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2 COU - Country-wide classes
Dante
made in Italy
Fascist youth in Italy under Mussolini
Roman home
tombstone, the Black Death
Earthquakes in Italian history. The Italian peninsula has experienced strong (magnitude 6 to 7) about twice per century. This class
examines the geological conditions that underlie this phenomena, the quakes' effect on society, and how governments (ancient and
modern) respond.

Everyday Life in Ancient Rome will examine everyday life in Rome at the height of the Empire, considering separately the life of the
wealthy and privileged vs. the life of simple artisans and slaves, and the lives of men vs. that of women. Among the topics to be treated:
the design of houses, sanitation public baths, holidays, transportation, noise, food, sexuality, marriage and divorce, home life, private
and public religious rituals, public entertainment (gladiators, chariot races), and threats to public order (theft, violence, fires, floods).

Francis of Assisi, his Life and Times. St. Francis (1181-1226) is one of the most venerated figures in religious history. As a young
man he rejected the affluence of his family, committing himself to a life of poverty. Soon others followed his lead, and 1210 the Pope
authorized his new religious orders for men (and soon thereafter for women). Following a direct attempt in Egypt in 1219 to end to the
conflict of the Crusades Francis faced the need to reorganize the rapidly growing Order, adding organizational structure. He thereafter
withdrew increasing from external affairs. In 1223, Francis arranged for the first Christmas manger scene; in 1224, received the
stigmata, wounds thought to resemble those of Christ's Passion. Francis was canonized just two years after his death in 1226, and is
known as the patron saint of animals, the environment, Italy and California.

From Pagan to Christian. In the years before Constantine, Christianity in Italy was practiced by as few as 10% of Romans and was
intermittently persecuted. Constantine made no mention of having seen a cross ablaze in the skies over the Milvian Bridge after
defeating Maxentius who, contrary to popular belief did not particularly hate Christians. The Arch of Constantine, still standing today in
Rome, contains no Christian symbolism but does depict sacrifices to four pagan gods. Although Constantine wasn’t baptized until his
deathbed he legalized Christianity much earlier. Christianity in fact coexisted for some time with Paganism, but as it grew so too did
persecution of Paganism. In 391 Paganism was outlawed and temples shut throughout the Empire. By 400 AD, Christianity had
become the official state religion practiced by nearly everyone. The old cults survived in rural areas for a few generations, but were
eventually suppressed.

The Gardens of Central Italy: Renaissance, Mannerism and More. This class will explore the remarkable diversity of gardens that are
present in central Italy from a historical perspective, considering the nature and motives for changes in style and function across the
centuries. Special attention will be given to the use of water features. A field trip will be developed that will permit participants to visit
some of the gardens presented, inclyding the Villa d’Este (Tivoli), the Villa Lante (Bagnaia), the Villa Farnese (Caprarola), the Park of
the Monsters (Bomarzo) and the Tarot Garden (Capalbio).

The Geography of Italian Wine. Wine is a product of people and places. The environment sets the stage and people work on that
backdrop. Wine thus gives us a taste of its origins. Great wine is seldom accidental. It comes from great wine places. As geographers,
we can learn about the ingredients that make wine places great. In doing so, we can build an understanding about the great places of
Italian wine and the artisans who create it.
Instructor: Brian Sommers, PhD, a cultural geographer at Central Connecticut State University with research interests in food, is the
author of
The Geography of Wine

The Grand Tour in Rome. The Grand Tour is the name given to extended visits to Europe by wealthy young men from northern Europe
and later, America. The Grand Tour flourished from about 1660 until the advent of middle-class mass tourism in the 1840s (itself the
result of rail networks). A rite of passage, these journeys had a fairly standard itinerary once popular guides had been written. It was
widely supposed by wealthy families that exposure to the legacy of classical antiquity, the Renaissance, and to the life of local
aristocracy, would prepare their sons for later leadership roles. The class will focus on Rome, an essential stop along the way, with a
special emphasis on art and the collection of antiquities.

History of the Jews in Italy is a long one. Italian Jews can be traced back as far as the 2nd century BCE. Although thd presence of
Jews has been constant, their status has varied considerably over time. There have been istances of extreme persecution and
expulsion, and other more "tolerant" periods. Of special interest in this class will be the contribution of Jews to the cultural and
intellectual life of Italy; the social and economic factors that led to the waxing and waning of violence against the Jew; the restrictions
that were placed on the economic activities open to Jews; daily life in the Roman Ghetto during the Middle Ages; the Racial Laws
under Mussolini; and the deportation of Jews from Rome in WWII.

Immigration from Italy to the Americas. The Italian diaspora refers to the departure of nearly 30 million Italians from their homeland in
the period 1860-1960, mostly due to overpopulation and chronic poverty. Italians immigrated to South America (over half of Argentina’s
population is of Italian origin), Canada (over 1M live in Ontario alone) and to the United States.  Mass immigration to the US began in
late 19th century and continued until the 1950s, the major destination being large cities (the NY area, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago,
Cleveland, Detroit, Buffalo, Pittsburg, San Francisco, New Orleans). Over 1 Americans reported speaking Italian at home in the 2000
US Census. Today over 4M Italian who live outside Italia, and over 80M descendents of Italians liver around the world.

