Italian Studies
Offered by the Hispanic and Italian Studies department.

Italian Studies at Wheaton is an interdisciplinary major that gives students both the linguistic access to and the knowledge about the multiple cultures of Italy and the analytical, research, and writing skills necessary for today’s technology driven globalized world.

Major requirements

Italian Studies major worksheet (pdf)

The major in Italian studies consists of at least nine courses (starting with ITAS 200 or above). At least four of the nine courses must be in Italian.

Courses

Nine courses from the following:
ITAS 200 Advanced Intermediate Italian
ITAS 220 Advanced Oral and Written Communication: Composition and Conversation
ITAS 235 Italian Women Writers in Translation
ITAS 260 Italian Civilization
ITAS 305 Infernos, Brothels and Courts
ITAS 306 Studies in Italian Literature II
ITAS 320 Italian Cinema
ITAS 330 Modern Italian Theatre
ARTH 231 Italian Medieval Art and Culture
ARTH 232 Art and Architecture of the 14th and 15th Centuries in Italy
ARTH 274 Visualizing Ancient Rome
ITAS 310 Fashion, Sex and the City

ARTH 401 Seminar

Other combinations are also possible, if students take advantage of special courses that deal directly with Italy and/or Italians in America offered by other departments. Such courses will vary from year to year.

We also encourage majors to spend their junior year abroad with an approved program, such as Middlebury in Florence or Ferrara and the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES) in Milan or Rome.

Capstone
Italian Studies majors will complete their major capstone experience in their senior year. The major capstone experience in Italian Studies will consist of advanced work in the field or in an interdisciplinary area of the field. Senior majors can take an upper level experimental Itas 398 course, when offered; engage in original and independent research by requesting an Itas 399; or take an enhanced version of an upper level Italian course offered in their senior year. The learning outcome will generally consist of a long research paper in Italian in a literary or interdisciplinary area of student interest.

For more information, contact Alberto Bianchi, Program Coordinator.

Minor

Italian Studies minor worksheet

The minor in Italian studies consists of at least five courses from the course list for the Italian Studies major (starting with ITAS 200 or above) and with at least one at the 300-level. At least two of these courses must be in Italian.

  • Italian Studies

    ITAS 098 – Experimental Course

    From time to time, departments design a new course to be offered either on a one-time basis or an experimental basis before deciding whether to make it a regular part of the curriculum. Refer to the course schedule for current listings.

  • Italian Studies

    ITAS 099 – Selected Topics

    An opportunity to do independent work in a particular area not included in the regular courses.

  • Italian Studies

    ITAS 101 – Basic Italian I

    A yearlong course conducted by intensive oral method for students with no preparation in the language. Its goal is to provide more than a basic knowledge of Italian by developing the fundamental skills: understanding, speaking, reading, writing and cultural awareness. Three class meetings per week plus work in the language laboratory and media center.

  • Italian Studies

    ITAS 102 – Basic Italian II

    Continuation of Itas 101.

  • Italian Studies

    ITAS 150 – Intermediate Italian

    This intensive one-semester course provides further development and practice of all language skills. Comprehensive grammar review, with activities designed to enhance listening, speaking, reading, writing and cultural awareness. Three class meetings per week plus work in the language laboratory and media center.

  • Italian Studies

    ITAS 200 – Advanced Intermediate Italian

    Reading and discussion in Italian of Italian texts (drama, novel, short stories, poetry). Nonliterary texts such as films and music included. Designed to improve the students’ ability to communicate orally and to express themselves in written Italian; to broaden their understanding of the Italian world; to introduce them to contemporary Italian writers. Three class meetings per week plus work in the language laboratory and media center.

  • Italian Studies

    ITAS 220 – Advanced Oral and Written Communication: Composition and Conversation

    This course is designed to improve the student’s speaking and writing skills in Italian at an advanced level and will develop fluid conversational and writing skills through intensive practice. Three class meetings per week plus work in the language laboratory and media center.

  • Italian Studies

    ITAS 235 – Women in Modern Italy

    An interdisciplinary study of the dramatic shifts in women’s roles from the late 19th to the 21st C., from a social, political, scientific, economic and artistic perspective. Topics include: migration and colonialism; the complex treatment of women under fascism; representations of women as wives and mothers; women in the workforce; women’s political victories (suffrage and divorce); personal and collective struggles for sexual self-determination; the place of women writers in the Italian literary canon. Readings include Sibilla Aleramo’s famous autobiographical novel, A Woman (1906), and works by Maria Messina, Dacia Maraini, Alba De Céspedes. Lectures, discussions, readings, films and papers in English. Italian majors and minors may select to do readings and papers in Italian.

