Summer Course Listings (May-June)

Anthropology & Sociology

HUM 399/SOC 299 – Identity and Culture in Italy: A Comparative Approach Credits: 3

ItalyLogoInstructor: Federico Damonte, Ph.D.
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 3

Description
The aim of the course is to introduce the concept of culture in the sociological and anthropological sense. After clarifying the meaning of the word ‘culture’, other related concepts will be analyzed: values, norms, lifestyles, attitudes, beliefs, stereotypes. Attention will also be drawn to the notion of social and cultural change (de-secularization, globalization, mediatization, individualization). Concepts and methods learnt in the first part of the course will be applied to Italian culture to identify its specific features. The following cultural dimensions will be looked at in-depth: Erlebnis / Erfahrung (Experience in German); Expressive / Instrumental; Propensity to consume / Propensity to invest; Dependence / Responsibility; Passivity / Activity; Particularism / Universalism. Italian-ness will be compared with traits of the American, Northern European and Mediterranean cultural heritage.

Objectives
The course will focus mainly on the following themes: the creation of a sense of belonging and the experience of being “different”; self-recognition and recognition of others (as individuals and as members of a group); the dynamics of interaction with another person/other people as well as the origins of representations and stereotypes. Another objective of the course is to take an in-depth look at the concept of individual and collective identity; within the lifecycle stages particular attention will be given to the passage from youth to adulthood, depicting a peculiar Italian phenomenon: the prolongation of youth. As well as learning theoretic propositions and paradigms, students will be invited to undertake a journey of self–awareness, so as to internalize the themes tackled during the term and apply them in a critical manner. Part of the course will be set aside for the theme of journey. Students will thus be able to supplement their studies by learning concepts which will help them to elaborate what they are experiencing. The basic concepts (theories, paradigms etc.) adopted – and shared with the students – allow for an interdisciplinary approach, including Sociology, Cultural Anthropology, and Psychology. The narrative approach will be our “discipline glue”.

Textbooks
During orientation at the Institute, students will receive a list of textbooks and/or course readers they are required to purchase. Students should not purchase any texts before orientation.

Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor.

 

Architecture & Historic Preservation

ARCH/AAH 330 – History of Italian Design Credits: 3

Instructor: Franco Pisani, M.Arch., Licensed Architect
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 3

Description
Italian design: imagination and exactitude.
“Design” as a verb refers to the process of originating and developing a plan for a new object (machine, building, product, etc.). As a noun, “design” is used both for the final plan or proposal (a drawing, model, or other description), or the result of implementing that plan or proposal (the object produced). Lately “design” has become an adjective, designating an added quality for objects and attitudes. “Made in Italy” has been traditionally a brand embodying at once the three above mentioned meanings. Italy has always played a major role in the development of design, craft and style. This course will focus on the history of design and production in Italy from the industrial revolution to present, ranging from industrial, to product, to furniture design; giving attention to the extraordinary blend of imagination and exactitude that characterize Italy. During the semester we will trespass in the world of fashion design as well as that of car styling, and particular importance will be given to the parallel production of visual arts, cinema, literature and other fields of culture. After a brief (necessary) narrative on the international history of design from the 18th century to the present (the rise of consumerism and mass production, the Arts and Crafts movement, the Bauhaus ethic, etc.) the course will focus on Italy and Italian designers. Each lecture will focus on one designer and his work or one object / family of objects, presenting their cultural and productive context and the technical and semantic background at the base of their success.

Objectives
The general aim of this course is to understand the role of “design” within the framework of the cultural production of Italy. On completion of this unit the student should be able to explain and place in context the work of a designer by means of a presentation in which they develop criteria and create links and comparisons between different objects or pieces of furniture. The student should be able to analyze similar product types through a comparison of innovative features, function, aesthetic and visual appeal, and any economic, social and environmental benefits and costs.

Textbooks
During orientation at the Institute, students will receive a list of textbooks and/or course readers they are required to purchase. Students should not purchase any texts before orientation.

Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor.

