Courses - Fall 2013

All students on the Rome Travel Writing and the Arts program will take the same four classes which have been customized for our group:

Italian Language and Culture (1 credit)
This course will build upon the foundation of Italian language study completed at HWS prior to the program. A variety of visits to local sites will complement in-class instruction and a series of "labs" will introduce students to various aspects of Italian culture and society. Students with more advanced Italian skills will be placed in an upper level class.

The Subject is Italy (1 credit)
This course in travel writing anchors the program and connects to the other three classes. The travel essay is one of the most important contemporary nonfiction genres, combining memoir, history, philosophy, politics, sport, mass media, and more. Students will read a wide range of essays about Italy, Italians and local culture and then try to emulate the various styles: reflective, analytic, satirical, etc. The main text is John Varriano, a Literary Companion to Rome. Students replicate most of Varriano's walks through Rome and will use these as a basis for their writing. Walks will include visits to such sites as the Pantheon, Piazza del Popolo, the Jewish ghetto, churches, cafes and clubs, shops and parks.

Shakespeare and Verdi (1 credit)
Opera is quintessential to Italian culture and Verdi is the consummate Italian composer. Shakespeare, of course, is bedrock English literature and Verdi loved him. This course explores three plays by Shakespeare that Verdi turned into masterworks: Otello, Macbeth and Falstaff (The Merry Wives of Windsor). Students will read and write about the three plays and then listen to and analyze the three operas. We also plan to attend a performance and to observe not only the music and pageantry but the Italian theatrical experience itself.

Food and Culture in Italy (1 credit)
The saying "A tavola non s'invecchia" ("One doesn't age at the supper table") expresses the importance of food and eating for Italians. In this course, we will examine the relationship between food and culture in Italy from pre-historical times to the present, through a variety of readings, class discussions and some personal and practical experience. The study of food culture is interdisciplinary-even though the historical point of view will be primary, during our readings, class discussions and lectures we will touch upon many fields: sociology, literature, art, music and philosophy. In addition students will undertake a group-learning project around Rome that will enhance their classroom experience. Field trips (cheese, wine and olive oil production) and cooking classes will be included in the experience.

Except for the Italian Language and Culture course, all classes will be delivered in English. Students are encouraged to speak with the faculty director and/or with the staff of the Center for Global Education for more information about how particular classes fit into various major and minor requirements.


  • The Rome program is offered every Fall semester, with a different academic focus, depending on the faculty director.
  • Applications are available at the Center for Global Education.
  • Applications are due at the CGE office at a selected date in March. For specific date contact the CGE.

NOTE: This information is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.






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Geneva, NY 14456
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