Course Descriptions Graduate

ITA1000H: Methodologies for the Teaching and Study of Italian / Staff   (Co-ordinator:  Professor Salvatore Bancheri)

Students are introduced to basic reference materials necessary for research and will familiarize themselves with the Reference, Periodical Rooms, and the Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library.  They will also study philological, computer-assisted and critical methods for the study of Italian literature and linguistics.

ITA1001Y: Colloquia and Professional Development / Staff

ITA1025H: Old Italian / Professor F. Pierno

It deals both with historical grammar (the linguistic transition from Latin to Italo-Romance) and the analysis of early Italian texts. The nature of the course is, at present, anthological rather than monographic, in the sense that a number of related topics will be dealt with in order to provide students with a general understanding of the problems and issues involved in the study of Old Italian.

ITA1026H: Italian Dialectology / Professor F. Pierno

It deals with the dialects of Italy primarily from a synchronic and descriptive standpoint, although diachronic considerations will not be excluded. Some attention is also paid to dialect authors, particularly Neapolitan, Sicilian and Milanese.

ITA1029H: History of Italian Religious Language / Professor F. Pierno

This seminar will consist in a historical overview of Italian Religious Language, from the first Medieval documents to the recent Bible translations and other Ecclesiastical documents. The aims of the course are the following : A) identifying the principal features and the most important genres of the Italian Religious Language; B) analyzing the relation between History of Italian Language and Religion; C) understanding the ideological and religious situations which provoked changes and evolutions in Italian Language. For a better comprehension of theoretical methodologies (point A), the students engage an individual research project focusing on a particular Italian religious text.

ITA1030H: Italian Lexicography: History and Methodologies / Professor F. Pierno

This seminar will consist in a historical overview of Italian lexicography, from Medieval glossaries to online or cd-rom dictionaries. The aims of the course are the following: A) identifying the principal research instruments, and their appropriate use; B) analyzing the methodological issues in Italian Lexicography, also in comparison with other lexicographical traditions; C) understanding the ideological situations which provoked changes and evolutions in Italian Lexicography. In order to study in depth the principal research instruments (point A), the students will work under the guide of the teacher in the library and in the computer laboratory. For a better comprehension of theoretical and historical methodologies (point B), the students engage in an individual research project focusing on a particular lexicographical question.

ITA1031H: History of Italian Language in North America / Professor F. Pierno

This course proposes a historical vision of the Italian linguistic presence in North America throughout a period that extends from the first big wave of immigration in the mid eighteenth century to around the 1970s, which marks the end of the out-and-out flow of immigrants. Finally, a more pragmatic and not immediate objective of the course will be the realization of a web site designed to gather texts and critical-bibliographical information about the presence of the Italian language in North America.

ITA1165H: Introduction to Italian Philology / Professor M. Lettieri

Along with providing an historical overview of the Italian philological tradition by investigating its evolution and transformations, this course will identify the principal research instruments, and their appropriate use. Particular attention will be given to the following topics: definitions and outline of the history of philology, the various types of editions, texts and their history, the preparatory stages of critical editions and their characteristics. The course is aimed at the philological “apprentice”, that is, those who are approaching this field of study for the first time.

ITA1170H: Textual Criticism and the Editing of Early Italian Texts / Professor M. Lettieri

This course will consider both the philological problems facing editors of early Italian texts (1200-1600) – criteria of transcription, relations between manuscripts, or printed editions; the role of the copyist/printer and their audience – as well as the language of these texts. Emphasis will also be placed on the central concerns and history of textual criticism, and the different types of critical editions. A variety of manuscripts, early printed editions and critical editions will be discussed and analyzed.

ITA1177H:  The Italian Questione della Lingua

ITA1200H: Dante / Professor D. Pietropaolo

An examination of Dante’s works and criticism on them.

ITA1202H:  Dante and Augustine / Professor E. Brilli

This course will examine and discuss the presence of Augustine’s De civitate Dei in Dante’s works, both Latin (in English or Italian translation) and Italian (original texts), with a particular attention devoted to Dante’s political and anthropological thought. The De civitate Dei is a major point of reference for Western Medieval Culture but, for a number of reasons, it has been neglected so far as one of Dante’s sources.

