AIFS Abroad

AIFS Study Abroad in Florence, Italy
Fall Semester 2010 and Spring Semester 2011
Course Descriptions

   

Viareggio or Siena Orientation Courses

Students attend 4 hours of class Monday through Saturday, taught in Italian. The language courses are required of all students in the fall semester and open only to incoming students in the spring. Students must take an online entrance test in order to be admitted to register for any level higher than Elementary Italian I. Students can access the test at www.richmond.it. Since language requirements are strict at the University of Pisa and the Società Dante Alighieri in Siena, students are often placed in a level lower than requested. Students should make sure their advisors at their home institutions are informed about this to avoid problems concerning transfer of credits.

Orientation courses
Course Code and Credits: ITL 103 (3)
Course Title: Elementary Italian I
Course Description:
Students build an essential vocabulary and assimilate basic grammar and sentence structures. Listening, grammar and comprehension exercises, repetition and easy conversation.
Course Code and Credits: ITL 104 (3)
Course Title: Elementary Italian II
Course Description:
This is a preparatory course to the intermediate level, designed for students who have already had one or two semesters of Italian. Starts with basic grammar structures of the language but moves faster than Italian 103. Conversation is a central part.
Course Code and Credits: ITL 203 (3)
Course Title: Intermediate Italian I
Course Description:
Students develop the ability to communicate correctly with expanded vocabulary. Conversational practice improves listening and interpretation skills for better understanding and response. Reading and writing exercises improve skills in understanding prose and writing letters and simple messages. Admission to the course is based on testing in Italian. Prerequisite: 3 or 4 semesters of Italian.
Course Code and Credits: ITL 204 (3)
Course Title: Intermediate Italian II
Course Description:
Complex grammar structures are reviewed. Exercises reinforce reading, composition, phonetics, syntax and style. Conversational practice continues. Admission is based on testing in Italian. Prerequisite: 4 or 5 semesters of Italian.
Course Code and Credits: ARH 273 (1)
Course Title: Introduction to Italian Art
Course Description:
Designed to introduce students to the history of several periods, this course traces the developments in painting and sculpture that led up to the Renaissance. Taught primarily during the weekend trips to Rome and Venice. Introductory lectures are given before departure. Art History paper required.

Online Registation

Please note that students must register online for classes, otherwise they will not be admitted to the courses. Students can register for classes on the following website: www.richmond.it/registration/

Registration week is June 21-27 (fall semester) and November 22-28 (spring semester).

Semester Courses

With the exception of Italian language (which all students must take), courses are taught in English. A minimum enrollment of 10 is required for each course. Semester credits are in parentheses after each course title.

Italian Language
Course Code and Credits: ITL 105 (1)
Course Title: Basic Spoken Italian
Course Description:
This “survival course” is aimed at reinforcing the use of the structures acquired during the 2-week orientation course. Meets 2.5 hours per week and gives students a basic vocabulary to deal with authentic everyday situations.
Course Code and Credits: ITL 112 (4)
Course Title: Elementary Italian II
Course Description:
For students with 1 or 2 semesters of Italian. Starts with basic grammar structures. Meets 5 hours a week. Conversation is central to every lesson.
Course Code and Credits: ITL 211 (4)
Course Title: Intermediate Italian I
Course Description:
This continuation of Italian 104 in orientation meets 5 hours a week. Students reach a solid level of linguistic competence.
Course Code and Credits: ITL 212 (4)
Course Title: Intermediate Italian II
Course Description:
This continuation of Italian 203 in orientation meets 5 hours a week. Use of the language is perfected and a solid level of expression is attained through the choice of the most appropriate vocabulary and the use of complex tenses.
Course Code and Credits: ITL 303 (3)
Course Title: Advanced Italian
Course Description:
Only students completing Italian 204 at orientation are admitted to this level. Based on textual analysis of readings from contemporary authors, newspapers and magazines, this course concentrates on the revision of complex syntactic structures and use of synonyms and idiomatic expressions. Meets 4 hours per week.

Fall Courses (Taught in English)
Course Code and Credits: ARH 317 (3)
Course Title: Italian Fashion
Course Description:
The birth, evolution, decline, revival and most recent developments of Italian fashion from the late gothic period to current “made in Italy” design. Italian fashion styles in relation to art history in an international, social and economic context. Fashion and its relation to culture, subculture, gender and communication. On-site visits illustrate Florence’s dominant role in fashion.
Course Code and Credits: ARH 323 (3)
Course Title: Masters of the Renaissance: Leonardo da Vinci
Course Description:
Examines the extraordinary variety and complexity of the work of Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo’s work as a lens whereby students can explore aspects of science, anatomy and the human body, portraiture, perspective and religious painting in the 15th and early 16th centuries. Taught largely on-site, in and around Florence. Includes a day trip to Vinci (Leonardo’s birthplace) and to Milan to view the Last Supper. Course-related field trips are held on Fridays. Prerequisites: two 100- or 200-level Art History courses or advisor’s permission.
Course Code and Credits: ARH 358 (3)
Course Title: Museums and Galleries of Florence: The Cultures of Display
Course Description:
Focuses on visual culture and specifically on the purpose, role and practice of museums and galleries in Italy by exploring the organization and functioning of its most important museums. Florence offers particularly good examples of active and responsive local, regional and national museums covering a wide range of collections: the Uffizi, the Pitti Palace, the Bargello, Accademia, the Opificio delle Pietre Dure and other great art sites. Through on-site visits to local museums and art institutions, students gain direct knowledge of administrative structures and ideological directions of a wide range of public foundations and institutions dedicated to preserve and propagate culture. This course is designed for students with a major in Art History or for those interested in museum or gallery work.
Course Code and Credits: ARH 359 (3)
Course Title: Modern Italian Art I
Course Description:
Movements from the mid 19th century to the futurist period including Italian divisionism and avant-garde futurists. Students visit the Gallery of Modern Art at the Palazzo Pitti, local galleries and exhibitions.
Course Code and Credits: ARH 378 (3)
Course Title: Central Italian Romanesque and Gothic Art
Course Description:
Revolutionary achievements of the early Renaissance in Romanesque and Gothic architecture, sculpture and painting in major central Italian cities between 1000 and 1400. Artists are Pisano, di Cambio, Cavallini, Duccio, Giotto and Lorenzetti. During orientation, an optional field trip visits Pisa, Lucca and Siena. Course-related field trips are held on Fridays.
Course Code and Credits: ARH 380 (3)
Course Title: Central Italian Early Renaissance Art
Course Description:
Covers the Quattrocento in Florence and central Italy and focuses on Lorenzo the Magnificent Medici, central personality in the “golden age” of Florentine art and culture. Mostly taught on-site it also includes a Friday trip to Arezzo and San Sepolcro to admire Piero della Francesca.
Course Code and Credits: COM 315 (3)
Course Title: History of Italian Cinema and Society
Course Description:
The history of Italian cinema and Italian society as represented in film. Post-war Italian cinema offers a valuable range of films to study. Italian cinema within the context of world cinema to gain an understanding of realism as an aesthetic convention as well as insight into Italian culture and ways of thinking.
Course Code and Credits: ECN 357 (3)
Course Title: International Economic Relations
Course Description:
Economic relations between nations and groups of countries. How institutional, political and historical factors shape the economic environment. International cooperation toward development, regional integration, dispute settlement and the steady growth of world trade as well as multilateral trade negotiations, the European Economic Community and the legal framework for world trade.
Course Code and Credits: HST 310 (3)
Course Title: Medieval and Early Renaissance Italy
Course Description:
Structure and evolution of political, social and cultural life in Italy emphasizing Florence and Tuscany. The church’s political and spiritual role. Activities of the city-states—Florence, Venice, Milan, Rome and Naples—against the background of the peninsula as a whole.