 

ARCH/AAH 430 – Special Topics: The Villa and the Garden Credits: 3

Instructor: Silvia Catitti, Ph.D., Licensed Architect
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 3

Description
The course explores villas and gardens to better understand how men and women, from different times, cultures, and countries, transformed the landscape for leisurely purposes and conceived their relationship between Architecture and Nature. We focus on the dynamic relationship between landscapes, villas and their gardens, mainly Renaissance and Baroque in Tuscany and Rome, where gardens where conceived as part of a multifaceted architectural system. The ‘villa & garden’ complex originates in the Mediterranean area, especially ancient Greece and Rome. Renaissance Tuscany shaped the early formal garden, later becoming the ‘rational’ geometrical garden as an extension of the architecture of the villa. From our base in Florence, where we explore villas commissioned by the Medici family, we look South to villas commissioned by Popes and Cardinals. Then we look North, to 16th-century examples in Mantua and in the Veneto Region.We look East, to a different way of opening architecture to nature. We study the impact of Orientalism on the design of European villa & garden complexes. Back in Tuscany, we study the impact of 18th century England on Florentine culture and gardens. We look West, to the Anglo-American residents of Florence, and to their taste for villa life in late 19th-early 20th century.
Introductory lectures indoors, based on powerpoint presentations, will be followed by direct experience of villas & gardens on site visits both in Florence and Rome.

Objectives
– to look carefully at the architecture of villas, gardens, and palaces;
– to develop a vocabulary (regarding form, style, and function) so as to express what we see;
– to investigate the function, context and ideas behind the form of the works we study;
– to explore what these can tell us about the society that created them.

Textbooks
During orientation at the Institute, students will receive a list of textbooks and/or course readers they are required to purchase. Students should not purchase any texts before orientation.

Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor.

 

HP 391 – Architecture in Italy: History and Preservation Credits: 3

Instructor: Silvia Catitti, Ph.D., Licensed Architect
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 3

Description
The course explores the architecture and urban development of Italian cities as well as the process and factors behind the phenomena we see today. Since the Middle Ages, European cities of ancient Roman foundation developed by means of a constant transformation and re-use of existing architecture and urban fabric. Florence is a paradigmatic case. In Florence, this cyclical adaptation of pre-existing structures always flanked the erection of new, innovative architecture. In 1982 UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) included the Florence city center within the list of World Heritage sites. The need to balance the conservation of the historic city and the life of a modern metropolis forces us to think about issues of preservation. Against the backdrop of the development of architecture in Italy, the course examines historically significant buildings which have been preserved or adapted for subsequent uses. Historical, technical, and legal aspects of preservation will be considered. Lectures and class discussions will be followed by site visits. Day trip to Rome will complete the experience.

Objectives
– to explore the architectural language of the masters of Italian architecture;
– to explore traditional building techniques and materials found in different cities;
– to understand the history of architectural heritage;
– to understand buildings in relation to their historical and urban context;
– to distinguish the layering and stages of transformation of a city and of its architecture;
– to develop an understanding of the theory and practice of historic preservation.

Textbooks
During orientation at the Institute, students will receive a list of textbooks and/or course readers they are required to purchase. Students should not purchase any texts before orientation.

Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor.

 

Art History

AAH 214 – The Art of Florence: Exploring Visual Culture Credits: 3

Instructor: Francesca Marini, Ph.D.
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 3

Description
During the Renaissance, roughly defined as the period extending from the middle of the 14th century until the end of the 16th century, the city of Florence was the site of some of the most remarkable artistic periods in European history. Why, though, should one city have contributed so much to the course of the arts? Why should so many of the city’s works of art, monuments, and buildings have played a major rule in the development of the visual arts? What set of circumstances and conditions made this possible? This course is designed to explore these questions through an examination of historical factors that made Florence the birthplace and point of reference for what we now call “Renaissance art.” We will examine the careers and achievements of some of the central figures working in Florence, including Giotto, Filippo Brunelleschi, Donatello, Masaccio, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Fra Angelico, Fra Filippo Lippi, Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael.
Starting with the monumental site of the Duomo (the Cathedral of Florence), the first part of the course will focus on the development of sculpture and its architectural setting, emphasizing the circumstances of urban history that demanded public, monumental programs of architecture and sculpture. The first half of the course will end with an amplification of Filippo Brunelleschi’s achievement in the Pazzi Chapel, while providing an introduction to Giotto and fresco painting in Santa Croce. The second part of the semester will concentrate on the development of painting in the 15th century, and then move on to the Cinquecento (sixteenth century) with the achievements of Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael.
Emphasis will be placed on studying the art preserved and exhibited in Florentine museums and outdoor urban areas that often constitute its original site; therefore, class meetings will alternate between lectures in the classroom at Palazzo Rucellai and study on site. This way students will have the opportunity, each week, to experience original art rather than limit their appreciation of it to digital images. We will analyze artworks within a sequence of contexts, in order to understand the cultural, political, economic, and religious factors that contributed to their production in Renaissance Florence.

