periods and themes of the history of the Italian language: from the language of individual authors (Boccaccio, Alberti, Salviati), to linguistic aspects of the Renaissance (spoken language in Sixteenth-Century grammatical reflections, the teaching of Italian abroad, Sixteenth-Century phonetic treatises).  Prof. Maraschio’s scholarship has also focused on the evolution of the Italian writing system from the Middle Ages to the present, on the Language of the Church, and on the Twentieth- Century issues of language and its relationship to Mass Media (cinema, radio and television).  Prof. Maraschio also directs, together with Massimo Fanfani and Ilaria Bonomi, the series “Italian in Public”, published by Cesati.  Prof. Maraschio has been visiting professor at numerous European and American universities and during her tenure as president of the Accademia, has received many prizes and awards.  In 2011, the President of the Republic of Italy Giorgio Napolitano bestowed upon her the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic of “Grand Officer”.

ITA2052H The Medieval Origins of Italian Literary Culture (Fall 2012)
Prof. Paul Colilli, Laurentian University

The aim of this course is to explore the origins of Italian literary culture within its linguistic, theological, scientific, biopolitical and aesthetic dimensions.  The class discussions will pivot on San Francesco d’Assisi, the Scuola Siciliana, Guido Guinizzelli, Guido Cavalcanti and Francesco Petrarca.

Paul Colilli (PhD) is a Professor of Italian Studies at Laurentian University and Associate Director of the Italian Summer School at Middlebury Collge.  His books and articles focus on Early Modern to Contemporary Italian Literature.

ITA1736H Italian Dialectology and the Questione della Lingua (2012 Spring Term)
Prof. Laura Lepschy, Professor Emerita at University College London
Prof. Giulio Lepschy, Professor Emeritus of the University of Reading

This is a six-week course with two two-hour classes per week. The first half of the course consists of six two-hour classes on the De vulgari eloquentia. The second half discusses the Questione della lingua.

Giulio Lepschy is Professor Emeritus of the University of Reading (GB). He has published about five hundred items on the Italian language and dialects and on the history of linguistics. Among his main works La linguistica strutturale (1967), also in English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese; Saggi (1978) and Nuovi saggi di linguistica italiana (1989); La linguistica del Novecento (1992); Mother Tongues and Other Reflections on the Italian Language (2002); Tradurre e traducibilità (2009). He has co-authored with A.L. Lepschy The Italian Language Today (1977), also in Italian and German. He has edited a History of Linguistics (1994-98), also in Italian. He is a member of the Accademia della Crusca and a Fellow of theBritishAcademy. He is Honorary Professor at University College London, and has Honorary appointments at the

Laura Lepschy is Professor Emerita at University College London, Professor at the University of Toronto, Honorary Professor at the Universities of Cambridge and Bangor, and Honorary Fellow at Somerville College Oxford. She is Vice-President of the Associazione Internazionale per gli Studi di Lingua e Letteratura Italiana. Among her publications are Varietà linguistiche e pluralità di codici nel Rinascimento (1996); Narrativa e teatro fra due secoli: Verga, Invernizio,Svevo, Pirandello (1984). She has co-edited with Arturo Tosi, Pierluigi Barrotta and Adam Ledgeway proceedings of conferences such as Multilingualism inItaly Past and Present (2002), Freud and Italian Culture (2009), Into and Out of Italy: Lingua e cultura della migrazione italiana (2010). She is co-editor with Zyg Baranski of the Legenda Oxford series Italian Perspectives.

 

ITA2054H Registers and Subcodes in Italian (2012 Spring Term)
Prof. Carla Marcato

The seminars are aimed at framing the issues, and at providing an argument, the method and the tools for the preparation of a term paper. The themes relate to the variations of contemporary Italian within a communicative context (diafasic variable), namely the registers and the sub-codes (or sectorial parlance), within the total repertoire of the Italian language. We will take into consideration the different registers of the language, from formal to informal ones, and, in particular, we will be focusing on the parlance of young people, and on the meaning of the term “jargon.” We will discuss the characteristics of sub-codes, and we will examine certain forms (i.e. the language of advertising, fashion’s language, and others).

Professor Marcato is a renowned linguist, specializing on the relationship between the literary language ofItaly and the regional dialects of the country, particularly those of the North East and those that enjoy currency in large urban centres. Professor Marcato is president of the international centre for the study of linguistic diversity (Centro di Studi sul Plurilinguismo) based in the University of Udine. As the author of several dictionaries, Professor Marcato is also one of the country’s leading lexicographers.

 

 

 

ITA2053H Boccaccio (2012 Spring Term)
Prof. Elisabetta Menetti

The course involves the presentation and study of the writer Giovanni Boccaccio and his works. Giovanni Boccaccio is the founder of prose literature within the history of Italian literature, and he is of paramount importance for understanding the evolution of narrative fiction within Western Europe. It is of great interest, therefore, in studying the works of Boccaccio, to identify the formal features, the style and rhetoric of the early works (novels, both in prose and verse), of his novelistic masterpiece (the Decameron), and of other works during his mature years (especially the Latin treatise: Genealogie deorum gentilium).

The course will introduce different levels of analysis: a detailed study of the words (the rhetorical use of the language of narrative fiction and Boccaccio’s critical lexicon), the themes (love, luck, and ingenuity), and the narrative structure of the works considered.

Professor Menetti is a dynamic young scholar, quickly emerging as a dominant figure of Italian scholarship in the short story tradition and in the use of quantitative methods in literary historiography. She is the editor of the prestigious electronic journal Griselda, based at the University of Bologna. Professor Menetti has already lectured with considerable success on a couple of occasions at the University of Toronto as a guest of the Goggio Chair in both fields of expertise. In 2011-2012 she will offer a research course on Boccaccio’s Decameron and the Medieval short story tradition, focusing on aspects of oral narration and on late-medieval theories of fiction and reality.

 

ITA2051H Italian Language After Unity (2011 Fall Term)
Prof. Francesco Bruni

During the period of four seminars, which involve the presentation of the instructor himself and the discussion of the material provided by the same, and through the active participation of the students, we will consider the Italian parable beginning with 1861, namely the last 150 years of its long history, and we will discuss many aspects of the same: narrative prose and lyric poetry and, thus, literary language, all in the second and third lessons; educational and social aspects related to the early decades of the life of the Kingdom of Italy (first lesson), and aspects of written Italian (not literary Italian) over the last fifty years. In each lesson we will address issues which may be taken up by the students for a short dissertation. These works will be discussed during the office hours following the end of the four seminars, and later, via e-mail or telephone, the professor will continue to supervise the same work through its entire development period until the completion of each dissertation.

Professor Bruni is a senior scholar well known to students and faculty alike, since his many books figure prominently in our course bibliographies and are frequently quoted in our research. Professor Bruni’s work is very influential on both sides of the Atlantic. In his lecture for the Goggio Chair series, he examined a series of texts, from Roman antiquity to the nineteenth century, all of which claim that Italy is finally born as a country. These many births of Italy in the literary imagination of the country reflects a sense of the historical destiny of its people, as reflected in the voice of its individual poets, both before and after the development of the Italian language.