Course Catalog 2023-2024

Italian Studies

ITL 110Y Elementary Italian (5 Credits)

One-year course that covers the basics of Italian language and culture and allows students to enroll in ITL 220 in the following year. Students entering in the spring need department permission and must take a placement exam. In the second semester, students may change sections only with instructor permission. Yearlong courses cannot be divided at midyear with credit for the first semester. Cannot be taken S/U. Corequisite: ITL 135 strongly recommended. Enrollment limited to 20.

Fall, Spring

ITL 111 Accelerated Elementary Italian (5 Credits)

One-semester course designed for students with a background in other foreign languages. It covers the material of the yearlong ITL 110Y in one semester. Students should enroll in ITL 220 the following semester. Does not fulfill the foreign language requirement for Latin honors. Course may be taken S/U only by seniors. Corequisite: ITL 135 strongly recommended. Enrollment limited to 20.

Fall, Spring

ITL 135 Elementary Italian Conversation (2 Credits)

Designed to support beginning Italian students and to help them improve their conversational skills. This course offers intensive practice in pronunciation, vocabulary, oral comprehension and conversation. It includes class discussions, role-playing and short oral presentations. Corequisite: ITL 110Y or ITL 111. Enrollment limited to 12. {F}

Fall, Spring, Variable

ITL 189/ GER 189 Thinking Transnationally: European Culture Across Borders (2 Credits)

This series of interdepartmental lectures by a selection of Smith faculty examines the myth of cultural homogeneity perpetuated by the ideal of “native” linguistic competency. These lectures explore hybridity and interaction between cultures and languages as the rule, not the exception. The goal is to help students comprehend the transnational, multilingual web into which they are woven, and to appreciate how they contribute to that web, to appreciate their own position as transnational subjects. By adopting a transnational perspective, students learn to question the primacy of the “native,” whether as non-native speakers in the US or as language-learners looking abroad. Graded S/U only. {H}{L}

Fall, Spring, Annually

ITL 200 Made in Italy (2 Credits)

“The name of Italy,” Mary Shelley wrote, “has magic in its very syllables.” With 65 million tourists per year, Italy has become one of the world’s most desirable destinations. What is it about the bel paese that is so enchanting? This course explores the allure of all things Italian, from iconic brands like Gucci and Ferrari to the Slow Food Movement. In addition to learning about Italy’s achievements in fashion, interior design, automobiles and architecture, the class examines how Italy came to occupy such a powerful place in the modern imagination. Taught in English. S/U only. {A}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

ITL 205 Savoring Italy: Recipes and Thoughts on Italian Cuisine and Culture (2 Credits)

This course examines Italy’s varied geography, history and artistic tradition to further appreciate Italy’s rich, delicious, yet simple cuisine. In our travels we move from the caffè to the pizzeria, to the trattoria, to the pasticceria, to the enoteca to probe the cultural impact Italian cuisine has on promoting a holistic philosophy for eating/drinking/speaking best reflected by the now renowned Italian Slow Food Movement. Taught in English. S/U only. Enrollment limited to 100. {L}


ITL 220 Intermediate Italian (4 Credits)

Comprehensive grammar review through practice in writing and reading. Literary texts and cultural material constitute the base for in-class discussions and compositions. Students taking ITL 220 are strongly encouraged to take a conversation course. Taking both courses strengthens students’ confidence and ability to become proficient in Italian. Prerequisite: ITL 110Y or ITL 111 or equivalent. {F}

Fall, Spring

ITL 235 Intermediate Italian Conversation (2 Credits)

Designed to support Intermediate Italian students to help them improve their conversational skills, this course offers intensive practice in pronunciation, vocabulary, oral comprehension and conversation. It includes class discussions, role-playing and short oral presentations. Prerequisite: two semesters of ITL 110Y or by placement. {F}

Fall, Spring

ITL 240 Italian Stylistics (4 Credits)

Fall, Spring, Variable

ITL 245 Culture in Context: An Italian Immersion. When in Florence... (4 Credits)

This course offers an in-depth study of Italian culture to broaden the students' understanding of Italian history, literature and customs. Through readings, discussions, interactions with native speakers and films, students gain a good understanding of Italian society. This course also intends to further develop students’ intermediate knowledge of the Italian language and prepare them for their study-abroad experience. Prerequisites: ITL 110Y or ITL 111, and ITL 220; or by placement. {F}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

ITL 250 Italian Commedia: Italy on Stage Through the Centuries (4 Credits)