Objectives
The fundamental goals are to introduce students to the art and architecture of Florence in its historical context, and in doing so, to make them familiar with the origins, nature and development of the Renaissance in the visual arts. Mastery of basic concepts and terminology of art historical studies is another essential aspect of this course.

Textbooks
During orientation at the Institute, students will receive a list of textbooks and/or course readers they are required to purchase. Students should not purchase any texts before orientation.

Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor.

 

ARCH/AAH 330 – History of Italian Design Credits: 3

Instructor: Franco Pisani, M.Arch., Licensed Architect
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 3

Description
Italian design: imagination and exactitude.
“Design” as a verb refers to the process of originating and developing a plan for a new object (machine, building, product, etc.). As a noun, “design” is used both for the final plan or proposal (a drawing, model, or other description), or the result of implementing that plan or proposal (the object produced). Lately “design” has become an adjective, designating an added quality for objects and attitudes. “Made in Italy” has been traditionally a brand embodying at once the three above mentioned meanings. Italy has always played a major role in the development of design, craft and style. This course will focus on the history of design and production in Italy from the industrial revolution to present, ranging from industrial, to product, to furniture design; giving attention to the extraordinary blend of imagination and exactitude that characterize Italy. During the semester we will trespass in the world of fashion design as well as that of car styling, and particular importance will be given to the parallel production of visual arts, cinema, literature and other fields of culture. After a brief (necessary) narrative on the international history of design from the 18th century to the present (the rise of consumerism and mass production, the Arts and Crafts movement, the Bauhaus ethic, etc.) the course will focus on Italy and Italian designers. Each lecture will focus on one designer and his work or one object / family of objects, presenting their cultural and productive context and the technical and semantic background at the base of their success.

Objectives
The general aim of this course is to understand the role of “design” within the framework of the cultural production of Italy. On completion of this unit the student should be able to explain and place in context the work of a designer by means of a presentation in which they develop criteria and create links and comparisons between different objects or pieces of furniture. The student should be able to analyze similar product types through a comparison of innovative features, function, aesthetic and visual appeal, and any economic, social and environmental benefits and costs.

Textbooks
During orientation at the Institute, students will receive a list of textbooks and/or course readers they are required to purchase. Students should not purchase any texts before orientation.

Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor.

 

ARCH/AAH 430 – Special Topics: The Villa and the Garden Credits: 3

Instructor: Silvia Catitti, Ph.D., Licensed Architect
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 3

Description
The course explores villas and gardens to better understand how men and women, from different times, cultures, and countries, transformed the landscape for leisurely purposes and conceived their relationship between Architecture and Nature. We focus on the dynamic relationship between landscapes, villas and their gardens, mainly Renaissance and Baroque in Tuscany and Rome, where gardens where conceived as part of a multifaceted architectural system. The ‘villa & garden’ complex originates in the Mediterranean area, especially ancient Greece and Rome. Renaissance Tuscany shaped the early formal garden, later becoming the ‘rational’ geometrical garden as an extension of the architecture of the villa. From our base in Florence, where we explore villas commissioned by the Medici family, we look South to villas commissioned by Popes and Cardinals. Then we look North, to 16th-century examples in Mantua and in the Veneto Region.We look East, to a different way of opening architecture to nature. We study the impact of Orientalism on the design of European villa & garden complexes. Back in Tuscany, we study the impact of 18th century England on Florentine culture and gardens. We look West, to the Anglo-American residents of Florence, and to their taste for villa life in late 19th-early 20th century.
Introductory lectures indoors, based on powerpoint presentations, will be followed by direct experience of villas & gardens on site visits both in Florence and Rome.

Objectives
– to look carefully at the architecture of villas, gardens, and palaces;
– to develop a vocabulary (regarding form, style, and function) so as to express what we see;
– to investigate the function, context and ideas behind the form of the works we study;
– to explore what these can tell us about the society that created them.

