Course Description:

Taught in Italian, this course explores typical aspects of current Italian life through the analysis of texts taken from contemporary Italian literature. Each topic covered in the readings will also be examined through songs and films by Italian artists of the last 20 years. Introducing these three different mediums gives students the opportunity to learn about fundamental socio-cultural aspects from more than one perspective. The different techniques and type of media, new and more traditional, contribute to give a more complete picture: not only of the changing Italian cultural context but also of the development of the language.

Class activities include reading and analyzing literary texts, listening to and analyzing songs, and watching clips. Oral and written exercises include comprehension (global and more detailed), oral and written production through guided activities, learning vocabulary and idioms, and revising linguistic structures introduced in the texts.

Reading selections from the works of: Beppe Severgnini, Pier Vittorio Tondelli, Enrico Brizzi, Fabio Volo, Luciano Ligabue, Giuseppe Culicchia, Domenico Starnone, Sandro Onofri, Susanna Tamaro, Margaret Mazzantini, Paola Mastrocola, Niccolo' Ammanniti and Tiziano Scarpa.

Songs by: Andrea Bocelli, Eros Ramazzotti, Povia, Luciano Ligabue, Toto Cutugno

Film clips from: L'Ultimo Bacio, Baci e Abbracci, Radiofreccia, Jack Frusciante e' uscito dal gruppo, La fame chimica, Non ti muovere, Caterina va in citta', Io non ho paura, Il Commissario Montalbano, documentari sull'Italia.

Learning Goals:

This course provides students with the skills necessary to critically engage with different aspects of contemporary Italian life, society, and culture. Students will be able to discuss and write about topics through the use of multiple formats, and to make comparisons between the styles and techniques used by the different authors. Through class presentations, intensive textual analysis, oral and written exercises students will acquire not only a vocabulary adequate to upper intermediate and advanced levels, but also the ability to understand differences between formal, informal and regional registers.

Department Goals I and III: Linguistic Proficiency and Professional Preparation

Required Texts:

Students will be provided with the copies of the extracts both in print and in electronic format. The course packets are available at the Italian Department (84 College Avenue). Digital texts will be on SAKAI.

A good Italian/English Dictionary, such as Collins.

Course Requirements and Grade distribution:

Participation, 25%: Active participation in class discussion based on the preparation of three to five questions assigned in advance for each class. More than 3 absences will negatively affect the participation grade.

Presentations, 25%: 2 presentations on 2 different topics chosen in consultation with the instructor. Written versions must be submitted.

Midterm, 25%: Identifications and essay questions.

Final, 25%: Identifications and essay questions.

Attendance, Participation, and Disabilities Policies

All students must attend regularly. No more than three absences are allowed (use them wisely, for health and other serious issues). Having more than three absences, arriving to class late, and engaging in behavior that is distracting to the rest of the class are grounds for a significantly lower mark in class participation.

In case students with disabilities should require any special type of assistance and would like to request accommodations, they must follow the procedures outlined at: