Course description: Through a series of multimedia lectures and readings, students are introduced to the history and culture of Italy from the late Renaissance to the twenty-first century. Topics include Baroque art and music, religious and political upheavals, theater and opera, Fascism and emigration, and post-war trends in cinema and the Roman church. Taught in English. No knowledge of Italian is required.

Instructor’s Learning Goals: The purpose of this course is to teach students about the geography, history, and culture of Italy as it evolved from the Renaissance to the present day. Students will gain an ability to engage with Italian cultural phenomena, and will be able to demonstrate a knowledge of Italian history and culture. They will also be able to situate the arts, literature, and music of Italy in their historical context.

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.

Academic Integrity Policy

Violations of academic integrity policy will result in disciplinary measures. Violations include: cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, denying others access to information or material, and facilitating violations of academic integrity.

Course Requirements:

All students must pass non-credit map quiz on the regions and principal cities of Italy. Grades are based on two hourly exams (50% each), one at mid-term and the other at term’s end. Attendance: more than three unexcused absences will reduce the student’s final grade.

Course materials (available online): Find Reserves Search for Instructor: “Marsh”

1. Introduction to Italy; geography and early history

2. High Renaissance, Council of Trent, and political decline, 1550-1600; Italy & England

3. Italian music from madrigal to melodramma: Claudio Monteverdi

4. Baroque sculpture and architecture: Palladio, Bernini, and the diffusion of Italian style

5. Explorers and exiles: Cabot, Galileo, and others

6. Baroque music: Lully, Corelli, Vivaldi, Handel, Scarlatti

7. Enlightenment: Goldoni and the commedia dell'arte

8. Romanticism and Risorgimento: Mazzei, Mazzini, Manzoni

9. Unified Italy: Vittorio Emanuele and Verdi

10. The Literature of United Italy: Verga and Pirandello

11. Emigration and the Italian image: opera and cuisine

12. Fascism and Emigration: Montessori, Toscanini, Fermi

13. World War II and Post-war Italy: The Boom and Post-War Cinema

14. Italy today: Crisis and continuity; Vatican II; the European Union