Middlebury Language School Graduate Programs



« Summer 2013 Summer 2014 Language Schools


CRN: 60341

Language & Stylistics

Studies in Language and Sylistics

Designed to develop oral and written proficiency at the advanced level, this course meets daily for two hours: one hour dedicated to the study of morphological and syntactic patterns and structures, and one hour to oral expression. Through the analysis of different language sectors (i.e. journalism, business, sports, contemporary jargon) in class, the students will gain a better understanding of the Italian language in its various uses. The aim of this course is also to help the students find their own Italian voice while speaking and writing. This endeavor requires daily practice and particular attention to problems of stylistics. (Two hours).

* Note: This course is obligatory for all first-time graduate students except those
exempted on the basis of a placement examination. Students scoring low on the placement test are be required to take 3407 without graduate credit and cannot apply to the Florence Program in Italy.


CRN: 60594

Contemporary Italian Cinema

This course is a survey of Italian cinema in the new millennium. It analyzes works by a number of different directors whose films are representative of sociopolitical trends in contemporary Italian culture. Students will learn how to do critical reading of visual texts, and will be provided with cinematic terminology and a recent bibliography and scholarship on the subject. Special attention is devoted to new Italian comedy, new authors, immigration, gender, and the phenomenon of neo-neorealism. Students will view and study ten films. The format includes lectures, screenings, and in-class discussions.

Required Texts:
Annali d’Italianistica. Cinema Italiano Contemporaneo. Vol. 30, 2013. Edited by Antonio Vitti. ISSN 0741-7527
Lezioni di cinema e di regia, a cura di Antonio Vitti, Firenze: Societa’ Editrice Fiorentian, 2013. ISBn978-88-6032-256-2
Additional reading materials will be provided by the instructor.


CRN: 60342

Faces of Italy:1861 to Present

Faces of Italy: Italian Culture and Society through Literature and Scandals from 1861 to the Present

This course examines the most pressing issue that has confronted Italian society since its Unification: How does one make a nation? If the Italian historical process that led to unification (the Risorgimento) can be read as an unfulfilled revolution (Gramsci), a revolution that failed (Gobetti), or even the fulfillment of noble plans made by enlightened men, animated by a philanthropic spirit (Croce), how can these different ways of reading the nation’s beginnings help us to understand its past, its present, and its future? The course is interdisciplinary: we will place political and historical transformations (from Liberalism, to Fascism, to the Resistance, to the First and Second Republics) in a dialectical relation to the cultural production of an Italy constantly in flux, looking at literature, music and the visual arts as expressions of social change: as reactions for or against the dominant culture. Particular attention will be given to major scandals that have characterized the history of Italy. We will also contextualize the Italian
reality within that of Europe and the rest of the world.

Required texts:
L’Italia spiegata ai ragazzi, A. Nicaso, Pignotti. Mondadori, 2011.

I Segreti d’Italia, di Corrado Augias, Rizzoli, Milano, 2012, ISBN 17060820

La bolla di Componeinda di Andrea Camilleri, Sellerio, Palermo, 1997, 9788838913686


CRN: 60383

Textual Worlds Med&Humanistic

The Textual Worlds of Medieval and Humanistic Italy

This course examines the emergence of Italian literary culture from its earliest manifestations in the 13th century to Renaissance Humanism of the 15th century. Selected readings from major works of representative authors will illustrate the dominant intellectual trends and the development of literary forms and of the Italian literary language. We will explore topics such as the interrelationship between literature, the history of ideas and the other arts, as well as the connection between literature and social forces. This course will focus on the following authors and on some of their works mainly focusing on linguistic aspects and on the theme of love:
- The Sicilian poets centered in the court of Emperor Fredrick II (1194-1250) and his son Manfredi (d. 1266). They established the vernacular. Among the outstanding poets of the Sicilian school was Giacomo da Lentini credited with the invention of one of the major Italian poetic forms: the sonnet. This course will analyze two of his poems: the sonnet Amor è uno desio che ven da core and the canzonetta Meravigliosamente.

- Dolce stil novo poets, a group of 13th–14th-century Italian poets, mostly Florentines, whose vernacular sonnets, canzoni, and ballate celebrate a spiritual and idealized view of love and womanhood in delicate and musical ways. The course will focus on one poem from each of the following poets: Guido Guinizelli’s Al cor gentil rempaira sempre amore, Guido Cavalcanti’s Chi è questa che vèn, ch’
ogn’om la mira and Dante Alighieri’s Tanto gentile e tanto onesta pare.