ITA1203H: Boccaccio / Staff

A study of Boccaccio’s Decameron and a selection of his “minor” works in Italian within the social, cultural, and literary context of the 14th century. Particular emphasis is placed on the adaptation and transformation of traditional literary forms, both in the “minor” works and in the Decameron itself.

ITA1235H: Topics in Italian Studies / Staff

ITA1330H: Petrarch and Petrarchism / Professor F. Guardiani

An examination of Petrarch’s literary production and of its influence in the Renaissance. Special attention given to Petrarch’s lyric poetry, and the phenomenon of European Petrarchism.

ITA1520H: Renaissance Humanism / Staff

Begins with a review of the definitions of humanism. The chief features of the movement (the cult of antiquity, the problem of imitation, the use of rhetoric, and the formulation of new educational theories) are illustrated through an analysis of writings by early Quattrocento authors like Bracciolini, Alberti and Valla, and also by the later 15th-century humanist poet, Poliziano. The man-centredness of humanist thought is discussed in connection with treatises by Ficino and Pico della Mirandola.

ITA1530H: Machiavelli / Staff

The course deals briefly with the context of Machiavelli’s life and works and concentrates on the author’s contribution to a number of literary genres, including the treatise, theatre, the short story, and historiography.  In addition to considering the richness of Machiavelli’s thought on the subject of man, politics, language, and history, the course will highlight the literary qualities of his writings.  His best-known work, Il principe, will be used as the testing ground for the application of various modern critical approaches to literature (e.g. psychoanalysis, semiotics).

ITA1535H: Topics in Italian Literature / Staff

ITA1540H: Renaissance Italian Theatre / Professor K. Eisenbichler

The course will examine public and private spectacle in 15th/16th-century Italy in the light of its social, political, or religious implications. An interdisciplinary approach will be used, stressing not only the literary and dramaturgical aspects of the plays, but also the interaction of the power elites, the role of the individual, and the response of spectators. The course will include a close examination of the place of theatre in the political and cultural power structures of the time. Representative authors to be studied are: Jacopone da Todi, Feo Belcari, Lorenzo de’ Medici, Agnolo Poliziano, Bernardo Dovizi da Bibbiena, Machiavelli, Ariosto, Annibal Caro, Giovan Maria Cecchi, Beolco-Ruzzante, Tasso, Trissino.

ITA1545H: The Sacra Rappresentazione / Professor K. Eisenbichler

The course will examine Italian religious theatre, and especially the Sacra Rappresentazione, during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. It will open with an analysis of the origins of religious theatre within the liturgy of the Church and in Medieval theatre.  It will then trace the development of the Sacra Rappresentazione in Florence from its beginning in the mid-fifteenth century to its eventual metamorphosis at the end of the sixteenth century.

ITA1550H: 16th century Florence / Professor K. Eisenbichler

This course will examine the literary and cultural world of Florence in the sixteenth century focussing primarily on the reign of Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici (1530s-1570s). After looking at the historical circumstances that affected Florence in those decades, we will proceed to an examination of various cultural products (narratives, poetry, histories, biographies, theatre, spectacle, printing, etc.) to determine how they related to the socio-political realities of the time and how they contributed to Florentine and Italian culture in general.

ITA1551H: 16th century Italian Tragedy / Professor M. Lettieri

An intensive study of the major tragedies in sixteenth-century Italy. The course will consider the plays from the perspective of a number of contexts: the rhetorical dimension, the problem of staging performances, linguistic practice, metrical structure, the issue of themes, and textual philology. Attention will also be afforded to the role of Italian tragedy in the formation of a national literary canon, the influence of the Italian plays on the development of European drama, and on the link between Renaissance tragedy and modern theories of tragedy. The playwrights to be considered include Trissino, Rucellai, Giraldi Cinzio, Speroni, Aretino, Groto, Dolce, Tasso and Torelli.

ITA1552H: Pietro Aretino and the Italian Renaissance / Professor M. Lettieri

An introduction to the works and thought of one of the most important and controversial figures inItalian Renaissance literature: namely, Pietro Aretino. Aretino (the first vernacular writer to publish an erotic book in the Christian world and a volume of his own letters) wrote in all of the literary genres: short story, epic, familiar letters, the ascetic tale, lyric poetry and satire, comedy and tragedy.

