Office: c-156-C; mailbox C245 Phone – 626-585-7096

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FALL 2009

Instructor: Ms. Donna Mungen

Office: C-156-C; mailbox C245 Phone – 626-585-7096


Reading and discussing of Italian literature. The course will emphasize the unique qualities of Italian culture and identity by examining the literature through the context of a historical, social, and geographical perspective.

TEXTS: to purchase

Dante, Inferno, (Dover) – 2 page journal; Due 9/22 & 9/29

Boccaccio, The Decameron (Dover); Due 10/13

Machiavelli, The Prince, (Dover) – 2 page journal; Due 10/27

Riva, Italian Tales, (Yale Univ. Press) 2 page journal; Due: 11/24

Brecht, Galileo: A Play, (Grove) – 2 page journal; Due: 11/17

Handouts: Calvino, Italian Folktales, and Levi, Survival… - 2 page journal; Due 9/8 & 12/1

Participate in class activities and discussions, including presentations, group discussions or field trips, in a mature manner. In other words, be responsible, be cooperative and finish all reading and other assignments before class. Be on time to class and other activities, including several SITE VISITS. Complete all assigned writing, projects, or presentations. These will include Five (5) – Two (2) page journals on the assigned readings, one in-class presentation, a four (4) page analytical research paper, and at least one test.

Students will be able to
1. Identify the geographical, historical, cultural, and social backgrounds of the nation/culture studied and how they inform its literature.

2. Identify the themes and worldview of works studied and relate them to the historical, geographical, and social backgrounds of the nation/culture studied.

3. Write analytical essays that are sensitive to the form and content of the works studied and recognize the difficulties of translating works of literature into another language.

4. Recognize the difficulties of translating literary works into another language.


Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to....

1. Describe the characteristics of this body of literature.

2. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the geography and the historical
and social background of the country/culture in which this body of
literature developed.

3. Relate this body of literature to prevalent trends in world ideas.

4. Evaluate the literary qualities of the works studied.

5. Write clear, well-developed, insightful essays about the texts


6. Demonstrate insight into the difficulties of translating works of

literature into another language.


Your grade will be based upon your active participation in class, quiz scores, journal entries, and class assignments.
Research Paper/Journals/Presentation/Test(s): 60%; Final: 15%; Attendance & Participation: 25% = 100% Final Exam is Mandatory.

WEEK 1: TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1st - 9:00 a.m.– 10:15 a.m.

Introduction; Handout: Levi, Survival…
Week 2: TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8th - 9:00 a.m. -10:15 a.m.

Dante; Assignment: Visit Rodin’s “THE THINKERat Norton Simon Museum, corner of Orange Grove and Colorado. 411 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105-1825 (626) 449-6840; Read: Levi, Survival Due: Levi; Journal, 1 page; Journal ½ page Rodin

Week 3: TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22nd - 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Dante’s Inferno; Assignment: Read, Introduction & first 16 Cantos.

Due: Dante Journal – 1 page
Week 4: TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29th - 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Dante’s Inferno; Assignment Read final 16 Cantos; on your time: VISIT painting of a rendition of Dante’s Hell at the Santa Maria Novella; also Paradio @ Inferno & Last Judgement; Due: Dante Journal 1 page
WEEK 5: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 6th 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Assignment Read: Boccaccio, Decameron, pgs. 87-101; pgs, 138-158; Due: Research Topic Cleared; Second Half of class: field trip/Dante’s Library

Dante's House, a museum where the poet may have lived while in Florence, is dedicated to the preservation and display of Dante's work. Many photographs, papers, and other important works by and about the poet are housed in this museum; the Casa di Dante. Controversy over if Dante was born here, or was married near here also reigns. No one seems to be quite sure how Dante's House is tied into the poet. However it is one of the most respected and admired tourist spots in all of Italy. The museum is designed with three floors; corresponding to the different phases of the poet's life. First floor has documents on the Florentine life and his childhood, second floor deals with his exile in 1301 and the scandal, third floor deals with iconography and fortune of Dante. It is located in the medieval area of Via Santa Margherita and is closed on Tuesdays. Tickets to enter cost a mere 3 euro (about $2.32). For more information you can call 39 (0) 55 219 416

WEEK 6: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13th 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

DUE: Boccaccio Journal- 1 page; Explore #1; READ: Machiavelli’s The Prince- first thirteen chapters.
WEEK 7: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 20th 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Machiavelli’s The Prince; Assignment Read: final thirteen chapters. Due: Preliminary ‘Works Cited’ page & Outline.
WEEK 8 - TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27th 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. - TEST

DUE: Machiavelli JOURNAL - 2 pages & Explore #2; walk to Galileo’s house
WEEK 10 - TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 10th - 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Assignment Read: Galileo: The Play; Due: First Draft/Research Paper
WEEK 11: TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 17th 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

DUE: Galileo Journal- 2 pages; Read: Riva, pgs. Intro xi-xxiv; “Consuming…,” pg. 3-7; “The Keeper…,” pgs. 11-20; “The Penumbra…,”pgs 79-89
WEEK 12: TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 24th 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Riva, “On the Neverending…,” pgs. 90-99; “Montedidio,” pgs 157-167; “The Day …,” pgs. 221-242; Due: Riva Journal 2 pages, Final Draft
WEEK 13: TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1st 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

HANDOUTS: Levi, Survival; Calvino, Italian Folktales; Due: Portfolio
WEEK 14 - TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8TH – 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. –FINAL
FORMAT FOR JOURNAL RESPONSES: 1 or 2 page(s)/typed: Your reaction to the important ideas, concepts covered in the literary work; its relation to Italian culture and life, any connections to your own life or anything you may have learned from the work. Please do not summarize the author’s background from the work’s introduction or other on-line references.

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