- Francesco Petrarca (1304-1374), Italian humanist, poet, and writer is famous for his Canzoniere, a collection of poems in vernacular which would go on to become the single greatest influence on the love poetry of Renaissance Europe until well into the 17th century. We will conduct a close reading of the proemial poem Voi ch’ascoltate in rime sparse il suono and one of the sonnets for Laura Levommi il mio pensier in parte ov’era.

- Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375) is the author of The Decameron, a medieval allegory told as a frame story encompassing 100 tales by ten young Florentine (7 women and 3 men), referred to as the Brigata, gathering together in a countryside villa for two weeks while escaping from the Black Death. Each agrees to tell one story each day for ten days. It is considered the masterpiece of the early Italian prose. This course will focus on Boccaccio’s Preface and two tales about love: IV, 5 Elisabetta da Messina (tragic love) and VII, 8 Arriguccio Berlingieri (cheating love).

- Ludovico Ariosto’s (1474-1533) Orlando furioso is an Italian epic poem which has exerted a wide influence on later culture. This course will introduce students to the new literary genre (“poema cavalleresco” “romanzo”) of which the Furioso is the best sample focusing on the first 4 strophes of Canto .

Required Texts:
Students are required to read the indicated texts before the class in which they will be respectively discussed.
Critical works suggested:
Bruno Migliorini, Storia della lingua italiana, 2007.
Gianfranco Contini, Letteratura italiana delle origini (1978), BUR, 2013
Cesare Segre (a cura di), Introduzione, in Ludovico Ariosto: Orlando furioso, Milano, Mondadori, 1964.


CRN: 60343

Reading & Writing in Italian

Reading and Writing in Italian: Improve your Writing and Reading

A direct and close contact with some entertaining texts authored by the best contemporary Italian writers will allow the student to grow conscious of her/his voice and achieve a deeper understanding of it. We will read and comment on the texts of the writers and also the texts produced by the students during the course. Our attention will be focused on the structure of Italian sentences, on the meanings of Italian words. We will examine many subtle features of the Italian written and spoken language. We will speak about Italian society, history and politics – all phenomena that give birth to new words. Together we will look for a style, in the pages we read and in the pages we write. Active participation in class is warmly required.


CRN: 60224

Modes of Critical Theory

This course focuses on a selection of modes and vocabularies of critical theory within the context of the twentieth century, but applied to the field of Italian studies. We will study aspects of structuralism, semiotics, deconstruction, hermeneutics, Marxism, psychoanalysis, feminism and cultural studies.

Required text: Gino Tellini, Metodi e protagonisti della critica letteraria, Firenze, Le Monnier, 2010, ISBN 978-88-00-74003-6


CRN: 60518

Oriana Fallaci


Oriana Fallaci and The Historical Events of her Time

Fallaci is the only Italian journalist known throughout the world and whose fame has endured for forty years, a writer whose works have been translated throughout the world “Letter to a Child Never Born”, perhaps her greatest editorial success, has been translated in 23 languages. This course aims to examine the professional and human experience of a captivating but elusive figure who was herself a great narrator of her own life and of the historical events in which she became involved. The course will be neither hagiographic nor commemorative, but rather an open exchange with students designed to re-evoke and, above all, to recount a “myth”.


CRN: 60504

Giacomo Puccini

Towards the West and East: The 'International Melodrama' of G. Puccini

During the 19th and 20th centuries, Giacomo Puccini embodied/represented a new development to the melodrama with new themes and sensibility, seen both in the theatrical and musical aspects of his masterpieces. What emerges is the capacity for characters and events to unfold in an emotional and psychological manner. The music, in parallel, is fluid and becomes soft. Almost spiritual, liberty enters the musical theater of Puccini and makes it sensitive to curved line, the symbolism, the dimension of dreams. There is thus a sense of the exotic, of a foreign culture, which can become a source of attraction or inspiration: the East with its load of myths and ancient rituals, but also the dynamic and younger West.


CRN: 60505

Neorealism and Visual Arts

Although conventionally, neo-realism has been associated with social problems and mere representation of reality, in this course we will study how this innovative style causes a theory break with the documentary style and with socialist realism, on the formal and expressive levels, as a reinterpretation and a fantastic subjective reworking of reality. The course begins with the study of how photography was used by realist writers such as Verga and Capuana and their successive use of cinema in the early 1900s. We will go on to analyze the literary and cinematic works of Carlo Bernari and Cesare Zavattini and the influence of photography, painting, and theater on their work. During the course numerous unpublished materials will be used along with photographs by Verga, Bernari and Zavattini.