Textbooks
During orientation at the Institute, students will receive a list of textbooks and/or course readers they are required to purchase. Students should not purchase any texts before orientation.

Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor.

 

HP 391 – Architecture in Italy: History and Preservation Credits: 3

Instructor: Silvia Catitti, Ph.D., Licensed Architect
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 3

Description
The course explores the architecture and urban development of Italian cities as well as the process and factors behind the phenomena we see today. Since the Middle Ages, European cities of ancient Roman foundation developed by means of a constant transformation and re-use of existing architecture and urban fabric. Florence is a paradigmatic case. In Florence, this cyclical adaptation of pre-existing structures always flanked the erection of new, innovative architecture. In 1982 UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) included the Florence city center within the list of World Heritage sites. The need to balance the conservation of the historic city and the life of a modern metropolis forces us to think about issues of preservation. Against the backdrop of the development of architecture in Italy, the course examines historically significant buildings which have been preserved or adapted for subsequent uses. Historical, technical, and legal aspects of preservation will be considered. Lectures and class discussions will be followed by site visits. Day trip to Rome will complete the experience.

Objectives
– to explore the architectural language of the masters of Italian architecture;
– to explore traditional building techniques and materials found in different cities;
– to understand the history of architectural heritage;
– to understand buildings in relation to their historical and urban context;
– to distinguish the layering and stages of transformation of a city and of its architecture;
– to develop an understanding of the theory and practice of historic preservation.

Textbooks
During orientation at the Institute, students will receive a list of textbooks and/or course readers they are required to purchase. Students should not purchase any texts before orientation.

Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor.

 

Communication

COMM 432 – Intercultural Communication Credits: 3

Instructor: Francesca Passeri, Ph.D.
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 3

Description
Within America, Italy, and indeed across the world, cultural diversity, cross-cultural communication, cross-cultural understanding and harmonious intercultural relations are becoming increasingly important. The ease of international travel, access to the world wide web, the globalization of business, immigration, as well as the maintenance of ethnic and culture(s)-of-origin identity of those living in America, Italy, and many other countries all mean that contact between citizens of different countries is inevitable in the rich tapestry of cultures that we live amongst in our world today. It is vital that we develop effective skills to become global citizens of the world, to understand cultures, their related differences, and how they influence people’s thinking as well as social behavior. Skillful communications create positive relationships, working teams, and social groups including individuals from different backgrounds. The course will expose students to the psychology of people in other cultures (with a particular focus on those in Italy), and help them develop the necessary skills to become global citizens and be successful in multicultural environments while reaching a deep appreciation of cultural similarities and differences. In doing so, this course will assist students to challenge their own experiences and (possibly Western) ideas about what it is to be a person. They will analyze social and cultural phenomena, such as advertising and social media, and learn how they influence us cross-culturally. Finally, they will learn about Intercultural Communication theoretical models and practical ways of applying these in order to develop intercultural skills as a ‘global citizen.’ These models, in turn, will help students understand cross-cultural interactions better, be more effective in them, and get the most out of them.
Knowledge and understanding
After completing the course, students are expected to be able to:
• contrast, describe, and explain intercultural communication in different fields of social activity
• describe processes behind intercultural incidents within different fields of social activity
• describe the process of acculturation and culture shock
• give an account of the research literature and critically discuss it with a high degree of autonomy

Skills and abilities
After completing the course, students are expected to be able to:
• analyze intercultural communication within different fields of activity (business, education, and the like)
• apply intercultural communication models to practical situations (such as critical incidents, culture shock, and the like)
• learn how to use ICT (such as social media, blogging, and the like) in multicultural settings

Class Format
Our course will take the form of dynamic, highly interactive site visits in Florence, interactive workshops, and 90-minute class seminars. Intercultural communication theoretical frameworks will be explored using experientially-based activities (e.g. community and site-oriented visits, role-plays, cross-cultural business simulations, interviews with Italians, small and large group discussions, the sharing of your cross-cultural experiences) that make the most of your cross-cultural experience here in Florence, using Italy and its culture as a kind of ‘experimental classroom’ to facilitate intercultural awareness and hone your psychological skills for success as a global citizen. You will have the opportunity to reflect deeply on your growth through social media as you experience Italian culture and become more aware of changes, both positive and negative, as they occur within you. Active participation is expected from all students during each seminar.

