Italian in Translation (ITTR) Spring 2019

Italian in Translation (ITTR) Courses – Taught in English

ITTR 2260 – Dante in Translation with Deborah Parker

MoWe 3:30-4:45PM in New Cabell Hall 485

T.S. Eliot wrote that “Dante and Shakespeare divide the world between them. There is no third.” We’ll pursue this bold statement through a close reading of the Inferno, the most intricate account of the afterlife ever written. This course will examine what makes this brilliant poem one of the acclaimed classics of western culture. We will explore the organization of Hell, its inhabitants, the nature of evil, Dante’s exile, and the rich tradition of visual material the poem has inspired from manuscript illustrations to Botticelli to more recent artists such as Gustave Doré and William Blake. Lectures will draw on The World of Dante ( a multimedia site, that offers a wide range of digital materials related to the Comedy.

ITTR 3559 New Course: Italian in Translation

  • Section 001 Italian-American Cinema with Sarah Annunziato

MoWeFr 12:00-12:50PM in New Cabell Hall 485

Following the unification of Italy in 1861, immigrants from that nation began coming to the USA in record numbers. While they arrived in search of better lives, they often faced discrimination, disenfranchisement, and the challenges of assimilation. Through it all, their experiences have been documented on film by screenwriters and directors. In this course we will explore how cinema depicts the Italian-American experience from the end of the 19th-century to the present-day.

Students of this course will learn about immigration patterns from Italy to the United States, the main reasons that prompted many Italians to resettle in the USA, the response that these immigrants received in their new home, the rise of the mafia and the gangster stereotype, Italian Americans during World War II, Italian-Americans and race, the cinematic representation of the Italian American family, gender roles, controversy over “guido culture,” and the relationship between Italians and Italian Americans.

Films to include: Bitter Bread, Big Night, The Godfather Parts I and II, Mean Streets, Raging Bull, From Here to Eternity, Two Family House, Marty, Moonstruck, Household Saints, and Saturday Night Fever. Novel, Christ in Concrete, by Pietro di Donato.

  • Section 002 (Cross-listed with ARTH 3559) – Michelangelo: The Artist, The Man, and His World with Deborah Parker

MoWe 2:00-3:15PM in New Cabell Hall 485

Michelangelo’s name conjures genius and a nearly superhuman achievement in the arts. Contemporaries elevated him as the supreme sculptor, painter and architect of the age. His work offers a window on a deeply personal vision and rich artistic culture. Michelangelo’s creativity extends to many media—sculpture, painting, architecture, and writing in poetry and prose. This course focuses on all these pursuits. The course is not only about the extraordinary achievements of this Renaissance luminary but the ways in which we can analyze and compare visual and written works. To this end we will examine closely the artist’s poems and letters, contemporary assessments of his artistic achievements, and critical articles on his work. This course is intended to enhance students’ skills in analyzing visual and literary artefacts. This skill is crucial in our media age which relies increasingly on visual messages and the interplay of text and image.

Throughout the course, we shall address topics such as how to represent the human figure, how to convey a story, how to show emotion, and how to represent space—still topics of contemporary interest and relevance. Additional subjects include the social and cultural worlds of Renaissance Florence and Rome, the effects of patronage on artistic production, Michelangelo’s use of classical models, and his relationships with fellow artists, friends, and rivals.

Undergraduate Courses