Semester Course Descriptions

Music and Visual Arts

  • History of Italian Folk Music

    The course analyzes the modern and contemporary history of this country through its music (melodies, voices, lyrics, traditional dances, socio-historical and political context). Original songs coming from different areas of Italy will be first analyzed from a linguistic point of view; then they will be contextualised into the socio-political framework that generated them.

  • Italian Cinema

    (45 total contact hours) This course focuses on the most important Italian cinematic movement, Neo-realism, and includes discussion of the practical aspects of filmmaking. In the first part of the course, we watch and discuss the principle neo-realist films, presenting the historical period and overviews of each director’s production while analyzing structure, storyline, protagonists, etc.
    The second part concentrates on the masterpieces of one of the great Italian directors, Luchino Visconti. After learning about the main characteristics of his work and comparing him to other important Italian directors like Fellini and Antonioni, we analyze, compare and contrast his most significant films. During the course, we will discuss themes relating to the planning and realization of films, including screenwriting, acting and cinematography. In addition, students may participate in seminars offered by Italian directors currently working in the film industry in Rome.
    Students are asked to write two short papers during the course. Films are shown in Italian and accompanied by the instructor’s explanations.

  • Music, Politics and Greed in the Cradle of the Renaissance

    (45 total contact hours) With music at its core, this course examines the economic, cultural, and artistic mechanisms that brought on Renaissance culture in Tuscany, and on the rhetoric of power and politics in the economy and in the arts, both then and today. We will make comparisons between the financial climate of the Renaissance and Baroque eras on the one hand, and the economic crisis of our time on the other. We will look at how painting, literature, and music were affected by the economic climate hundreds of year ago, and how the same economic forces may be shaping the artistic climate in modern times.

  • Studio Art: Creativity and Visible Language in Contemporary Tuscany

    (45 total contact hours) This course aims to stimulate the personal creativity of each student, allowing them to express themselves through their artistic notions. During the semester, students will develop aesthetic sensibility through their interpretations of contemporary Tuscan society, and of Sienese society in particular. The student will also be made familiar with local artistic culture through visits and guest lectures featuring local artisans. Students will work with various artistic materials and in various genres in the creation of a series of projects that will then be displayed at the conclusion of the semester. The course is designed to inspire admiration for originality or contemporary works, as well as the value of historical works in their respective contexts.

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