Textbooks
During orientation at the Institute, students will receive a list of textbooks and/or course readers they are required to purchase. Students should not purchase any texts before orientation.

Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor.

 

COMM 430 – Professional Fashion Writing Credits: 3

Instructor: Mark Bernheim, Ph.D.
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 3

Description

Within a Communications/Journalism framework, ISI offers again an interdisciplinary class in “Professional Fashion Writing” in Summer term 2017.
This niche course is aimed to students in Public Relations, Fine Arts, English, Advertising, Marketing, and Business, as well as Communications and Journalism. For all of them, and any others, it is a special chance to experience the design resources of Florence and have expert guidance in writing about them for their careers.
The course will center on Florence as a true fashion capital of the world. Students will visit leading commercial districts, markets, and trade shows in Florence. They will meet stylists, photographers, designers, models, and event planners. They will tour fashion museums, leading fashion academies and schools, and other art centers.
Most uniquely, they will attend in June one of the major fashion events of the year, the world-famous “Pitti Uomo” event held at the Florence Exhibition Center, a normally closed to the public series of days in which thousands of leading figures in men’s wear fill the city and create an atmosphere of creativity and excitement. The class offers this experience which students have never before encountered, and will not ever forget.
The class focuses on writing (in English). To have a career in fashion and design, people must be able to articulate a vision. They need the skills to see in clothes and accessories not just the objects to wear or display, but meanings, trends, significance, and cultural values. They need to perceive these and be able to transmit the vision to the public in words, images, and media.
Fashion education is a rapidly growing and developing part of contemporary culture. Students must have the ability to express themselves in original and persuasive language so that their views and judgments can be understood and have an impact on the essentially commercial activities which make fashion profitable. When a particular show is over and the designs are already seen and known, what remains are the words used to describe what was presented, lasting Style as well as current. Fashion. Fashion is both what has been done already and what is coming. Presenting that is fashion communications.
The Fashion Writing class at ISI Florence features a PITTI DAY to take place during the ‘Pitti Uomo’ menswear event bringing together thousands of designers, stylists, buyers, journalists,and bloggers. PITTI DAY will be led by the young design blogger Alessandro Masetti of Florence. His coverage of street style and urban wear has won him a following among young trendsetters and creative leaders. Together with designers and models he will give students in the ISI class the opportunity to visit the many pavilions of the show, meet the designers and models filling the streets of Florence in June, and gather inspiration for writing their own fashion coverage that will give them the lasting impact of the course and a direct introduction to the world of high-fashion Florence.

Objectives

First of all, how to write (and blog) about fashion. The classes will examine different styles of reporting and analysis of clothes and accessories. The works of leading fashion commentators and journalists will be studied to learn techniques of communicating a vision and an opinion. Students will read commentaries, trend reports, reviews of shows, news items, public relations and advertising press releases, and industry publications.

They will learn how to:

1) View shows and exhibitions

2) Interpret collections past, present, potentially future

3) Increase understanding of quality, creativity, and inspiration in design

4) Plan, write, and evaluate headlines, reviews, features

5) Develop a personal style that is recognizably theirs in voice

6) Work toward publication as students as well as social citizens

At the conclusion of the course both in the ISI classroom as well as in the streets, ateliers, studios, stores, and exhibition centers of Florence, students will have produced a portfolio of fashion-based features. They will write under supervision as well as independently. They can explore hard-copy as well as online publications both as students and for entry to other media. This practical preparation in learning the language of fashion communications will be an advantage for career placement.

Explore the Fashion Writing Blog https://fashionjournalisminflorence.wordpress.com/

Textbooks

During orientation at the Institute, students will receive a list of textbooks and/or course readers they are required to purchase. Students should not purchase any texts before orientation.

Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor. Also, exhibitions and events change each year in Florence, and the syllabus for each summer term will change to include the newest and most significant cultural opportunities taking place.

The class will grow and change like the world of fashion and design, and like the students enrolled in it!

