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Italian Studies Rome: Power and Privilege in Italian Language & Culture

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Did you know that there is a critical shortage of college graduates with strong skills in a second language? Despite the appeal of STEM, the medical sciences, and business, it is language majors who have the lowest under-employment rate. Managers are often searching for graduates with competence across diverse cultures. 88% of recruiters say that speaking more than one language is critical to business success.

 Join us in Winter 2020 and jump-start your knowledge of Italian language and culture! Winter is the best time of year to explore the eternal city; and the best way to explore Rome is with faculty who know its language and culture!

 We study sites in Rome and beyond through the lens of changing ideas about race and difference. Students have increasing autonomy and freedom to experiment with their developing language skills, as they take their new knowledge of the history of “race” and apply it to the present day.

Complete 15 UW resident credits while living and studying in Rome: 10 credits of language and 5 credits studying ideas around race and difference (with DIV/VLPA credit). On completing the program, students will be eligible to continue language study with Italian 103 in Spring.

 Priority Application Deadline: May 15th, 2019

Prerequisites and Language Requirements

 No previous knowledge of Italian is required as it is a complete beginner's course. In the second half of the program most of the instruction will be in Italian, adapted to the language level of the 100-level students.


15 UW Credits (DIV/VLPA)



ITAL 357 Race in Italy: Inventing Others in Early Modern Europe (5 credits, DIV/VLPA)

Class taught by Prof. Susan Gaylard (in English)

 This course interrogates notions of racial and gender difference as they evolved in early modern Italy, and asks students to relate these ideas to questions around race in Rome today.

 Using Rome’ streets, museums, and living history as a classroom, the course analyzes changing ideas about human bodies, race, gender, and geography. Starting with definitions of categories like “Africa,” and “Italy”, as well as late medieval ideas of race, we ask: How and why were certain bodies described as different? How and why did the category race change over time? And how can the historical invention of race help us understand Italy’s politics today?

ITAL 111: Accelerated First-Year Italian   (10 credits)

 Class taught by Dr. Virginia Agostinelli

 Italian 111 is an intensive language course. It is designed to develop the skills of speaking, listening, writing and reading up to the A2 level of proficiency on the CEFR scale (Basic Speaker of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). Students will learn new expressions, discuss cultural phenomena, watch Italian films, and practise their new knowledge on the streets of Rome. Class is held in Italian, though at times some English may be necessary.



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