Italian Courses - Spring


The Italian Language Program offers the possibility of completing all MAT course requirements in Italian in three consecutive summers, or of earning credit for professional development or continuing education. The Program is designed for individuals already teaching Italian, but also is open to prospective teachers at the K-12 school level. Credits acquired through the Italian Language Program may be accepted for state certification. While not mandatory, teachers are invited to apply for the MAT after the successful completion of two Italian courses in the World Languages Institute. Details of the MAT program are available at the Department of Italian or its web site at


Additional Course Offerings: See Core Curriculum

T - AB5050

This seminar explores the ideas, essential notions, and rhetorical strategies adopted by Italian intellectuals to link language to national identity. Drawing on theories of the nation (e.g., Gellner, Anderson, A.D.Smith, Hobsbawm), we will analyze definitions of national language (Dante, Trissino, Manzoni, Gramsci, Pasolini), explanations of language diversity, issues of etymology (Vico), the translatability of the “genius of the nation” and reflections on national character (Cesarotti, Condillac, Leopardi). Among the questions we will discuss, are: how much is a person shaped by the language that she shares with millions of other people and conversely, how far does a language bend to an individual’s personality? How do descriptions of language inform images of communities and nations? How could the written idiom of an elite come to be linked to an entire “national” – and largely illiterate – population who actually spoke different and at times mutually unintelligible vernaculars? Conducted in Italian.

Paola Gambarota is Associate Professor of Italian at Rutgers. She is the author of the books Surrealismo in Germania (Udine: Campanotto, 1997) and Irresistible Signs: The Genius of Language and Italian National Identity (University of Toronto Press, 2011), winner of an MLA Award for Best Manuscript in Italian Literary Studies and of an American Association for Italian Studies Book Award. She is currently working on a book project entitled American Naples: Cross-Cultural Memories of an Occupation, for which she was awarded an ACLS Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome.

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