F6 Firenze: Six Weeks of Architecture in Context Program

ARCH 470 – Firenze: Urban Form Credits: 3

*This course is exclusive to the F6 Firenze: Six Weeks of Architecture in Context Program

Instructor: Franco Pisani, M.Arch., Licensed Architect
Prerequisite: There are no prerequisites to take F6 courses. Applicants do not have to be architecture students. However, they are all expected to have a passion for drawing and a keen interest in the built environment.
Credits: 3

Description Context: strategy+Communication. As a continuation of ARCH 310, ARCH 320 The goal of the course goal is to teach students a method to understand, analyze and evaluate a city/site and its context. The intention is to produce tools that will be useful and applicable in Architectural Design and in professional life.
The course will focus on Florence as a living city rather than an open air museum for tourist. It will help the students to read and understand the context of the city beyond the monuments.
As architects we never draw on blank sheets of paper; hidden lines – sometimes more, sometimes less – are always present. This course will provide students with an approach as well as with the basic tools to recognize those hidden lines.
During this semester we will cultivate the experience of looking at architecture with a different eye, focusing on the invisible links and relations between things.
Le Corbusier used to say “…one obelisque: not architecture. Two obelisques: architecture!”
Using Florence and it’s built history as a case study, we will explore the various meaning of context: urban context, landscape and geography, social and human environment, historical processes and stratified layers.
Architecture in context is about process, ideas, programs and passion in facing unknown contexts even more than about final products. In your work, at desk crits, and during presentations instructor and crits will be looking for evidence that you are searching and exploring the context as something new and that you listen to and respond constructively to feedback and advices from teachers and peers.

Objectives The goal is a closer relationship with the site, recognizing its elements, stratified layers, behaviours, dimensions and figures. We will look at Florence and its monuments from different points of view, trying to go behind appearances. Drawings will be instruments to understand and communicate architectural thoughts.

Sketchbook:
Students are required to maintain one (minimum) individual A5 (21×14,8) sketchbook for the sole use in this class, for recording field research, exploration of precedents, lectures, reading notes. Instructor wants to “see your in-progress experience”. Make a conscious effort to record and date in your sketchbook your design process. Make every sketch worthwhile and worth saving to show and record the progress of your ideas. Sketchbooks may be collected at any time and will be a graded component of the course (30% of final grade). Hand-out with list of mandatory subjects will be available in the first week.

Textbooks During orientation at the Institute, students will receive a list of textbooks and/or course readers they are required to purchase. Students should not purchase any texts before orientation. Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor.

Food Studies

HUM 306 – The History & Culture of Food: A Comparative Analysis Credits: 3

Instructor: Peter Fischer, Ph.D.
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 3

Description
In this course we will examine the relationship between food, culture and identity in Italy through a variety of readings, discussions, outdoor activities and tasting experiences. We will trace the historical evolution of Italian food culture in a world history perspective focusing on the many global influences which over the centuries have shaped the use of different food products, preparation methods, consumption patterns, i.e. the Italian approach towards food as well as on the many ways in which Italy itself has become a dynamic factor in the process of culinary globalization. We will look at food in its social and cultural context through a multi-disciplinary approach — history, anthropology, sociology, and geography. A major focus will be on understanding the extraordinary significance of food in the definition of “Italianness” from an Italian, as well as from an international (i.e. American) perspective.
Lectures and class discussions will be supplemented by special food workshops in which we will explore the history, culture and taste of selected Italian food products: bread, wine, olive oil as well as gelato. We will visit food markets in Florence, and go on a fieldtrip to the Tuscan countryside.

The course will be taught through a combination of formal lectures (incl. power point presentations) class discussions, student presentations, tastings and outdoor activities designed to engage students with local community in Florence. The structure of the course will follow a chronological order and methods of analysis will be predominantly historical in nature.

Objectives
By the end of this course you should be able: to understand the relevance of an interdisciplinary approach studying food; to be familiar with the historical and social construction of taste; to develop an understanding of food as a most fundamental cultural aspect of Italian society and to have enhanced your academic skills of critical analysis, literature reviews and oral presentation.

Textbooks
During orientation at the Institute, students will receive a list of textbooks and/or course readers they are required to purchase. Students should not purchase any texts before orientation.

Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor.

 

History

HIST 430 – Florence: The Story of the City Credits: 3

Instructor: TBA
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 3

Description
Since its Roman origins, through its internecine conflicts and artistic and literary flourishing, the history of Florence is highly representative of the history of Italy. Moreover, Florence was the cradle of some philosophical, artistic, and political ideas that were key in shaping the Western World. This course will help students find their bearings across this unique city, identify its most celebrated spaces, and understand how the city has changed and how it has been shaped by the character of its people. This will entail the exploration of its both well-known as well as hidden landscape and social spaces. The course will be divided into class lectures with PowerPoint presentations and outdoor explorations.

