Dissertation: Money, Time and Trust in Medieval Paris and Florence. An Economy of Literature (1200-1375)
Recent Courses in RLL
ITAL 24218 Unveiling Chivalry: Chivalric literature in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (1100-1600)
When we think of chivalry today we imagine damsels in distress, knights’ self-sacrifice, adventures and courtly love. But how was chivalry in 11th- or 17th-century literature different from today’s perception? What changed between historical chivalry and its fictional representation? This course aims to challenge the mainstream narrative of chivalry as conventionally characterized by its progressive decadence, from the superstitious Middle Ages to scientific modernity, from the virtuous Roland to the ironic Don Quixote. We will see instead how chivalry is constantly redefined across time and space, and how each literary text provides multiple layers of interpretation that contradict this stereotypical narrative. Exploring the notion of chivalry will allow us to question the so-called “spirituality” of the Middle Ages and the relationship between Early Modernity and the past. We will study chivalric literature from the Chanson de Roland to Cervantes’s Don Quijote. A strong emphasis will be given to Italian literature, including Dante’s Commedia, Boccaccio’s Decameron and Ariosto’s Orlando furioso. Readings will also include Chrétien de Troyes’s Lancelot and Perceval, with a final session devoted to T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land.
Taught in English
ITAL 10100 Beginning Elementary Italian I
This three-quarter sequence is intended for beginning and beginning/intermediate students in Italian. It provides students with a solid foundation in the basic patterns of spoken and written Italian (e.g., grammar, vocabulary, sociocultural norms) to develop their speaking, listening, writing, and reading skills. Although the three classes constitute a sequence, there is enough review and recycling at every level for students to enter the sequence at whatever level is appropriate for them. Cultural awareness is enhanced through the use of authentic audio-visual materials and literary texts.