Study Abroad

Course Offerings

All School in Cortona courses include field trips. Please note that the syllabi and field trips associated with the courses are subject to change depending on unforeseen emergencies and extraordinary current events. It is recommended that students limit any extensive travel plans to before the start of or after the end of the academic schedule. Due to the intensive nature of the School in Cortona, it is expected that students participate in all the classes in which they are registered and associated field trips. More than one absence from a class could result in a participation mark of zero.

Winter 2019 (January 14 – March 22)

Introduction to Italian Language and Culture INT D 125 (*3) Roberto Bondi

This course will give you the basic skills to communicate effectively in your daily interactions and travel while also introducing you to Italian culture to provide a better appreciation of the similarities and differences between Italy and Canada. Not open to students with credit in ITAL 111/112 or any higher level Italian course. 

Power and Visual Arts in Fascist Italy INT D 325 (*3) Dr. Alessandro Celani

History has always been plagued by struggle and conflict and our current world is full of violence and brutality. Political leaders and artists have always faced such issues and opportunities. They have had to interpret the present and the past and propose solutions or alternative scenarios for the future. One of these historical periods is Italian Fascism, from the 1920s to early 1940s. This course will analyze the new visions of power and propaganda in Fascist Italy and how the entire visual vocabulary of Italy was recreated to celebrate past Italian heroes and genius. Great men such as Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Bernini, Machiavelli and Lorenzo de Medici were idolized during this period. This course will compare how these dynamics still affect our own world and how our leaders use history to build up their public image and inform their policies.

The Archaeology of Ancient Italy: From Greeks to Romans CLASS 399 (*3)  Dr. Maurizio Gualtieri/ Dr. Helena Fracchia

A survey of the archaeology of ancient Italy from ca. 800 BC to 200 AD. Focused on the cultures of Ancient Italy including: the Greek colonies in Southern Italy, the Etruscans in Central Italy, the indigenous people in inland areas and of the Romans who unified all of Italy. Ancient Italy was the foundation of the Renaissance, the concept of Western Civilization, and of the country today. Weekend field trips to the Greek and then Roman colony at Poseidonia/Paestum and to the Roman cities of Pompei and Herculaneum will help us to understand not only the ancient world but also how, what and why modern societies remember through museums and the use/restoration of ancient sites today. Prerequisites waived.

Renaissance City HADVC 211 (*3) Dr. Marco Pacioni

A study of the elements that contributed to the conception and construction of the Italian Renaissance city, focusing on the changes in medieval cities before and after the Black Plague and on the new architectonic elements of the Renaissance such as squares, gardens, palaces, villas, aqueducts, fountains, open galleries, public monuments, domes, theaters in order to follow the social and urban evolution of cities such as Florence, Rome, including the ideal cities that have been built or only planned. Urban spaces and their usages by different social groups  in terms of gender differences are discussed.Prerequisites waived. 

 

The Grand Tour European Culture toward the Italian Landscape and Arts HIST 300 (*3) Dr. Marco Pacioni

The course  considers the main elements of the Grand Tour and its cultural and political elaborations in Europe, focusing on significant works of artists and writers mostly from the 18th and 19th century who traveled to Italy and contributed to establish the aesthetical paradigm of the Italian landscape with its archaeological sites, the cities, the monuments, and the habits of local populations. The previous heritage of Italian humanists to the Grand Tour and its later transformations into the pop-culture of modern tourism will be considered. Prerequisites waived. 

The Italian Mafia SOC 402 (*3) Dr. Valentina Raparelli

“Mafia” is one of the terms which, like “pizza” and “spaghetti”, are identified with Italy and which contributed to the rise of many stereotypes. The aim of the course is to examine organized crime in Italy in historical, social and cultural perspective, tracing its growth from the nineteenth century to the present. Students will learn the complexity of this phenomenon, beyond the mystified representations which are very common in popular culture.The course analyzes sociological aspects of the mafia including language, message systems, the “code of silence,” the role of violence, structures of power  and how it interacts with women. The course also pays attention to the following issues: Mafia involvementin legal and illegal markets, Mafia political implications and relations with others institutions namely the Catholic Church. Italy will be compared both to those countries where Italian mafia groups migrated by the beginning of last century - such as the United States and Canadawhere the Italian crime organizations infiltration is a more recent issue. Prerequisites waived. 

MLCS 299 (*3): This course is still being finalized. 

 

Spring I 2019 (April 29 – May 23)

The Medicis: The Ascent of Provincial Bankers to Global Power  ECON 203 (*3) Dr. Valentina Galvani

This course focuses on the Medici House to illustrate the birth of the modern banking system. To provide some highlights, the origins of the banking institution trace back to the early Renaissance period, as rich Italian merchants found new uses to the wealth they have accumulated through commerce. The use of credit, which is essential to international trade, placed Italian bankers in a favorable position to exploit the commerce between the resource-exporting states of the North of Europe and the producers of consumption goods located in the Far East, Middle East and, North Africa. Merchant/bankers quickly became crucial power players in Italy during the 1200-1400 period, as they exchanged their financial support with political influence and, eventually, in the Italian cities, with political dominance. The Medici House grew rapidly in importance due to its interaction with the most lucrative of all banking clients in Europe – the Papal Treasury. As the Medici became the Vatican’s bankers, enormous wealth flowed into the coffers of the Medici House thanks to a skilled management of a vast loan portfolio and to the commissions on the financial transactions of the Church. 
Under Medici rule, Florence grew greatly in wealth and political importance as well as it enjoyed the ascent to one of the cultural capitals of Europe. The Medici family combined a ruthless pursuit of political and economic power in the Italian peninsula with a keen attention to the development of the soft-power yielded by arts patronage. Artists like Botticelli and Michelangelo were familiar presences in the Medici household, their presence enhancing the prestige of their patrons’ court to an almost-royal level. Prerequisites waived. 

