Category Archives: Fall

History of Science in Italy from the Late Middle Ages to the Enlightenment

History of Science    Syllabus    Prof. Gian Mario Cao

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This course traces the history of Western science from the  late Middle Ages to the scientific revolution from an Italian perspective. It aims to account for the transformations of scientific discourse over nearly six centuries by integrating the traditional narrative of epoch-making discoveries and advances with an exploration of the contexts within which science was not only practiced and disseminated, but also criticized and opposed. Besides illustrating the dominant theories, the course concentrates on the making of scientific disciplines and fields, juxtaposing the traditional (medieval) university setting and the newly estabilished academies, laboratories, anatomy theaters, botanical gardens, and natural history collections, all of which contributed to a growth in depth and breadth of the new science.… Continue reading

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Renaissance and Early Baroque Art in Bologna: From Vitale da Bologna to Domenichino and Guido Reni

History of Art  Syllabus  Prof. Elisabetta Cunsolo

The rich artistic patrimony of Bologna is a powerful testament to the city’s great cultural importance over the centuries. Due to its favorable location, as well as to the presence of its ancient and distinguished university, Bologna has always been recognized for its great geo-political importance as a place from which many new ideas were diffused throughout the Apennine peninsula and beyond. Often threatened from the outside and occasionally conquered, the city distinguished itself by its desire to remain autonomous and by the development of a unique artistic school indebted to the various north Italian models.… Continue reading

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The Pathos of the Body in Nineteenth-Century Italian Literature

Italian Literature   Syllabus  Prof. Vanessa Pietrantonio

In the first half of the 19th century, some European writers opted to avoid realistic descriptions in favor of images that were hallucinatory, ambiguous, murky, vague, or misshapen.  Such images were often housed in infinite or incomplete spaces, in places where horrors were depicted by grotesque figures, painful grimaces, or decomposing bodies. Illustrious authors such as Hugo, Poe and Dickens, to name a few, were all part of this strain of writing, which also included the Italian writers Manzoni, Leopardo, and Verga.  Works such as I Promessi Sposi, I Canti di Leopardi, and Rosso Malpelo all shared the goal of illuminating the underlying link between representations of emotions and physical deformities, and between bodily pathos and altered mental states, using grotesque images as a means to speak of the unmentionable in a society still steeped in many taboos.… Continue reading

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Rights, Welfare, Justice: Human Rights and the Welfare State in European and Italian History

History/Human Rights  Syllabus  Prof. Alberto Preti and Prof. Cinzia Venturoli

This course examines the changing relationship between the citizens and the state in modern European and Italian history. It is divided in two modules: the first, taught by Prof. Preti, will introduce students to the history of the welfare state in order to understand the construction of modern European society between the second half of the nineteenth century and the present day. Studying the history of the welfare state signifies examining the history of state assistance to the poor, the old, and the disabled, as well as focusing on issues related to health, labor, and the family.… Continue reading

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