Course Code and Credits: HST 326 (3)
Course Title: History of the Italian Mafia
Course Description:
Provides a detailed analysis of the history of the Italian mafia from the national unification of Italy until the present day. Topics studied include the relationships within the organization, between the Mafia and Italian Politics, and between the Italian and the American mafia.
Course Code and Credits: HST 350 (3)
Course Title: History of Florence
Course Description:
The history of Florence from the Roman foundation to the Renaissance. Florence as a model to understand the evolution of the Italian city-republics. Comparison with other Renaissance cities within Italy and throughout Northern Europe to point out the uniqueness of Florence. Features writings of Dante Alighieri, Dino Compagni, Giovanni Villani and Franco Sacchetti, used for the descriptions of urban topography. Some lessons are scheduled on-site to visit selected monuments. Prerequisite: two 100- or 200-level history courses or advisor’s permission.
Course Code and Credits: INR/SCL 313 (3)
Course Title: Globalization: A European Perspective
Course Description:
The new millennium is witnessing a world that is developing into a single place. Students explore the complex social, economic, political, cultural and environmental dynamics of the global society and become familiar with the causes and implications of the globalization process. Prerequisite: a background in politics is highly recommended.
Course Code and Credits: LIT 327 (3)
Course Title: xItalian Literature in Translation
Course Description:
This seminar-format course samples great Italian authors of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance as well as the fictional prose of contemporary Italian literature. Readings in translation are chosen from Dante, Boccaccio, Machiavelli and modern authors.
Course Code and Credits: MKT 315 (3)
Course Title: Fashion Marketing and Merchandising
Course Description:
This course covers the fundamentals of fashion and the basic principles that govern all fashion movement and change. It examines the history, development, organization and operation of merchandising and marketing activities, trends in industries engaged in producing fashion, purchasing of fashion merchandise, foreign and domestic markets, and the distribution and promotion of fashion. Prerequisite: one marketing or business course or advisor’s permission.
Course Code and Credits: MSC 311 (3)
Course Title: Puccini and His Opera
Course Description:
Puccini displays the four great features of Italian opera—humanity, sincerity, passion and effect. Renowned for his gift as melodist, he was a new force in musical drama, possessing a great sense of theater. Understanding of his work is sought by studying the man, the artist and his most significant operas. Lessons include excerpts of recorded material, videos and slides.
Course Code and Credits: PHL/RLG 310 (3)
Course Title: Mysticism and Magic in Medieval and Renaissance Italy
Course Description:
This course considers the role of Medieval mysticism and Renaissance magic in the genesis of the modern world. It examines key topics such as the function of magic in archaic societies and the representation of Hell and demonization in the late Middle Ages together with the Medieval ideal of perfection represented in Dante’s Divine Comedy and reflected in the life of St. Francis of Assisi. By the end of the 15th century, Florence had become the irradiating center for the new doctrine on the magus ideal, formulated by Marsilio Ficino and Pico della Mirandola. This new direction in European thought was further developed into modern science by the contribution of Leonardo, Galileo and Giordano Bruno.
Course Code and Credits: SCL 302 (3)
Course Title: Modern Italy: A Social Analysis
Course Description:
Characteristics of contemporary Italian society. Within a sociological framework, modern Italy can be compared with other western nations. A brief historical and geographical overview and key issues in present-day Italy such as religion, social and economic inequality, the Mafia, the condition of women and the family.
Course Code and Credits: SCL 308 (3)
Course Title: Women in Italian Society
Course Description:
Social factors influencing Italian women’s lives, perspectives and desires. The historical process through which they reached their present position. Their current condition in relation to economic, social, geographic and political environments.