This course focuses on the Italian commedia and aims to reflect on the literary, cultural, social and political meanings that this genre assumed through the centuries. Texts str mainly from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the 1700s by authors such as Dante Alighieri, Giovanni Boccaccio, Niccolò Machiavelli, Ludovico Ariosto and Carlo Goldoni. Special attention is given to modern stage performances in light of their cultural and social backgrounds. This course further develops students’ knowledge of the Italian language and prepares them for their study-abroad experience. Prerequisite: ITL 220 or equivalent or by placement. Taught in Italian. {F}{L}


ITL 275 Advanced Italian Conversation (2 Credits)

This course is designed to help advanced Italian students maintain their level of spoken language while at the same time further their knowledge of contemporary Italian society and culture. It enables students to express themselves with an advanced degree of fluency and proficiency as well as appropriate use of formal and/or informal register. Prerequisite: ITL 235 or placement exam to ensure correct language level. Instructor permission required. {F}

Fall, Spring, Variable

ITL 299/ POR 299/ SPN 299/ FRN 299 Teaching Romance Languages: Theories and Techniques on Second Language Acquisition (4 Credits)

Offered as FRN 299, ITL 299, POR 299 and SPN 299. The course explores the issues in world language instruction and research that are essential to the teaching of Romance languages. Special focus will be on understanding local, national and international multilingual communities as well as theories, methods, bilingualism and heritage language studies. Topics include the history of Romance languages, how to teach grammar and vocabulary, the role of instructors and feedback techniques. The critical framing provided will help students look at schools as cultural sites, centers of immigration and globalization. Class observations and scholarly readings help students understand the importance of research in the shaping of the pedagogical practice of world languages. Prerequisite: At least 4 semesters (or placement to equivalent level) of a Romance language taught at Smith (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish or French). Enrollment limited to 25. {F}{S}

Fall, Spring, Annually

ITL 332 Dante's Inferno (4 Credits)

Detailed study of Dante’s Infernoand Medieval culture. Conducted in English. A separate discussion session in Italian (ITL 332D) is a required part of the course for Italian majors and minors. Five credits if combined with ITL 332D. {F}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

ITL 334 Boccaccio: Decameron (4 Credits)

This course goes deep into the world of Boccaccio’s Decameron, a collection of colorful tales that paint a vivid and often scandalous picture of medieval life. The class examines a rousing cast of characters:  sly wives, shrewd merchants, sensual nuns, roguish painters, rebellious daughters and so on, all negotiating the rapidly evolving social and sexual mores of their time. Boccaccio’s storytellers, in weaving their tales, also construct the foundation of a new and more just community. In this course, students explore this masterpiece of Italian literature with an eye to what they can learn from this text in the present moment. Taught in Italian. {F}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

ITL 335 Boccaccio: Decameron--Italian Language Discussion (1 Credit)

Conducted in Italian. Must be taken concurrently with ITL 334. Enrollment limited to 18 senior Italian majors and minors, and to others by permission of the instructor. {F}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

ITL 340 The Theory and Practice of Translation (4 Credits)

This is a course for very advanced students of Italian with strong English language skills. It is a practical course in translation from Italian into English based on solid theoretical readings. It has a progressive structure; it includes literary and technical texts as well as a section on subtitling. During the second half of the semester students select a work for independent translation as the major component of their portfolio of translated work. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission required. This course does not count as a senior seminar for Italian majors. {F}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

ITL 369wb/ GER 369wb Seminar: Topics in Transnational Encounters-Nations Without Borders (4 Credits)

Offered as GER 369wb and ITL 369wb. Both Italy and Germany arise from a combination of mobile factors, including people, languages, ideas and ideologies that move across, beyond and before national borders. This course interrogates what it means to study a modern language, specifically German and Italian, by reflecting on this fluidity and mobility of languages and cultures. Areas of inquiry include: the reception of works and authors in translation, the geographic and social mobility of people across multiple borders, the role of memory in connecting the national past with other regions and languages, and the impact of transnational cultures in shaping gender, racial and cultural identities.  Cannot be taken S/U. Enrollment limited to 12. Juniors and seniors only. Instructor permission required.

Spring, Variable

ITL 400 Special Studies (1-4 Credits)

For qualified juniors and senior majors only. Admission by permission of the instructor and the chair.

Fall, Spring

ITL 430D Honors Project (4 Credits)

This is a full-year course, 8 credits total.

Fall, Spring, Annually