Required Texts:
Giovanni Verga, Tutto il teatro, Milano, Garzanti, 2000. ISBN 88-11-36353-5 2)
Giovanni Verga, Tutte le novelle, Milano, Mondadori, Meridiani,
ISBN 9770553109215
Cesare Zavattini, Come nasce un soggettto cinematografico, Milano, Bompiani 2001, ISBN, 88-452-5004-0
Cesare Zavattini, Grave; /Totò il buono, entrambe in Opere, Milano Bompiani, 2001, ISBN, 88-452-5004-0
Carlo Bernari, Tre operai, Venezia, Marsilio, ISBN, 978-88-317-0844-9


CRN: 60506

Nature & Art in Italian Lit

Nature and Art as Seen in Italian Literature

This course will examine the image of the ‘garden’ throughout the history of Italian literature (13th - 20th centuries). Beginning with the Middle Ages, our research will examine the stylized garden, representing order, rationality, harmony, decorum, and refined humanity, which constructs the ideal frame of Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron and will continue until “the thorns of the dry twigs” of a “garden” surrounded by a “red hot wall” as noted in Ossi di seppia by Eugenio Montale, an emblem of the modern pain of living. We will examine the evolution not only of the “Italian Garden” but also the budding of the “English Garden”, highlighting the cultural significance of the metamorphosis over time. The analysis of texts and the study of diverse authors, with various meanings correlated with the garden, are strictly related to the dynamics of a specific historical situation embedded in civil, social, and anthropological foundations.

Required Text: G. Tellini, Letteratura italiana. Un metodo di studio, Firenze, le Monnier Università, 2011. Additional reading materials will be provided by the instructor.


CRN: 60507

Culinary Cult & Ital Identity

Historical, Cultural and Linguistic Aspects of the Culinary Culture and Italian Identity

The course describes the history of food in Italy throughout the centuries. The course will also analyze the formation of different regional traditions. The historical, cultural and linguistic culinary traditions will be illustrated by a series of pertinent documents. Special attention will be dedicated to the relationship that existed between the New World and Italy, and the reciprocal exchange of products and recipes. In addition, the course will examine the effects that the Italian immigration had in North America, especially on the American culinary experience.

Required texts: Rebora, La civiltà della forchetta, Ed. Laterza, Collana Economica, 2000, 206 pagine - Euro 9.00
Johd Dickie, Con gusto, Ed. Laterza, 2007, 396 pagine
Capatti - Montanari, La cucina italiana: storia di una cultura, Ed. Laterza, Collana Economica, 2005, - Euro 10.00

Only open to M.A. and DML students who have completed a preliminary summer of study on the Vermont Campus.


CRN: 60508

Theater of Fo and Rame

The Incomparable Theater of Dario Fo and Franca Rame

In this course particular attention will be paid to the different artistic personalities
of Fo and Rame and the specific contribution of each to their rich theatrical production, characterized by intelligent comedy and strong social commitment. The influence of ancient and modern Italian comic traditions and features of the new epic and political theater, central aspects of Fo’s and Rame’s work, will be also covered. These features will be studied not only through Fo’s farcical comedy, but also through the female characters played by Rame. Screenings of some significant moments in this artistic collaboration will be shown to deepen students’ understanding of how the couple created and influenced poetic drama and narrative theater. The performance experience of the instructor, as writer and actress, will also enable students to gain an understanding from “within” theatrical language and a better critical approach to the pieces presented.


CRN: 60516

American Dream in Ital Lit


The American Dream in Italian Literature

The course aims to analyze diachronically the American dream in Italian literature. We will start from Leopardi's "wild, happy California" expressed in some passages of Zibaldone and the well-known Hymn to the Patriarchs where he addresses the myth of innocence. The works of Leonetto Cipriani, an emblematic figure of the Italian Risorgimento, who was also fascinated by the myth of California will be examined before focusing on the twentieth century when the Italian socio-political context, starting in the thirties, transformed the American dream into the metaphor of a happy elsewhere. The need to escape the rise of fascism animates the conscience of intellectuals such as Elio Vittorini, Cesare Pavese and Italo Calvino for which America will symbolize redemption, freedom and creative autonomy. From Americana by Vittorini and Essays on American literature by Pavese; to Calvino’s American Lessons, the American dream for Italians is not only a "land of utopia" but a point of reference.


