Intermediate Italian: Modern Italian Prose
This intermediate-level course aims at improving and perfecting the students’ speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills, as well as their knowledge of Italy’s contemporary culture and literature. In order to acquire the necessary knowledge of Italian grammar, idiomatic expressions, and vocabulary, students will be exposed to present-day Italy through the selection of specific newspaper articles, music, and cinema, as well as modern Italian literature (i.e., short stories, poems, and excerpts from literary works) in the original language. Literary works will include selections from Alessandro Baricco, Gianni Rodari, Carlo Castellaneta, Clara Sereni, Dino Buzzati, Stefano Benni, Antonio Tabucchi, Niccolò Ammaniti, and Italo Calvino. In order to address the students’ own writing skills, written compositions will also be assigned and will constitute an integral part of the course. The materials selected for the course, be they a literary text, a song, video, or grammar exercise, will be accessible at all times to the students through the course’s “Web Board”; research on the Web will be central to the course and will offer the basis for the weekly “Web piece,” a short paper on a particular topic. Conference topics might include the study of a particular author, literary text, film, or any other aspect of Italian society and culture that might be of interest to the student. Conversation classes will be held twice a week with the language assistants.