  • Italian Studies

    ITAS 250 – Love and Marriage

    This course explores the evolution of the representation of love and marriage in modern Italian literature and cinema. Through the close reading of a diverse sample of “high” and popular culture, from 19th century romantic novels to 20th century horror films, we will examine the cultural and gender anxiety produced y urbanization process, social change and women’s emancipation in modern Italy.

  • Italian Studies

    ITAS 260 – Italian Civilization

    This course will focus mainly on the history of modern Italy and its political place in Europe. Topics will include the Risorgimento, WWI, Fascism, WW II, economic recovery, Made in Italy label, organized crime, the phenomenon of migration, the Italian family, divorce, abortion, and gender issues in Italy. Selected literary texts will help better understand the richness of the Italian culture.

  • Italian Studies

    ITAS 298 – Experimental Course

    From time to time, departments design a new course to be offered either on a one-time basis or an experimental basis before deciding whether to make it a regular part of the curriculum. Refer to the course schedule for current listings.

  • Italian Studies

    ITAS 299 – Selected Topics

    An opportunity to do independent work in a particular area not included in the regular courses.

  • Italian Studies

    ITAS 305 – Infernos, Brothels and Courts

    From Dante’s Inferno to Boccaccio’s Decameron, from Machiavelli’s court to the literary salons of the Venetian courtesans, we discover that infernos, brothels and courts are powerfully charged spaces in the Medieval and Renaissance imagination. This course will explore the social and metaphorical representations and functions of these structures.

  • Italian Studies

    ITAS 310 – Fashion, Sex and the City

    What is fashion? Is it just about appearances? Is it only about clothing? How does fashion relate to literary and audiovisual culture, politics, ideology, philosophy? What role did fashion play in shaping the world as we know it? How has Italy contributed to the “fashion system”? In order to answer these questions, “Fashion, Sex and the City” explores the birth and development of fashion in Italy between the 14th and the 21st centuries, highlighting the links between clothing and gender, cultural and national identity, and fashion, seduction, eroticism and morality in Italian literary and visual culture. (Taught in English)

  • Italian Studies

    ITAS 315 – Food in the Italian Imagination

    This interdisciplinary course will deconstruct the myth of “Italian food” by exploring the paradoxical nature of Italy’s relationship with food, which, over the centuries, has been marked by hunger and abundance. We will study food in Italian culture as literary and artistic symbol, culinary history, social convention, geographical difference, political tool, and gendered sign.Readings will be drawn from literature, art manifestos, cookbooks, and essays. Topics will include origins and roles of certain ingredients, DOP designations, Mediterranean Diet, Slow Food movement, Italian American variations, and contemporary shifts in Italian eating patterns as a result of globalization.

  • Italian Studies

    ITAS 320 – Italian Cinema

    This course introduces students to Italian cinema, film analysis and 20th century Italian history (including fascism, war, the “economic miracle” of the 1960s and migration). We will study cinematic techniques and styles through close visual readings of films by Rossellini, De Sica, Fellini, Antonioni, Pasolini, Wertmüller, Bertolucci and others. We will see how these films reflect the aesthetic and cultural debates in the Italian sociohistorical context. Required weekly film viewing and readings.

  • Italian Studies

    ITAS 330 – Modern Italian Theatre

    This course explores the shifting zones between stage and audience, between written text and social intervention. Beginning with Pirandello’s seminal masterpiece, Six Characters in Search of an Author, students will explore the radical artistic and political potential of theatre in modern Italian society. Readings and viewings may include: avant-garde Futurist theatre; De Filippo’s Neapolitan theatre; Martinelli’s Afro-Italian collaborations; and works by Betti, Pasolini, Maraini, Ginzburg and the renowned Fo-Rame team.

  • Italian Studies

    ITAS 398 – Experimental Course

    From time to time, departments design a new course to be offered either on a one-time basis or an experimental basis before deciding whether to make it a regular part of the curriculum. Refer to the course schedule for current listings.

  • Italian Studies

    ITAS 399 – Selected Topics

    Offered to selected majors at the invitation of the department.

  • Italian Studies

    ITAS 500 – Individual Research

    Selected majors are invited by the department to pursue individual research in preparation for writing an Honors Thesis.

Alberto Bianchi

Associate Professor of Italian Studies

Tommasina Gabriele

Professor of Italian Studies; Italian Studies Coordinator

 

 

Language Assistant: David Dal Brun

Department Secretary: Paula MacDonald-Smith
Phone: (508) 286-3630; Fax: (508) 285-8263