Spring Courses (Taught in English)
Course Code and Credits: ARH 317 (3)
Course Title: Italian Fashion
Course Description:
The birth, evolution, decline, revival and most recent developments of Italian fashion from the late gothic period to current “made in Italy” design. Italian fashion styles in relation to art history in an international, social and economic context. Fashion and its relation to culture, subculture, gender and communication. On-site visits illustrate Florence’s dominant role in fashion.
Course Code and Credits: ARH 323 (3)
Course Title: Masters of the Renaissance: Leonardo da Vinci
Course Description:
Examines the extraordinary variety and complexity of the work of Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo’s work as a lens whereby students can explore aspects of science, anatomy and the human body, portraiture, perspective and religious painting in the 15th and early 16th centuries. Taught largely on-site, in and around Florence. Includes a day trip to Vinci (Leonardo’s birthplace) and to Milan to view the Last Supper. Course-related field trips are held on Fridays. Prerequisites: two 100- or 200-level Art History courses or advisor’s permission.
Course Code and Credits: ARH 340 (3)
Course Title: Italian Renaissance Architecture
Course Description:
This course explores the principal architects, monuments and themes of 15th and 16th century Italian architecture. The emphasis will be on Renaissance architecture in Florence, but will include reference to architectural developments in Rome, Urbino and Mantua. Special topics will deal with: architectural theory, Medici and papal patronage, urban planning and church and palace design. The focus will be on the following architects: Alberti, Brunelleschi, Michelozzi, Bramante, Michelangelo and Giulio Romano. In addition to the visits to key Renaissance buildings and urban spaces in Florence, a field trip to the Renaissance town of Mantua is included.
Course Code and Credits: ARH 352 (3)
Course Title: Art in Context
Course Description:
Open only to students who have not previously taken art history. Concepts underlying Italy’s Renaissance art—visual representation of space in painting, sculpture and portraiture, harmony and space in architecture, disguised symbolism in Christian art and the language of allegories. Students visit churches, galleries and museums.
Course Code and Credits: ARH 358 (3)
Course Title: Museums and Galleries of Florence: The Cultures of Display
Course Description:
Focuses on visual culture and specifically on the purpose, role and practice of museums and galleries in Italy by exploring the organization and functioning of its most important museums. Florence offers particularly good examples of active and responsive local, regional and national museums covering a wide range of collections: the Uffizi, the Pitti Palace, the Bargello, Accademia, the Opificio delle Pietre Dure and other great art sites. Through on-site visits to local museums and art institutions, students gain direct knowledge of administrative structures and ideological directions of a wide range of public foundations and institutions dedicated to preserve and propagate culture. This course is designed for students with a major in Art History or for those interested in museum or gallery work.
Course Code and Credits: ARH 360 (3)
Course Title: Modern Italian Art II
Course Description:
The most important Italian art movements of the 20th century in relation to European and American modern and contemporary art. Modigliani, Morandi, Vedova, Marini, Burri, Fontana, Guttuso and Cucchi in their social and cultural context. Visits to studios, galleries and exhibitions.
Course Code and Credits: ARH 381 (3)
Course Title: Central and North Italian High and Late Renaissance Art
Course Description:
High Renaissance style in Florence and Rome. Development of this style in northern Italy, especially Venice. Works studied include Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael in Florence and Rome. Development of the ideal in classic high Renaissance style evidenced in works by Giorgione, Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto and Palladio are studied. This course is often taught on-site. Course-related field trips are held on Fridays.
Course Code and Credits: COM 315 (3)
Course Title: History of Italian Cinema and Society
Course Description:
The history of Italian cinema and Italian society as represented in film. Post-war Italian cinema offers a valuable range of films to study. Italian cinema within the context of world cinema to gain an understanding of realism as an aesthetic convention as well as insight into Italian culture and ways of thinking.
Course Code and Credits: HST 318 (3)
Course Title: Renaissance and Baroque Italy
Course Description:
The history of high Renaissance and Baroque Italy, particularly Florence and the Medici family in the 16th and 17th centuries—its evolution and decline, relationship between court and town, the mythology of the prince, social and economic organization of urban life, the counter reformation as well as Galileo and his contemporaries.
Course Code and Credits: HST 326 (3)
Course Title: History of the Italian Mafia
Course Description:
Provides a detailed analysis of the history of the Italian mafia from the national unification of Italy until the present day. Topics studied include the relationships within the organization, between the Mafia and Italian Politics, and between the Italian and the American mafia.
Course Code and Credits: HST 331 (3)
Course Title: A Social History of Italian Migration
Course Description:
The course examines the history of Italian settlements in Europe, the U.S., Canada, selected Latin American countries and Australia in the context of Italian migration in the 19th and 20th centuries. The course is a socio-historical exploration of migratory patterns of Italians abroad during the last 150 years and consequent issues of identity and integration, both filtered through an interdisciplinary method that – beyond history and sociology – approaches also anthropology, geography and psychology. Students will investigate these topics from a wide variety of sources, historical and sociological texts as well as literature, media reports and films.
Course Code and Credits: HST 350 (3)
Course Title: History of Florence
Course Description:
The history of Florence from the Roman foundation to the Renaissance. Florence as a model to understand the evolution of the Italian city-republics. Comparison with other Renaissance cities within Italy and throughout Northern Europe to point out the uniqueness of Florence. Features writings of Dante Alighieri, Dino Compagni, Giovanni Villani and Franco Sacchetti, used for the descriptions of urban topography. Some lessons are scheduled on-site to visit selected monuments. Prerequisite: two 100- or 200-level history courses or advisor’s permission.
Course Code and Credits: INB 306 (3)
Course Title: European Business Environment
Course Description:
The course focuses on the economic, political and social environment for business in Europe. Within this field, it examines the institutional interplay with the European Union, the contrasting structure of the European economy compared to its major competitors, the single market, the Euro, Foreign Direct Investment, the role of multinationals, and the developing relationship between central and Eastern Europe and the EU. Several course-related visits are arranged. Prerequisite: one marketing or finance course or advisor’s permission.
Course Code and Credits: INR/SCL 313 (3)
Course Title: Globalization: A European Perspective
Course Description:
The new millennium is witnessing a world that is developing into a single place. Students explore the complex social, economic, political, cultural and environmental dynamics of the global society and become familiar with the causes and implications of the globalization process. Prerequisite: a background in politics is highly recommended.
Course Code and Credits: LIT 335 (3)
Course Title: Real And Imagined Journeys: Italy, Epic and the Self
Course Description:
Students will be solicited to reflect on the concept of the journey in its archetypal, metaphysical, and aesthetic dimensions, following the subtle interplay of reality and imagination. They will explore Italian shores with Homer’s Ulysses and visit the underworld with Virgil’s Aeneas, they will encounter Satan and God together with Dante, travel to the Far-East with the Venetian merchant Marco Polo and join Columbus on his discovery of the New World. The perception of otherness as invented geography, fantastic animals, monstrous races or religious difference, mingles with the spirit of adventure, the desire to cross borders, to conquer the unknown in a fascinating search for the self.
Course Code and Credits: LIT 328 (3)
Course Title: Dante in Translation: Texts and Contexts
Course Description:
The Divine Comedy and other major works. The poet’s philosophy, his development of the medieval concept of love, use of Italian language and the role of Florence in The Divine Comedy. Students approach Dante’s work from a variety of perspectives so as to remain flexible in interpretations.
Course Code and Credits: MKT 315 (3)
Course Title: Fashion Marketing and Merchandising
Course Description:
This course covers the fundamentals of fashion and the basic principles that govern all fashion movement and change. It examines the history, development, organization and operation of merchandising and marketing activities, trends in industries engaged in producing fashion, purchasing of fashion merchandise, foreign and domestic markets, and the distribution and promotion of fashion. Prerequisite: one marketing or business course or advisor’s permission.
Course Code and Credits: MSC 305 (3)
Course Title: Italian Opera
Course Description:
Introduces non-musicians to the riches of Italian opera—its plots, melodies and rhythms—through leading composers and their most famous works. Lessons include excerpts of recorded material and videotapes as well as attending live performances (when available).
Course Code and Credits: PHL/RLG 310 (3)
Course Title: Mysticism and Magic in Medieval and Renaissance Italy
Course Description:
This course considers the role of Medieval mysticism and Renaissance magic in the genesis of the modern world. It examines key topics such as the function of magic in archaic societies and the representation of Hell and demonization in the late Middle Ages together with the Medieval ideal of perfection represented in Dante’s Divine Comedy and reflected in the life of St. Francis of Assisi. By the end of the 15th century, Florence had become the irradiating center for the new doctrine on the magus ideal, formulated by Marsilio Ficino and Pico della Mirandola. This new direction in European thought was further developed into modern science by the contribution of Leonardo, Galileo and Giordano Bruno.
Course Code and Credits: SCL 302 (3)
Course Title: Modern Italy: A Social Analysis
Course Description:
Characteristics of contemporary Italian society. Within a sociological framework, modern Italy can be compared with other western nations. A brief historical and geographical overview and key issues in present-day Italy such as religion, social and economic inequality, the Mafia, the condition of women and the family.
Course Code and Credits: SCL 307 (3)
Course Title: Made in Italy: The symbols of Italian identity from Espresso to Ferrari
Course Description:
Italy occupies a prominent place in world’s culture, history, and thought. This course will consider the history and practices of consumption in Italy, and the consumption of goods, products and services that have been encoded as ‘Italian’ outside the country itself. It analyses aspects of consumption (broadly defined) through a social, cultural, artistic and anthropological approach. Symbols of the ‘Italian-ness’ may include themes such as the transition to a consumer society, investigating areas such as advertising, fashion, industrial design, food culture and sport; and the impact of consumption in processes such as Italian identity formation and the construction of gender roles. The course includes on-site visits and two field trips, one to the Museum of Ferrari car factory and one to the Museum of Vespa scooter company.
Course Code and Credits: SCL 308 (3)
Course Title: Women in Italian Society
Course Description:
Social factors influencing Italian women’s lives, perspectives and desires. The historical process through which they reached their present position. Their current condition in relation to economic, social, geographic and political environments.

