Exploring Italian Culture

Italian 2215G

Prof. Luca Pocci

What is it that makes “all things Italian” so widely appealing and the boot-shaped peninsula one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world? This question is the point of departure for Italian 2215G, which will take you on a journey of discovery through the extraordinary cultural richness of Italy’s past and present. We will explore the so-called “Italian genius” in its broad range of expressions: in the masterworks of some of Italy’s most influential writers and artists, in classic films, and in music. We will also examine the major role that two iconic expressions of everyday Italian culture, food and fashion, have played in creating typical perceptions and images of Italy. While asking ourselves to what degree are these perceptions typical or stereotypical, we will discuss the most distinctive aspects of contemporary Italian society, including old and new life-styles and political issues (e.g. the economic divide between the North and the South). Special attention will be given to how Italians have historically moved across space. To this end, we
will retrace the steps of a famous medieval explorer like Marco Polo, and those of the millions of Italian immigrants who have enriched the cultural life of Canada and numerous other countries. The objectives that will guide us in our journey through Italian culture are: 1) improve your conversation, reading and writing skills in Italian; 2) build your understanding of the wide-ranging contribution that famous and ordinary Italians have made to today’s global culture; 3) develop your research abilities on a variety of topics related to the history and culture of Italy.

Click here to check out the official syllabus!

Exploring the beautiful Italian landscape
Exploring the beautiful Italian landscape

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Italian Studies @ Western?? Here we are!

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