Sociology of Prisons & Punishment SOC 420 (*3) Dr. Sandra Bucerius

The criminological fathers writing on crime and punishment, Cesare Beccaria and Cesare Lombroso, were both Italian. Drawing on their classic texts and more contemporary sociological texts and field studies, in this course, we will explore why and how we have punished and continue to punish people in different national contexts. The course will have a particular focus on Italy, with students deeply engaging with the classic text of Beccaria and visiting some of the historic sites of punishment in Tuscany. At the same time, we will compare the contemporary situation of punishment and prisons in Italy with punishment and prisons in Canada. During the course, we will explore questions such as: 1) How does punishment feed off and into the major bases of social division and inequality — class, ethnicity, gender, age, and nationality? 2) What determines the level and scope of incarceration and what effects does it have on inmates, their families, and on the regions of social and urban space from which they come? 3) What are the institutional contradictions and cultural correlates of the growing penalization of poverty, and, for the Canadian context specifically, Indigenous populations? Prerequisites waived, although students are encouraged to have completed at least one Sociology course. 

Sustainable Tourism: Ways of Moving and Seeing RLS 497 (*3) Dr. Alessandro Celani

Our world is a small world. We move and see things much faster than only a few years ago. Everything around us seems to show this is the right way to do. On the other hand more and more the environment shows how this is not sustainable in the long term. Landscapes, architectures, animals, people suffer and decay because of that. This course is about unveiling the impact of mass tourism to our environment and lives. And it is about showing alternative ways to move, get in touch with places and people, contribute to the maintenance of monuments, traditions, behaviors. The development of tourism in the last 100 years will be covered with readings, films and photos, novels and documentaries. New ways of interaction with places will be analyzed and developed with students thanks to on site visits and field trips. Each student will be asked to create and propose his/her own model of sustainable experiences in a tourist environment. Prerequisites waived.

Spring II 2019 (May 28 – June 21)

Fifty Years of Italian Cinema 1930-1980 FS 399 (*3) Dr. William Beard

The course aims to give students some sense of the rich panoply of Italian cinema in the mid 20th century, and to showcase some of the most important filmmakers who have worked within the industry within that time. Because of the brevity of the course, the films studied will be disposed in the following schema: two films each from the 1930s and 1940s, one from the 1950s, two from the 1960s, and one each from the popular genres of spaghetti western and giallo. The intent of the two works from the 1930s is to give at least a taste of the scope and vitality of Italian cinema before World War II—a period normally elided in introductory accounts. The two 1940s films are from the Italian Neorealist movement, the most important and influential moment in the history of Italian cinema. The three films from the 1950s and 60s are representative of the peak of post-war European art-cinema as it unfolded in Italy. Italy’s three most popular genres, successful internationally even more than at home, are peplum (heroes and superheroes of classical mythology and antiquity), the spaghetti western of especially the 1960s and 1970s, and the horror/giallo cinema of terror and blood enacted with much style and baroque violence. Although these films present a great range of contrast, they can almost all be oriented to an Italian struggle to bridge the past and the present, and to find meaning in a modern world that stands in such contrast to an incredibly long and glorious history whose remnants continue to surround its inhabitants. Italy’s consciousness of a heroic distant past, its poisoned romance with Fascist theatricalizations of that past, the inglorious ambiguity and perfect non-success of its participation in World War II, and its economic struggles to catch up with the late-industrial western world, are all reflected in these films, even when those same films are also expressing the strong creative visions of their directors. This course will prove to be a fascinating journey. Prerequisites waived.
Proposed films: 1800 (Blasetti 1933); La Signora di tutti (Ophuls 1934); Paisà (Rossellini 1946);
Bicycle Thief (De Sica 1948); Senso (Visconti 1954), L’eclisse (Antonioni 1960); 8½ (Fellini 1963); For a
Few Dollars More (Leone 1965) ; Tenebre (Argento 1980)

The Italian Mafia SOC 402 (*3) Dr. Valentina Raparelli

“Mafia” is one of the terms which, like “pizza” and “spaghetti”, are identified with Italy and which contributed to the rise of many stereotypes. The aim of the course is to examine organized crime in Italy in historical, social and cultural perspective, tracing its growth from the nineteenth century to the present. Students will learn the complexity of this phenomenon, beyond the mystified representations which are very common in popular culture.The course analyzes sociological aspects of the mafia including language, message systems, the “code of silence,” the role of violence, structures of power  and how it interacts with women. The course also pays attention to the following issues: Mafia involvementin legal and illegal markets, Mafia political implications and relations with others institutions namely the Catholic Church. Italy will be compared both to those countries where Italian mafia groups migrated by the beginning of last century - such as the United States and Canadawhere the Italian crime organizations infiltration is a more recent issue. Prerequisites waived. 

Italian Renaissance City: Arts, Society, Environment HADVC 211 (*3) Dr. Marco Pacioni

In 1347-1351 a wide spread and catastrophic epidemic created economic, social, and religious upheaval across Europe. It is from this disaster that the renaissance city emerged. What is the renaissance city and why it is important? New structures as wide and straight streets, palaces, offices, gardens, fountains, theatres, villas appeared in the landscape and created the modern forms that in many cases we can still experience in today cities. The course will focus on the cultural background, the architecture and the arts that contributed to the renaissance city, as well on the social changes that occurred in it. Field trips to Rome, Florence, and lessons on-site at Cortona and around will give the possibility to observe directly the original structures of the renaissance city and compare them with the components that we have in today cities. Though the history of the renaissance city, this course aims to furnish a wider comprehension of the cities where we live, study, and work, in a moment when effecting changes are happening in their environments.

 

 

T. B. D. 
T. B. D.