Studio Art

Courses require 25 hours per academic credit. Students purchase their own materials; in some cases, there may be a studio fee. All studio art courses require a minimum of 10 students. Students should budget approximately 130 euros for supplies.

Final grades and evaluations are based on student progress, technical ability, attendance, attitude and adherence of the final product to the material as well as projects given in class. Students enrolling for intermediate or advanced courses must supply evidence of previous study at college level. Students should bring slides of their work to show the instructor. Painting courses use only water-based paints.

Studio Art Courses
Course Code and Credits: ADM 103 (3)
Course Title: Introduction to Drawing
Course Description:
Topics include: (i) figure drawing: the study of the figure and form, the human body, its range of movement and importance in perceptions of art and nature. A model is provided and students are encouraged to work in a variety of media; (ii) structure and object: the world of visual analysis as well as a definition of technique. Still-life and objects provide examples for understanding perspective, planning and rendering as well as line, form, shape, space, value and texture; and (iii) outside drawing: the city of Florence and the Tuscan landscape are studies for understanding aerial- and linear- perspective. Students experiment with lead, charcoal, conté pencil and crayon and ink.
Course Code and Credits: ADM 215 (3)
Course Title: Introduction to Painting
Course Description:
This course includes inside assignments and outside painting (from the Boboli gardens, hills around Florence, etc.) The inside assignments are still related to the city of Florence and students work with (their) photographic material. In all paintings students will develop the ability to distinguish the essential qualities of natural form in order to produce the illusion of volume, space and movement on a two dimensional surface. Students are assisted in developing knowledge of color and a sense of structure and composition and experiment with different ways of applying the paint imitating some important painters (Caravaggio, Monet, Seurat, Van Gogh and Picasso).
Course Code and Credits: ADM 306 (3)
Course Title: Intermediate Drawing
Course Description:
This is a continuation of ADM 103 and includes figure drawing, still-life drawing and landscape drawing. Students will be stimulated to go more in-depth into the problematics related to the human figure (anatomy), perspective (several vanishing points) and object drawing (higher complexity, more varied tonality). This course also includes an introduction into a more individual handling of traditional drawing techniques.
Course Code and Credits: ADM 307 (3)
Course Title: Advanced Drawing
Course Description:
This is a continuation of ADM 306 and therefore includes figure drawing, still-life drawing and landscape drawing. Students will be stimulated to search for a more personal way of composing and choosing types of lines and mark making. Assignments are more complex and narrative/illustrative, requiring a more process-like approach, which students are asked to verbalize to their instructor and fellow students.
Course Code and Credits: ADM 311 (3)
Course Title: Intermediate Painting
Course Description:
Students build on the foundations laid in ADM 215. This course includes open air painting and work in the studio. Particular problems associated with tone and light are studied (side lighting, candle lighting, artificial lighting etc.). This class combines studio practice with discussion, critique and demonstration. Students are encouraged to talk about their work with the instructor and fellow students to clarify their objectives and problems.
Course Code and Credits: ADM 312 (3)
Course Title: Advanced Painting
Course Description:
An extension of ADM 311, including outside painting and work in the studio. Structured around specific painting projects to develop the range and technical competence of the student. Professional painting techniques are demonstrated and experimented. There are discussions of topics such as style, color, form, composition and subject matter.
Course Code and Credits: ADM 341 (3)
Course Title: Photography for the Media
Course Description:
Recommended for Communications and Journalism majors as well as photographers, this course develops knowledge and experience in photojournalism and documentary photography by studying work of major practitioners and designing and shooting projects. Students need to provide a 35mm camera with manual controls, slide film and processing fees. There is a fee of 130 euros for developing. Students do not use a darkroom.