Italian Film Classics: Great Directors and their Masterpieces provides a focused history of Italian cinematography by analyzing its
most beautiful and meaningful films (screened for participants outside class sessions) and of the directors who authored them. You
will learn about some of the monumental epics of the Italian silent film era, the cinema of the "diva", the revolution brought about by
Neorealism, the Italian auteurs, the comedy Italian style, as well as trends in contemporary Italian cinema. The class will offer insights
into film theory and criticism as well as the language of film. It will also offer you a privileged window into Italian history and popular
culture.
Instructor: Linda Campani (MA and PhD Brown) taught Italian film at Brown, Stanford and the Rhode Island School of Design before
becoming Director of Stanford University's Breyer Center in Florence. Professor Campani has published and lectured widely on the
Italian cinema and is one of the film critics of a major Italian newspaper.

Italian Film & Cuisine. Food is a crucial part of everyday life in Italy, where eating is often followed by intense discussion of the food just
consumed and its preparation. Not surprisingly, food is also a central topic in Italian films.  This course will focus on the preparation
and enjoyment of food as a common denominator to Italian cinema and on la cucina italiana as a mainstay of Italian culture. Topics
discussed and analyzed will include: food in films of the Fascist era; food and hunger in the Resistance during WWII and in the post-
war cinema;  the role of food in shaping a national identity in the 1950s; food and drinks as an emblem of Italy's "roaring 60s"; food as
an indicator of politics and social classes;  the emotions represented by food in contemporary Italian cinema.
Instructor: Linda Campani (PhD Brown), Director of the Stanfod Breyer Center in Florence.

Italian for Travelers. The aim of this language class is to help you dine, shop and visit places of interest in Italy with greater
confidence. You will be exposed to greetings,  questions and important sentences that are used frequently in everyday life. We'll also
review some of the grammar behind these key expressions so that you'll  understand how they function. Those who want to work
outside class on their own to further augment their Italian skills with longer dialogs can make use of Yabla -- the online video
magazine for Italian learners -- in the Study Center reading room.
Instructor: Tiziana Serafina (PhD UCLA) is Director of the Italian language program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She
oversees and teachers four levels of instruction in Italian and has produced pedagogical materials aimed at both children and adults.

Introductory Italian. The purpose of this class is to give you the tools to begin learning Italian on your own. It is intended for people
who have studied some foreign language (not necessarily Italian) for at least two years at the college level. We'll pass in review most
of the grammar that is normally presented in the first two 3-semester-hour classes at a university. Even more importantly, we'll
familiarize you with books, sites, and software that you can use to begin transforming your developing grammatical knowledge in
writing, speaking, and understanding.

Intermediate Italian. This class is intended for people who have studied Italian at the college level. It will focus on increasing your
capacity to understand and speak Italian. Class periods with be supplemented with one-on-one conversational exchanges with local,
monolingual native speakers of Italian.

Italian Unification. The Italian penisula was first unified by the Romans but modern Italy has existed as a state only since 1870. After
the fall of the Roman Empire, Italy gradually developed into a system of city-states. As this system weakened, Italy became the site of
proxy wars between the major European powers. After several revolutions and bloody failed attempts, the second war of Italian
independence began in 1859. By 1860 only four non-Italian states remained. A small army lead by Giuseppe Garibaldi conquered the
two Sicilies (the island and the area around Naples). Eventually only the Papal States, which were protected by the French, remained
outside the Kingdom of Italy. The Italian government of Victor Emmanuele II took no direct action to annex the Papal States until French
troops withdrew following the collapse of the Second French Empire. When the Pope failed to bend to the popular will, Italian troops
were forced to enter Rome forcibly on September 20, 1870, finally unifying Italy.

Italian Whodunits. Enjoy reading a series of complex, plot driven detective novels written in English by Anglo-American authors that
take place on Italian soil. As you follow the exploits of Donna Leon’s Inspector Brunetta, you’ll learn about everyday life in Venice.
Savoring the ironic humor of Magdalen Nabb’s Maresciallo Guarnaccia, you’ll learn something about how the Italian police combat
crime in Florence. And through the eyes of Michael Dibdin's (1947-2007) Aurelio Zen you’ll get glimpses of Rome Naples and Sicily. All
while having a rollicking good time.

Italy: the War Years. Italian literature in translation. After the surrender of the Italian government to the Allied forced in WWII, the conflict
in Italy began to resemble a civil war, pitting some Italian and the Allies against other Italians and the retreating German army. The
class will read fictionalized accounts of the tragedy of WWII seen from the eyes of Italian writers on both sides of the struggle which
tore families apart and left large portions of the peninsula in ruins.

Machievelli: his World and Political Philosophy

Made in Italy
. Made in Italy refers to goods designed and/or produced in Italy. The Made in Italy brand third most important brand name
in the world, following only Coca Cola and VISA. This class is intended for persons interested in entering the fascinating world of inport-
expert, introducing products made in Italy to North American markets. This class will review the legal and commercial ramifications of
the Made in Italy brand, and will examine in some detail the best that Italy has to offer.