ITA1555H: Literature and Society in Renaissance Italy / Professor K. Eisenbichler

The course will examine representative works from the Italian Renaissance as products and reflections of contemporary social and cultural concerns. In so doing, it will highlight the close connection between the creative imagination as evidenced in various literary genres (treatises, dialogues, poetry, autobiography, etc.) and the religious, cultural, social, and historical realities of the time. The standard literary approach will thus be supplemented by a New Historicist approach and by recent developments in sex and gender studies. Some of the major currents to be examined will be Humanism, Neoplatonism, Renaissance Neo-Medievalism, and Renaissance Orientalism. Some of the works to be examined are: Alberti, I libri della famiglia; Valla, selected works, including Donazione di Costantino; Poliziano, Le Stanze; Lorenzo de’ Medici, selected poems and songs; Luigi Pulci, Morgante; Boiardo, Orlando innamorato; Ariosto, Orlando furioso; Castiglione, Il libro del cortegiano; Guicciardini, Ricordi; Cellini, Vita.

ITA1565H: Tasso / Professor F. Guardiani

Designed to make graduate students aware of the place of Tasso within the culture of his time. A rhetorical perspective will be used in order to contextualize individual poems within the literary environment in which they were written. Great relevance is assigned to Renaissance writings on poetics and rhetoric, including Tasso’s own Dialoghi, Discorsi dell’arte poetica, Discorsi del poema eroico.  The definition of literary genres is central in this course and will inform all textual analyses.

ITA1591H: Baroque Poetics and Poetry / Professor F. Guardiani

Aims to introduce the study of Baroque poetry through the analysis of those poetics which either led to specific poetical experiences, or were determined by them. An examination of the development of Aristotle and Horace’s literary theories (on such points as verisimilitude, imitation, utile et dolci, marvelous, etc., in late Renaissance poetics will lead to the presentation of the changes, or deformations which those motives underwent during the Baroque. Major poets of the l7th-century, such as Marino, Tassoni, and Chiabrera, as well as minor authors, will be read in the light of those theoretical approaches.

ITA1597H: The Commedia dell’Arte  / Professor D. Pietropaolo

An examination of the conventions and techniques of the Commedia dell’Arte tradition; viewed against the background of contemporary dramaturgy, and appraised from the perspective of modem theories of theatrical discourse. Topics studied include: the semiotics of performance; stochastic composition processes; plot-building strategies; space; structural rhythm; masks, and ideology. No previous knowledge of semiotics is required but a definite interest in theory is presupposed.

ITA1601H: Vico / Professor D. Pietropaolo

A study of the fundamental concepts of the Scienza nuova considered against the back-ground of the European history of ideas in the 17th- and 18th-centuries; and in the context of the humanist tradition. Focus also placed upon what the implications of Vico’s thought have for the chief cultural debates of our time, especially in the field of literary theory.

ITA1605H: Theories of the Stage and Dramatic Criticism / Professor D. Pietropaolo

A study of the main statements on the theory of the stage in Italy (Serlio, Leone Ebreo, Sabatini, Perrucci, Ingegneri Riccoboni, Zeno, Metastasio, Goldoni, etc.) up to the end of the 18th-century in the context of the most recent contributions to dramatic criticism, including the semiotics of drama and performance. The purpose of the course is to acquaint the students with the historical development of the theory of the theatre and to provide them with the critical tools needed to analyse a play.

ITA1610H: 17th and 18th century Theatre / Professor S. Bancheri

The course will study the most representative trends, authors and plays of Italian theatre of 17th and 18th century. Commedia dell’arte scripts as well as works by Guarini, Della Valle, De’ Dottori, Gravina, Martello, Maffei, Marcello, Metastasio, Gozzi, Goldoni, Galiani, Bettinelli, and Alfieri will be studied.

ITA1645H: Post-Tridentine Religious Drama / Professor S. Bancheri

The course will focus on the main aspects of the history of post-Tridentine Italian religious drama, will discuss the theoretical treatises on the genre by Castelvetro, Pallavicino Mazzoni, Maffei, Crescimbeni, Gravina, Martello, Quadrio, as well as authors such as Della Valle, De’ Dottori, Scammacca, Metastasio, Martello, Bettinelli, Granelli.

