Here are some of the RIT courses related to Italian culture and offered during Spring quarter 2011:
The subject of this College of Imaging Arts & Science course is painting, sculpture and architecture in Central Italy from the middle of the 13th century to the end of the 14th century. We will approach this material in more or less chronological order as we focus upon different types and media: the altarpiece, the private devotional image, the pulpit, the tomb, the chapel, the monastic church, the cathedral, the town-hall, the private palace, and the urban setting. Questions for consideration will include: Franciscan devotion, the rivalry between Siena and Florence, early humanist thinking about the arts, Giotto as the paradigmatic Florentine painter, the nature and meaning of the Italian proto-Renaissance, the importance of Antique and Medieval precedents, the increasing attention to the effects of nature, the rising status of the artist, changes in artistic practice, the role of the patron, the impact of the Black Death upon the arts, and the relevance of documents, literary sources and visual precedents for our interpretation of images.
The rediscovery of the Greek language and culture in the city of Florence late in the fourteenth century brought about the era we now call the "Renaissance" with its doctrine of humanism and tendencies towards secularization. Unlike most of their Medieval predecessors who focused almost exclusively on religious matters, learned Italian writers of the Renaissance wrote about Art, Love, Manners, War, and Politics in ways that are still relevant and important in the Western World. This course is an introduction to some of the prose texts of the period by such writers as Dante, Castiglione, Machiavelli, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Vasari, and others.
This College of Liberal Arts course is a survey of major European dramatists and theatre movements from 1890 to 1990, tracing the history of the European theatreís stylistic and conceptual reactions to Realism. Ibsenís "Hedda Gabler" (1890) is the departure point; then we sample some dramatic variations of Strindberg, Chekhov, Wilde, Shaw, Yeats, and Synge (in the period 1890-1910); there follow experiments by Pirandello, Artaud, Brecht, and Genet; finally, we encounter Beckett, Ionesco, Pinter, and the controversial Italian comedian, Dario Fo, winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize for Literature. Practical-experimental performing of dramatic texts is an essential activity of the course. Students in this year's course will provide, for the Viva lí Italia! program, a performance of Death and the Fool, a scene from Dario Fo's full-length Mistero Buffo (1977).
This College of Liberal Arts course is offered during the spring quarter 2010-2011 as part of the colloquium focusing on Italian culture, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Italian Unification. It is a survey of the development of Italian opera, arguably Italian cultureís most important artistic genre since ca. 1600, from the early mythical operas of Monteverdi to the verismo and international operas of Puccini. Topics of inquiry include the cultural, social, and political mores expressed in opera, conventions of drama, literature, and music that generate meaning in the art, and the position of the artist in Italian court and public realms. Focus will be given to operas from which the RIT Orchestra is performing excerpts in its spring concert.
This College of Liberal Arts course explores how contemporary Italian philosophy (Vattimo, Sini, Agamben, Cavarero among others) provides a much needed supplement to the French and German components that have dominated contemporary European thinking. The most recent trends in Italian philosophy will be examined especially with respect to issues of ethics, politics and religion as they develop out of a conversation with Hegel, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Gadamer, Merleau-Ponty and Levinas. Well established Italian philosopher Ugo Perone will join the course for a week in May to discuss his own philosophical position with students in the course.
This College of Liberal Arts course provides a critical introduction to the quest for political order as pursued by some of the epic political philosophers in Western Civilization. Each thinker will be studied as a representative of the wider tradition of political thought: Aristotle (Ancient); St. Augustine (Medieval Christian); Machiavelli (Early Modern); Hobbes and Rousseau (Modern). The class will analyze these thinkers in terms of their descriptive and prescriptive interpretations of man, state, and society. The continuity and divergence between these thinkers and their respective traditions will be examined. In celebration of Italian culture this quarter, a special class will be devoted to Dante Alighieriís political thought in
Beginning Italian I is the first course in a three-course sequence. The sequence provides students without prior knowledge of the language with a sound basis for learning Italian as it is used today in its spoken and written forms. The goal of the sequence is proficiency in communication skills with an emphasis on oral proficiency. The sequence also acquaints students with contemporary culture and life in Italy.
Beginning Italian II is the second course in a three-course sequence. The sequence provides students without prior knowledge of the language with a sound basis for learning Italian as it is used today in its spoken and written forms. The goal of the sequence is proficiency in communication skills with an emphasis on oral proficiency. Students study contemporary culture and life in Italy.
Beginning Italian III is the third course in a three-course sequence. The sequence provides students without prior knowledge of the language with a sound basis for learning Italian as it is used today in its spoken and written forms. The goal of the sequence is proficiency in communication skills with an emphasis on oral proficiency. Students also study contemporary life and culture in Italy.
Intermediate Italian III is the final course of a three-course sequence at the intermediate level. While reviewing the structure of the language, the course will cover historical and contemporary cultural issues of Italy and its people. This year, in conjunction with the Viva líItalia! program, the students will screen, research, write, and present about Italy as seen in the filmography of Director Mimmo Calopresti, who will visit us and present his film Preferisco il rumore mare.