CRN: 60509

Travel w/Dante Medieval Med

Traveling with Dante in the Medieval Mediterranean. History, Literature and Culture of Dante’s Commedia in a Mediterranean Frame

The course focuses on Dante’s journey in hell, purgatory and paradise
in a Mediterranean frame and in the light of the most recent studies
of the medieval Mediterranean. Dante’s journey, his guide Virgil, the poet of the Eneide, their encounters: from Saladin, Alexander the Great, Geryon, Muhammad to San Francis, invite to further enquire on the journey of books and legends about Jews, Christian and Muslim traveling in and around the medieval Mediterranean. Dante’s re-writing of biblical and classical sources conveys the very essence of the medieval Mediterranean culture based on exchanges of goods as much as stories. The course aims at reconstructing that network of transmission of knowledge in the medieval Mediterranean.

Required text: B Lewis, Culture in conflitto. Cristiani, ebrei e musulmani alle origini del mondo moderno. Donzelli, 2007. ISBN 10-88-6036-108-7 R.Morosini, Ch. Lee, Sindbad mediterraneo. Per una topografia della memoria da Oriente a Occidente.
ISBN Code: 978-88-8232-990-7

PensaMultimedia, 2013

F. Cardini, L invenzione dell’Occidente, Solfanelli. ISBN 88 7497 612 7 S. GUARRACINO, Mediterraneo: immagini, storie e teorie da Omero a Braudel, Bruno Mondadori, Milano 2007.
P. Matvejevitc, Breviario mediterraneo, Garzanti, 1991


CRN: 60510

Principles Lit Communication

Principles of Literary Communication

This course will focus on the basic rules upon which any literary communication is based. Particular attention will be dedicated to rhetoric and poetics problems. The course will explore some important theories and methods regarding, respectively, the creation and production of texts and their readership reception. The course will analyze a few literary masterpieces of the Western literary canon, with a close reading of their narrative beginning and ending: the two most poignant textual places in any literary work. Places of fundamental importance since they convey all the most significant aspects (rhetorical, thematic, linguistic, narratological, etc.) which are necessary for a correct reading of the selected text. The aim of this course is to offer to the students a clear basis for reading narrative works. GLIT

Primary works required for this course:
Manzoni Alessandro, I promessi sposi (1840-1842), (as a founding model of the historical novel genre).
Sciascia Leonardo, Il giorno della civetta, 1961 (as a sample of a peculiar detective story genre)
Attanasio Maria, Correva l’anno 1698 e nella città avvenne il fatto memorabile, Sellerio, Palermo, 1994 (as a sample of a contemporary short historical narrative).


CRN: 60511

Teaching Italian

Teaching Italian: Theoretical Principles and Practical Applications for Effective Material Development and Classroom Practice. (For DML candidates, advanced graduate students and teachers)

The course focuses both on the main theoretical principles and practical applications of methodology for teaching Italian as Foreign Language (IFL). During the course, participants will be exposed to the main language teaching methodologies and practices. This may include: the analysis of different approaches to course and syllabus design, the development of specific lesson plans, the integration of task-based instruction, the use of inductive approaches to teaching grammar and vocabulary; and the assessment practices with the ACTFL proficiency guidelines. The starting point will be the consideration of the principles and notions on which course design is based (e.g. learner characteristics and needs analysis). Then, students will be encouraged to analyze the nature of the four basic language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing), and to reflect on the techniques best suited to the development of competence in each of these areas. While the course stresses the interconnected nature of the four skills, attention will also be devoted to the detailed analysis of the theoretical frameworks for each individual skill. Active and collaborative participation in the course activities is required and students will be encouraged to conduct readings, engage in face-to-face and online discussions, develop lesson plans, observe language classes, prepare task-based activities, and conduct teaching demonstrations.

Required texts:
- Diadori, P. (2010). Insegnare italiano a stranieri, Le Monnier. (ISBN: 88008604190
- Serragiotto, G. (2009), Sillabo di riferimento per la formazione degli insegnanti di italiano a stranieri. Venezia: Cafoscarina. (ISBN
- ACTFL (2011). Standards for foreign Language Learning: Preparing for the 21st Century. Yonkers: ACTFL.


CRN: 60344

New Technology Teaching IFL

New Technologies for Learning and Teaching Italian as Foreign Language (IFL) (for DML candidates, advanced graduate students and teachers).

This course provides a balanced presentation of central issues in the theory and practice of Italian as Foreign Language teaching methodology and instructional technology. During the course, students will also develop critical skills for a meaningful integration of instructional technologies into their teaching/learning of Italian. The course will present the overall perspective in the context of current practices involving the integration of latest technologies. After conducting a review of technology in learning and teaching foreign languages (theories of learning and key ideas for understanding e-learning), students will be guided to analyze the opportunities and constraints in using technology in the educational process. Students will be also asked to select methodological approaches appropriate to the technologically-enhanced learning situation. An important component of the course will be the active participation and collaboration of all students in group discussions (both in-class and online), as well as the practical in-class technology-enhanced projects and demonstrations.

