Taught in English, this course explores the culture of Venice, from its origins to modern days, starting with its geographical configuration, the demographic composition, the foreign communities, the government, the economy, the spice trade, diplomacy and more.
We will use literary texts, images of art, and musical pieces. We will read various types of theatrical genres produced over the centuries and view many excerpts of movies involving Venice. Reading selections from Marco Polo, Boccaccio, Petrarch, Bembo, Veronica Franco, Philippe de Commines, Goldoni, Casanova, Da Ponte, Pirandello
and Pasinetti. Images of great artists such as Titian, Bellini, Carpaccio, Canaletto and more will be included as will be passages from major composers such as Vivaldi and more. We will also analyze different views of Venice as presented in movies such as Visconti’s Senso and Death in Venice, Lean’s Summertime, Fellini’s Casanova, Softly’s Wings of the Dove, Young and Guest’s 007 From Russia with Love. No Knowledge of Italian is required.
At the end of the course, students will be able identify and describe crucial historical developments of the Italian society and culture and to understand the main aspects of political and artistic movements, They will be able to critically analyze and interpret individual art and literature in themselves and in relation to their specific historical, social, and cultural context. Students will demonstrate the ability to express and communicate effectively complex ideas concerning the historical nature of cultural production in standard written and oral English.
Departmental Goal II: Cultural Proficiency
This course satisfies the Core Curriculum Learning Goal: AH (o and p).
Area of Inquiry C: Arts and Humanities
Goals o and p:
o. Examine critically theoretical issues concerning the nature of reality, human experience, knowledge, value, and the cultural production related to the topics addressed.
p. Analyze arts and literatures in themselves and in relation to specific histories, values, languages, cultures, and technologies.
A Reader will be made available by the instructor.
The abilities defined in the learning goals will be assessed through oral and written activities.
Active class participation (25%); Students are expected to actively participate in class discussions demonstrating analytical capabilities and attentiveness.
4-page paper (25%); Students are required to analyze a literary text discussing using two introductory texts on the topic chosen. They expected to demonstrate the ability to address and communicate complex ideas in standard written English.
Midterm exam (25%); The students are to write one essay choosing from three topics discussed during the first part of the course. Then the students are to compose seven short answers from a list of nine items. The essay will assess the student’s ability to analyze various themes from a social, historical, and cultural perspective while having the possibility to discuss pieces from the literary, artistic, musical, and cinematic genres. The identifications will confirm the student’s ability to decipher details pertaining to these perspectives and genres.
Final exam (25%); The exam is comprised of a further developed essay question and nine short answers (from a list of eleven) on the topics discussed after the Midterm.
The essay assesses each student’s progress in the ability to analyze various themes from a social, historical, and cultural perspective while having the possibility to discuss pieces from the literary, artistic, musical, and cinematic genres. The identifications will again confirm the student’s ability to decipher details pertaining to these perspectives and genres.