Summer 2013 Italian Courses

The UC Berkeley Department of Italian Studies is pleased to announce

Summer 2013 Italian Studies Course Offerings


MAY 28-JULY 3: 
Italian Studies 160: Studies in the History, Society, and Politics of the Italian Peninsula  

Scoundrels, Saints, and Poets: Italian Character(s) in European Culture

Meets M,T,W,Th 2-4PM

Course control number: 52540

Taught by Professor Timothy Hampton,

Recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Teaching Award

Berkeley students: This course fulfills History, Social Sciences or Art and Literature breadth requirements

In this 6 week course, we will study the relationship between the history of Italian culture (literature, philosophy, art, music) and its reception across Europe and North America. Our central focus will be the ways in which the Italian tradition has produced certain “images” or “models” of identity that become cultural clichés outside of Italy: the weeping lover, the Machiavellian schemer, the hot-headed genius, the seducer, the castrato.  How do these various “characters” define the ways in which European writers and artists think about identity?  What types of knowledge do they produce about the self?  And what happens when they are “translated” out of the Italian context into other cultural spheres?  The course will offer both an introduction to Italian literature and thought from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment, and a meditation on the ways in which culture is transmitted across borders and languages.  We will study works by such figures as Petrarch, Boccaccio, Machiavelli, Stampa, Cellini, Leonardo, Casanova, Shakespeare, Balzac, Shelley, Baudelaire, and Bob Dylan.

JUNE 24-AUGUST 16:  

Italian 1: First Semester Italian Language, OR

Italian 2: Second Semester Italian Language 

In 8 weeks, our summer Italian 1 course covers the first half of our yearlong elementary Italian course. By the end of the course, students will be able to communicate in a variety of different situations and will be familiar with many significant aspects of Italy’s culture. There are no prerequisites for Italian 1 — no previous knowledge of Italian is required.

Meets M,T,W,Th 6-8:30PM.  Italian 1 course control number: 52505


In 8 weeks, our summer Italian 2 course covers the second half of our yearlong elementary Italian course. By the end of the course, students will be able to communicate in a wide range of contexts using more complex linguistic structures and stylistics. Furthermore, students will be familiar with many significant aspects of Italy’s culture including history, literature, and film. Prerequisite: Italian 1 or its equivalent (please contact us for language proficiency screening).

Meets M,T,W,Th 6-8:30PM.  Italian 2 course control number: 52510


Italian Studies 70: Popular Italian Cinema 

Greek Gods and Gladiators, Bombshells and Spaghetti Westerns

Meets M 6-8:30PM (Film Screening) and T,W,TH at 6-8:30PM (Lecture)

Course Control Numbers: 52530 AND 52535Often disparaged by critics as empty genre films, popular cinema offers a unique insight into Italian culture and film history.  In this 6 week course, we will explore the history of the Italian film industry in the postwar era, particularly in relation to Hollywood, in order to understand the social, economic and political conditions that directly or indirectly contributed to the rise of these popular genres: Peplum, Comedy Italian Style, Spaghetti Western, Poliziesco (Crime), and Sex Farce. Why were these films so popular? To what social or individual desires did these films respond? What insight can these films give us into Italian culture in the postwar era when read within their social and historical context?  Film screenings will include Rome Open City (Rossellini, 1945), Ulysses (Camerini, 1955), Divorce Italian Style (Germi, 1961), My Name Is Trinity (Barboni, 1970), Seduction of Mimi (Wertmuller, 1972), and: Ubalda, All Naked and Warm (Laurenti, 1972)




Enroll now through Berkeley Summer Sessions: ▪ (510) 642-5611

Please contact with questions.


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