Spring Quarter 2020 Course Descriptions

Italian Expanded Course Descriptions - Spring 2020


Italian 003. Elementary Italian (5 units)
Jay Grossi

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 9:00am-9:50am - CRN 69759

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 10:00am-10:50am - CRN 69760

Course Description: Italian 003 is the third course of Elementary Italian.  Students in this course will continue learning the language in a setting that emphasizes communicative and interactive class activities, e.g., games and role-playing, while focusing also on form (grammar exercises).  The syllabus for Italian 003 comprises Chapters 11 to 16 of the textbook, and the related chapters in the Workbook/Lab Manual (which is available online). Students will review and practice moods and tenses of the verbs they studied in Italian 002. The conditional (present and perfect), the present of the subjunctive, the passive form and the impersonal constructions of the verb, superlative and comparative structures, suffixes in nouns and adjectives, and more uses of prepositions with nouns and verbs will complete the basic knowledge of Italian and increase the students' ability in reading, understanding, speaking and writing. Since the study of a foreign language is different from the study of other disciplines, daily class attendance is indispensable in this course. Unjustified absences will cause a student’s participation grade to drop, and his/her overall grade will suffer accordingly. Just as important as daily class participation are homework assignments.  Laboratory is required, and instructors will collect and grade the lab work as scheduled in the syllabus. Failure to comply with the lab requirements will result in a failing lab grade.

Prerequisite: Italian 002 or consent of instructor jgrossi@ucdavis.edu.

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 009. Intermediate Italian (4 units)
Carmen Gomez

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 12:10pm-1:00pm - CRN 69763

Course Description: This is the third course of Intermediate Italian. The purpose of this course is to review and practice 1st and 2nd year language skills with a particular emphasis on reading comprehension skills.  Italian 009 prepares students for the more reading-intensive work of 3rd year Italian (upper-division language and literature courses), and encourages them to interact with the written text (short stories, newspaper and magazine articles, poems) in a communicative and task-oriented classroom, where language and culture are inseparable.  Students will continue to expand their vocabulary and language skills through a variety of class activities and homework assignments in line with the previous Italian intermediate classes (i.e., oral presentations, online lab and workbook, compositions, tutoring sessions, authentic visual materials and music).   Italian 009 covers chapters 9-12 of the textbook and the related chapters in the Workbook/Lab Manual. Grammar review covers chapters 1-8 of the textbook, while new language structures include: hypothetical clauses; passive voice; direct and indirect speech; and the indefinite moods (gerund, infinitive, participle).

Prerequisite: Italian 005/005S or consent of instructor (ccgomez@ucdavis.edu). Students who did not take Italian 005 at UC Davis are encouraged to take the Italian Placement Exam.

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

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


  • Elissa Tognozzi and Giuseppe Cavatorta, Ponti: Italiano Terzo Millennio Bundle  (Cengage Learning, 2012)


Italian 120A. The Italian Novel of the Twentieth Century in Literature and Cinema (4 units)
Margherita Heyer-Cáput

Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:30am-11:50am - CRN 84165

Course Description: This course focuses on the development of the twentieth century Italian novel with particular attention to its philosophical and historical context.  We will devote in-depth readings and discussions to seminal works of Italian modernity.  In particular, we will analyze:

  • Grazia Deledda's Cosima (1937) – to explore the literary and historical construction of women’s subjectivity through fictional self-representation in the posthumous, autobiographical novel of Italy’s first and only woman Nobel Prize Laureate;  
  • Italo Calvino's Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno (1947, The Path to the Spiders' Nests) – to highlight issues of political engagement and ethical accountability at the core of Neorealism in the aftermath of the Second World War--;
  • Dacia Maraini’s La lunga vita di Marianna Ucrìa (1990, The Silent Duchess) -- to underscore the role of women’s agency and the theoretical developments of Italian feminism in the shaping of a more diverse and inclusive Italian society.

Throughout the course we will enhance the interplay between literature and film, which has characterized Italian culture since the silent cinema era, and discuss issues of filmic adaptation and inter-semiotic translation with regard to the following films: Eleonora Duse’s Cenere (1916, Ashes), Roberto Rossellini’s Roma, città aperta (1945, Rome Open City), and Roberto Faenza’s Marianna Ucrìa (1997, The Silent Duchess).  

This course is conducted in Italian and fulfills the literary period requirement (Modern Italian) for the Italian Major/Minor.

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

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

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


TA 108—Contemporary Issues in Italian Culture and Society (4)

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:10 - 1:30 (CRN 69767)

Prof. Grace Delmolino

In this course, we will attempt to define what makes Italy "Italy" in the 21st century. What is the current political climate and how did it get there? What are the major social issues in Italy today (race, family, unemployment, religion, etc.)? What constitutes Italian pop culture and what does that say about the Italian creative imaginary? How has Italy’s recent and not-so-recent history shaped the nation?

The major written work of this course will be a research project developed over the second half of the term, which students will articulate in multiple smaller stages: from a research question, to annotated bibliography, to peer review, to a paper. Part of class time at quarter's end will be dedicated to a "mini conference" in which students will organize themselves into thematic panels to present and comment on each other’s work. Readings and instruction in English with substantial discussion component throughout the quarter.

No prerequisite: those with little/no knowledge of Italian and an interest in Italy are welcome!

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


ITA 115D—Early Modern Italian Lyric (4)

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:10 - 4:30 (CRN 84164)

Prof. Grace Delmolino

What is a “poem”? Why should we read poetry? Why are there so many poems about love? Can poetry help us un heartbreak, joy, anxiety, uncertainty, identity and other big experiences in our lives? We’ll consider these questions as they apply to early modern Italian poetry. Beginning with Petrarca’s Canzoniere, and continuing to the poetry of Renaissance women writers like Gaspara Stampa and Vittoria Colonna, we’ll study the development of the lyric tradition from the 1300s to the 1600s. Students will write short, low-stakes creative exercises imitating various formal aspects of the poetry we read, as well as longer essays interpreting the significance of a poem. Taught in Italian and fulfills the literary period requirement (Renaissance) for the Italian Major.

Prerequisite: Italian 009(S) or the equivalent or consent of instructor (gdelmolino@ucdavis.edu).

GE credit: AH, WC, WE.