Fall 2020 Italian Course Descriptions

ITA 001
Beginning Italian

Prof Carmen Gomez

Course Description: Italian 001 is the first course of Elementary Italian. Students in this course will learn the basics of Italian language in a setting that stresses communicative and interactive class activities while also focusing on pertinent grammatical structures. The syllabus for Italian 001 covers the chapters 1-4 of the textbook and in MindTap. Emphasis is placed on pronunciation, communication and the basic structures of the language including: definite and indefinite articles, nouns and adjectives, plural formation, indicative present tense, numbers, days of the week, months, seasons, how to tell time, weather-related expressions, prepositions, and some idiomatic expressions. Students will begin to investigate Italian culture through an exploration of the various regions and cities of Italy, as well as its numerous piazze and landmarks and the daily activities of contemporary Italians. Through reading and interactive activities, students will develop basic comprehension, speaking and writing skills. Daily attendance is indispensable for this course.


ITA 004. 
Intermediate Italian

Prof Carmen Gomez

Course Description: This is the first course of the Intermediate Italian sequence. This course reviews, practices and expands upon skills acquired during the first year of language study in a communicative and task-oriented classroom. Italian 4 covers chapters 1-4 of the textbook, reviewing indicative present and past tenses, articles, adjectives and pronouns. Linguistic structures are employed to examine contemporary Italian culture and to make connections between cultures through a variety of in-class activities (oral presentations, discussions and collaborative exercises) and homework assignments (web search activities, weekly blogs and online exercises). Students will also strengthen their critical thinking skills and their understanding of written Italian through the analysis of various texts (journalistic articles, essays and excerpts from literary texts, films and podcasts) and with regular formal written assignments that reflect on contemporary cultural themes.


ITA 115A (CRN 53007)
Studies in the Cinquecento

Prof. Grace Delmolino

T/R 10:30 – 11:50am (in the event of remote/hybrid instruction, asynchronous options will be available)

Ever heard of Galileo, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, or the Medici family? In this course you’ll learn about these famous Italians and their contributions to science, art, political theory, economics, and the cultural legacy of the Renaissance. Learn why Galileo was put under house arrest for asserting that the Earth revolved around the sun—impress your friends and family by using the term “Machiavellian” correctly—and discover how to apply the courtly principle of sprezzatura, the art of seeming effortlessly good at everything you do. The idea of a “Renaissance man” (or woman) is someone with competence in every domain of human achievement. In this course, you’ll learn a little bit of everything by studying the long Cinquecento, the transformative and innovative period from the late 1400s to the early 1600s.

Taught in Italian. Satisfies Renaissance period requirement for Italian Major.

Prerequisite: ITA 009 or consent of instructor (gdelmolino@ucdavis.edu<mailto:gdelmolino@ucdavis.edu>)

GE credit: AH, OL, WC.


ITA 145 (Special Topics) CRN 37860
Pandemic: Plagues in History, Art, and Literature

Prof. Grace Delmolino

T/R 1:40 – 3:00pm (in the event of remote/hybrid instruction, asynchronous options will be available)

The Black Death was an outbreak of Bubonic Plague that devastated Italy in the 1300s, wiping out over 30% of medieval Florence’s population. Along with the catastrophe came huge shifts in Italian and European society, as well as one of Western literature’s greatest masterpieces: the Decameron, set during the 1348 outbreak. Since the time of the Roman Empire, Italy—a hub of Mediterranean trade and travel—has been shaped by numerous epidemics which have generated both colossal collective trauma and enormous social transformations. In this course, we’ll read famous plague narratives (Boccaccio’s Decameron, Manzoni’s The Betrothed) alongside scientific, economic, and political perspectives on the disease outbreaks that have defined history. There is a reason why Boccaccio’s Decameron sold out on Amazon in the early days of COVID-19: pandemics are nothing new, and the lessons of the past have valuable advice for our uncertain future.

Taught in English and open to all.

GE credit: AH, OL, VL, WC, WE.