Required texts:
Balboni E., Margiotta U. (2012) Formare online i docenti di lingue e italiano L2. Utet (ISBN 8860081998) Pichiassi, M. (2007). Apprendere l'italiano L2 nell'era digitale - Le nuove tecnologie nell'insegnamento e apprendimento dell'italiano per stranieri. Edizioni Guerra - Soleil (ISBN 8855700626) Serragiotto, G. (2009). Sillabo di riferimento per la formazione degli insegnanti di italiano a stranieri. Venezia: Cafoscarina (ISBN-9788875432409)


CRN: 60512

Italian Poetry after WWII

The course will focus on some of the most prominent poets who followed the generation of Hermeticism and had the task of finding new poetic paths for the generation of the second post-war period. These poets are: Attilio Bertolucci, Giorgio Caproni, Mario Luzi, Alda Merini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Giovanni Raboni, Vittorio Sereni, Maria Luisa Spaziani, Andrea Zanzotto.

Required texts: Maurizio Cucchi, Poeti italiani del secondo Novecento, 1945-1995, Milan: Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, 1996. (Oscar Mondadori: 2004)


CRN: 60513

Globalization of the Mafia

The course aims to provide the basic knowledge to interpret the phenomena of organized crime. It defines patterns, characteristics, norms, myths, symbols and languages and offers a reading of their evolution as a function of globalization and new technologies, starting with Lucky Luciano to the present day. In particular, we will study criminal activities with reference to drug trafficking and trade routes (Caribbean, Atlantic and transoceanic), the economic outlook favored by old and new recycling techniques (casino, internet, financial institutions, and other commercial activities), joint-ventures with interactions and strategic alliances between various criminal groups, especially in the Americas, and communication systems based on languages that are increasingly sophisticated.

Required Texts:
Dire e non dire, di Nicola Gratteri e Antonio Nicaso, Mondadori, Milano, 2012. ISBN 978-88-04-62306-9
Quando la mafia trovò l'America, Salvatore Lupo, Einaudi, Torino, 2008, ISBN 978-88-06-18598-5


CRN: 60514

Fante: Ital Emigration in West

John Fante: Italian Emigration in the West: Identity and Autobiographical Writing

After an introduction on the characteristics of the literature of emigration, Italian emigration to the western U.S. will be studied from the early years of the twentieth century. The course aims to examine some of the novels of John Fante, now considered one of the greatest representatives of Italian American literature. Starting from the imaginary map of his life, which he describes in his novels (The Brotherhood of the Grape, Ask the Dust - La confraternita dell’Uva, Chiedi alla polvere) through the figure of his alter ego, Arturo Bandini , the course will focus on the meaning of the concept of identity that is developed through the limits of autobiography but also through writing, understood as the universal overcoming of self. This approach will demonstrate how from the paternal theme to the construction of his own bildungsroman, the continuous relationship between life and literature becomes the basis for his writing, creating an irreverent metaliterature intended as a symbol of the ultimate conquest of the self.


CRN: 60517

The Revolution of Renaissance


The Revolution of Renaissance: the Foundations of Modern Art and Science

In this course we will analyze the birth of the Renaissance in Florence, its artistic
antecedents and then dwell on Brunelleschi and his revolutionary theories on perspective as a new spiritual and rational vision of the world. We will examine the historical, economic and cultural conditions that spawned and stimulated the new art forms that spread from Florence throughout Italy and Europe.The major authors of the three arts—architecture,sculpture and painting—who will become the first models for the development of the entire period (Brunelleschi and Alberti, Ghiberti and Donatello, Masaccio, Fra Angelico and Ghirlandaio) will be studied along with artists such as Botticelli, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael. Lectures will be supplemented by historical, scientific and literary readings and will follow a thematic and chronological order, focusing on specific issues such as Platonism and Aristotelianism, the art of portraiture, sculpture, dynamism and expressionism, spirituality and eroticism.

Requisiti: 2 schede di circa 1,000 parole l’una su due autori inseriti nella lista integrativa (30% del voto finale); 1 esame orale finale (30%); 1 presentazione di 20 minuti su un’opera non direttamente studiata a lezione (20%); partecipazione attiva e informata in classe (20%).
NB: per visionare alcuni filmati dedicati alle opere in questione è necessario avere il programma Java: sul proprio computer.


CRN: 60006

Independent Study