Italian Learning Goals

The Italian studies major aims at the integration of language acquisition and literary and cultural study so as to provide the strongest intellectual and professional training to Hopkins undergraduates interested in Italian and, where applicable, comparative European studies. The Italian studies minor is designed to strengthen language acquisition so as to enable students to function in the Italian and Western European contexts of the speaking world. The minor is primarily designed for students working in public health, international relations, music, history, classics, or the history of art.

Learning Goals for Italian Majors

  • Acquire a strong awareness of levels of discourse and of the grammatical and syntactical structures of standard, educated spoken and written Italian.
  • Recognize and understand features of a variety of genres and modes of literary production (the novel, lyric and epic-romance poetic forms, opera libretti, short fiction, autobiography, essayistic exposition, film, digital literature, etc.). Have some familiarity with rhetorical terms and the accepted critical and theoretical vocabulary used to describe literary and cultural objects.
  • Be aware of historical and ongoing debates about the nature of Italian literature and its place in medieval and modern Italian and European society.
  • Be reasonably well-read in Italian literature and its history.
  • Be able to interpret and analyze any text using a variety of methods, especially close reading, linguistic analysis, theoretical analysis, historical and cultural contextualization.
  • Be able to present the results of such analyses in competent written and oral arguments.
  • Gain an understanding of literature and of other discursive objects in interdisciplinary and multicultural contexts.
  • Develop rigorous critical thinking: be able to recognize a valid research question within the discipline, develop a valid research project, develop the appropriate research apparatus (abstract, annotated bibliography, investigation of appropriate scholarly sources and appropriate citations), be able to produce a clear and sufficient presentation based on sustained argument and be able to read and constructively discuss work produced by colleagues.
  • Acquire experience of the ways in which the Italian language is modified by cultural and literary development.
  • Be able to articulate specific connections between texts and cultural, artistic, social and political contexts.

Learning Goals for Italian Minors

  • Attain solid (though not flawless) proficiency in reading, writing, understanding and speaking of Italian.
  • Gain some sensitivity to the history and sociology of Italy.
  • Acquire basic familiarity with the techniques of cultural analysis.
  • Acquire experience of the ways in which the Italian language is modified by cultural and literary development.
  • Be able to articulate specific connections between texts and cultural, artistic, social and political contexts.