Course Syllabus

Italian 305 (Texts and Traditions I) – pre-1700                                           Winter 2018

(prereq: 301) ITAL305_W18.docx



Love, the Italian Way

L’amore all’italiana


Instructor: Dr. Beatrice Arduini


Class meets: MW 11:30-1:20 SAV 164


Course description: While making no claim to be exhaustive, this course aims to offer a broad historical introduction to the texts and traditions (in the plural), from the Middle Ages to 1700, which have shaped Italian literature, art, culture, political discourse, and history. The selection of texts surveyed is not a static corpus of “great works” but representative of cultural references with which most Italian speakers are intimately familiar. The goal of this survey is to enhance students’ cultural competence.

Learning objectives: This course will provide historical depth to the curricula of Italian majors and minors with an introduction to significant works, themes, and ideas from the middle ages to the end of the 17th century, and will help the students to continue to develop their writing and analytic skills in Italian.


Required books: Paolo E. Balboni, Anna Biguzzi. Letteratura italiana per stranieri. Perugia: Guerra Edizioni, 2008; readings available on Canvas.

Suggested books: Guido Baldi, Silvia Giusso, Mario Razetti, Giuseppe Zaccaria. Testi e storia della letteratura. Il Medio Evo, Volume A. L’Umanesimo, il Rinascimento e l’età della Controriforma, Volume B. Milan-Turin: Paravia (Pearson Italia), 2011. Niccolò Machiavelli, Il Principe,


Requirements/Responsibilities: participation in class discussion, midterm test, weekly response papers and three re-written response papers, an oral presentation, an article review a 6-page paper with annotated bibliography.


Final grades will be determined as follows:

10% Participation

10% Response papers: you are to write weekly critical responses to the material assigned for that week. These response papers should one page typed double-spaced long (be no longer than 2 double-spaced pages). In your papers, I am looking for a critical response rather than a “weekly summary.” My goal was to get you thinking about the problems in the arguments or holes in the facts and offer constructive ways to remedy them.  Do not simply turn in a summary of what you read, although this may be useful to you as a first step. This may be a different way of writing than you are used to, but it will teach you (very quickly) to synthesize an author’s claims and craft your response to those arguments.

10% Oral presentation

15% Re-written response papers: you will rewrite 2 of your response papers according to the instructor’s suggestions.

15% Article review

20% Midterm test

20% 6-page paper + annotated bibliography: this is a mini-research paper that uses a minimum of two peer-reviewed secondary sources in Italian and in English.

Student Academic Responsibility: Students at the University of Washington are expected to maintain the highest standards of academic conduct. Most UW students conduct themselves with integrity and are disturbed when they observe others cheating. The information on these pages should help you avoid unintentional misconduct and clarify the consequences of cheating:



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