Maria Montessori in Italy and America.

Petrarch: His Life, Times and Art.

The Rise and Fall of Silvio Berlusconi: an Italian tragicomedy. Italian politics has been dominated by the larger-than-life figure of Silvio
Berlusconi since he first enterered politics in 1994. Berlusconi’s dominance of Italian politics has been based on his huge television
empire and generous bribes, but also to an engaging personality and unmatched communication skills. He is known internationally
for his luxurious lifestyle, womanizing, goofy jokes and his taste for extravagant statements, but he must be taken seriously because of
his continued influence on Italy, and thus Europe. He has been charged with many crimes but only recently has he been finally
convicted of financial fraud by Italy’s Supreme Court. It remains to seen how this conviction will influence the final years of Berlusconi’s
political saga.

The Rise of Italian Fascism. This class examines how the Fascists managed to take control of Italy in 1925. WWI was enormously
costly. It weakened the Italian economy, leading to unemployment, inflation, riots and strikes. Mussolini, a former socialist newspaper
editor, assumed leadership of the Fascist Party, which got its start promoting the needs of veterans nationalism and advocating the
destruction of anarchism. The Fascist publicists convinced the public that the semi-military wing of the Party (the blackshirts) were
protecting citizens whereas in reality they were sowing disorder and violence. After seizing various city halls, local party bosses
marched on Rome to seize control of the national government. When it appeared that this brazen move might work, Mussolini joined
the march and was asked to form a new emergency government. From then on, using intimidation and rigged elections to tighten his
grip, he managed to suppress other parties, censored the press, and abrogated civil liberties.  

Roman coins, Roman emperors. Rome began minting coins centuries after the Greeks (about 300 BC) but not until the first emperor,
Augustus, did the image of rulers routinely appear on coins. This class will explore the bold images on coins issued between 27 BC
and 395 AD and the characters behind them. It will examine when, where and how the coins were minted; the artistic qualities of the
coins; and chart the buying power of coins as a function of their precious metal.

Viva Verdi!

Vivaldi' Musical Composition: the Spirit of an Age
Castello del Carinale, Viterbo
earthquake in Italy
grapes on the vine, Italy
tombstones in Jewish cemetery in Bologna, Italy
etching of the Pantheon in Rome by Piranesi
Copyright © 2012-2013
James Emil Flege
The Age of Castles in Central Italy. An important political and social development in Italy during the middle
ages was the widespread construction of castles. This practice was motivated by a general sense of
insecurity owing to increasingly frequent incursions by the Saracens, Magyars and Normans as the empire
and feudal order created by Charlemagne began to cede. Many castles were, in effect,  fortified villages. The
class will focus on castles in Lazio in the period 920-1150. It will examine the how castles were planned and
built, and how they functioned militarily. It will also consider the economic underpinnings needed for castle
construction, and the factors that eventually lessened the need for castles.

Dante, his Life, Times and Art will introduce you to Dante and his cultural milieu through a critical reading of
key portions of the Divine Comedy and excerpts of several lesser known works. An analysis of the poet’s
autobiography, the Vita Nuova, will offer insight into the poetic and political circumstances of the Comedy's
composition; and readings from the Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise will situate Dante's work within the
intellectual and social context of the late Middle Ages. We will pay special attention to the political,
philosophical and theological issues that underpin Dante’s  celebrated works, including the relationship of
love and knowledge, exile and history, ethics and aesthetics.
Instructor: Giuseppe Mazzotta PhD, Sterling Professor of Humanities for Italian at Yale University, is the
author of numerous books including
Dante, Poet of the Desert, History and Allegory in the Divine Comedy
and the
Norton Critical Edition of the Inferno.
The Black Death in Italy was devastating. In little more than a year, and without regard for age or gender, weath or position, up to half
of Italy's inhabitants had died, killed by a mysterious illness that spread from an unknown cause and with remarkable speed
throughout the country. From its first entrance in Sicily in October of 1347 to th eports and trading centers of central Italy, this virulent
plague decimated the countyside and cities of the Late Medieval period, forever altering the social, economic, and political landscape
of Italy. This class will examine the Black Death from the perspective of eyewitness accounts and through the eyes of modern
scientists to provide an insight into the greatest single disaster ever to strike Italy and Western Europe, its legacy, and its lessons for
the modern world. The consequences of this unimaginable catastrophe can still be seen in the cities, towns, and art of Central Italy.
Instructor: Richard P. Watson (PhD in Anthropology, U. of Texas) is a retired Research Professor of Geography from the U. of New
Mexico who has carried out archeological and geographical research in the American Southwest, Peru, Jordan and Italy. He is
currently researching an historical novel set in Siena during the Black Death.
TLN classes for adults in this category are ideal for people who
have always wanted to study abroad in Italy. They will appeal to
people interested in a learning vacation, real educational travel
with substance. Please check back for a complete listing of
classes and professors.

Study abroad in Italy | Educational travel | adult learning vacations

Ideas for other classes in this category? Please write to:
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