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Overseas and Off-Campus Programs

Italy Siena

Semester: Spring
Date: Mid-January to late April
Offered: Every other academic year (odd years)
Program Focus: Country Study


FL 101: Italian (offered semester prior to participation) 3.0 GPA in course.                        
Spring 2019
Program Leader:

Michael Broide 

Associate Professor of Physics


Spring 2015
Program Leader:

Bruce Suttmeier
Associate Professor of Japanese
Ext. 7174

Program Design:

Using Siena as a base, students will explore Italy through the study of its language, history, literature, and art.  Excursions to regional areas of interest, particularly Tuscan hills towns, Florence, and Perugia that will include a walking tour of major sites with an art historian.

Requirements Fulfilled:
Fulfills the world language requirement, the two-course international studies requirement, and the creative arts requirement (when IS 242 Art History is offered). Art majors may not use IS 242 to fulfill the Creative Arts General Education requirement. 

4 courses per semester/16 credits

FL 102:  Beginning Italian
FL  201: Intermediate Italian
IS 242: Topics in Art History (offered spring 2017) OR IS 240: Modern Italian History

Choice of:
IS-242  Religious Cultures and Traditions in Italy 
IS-243  Introduction to Sociolinguistics
IS-250  Emigration in Italy and Europe


Program Course Descriptions:

IS 240 Modern Italian History
On March 17, 1861 the Italian Parliament convened for the first time.  That date, symbolic of Italian unification, could also be taken as the beginning of the long process, which ended in the creation of a government and a nation. By looking at the most significant periods of Nineteenth and Twentieth century Italian history (Unification, birth of Sovereignty, the Great War, Fascism, the Second World War, the Resistance, the constitution of the Republic), we will trace the profound social, political and economic transformations that changed the face of the population and its sense of national identity throughout over 150 years of history.


IS 242 Topics in Art History
This course offers on rotation a series of different topics of Italian Art History.  Based not only on specific time periods but also on themes that tie various historical or cultural eras together, each semester offers an opportunity to explore topics ranging from a brief but exhaustive panorama of Italian Romanticism, to a specific theme-based topic such as the use of the portrait in the Renaissance.  For each historical and cultural era or topic, we’ll examine major themes and artists, thus opening windows onto the cultural and historical worlds of each topic or period.


IS 242  Religious Cultures and Traditions in Italy  
Foundations and contributions of Christianity in the cultural development of Italy, in particular in the Tuscany region, from the Roman Empire to the twentieth century. Exploration of how religion is expressed and shaped through art history, literature, and popular media.


IS 243  Introduction to Sociolinguistics
History, regional variety, and structure of the Italian language through a study of sociolinguistics; Latinate origins of the language; study of dialects and diastratic variation; Italian in mass media and as an “ethnic language” abroad.


IS 250  Emigration in Italy and Europe During the Globalization Era
Wide overview of the migratory processes and movements from and to Italy in the past thirty years. Analysis of the reasons and consequences of this transformation; Italian emigration in the twenty-first century; extra-European emigration; the impact of movement on Italian society.

Suggested Readings:
Tim Parks, Italian Neighbors
Tim Parks, An Italian Education, Avon Books, 1995
R.W.B. Lewis, The City of Florence, Henry Holt & Co., 1995
John Hale, The Civilization of Europe in the Renaissance, Atheneum, 1994

Italy, Siena

Blog Feed: Italy

  • March 16, 2017 at 9:56am
    I have now been in Italy for exactly 2 months and its been a whirlwind time. One of the best things about living here is how easy it is to travel! Our school schedule worked out where we have three day weekends every week, which means lots of time to explore the world around us. […]
  • March 12, 2017 at 2:14pm
    I have really enjoyed my time in Italy so far. My host family has welcomed me in as their own, but they also give me space to be on my own. I live a few miles outside of the city center, which has its perks and challenges. While the infrequent bus schedule causes me to come […]
  • November 29, 2016 at 4:35pm


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