Fall Quarter 2018

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Italian 001. Elementary Italian (5 units)

 001  Jay Grossi  MTWRF 9:00-9:50A  205 Wellman Hall  27710
 002  Jay Grossi  MTWRF 11:00-11:50A  205 Wellman Hall  27712
 003  Jay Grossi  MTWRF 12:10-1:00P  205 Wellman Hall  27713
 005  Leonardo Giorgetti  MTWRF 1:10-2:00P  205 Wellman Hall  27714

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 Preliminary chapter and chapters 1-4 of the textbook and the related chapters in the online Student Activities Manual (eSAM). Emphasis is placed on comprehension, pronunciation 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.

Course Placement: Students who have successfully completed, with a C- or better, Italian 002 or 003 in the 10th or higher grade in high school may receive unit credit for this course on a P/NP grading basis only. Although a passing grade will be charged to the student's P/NP option, no petition is required. All other students will receive a letter grade unless a P/NP petition is filed. For more information, please directly contact instructor Jay Grossi (jgrossi@ucdavis.edu) or the Italian staff adviser, Amy Lowrey (allowrey@ucdavis.edu).

Prerequisite: None.

GE credit (New): Arts & Humanities and World Cultures.

Format: Lecture/Discussion - 5 hours; Laboratory - 1 hour.


  • Donatella Melucci and Elissa Tognozzi, Piazza (with iLrn Access)  (Cengage Learning, 2015)

Italian 004. Intermediate Italian (5 units)

 001  Valerie McGuire  MWF 10:00-10:50A  129 Wellman Hall  27719
 002  Valerie McGuire  MWF 11:00-11:50A  129 Wellman Hall  42526

Course Description: This is the first course of Intermediate Italian. This course reviews, practices and expands upon 1st year grammar skills in a communicative and task-oriented classroom. 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) and with regular writing assignments that reflect on important cultural themes. Italian 004 covers chapters 1-4 of the textbook and the corresponding chapters in the online Student Activities Manual (eSAM). ITA 004 reviews the following grammatical concepts: comparatives and superlatives, the gerund, the present perfect, pluperfect and imperfect tenses, the imperative mood, and object pronouns.

Prerequisite: Italian 003.

GE credit (New): World Cultures.

Format: Lecture/Discussion - 3 hours; Laboratory - 3 hours.


  • TBA

Italian 113. Dante Alighieri, Divina Commedia (4 units)
Valerie McGuire

MWF 12:10-1:00P
1120 Hart Hall
CRN 43366

Course Description: This course will examine one of the major masterpieces of Italian and world literature, the Divina Commedia by Dante Alighieri (1265-1321). We will follow this medieval exile on his mystical journey of redemption through the three kingdoms of the afterlife (Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso), reading the story of his adventures in the original Italian language, and trying to frame the events in terms of their historical context, classical and modern sources, and deeper philosophical and religious meaning. Dante was a political exile forced to leave Florence and move across Italy in search of patrons who would take him in and support his work. We will place special focus on the question of how this experience as a kind of medieval refugee shapes the rich concepts and vision of Italy’s most famous poet – what is the relationship of poetry to philosophy, religion, and political resistance?
Students are required to be able to comfortably read literary Italian at an advanced level; however, the course books offer both the original Italian text and a poetic English translation, and students are advised to make use of both.

Prerequisite: Italian 009 or equivalent or consent of instructor.

GE credit (New): Arts & Humanities, Oral Literacy, World Cultures and Writing Experience.

Format: Lecture/Discussion - 3 hours; Term Paper.


  • TBA

Italian 145. Rome in Literature and Film (4 units)
Michael Subialka

TR 12:10-1:30P
148 Physics Building
CRN 43367

Course Description: Few cities have had the power to capture our imagination the way Rome has. It is the Eternal City, a city of popes and kings – but also of modernity’s conflicted attempt to respond to a sense of collapse and disorder. This course will examine literature and films that focus on Rome as a chief protagonist, using these as a window into the modern experience of an ancient city. From a contemporary novel like Luigi Malerba’s story of betrayal, sickness, and bourgeois decline, Fantasmi romani (2006) to stories set in the difficult days after World War II by Alberto Moravia, and back to Luigi Pirandello and Gabriele d’Annunzio’s reflections on Rome from the turn of the century, we will look at a variety of representations that dig underneath the seemingly glamorous surface of the city. These readings will be paired with some of the most important films set in Rome, including by world-famous directors like Federico Fellini, Pierpaolo Pasolini, and Paolo Sorrentino. Spectacular, enchanting, and haunted, Rome represents the extremes of both grandeur and decadence for the modern imagination. Class taught in Italian.

Prerequisite: Italian 009 or consent of instructor (msubialka@ucdavis.edu).

GE credit (New): Arts & Humanities, Oral Literacy, Visual Literacy, World Cultures, and Writing Experience.

Format: Lecture/Discussion - 4 hours.


  • Luigi Malerba, Fantasmi romani  (Mondadori, 2008)


  • Luigi Malerba, Roman Ghosts, translated by Miriam Aloisio and Michael Subialka  (Italica Press, 2017)
  • Rome Tales, translated by Hugh Shankland  (Oxford University Press, 2011)

EAP Courses

Italian 121S. New Italian Cinema (4 units)
Margherita Heyer-Caput

Course Description: This course explores the thriving Italian cinema of the twenty-first century in relationship with the deep cultural and social changes that Italy has undergone in the last two decades. This class will be particularly interesting for QA students.  Immersed in the vibrant urban life of Florence, QA participants will analyze filmic representations of the Italian reality that they will experience in their daily life.

In the course of the quarter we investigate how contemporary Italian filmmakers, from Marco Tullio Giordana to Alice Rohrwacher and Ferzan Ozpetek, have overcome a paralyzing sense of “afterness” and infused Italian cinema with a new vitality.  These directors-writers-producers-lead actors have successfully integrated in their works the inspiring but also challenging legacy of the great auteurs of Italian Neorealism of the ‘40s and ‘50s (Rossellini, De Sica, etc.) and of the art cinema of the ‘60s and ‘70s (Antonioni, Fellini, etc.).  Moreover, contemporary Italian filmmakers have creatively overcome the disillusions suffered by the political cinema of the ‘80s and ‘90s (Rosi, Petri, the Taviani Brothers, etc.).  The movies analyzed revisit classic genres of Italian cinema, from the Comedy Italian Style to historical productions, and reinvent film as a powerful art form with a social reference and a moral accountability.

Prerequisite: Italian 001 and upper division standing, or consent of instructor.

Format: Lecture/Discussion - 3 hours; Film Viewing - 3 hours.

GE credit (New): Arts & Humanities, Oral Literacy, Visual Literacy, World Cultures, and Writing Experience.


  • Timothy Corrigan, A Short Guide to Writing about Film [8th Edition]   (Longman, 2011)
  • Ed. Margherita Heyer-Caput, New Italian Cinema, A Reader - (Available for purchase prior to departure at the Davis Copy-Maxx, 232 Third Street)