Sample courses

The Italian Studies minor at Dalhousie has become increasingly popular since we started offering casual summer introductory Italian language courses.

All of our instructors are native Italian speakers and we also offer several advanced language courses and courses that focus on Italian literature and culture.

ITAL 1010
Italian for Beginners

An introduction to the basic structures of Italian and practical vocabulary for oral and written communication in Italian. The class aims to develop all language skills – listening, speaking, reading, writing – by integrating grammar study, oral and written exercises, and situational contexts. The class also includes an introduction to Italian culture. This class fulfills the BA language requirement.

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites.

ITAL 2600
Survey of Italian Cinema

Survey of Italian Cinema examines Italian cinema from its origins onwards. The class focuses on the 'golden age' of Italian silent movies; visual culture under fascism; Italian neo-realism; and the impact of television. Class is held in English, with part of the course work in Italian for Italian majors.

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites.

ITAL 3300
Twentieth Century Italian Literature

This course will focus on Italian Literature from World War II to present. The class will include discussions of works by such writers as Italo Calvino, Primo Levi, Dacia Maraini, Antonio Tabucchi and Natalia Ginzburg. The class will provide a set of critical tools to understand the literary discourse and will place the content material in its historical and cultural context. Readings and lectures will be in Italian.

Prerequisites: ITAL 2010 or permission of instructor

ITAL 4010
Advanced Composition

This course addresses issues of syntax and grammar, register and style, and advanced vocabulary for both creative and academic writing. It teaches students how to write a well-structured short story as well as a cogent essay for upper-level literature classes in Italian. It will have both a theoretical and a practical component and will be writing-intensive. Students will exercise advanced reading skills, advanced grammar skills (using sophisticated Italian syntax and morphology), and advanced composition skills (from structuring a creative piece of work to essay composition and completion). Compositions will address Italian literary and cinematic works. Students will work both in groups and individually. The class will be given in a workshop format, and student participation is essential to its success. It is recommended that students read Italian as much as possible (texts from mass media, popular fiction as well as academic material). Work in class and at home will include summaries, synopses, bullet-point schemes, writing and re-writing, peer reviewing, and related research.

Prerequisites: ITAL 3010 or permission of instructor.