Category Archives: Spring

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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To Read a City: Urban History of Bologna since the Medieval Period

Urban Studies/History of Architecture  Syllabus  Prof. Francesco Ceccarelli

Bologna in seventeenth centuryBased on the study of select Italian cities in the north-central region, the course’s goal is to provide the tools for identifying the historic and urban factors that have shaped Emilia Romagna as well as its urban centers, primarily Bologna. Thanks to its well-preserved ancient historic center, Bologna lends itself to being read as a case study for understanding the city’s spatial organization, its architecture and the palimpsestual layering of the buildings constituting its patrimony. The course will alternate between a series of classroom lectures dedicated to the comprehension of diverse evolutionary phases of construction, and site visits to different aspects of Bologna’s urban fabric.  In order to be able to recognize the enduring materials of the city’s ancient infrastructure (such as walls, canals, and piazze), students will learn about mapping with the help of historical cartography and digital technology.… Continue reading

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Modern Italian Art: 1860-2000

History of Art  Syllabus  Prof. Lucia Corrain

The goal of this course is to trace a path through the recent artistic production in Italy, with a chronological span encompassing the second half of the nineteenth through the end of the twentieth century. The focus on Italy, will by necessity be presented in close relationship with other European experiences and sometimes also the non-European ones, because contemporary art is never strictly confined to a single geographical region.… Continue reading

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Cinematic Landscapes: Emilia-Romagna in the Films and Works of the great Directors

Film Studies  Syllabus  Prof. Piero Di Domenico


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Italian cinema has always been concerned with grand landscapes, not least the films of such directors as Visconti, Rossellini, Pasolini, Fellini, Antonioni, and Bertolucci. Even this brief list reveals a substantial nucleus of directors whose formative experiences in cinema took place while filming Emilia-Romagna, whose landscapes were made memorable by films like Visconti’s Ossessione (and its depiction of the ‘bassa ferrarese’) or the last episode of Rossellini’s Paisà (set in the delta of the Po river).
This course centers on the filmed landscape that takes on the status of character (whether protagonist or antagonist) in a dozen films  made by directors from Emilia-Romagna and which stretch from the postwar period to today.… Continue reading

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From Page to Stage and Back Again

Theater and Italian Society  Syllabus   Prof. Paolo Rota

Facciata_ArenaStudents will explore the offerings in theaters in Bologna and potentially beyond. This course helps prepare students for the performances of specific plays that are on in Bologna in the Spring semester. The course unfolds in three discrete steps that correspond to its title: (1) study and discussion in the classroom of the dramatic text (if one exists, for the performance, if not, a text in relation to the subject of the performance), (2) field trips to the theater, and (3) evaluation of the performance by way of classroom discussion as well as writing assignments.… Continue reading

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