ITA1650H: Neoclassical and Pre-Romantic Literary Culture / Professor S. Bancheri

The course will focus on the main aspects of Neoclassicism and pre-Romanticism and discuss the relevant works by Savioli, Algarotti, Fantoni, Parini, Monti, Foscolo, Pindemonte, Cesarotti, and Alfieri.  One of the aims of this course will be to train graduate students in the use of cutting-edge computer technology programs which will allow them to better analyze and understand the style and characteristics of the works studied through text-retrieval (analysis of occurrences, frequencies, statistics, associations, etc.)

ITA1661H: Topics in 19th century Italian Literature

ITA1705H: Pirandello / Professor L. Somigli

The cultural and theoretical issues that constitute the foundation of Luigi Pirandello’s essay on humor will provide the background against which several of his novels, short stories and/or plays will be discussed.  Narrative and dramatic texts are intertwined in the dialogic history of Pirandello’s overturning of traditional XIX century narrative and dramatic strategies. During the seminar, students will be engaged in the investigation of the complex trajectory travelled by Luigi Pirandello in his remapping of both genres (i.e. narrative and drama) in the Western tradition.

ITA1710H: Aspects of Modern Italian Poetry / Professor L. Somigli

Focusing on the poetic oeuvre of Eugenio Montale, this course will explore a number of key issues in twentieth-century Italian poetry.  Attention will be given to the relationship between Montale and the major poetic movements and currents of his time (crepuscolarismo and ermetismo in particular, but also the neo-avanguardia as, to a certain extent, a reaction to Montale), to trace both their influence on his work and the originality of his poetic project.  Central issues to be considered include: 1) the role of the poet and of poetry itself in modernity and after the negative moment of the avant-garde; 2) the question of the relationship between poetic and everyday language; 3) the relationship between poetry and socio-political reality.

ITA1723H: Trends in the Italian Novel 1900-1960 / Staff

A course designed to cover some of the major Italian narrators from Svevo and Pirandello to the days of “Letteratura industriale” and the early days of “Neo-avanguardia”.  Special focus is given to psychoanalytical trends (Svevo, Berto, Volponi, Morante), the early neorealistic phase (Bernari, Pavese, Moravia, Vittorini) and the post neorealist fiction (Calvino).  Narrative strategies will be examined within psychological, ideological, historical, and linguistic frames.

ITA1728H: New Trends in the Italian Novel from 1957 to the Present / Staff

Aspects of “Letteratura e industria”, “neoavanguardia” and postmodernism will be examined in the works of writers such as Ottieri, Parise, Morante, Volponi, Calvino, Malerba, Eco, and Tabucchi.  Periodically this course will be offered as a monographic study of major authors such as Morante and Calvino; or, Calvino and Eco; or, new trends in “la nuova narrativa: cannibali e postmoderni”.

 ITA1729H: Contemporary Literary Criticism in Italy / Staff

An examination of Marxist and psychoanalytical approaches to literary criticism.  Although the course focuses mainly on theoretical aspects, time will be dedicated to the application of Marxism and psychoanalysis to specific literary works.

ITA1735H:  Topics in Italian Studies I / Staff

ITA1736H: Topics in Italian Studies II / Staff

ITA1737H:  Topics in Italian Studies / Staff

ITA1755H: Italian Modernism / Professor L. Somigli

The course will cover the culture of the period between Italian unification and the 1930s. It will consider the various responses to the process of modernization and the ensuing transformations in the traditional modes of production, circulation and reception of literature and art. Topics to be discussed include: the debate on the function of art and the artist; the formation of new literary genres and forms; the rise of mass culture; the historiographic accounts of the period. Readings will include works by Pascoli, D’Annunzio, Aleramo, Marinetti, Svevo, Bontempelli, as well as historical and theoretical studies of modernism. Students will conduct seminars on specific case studies of the theoretical issues raised in the course.

ITA1760H: Futurism and the Italian Avant Garde / Professor L. Somigli

Focusing mainly on works by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Aldo Palazzeschi, Massimo Bontempelli and Alberto Savinio, this course will explore the theoretical and historiographic issues involved in the study of the phenomenon of the avant-garde in Italy.  It will first consider Futurism, with particular attention to its critique and revision of traditional genres and modes of artistic production, and its attempt to forge a link between the practice of art and everyday life.  There will be discussion of the appropriation of Futurist techniques in purely aesthetic avant-garde projects such as Savinio’s metafisica and Bontempelli’s novecentismo.

