Course Description

Course Name

Travels To/Through Italy: Representations of Contacts Between Cultures

Session: VRMF3123

Hours & Credits

3 Credits

Prerequisites & Language Level

ENG 102

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


The depiction of Italy as a member of the G8 and NATO, a leading provider of fashion, cinema, cars, and a highly prized way of life, is relatively recent, though widely held. To understand Italy?s contemporary image in the world, this introductory course seeks first to understand some of the earlier representations of Italy and Italians from Dante, through the Renaissance and Baroque periods, to the present. The second half of the course looks at Italy through the various cultures that are now coming into contact with it, as its geographical nature at the center of the Mediterranean makes evident. Specific themes will include the notion of the Other, geography, the persistence of classicism in Italy to the present day, paganism and Christianity, northern Europe vs. the Mediterranean and the Mediterranean world, post-Renaissance decline, rationalism vs. passion, localism vs. nationalism, and civilization vs. "the natural." Students will hopefully come to realize that there are many Italies conditioned by a variety of historical, political, economic, social, cultural, and religious circumstances.

*Course content subject to change