ITA1810H: Studies in Italian Literature and Film / Staff

ITA1815H: Issues in Italian Film Historiography / Staff

ITA2010Y: Directed Research in Italian Linguistics / Staff

ITA2011H: Directed Research in Italian Linguistics / Staff

Based on a professor’s research project currently in progress, the following courses will enable a student to play a useful role in the project while receiving concrete training in research.

ITA2041H: Directed Research Topics 1 / Staff 

Based on a visiting professor’s lecture series and on a research project currently in progress, the following courses will enable students to further explore a topic closely related to the lectures and to participate meaningfully in a cutting-edge research project by a professor of international distinction.

ITA2042H: Directed Research Topics 2 / Staff

Based on a visiting professor’s lecture series and on a research project currently in progress, the following courses will enable students to further explore a topic closely related to the lectures and to participate meaningfully in a cutting-edge research project by a professor of international distinction.

ITA2043H: Directed Research Topics 3 / Staff

Based on a visiting professor’s lecture series and on a research project currently in progress, the following courses will enable students to further explore a topic closely related to the lectures and to participate meaningfully in a cutting-edge research project by a professor of international distinction.

ITA2044H: Directed Research Topics 4 / Staff

Based on a visiting professor’s lecture series and on a research project currently in progress, the following courses will enable students to further explore a topic closely related to the lectures and to participate meaningfully in a cutting-edge research project by a professor of international distinction.

ITA2051H: Lecture Series Research 1 / Staff

Based on a visiting professor’s lecture series and on a research project currently in progress, the following courses will enable students to further explore a topic closely related to the lectures and to participate meaningfully in a cutting-edge research project by a professor of international distinction.

ITA2052H: Lecture Series Research 2 / Staff

Based on a visiting professor’s lecture series and on a research project currently in progress, the following courses will enable students to further explore a topic closely related to the lectures and to participate meaningfully in a cutting-edge research project by a professor of international distinction.

ITA2053H: Lecture Series Research 3 / Staff

Based on a visiting professor’s lecture series and on a research project currently in progress, the following courses will enable students to further explore a topic closely related to the lectures and to participate meaningfully in a cutting-edge research project by a professor of international distinction.

ITA2054H: Lecture Series Research 4 / Staff

Based on a visiting professor’s lecture series and on a research project currently in progress, the following courses will enable students to further explore a topic closely related to the lectures and to participate meaningfully in a cutting-edge research project by a professor of international distinction.

JIC5000H: Narrativity and Intertextuality in Italian Fiction / Staff

Notions of embedded narratives, narrative frames, cornice, repetition and difference, intertextual echoes, polyphony, and dialogical discourse will be traced in Boccaccio’s Decameron.  The works of Italo Calvino and Umberto Eco will demonstrate how these notions are further developed and illustrated in contemporary encyclopedic fictions (with references to J.L.Borges, J.Barth, T. Pynchon etc.). Selected pages from the works of Propp, Bakhtin, Todorov, Kristeva, Barthes, Riffaterre, Lottman, Segre, Corti, and Eco will provide the theoretical background for the lectures and class discussions.

JIF1000H: Romance Philology I / Professor D. Kullmann

Introduction to the various aspects of historical linguistics and the beginnings of literature in the Romance languages (French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Romanian). Topics studied will include the history of Romanization, the emancipation of the vernaculars from Latin, medieval bilingualism, linguistic and cultural aspects of the beginnings of vernacular writing, as well as the creation of literary forms and traditions. Early written documents from all Romance languages will be read and analyzed, up to and including the first literary texts. Students will also become acquainted with existing research tools such as bibliographies, databases, and linguistic repertories. The course equips students with foundations in both linguistic and literary studies in the early periods of all of the languages concerned. Required preparation for Romance Philology II (Medieval and Renaissance literature and linguistics).

JIF1001H: Romance Philology II / Professor F. Pierno

This course will discuss specific aspects of the early literature and linguistics of the Romance languages (French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Romanian). Topics studied will include: Dialects and the creation of national languages in all the linguistic areas concerned, manuscript tradition, textual criticism and edition, orality and writing, genre traditions, social and cultural aspects of literature in earlier periods, and Romance languages in contact. Approximately half of the course will be dedicated to the study of selected medieval or Renaissance literary texts (in various Romance languages), illustrating particular problems and discussing various theoretical approaches. This course requires JIF 1000H Romance Philology I as preparation.

MST3162H: Boccaccio and Chaucer / Professor W. Robins