Objective
Students will become aware of the changes that took place in the city through the centuries and how individuals and groups shaped both the character of the city and its cultural scene. Each week a list of readings will be assigned from primary sources, along with a few questions to help students concentrate on the texts.

Textbooks
During orientation at the Institute, students will receive a list of textbooks and/or course readers they are required to purchase. Students should not purchase any texts before orientation.

Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor.

 

HIST 430 – Sport History and Culture Credits: 3

Instructor: Erika Bianchi, Ph.D.
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 3

Description
With its heroes and hustlers, its victors and victims, its stars and spectators, sport was, is, and will remain undeniably popular and significant. Ancient and modern civilizations share what amounts to an obsession with physical contests and public performances, but what is “sport” and how can it be studied and understood historically? This course will examine the prominence, variety, cultural distinctiveness and functions of sports (and spectacles) in ancient and modern societies.
The game will be played as follows:
The first half of term will focus on the Ancient World, from pre-history to the Middle Ages and Renaissance, with a special emphasis on Greek culture and Roman spectacles. But the phenomenon of ancient sports and spectacles – the Greek Olympics, the shocking violence of the Colosseum games – will not be approached as isolated pastimes but as essential elements in social, political and religious life. Sport will be used as an historical window into human nature, cultures, and periods.
Likewise, in the second half of term we will cover sport in the 20th century: from the humble origins of the modern Olympics in 1896 through the use of the games and sport in general as a political-social platform during Fascism and Nazism, Communism and the Cold War, up to the most relevant social issues reflected by sport in our present time. We will explore the connections between sport and global political, social and cultural power relations. Case studies will include, in addition to the Olympics, the World Cup, the significance and potential of soccer in either Europe and the USA, the interplay of race and sport and the issues of gender and sport. Students will be also given the opportunity to focus on events unique to American sport culture, investigating the use of sports and sporting events as a public stage to perform dramas of social change, and reporting the results of their critical analysis in a class presentation.
Class lectures (all power-point based) and discussions will be interactive, engaging and complemented by documentaries/film screenings. We will also attend a professional game of the local soccer team, Fiorentina, playing at the top level of the professional Italian football (Serie A).

Objectives
At the conclusion of the course, students should be able to:
➢ Understand the rationale and purpose of historical study in general;
➢ Describe the chronology and the context of significant events in the history of sport;
➢ Evaluate the history of sport as a means of reflecting and assessing the human experience;
➢ Understand and read about sport as a representation of many of the historical and contemporary political, economic and cultural power relationships and conflicts that frame our world;
➢ Critically analyze and evaluate sports from a sociological perspective;
➢ Discuss the international impact of major sport competitions such as the Olympic games and the Soccer World Cup;
➢ Improve the ability to perform critical and constructive thinking and to encourage the development of thought-provoking attitudes of inquiry and investigation.

Textbooks
During orientation at the Institute, students will receive a list of textbooks and/or course readers they are required to purchase. Students should not purchase any texts before orientation.

Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor.

 

HIST/POLSC 430 – The European Union Credits: 3

Instructor: Simone Paoli, Ph.D.

Prerequisite: None

Credits: 3

Description The European Union is still the biggest capitalist marketplace, the biggest trading power and one of the most influential political players in the world, despite its facing one of the worst political, social and economic crises in history. The course is divided into two parts. The first focuses on the main policies of the European Union, taking into account historical evolution, political objectives and major achievements of each area of activity. The second concentrates on the relations between the European Union and the United States, analyzing separately the most important dimensions of the transatlantic relationship. Classes are structured as lectures, student presentations, and group discussions. Lectures do not simply explain the readings, but also complement them by providing further figures, information, and anecdotes. In doing so, the instructor makes extensive use of multimedia presentation formats such as PPT, movies, and documentaries. Opportunities to meet with experts will offer students a wider range of viewpoints on the present and future of the European Union, while short field trips (without any fee) will provide students with a better understanding of what the European Union represents for its citizens. In this semester there may be also the possibility of visiting (again, free of charge) the Historical Archives of the European Union and the European University Institute, both situated in Florence.

Objectives The aim of the course is to give students explanations for current trends within the European Union. The focus is on the present, the study of the past being a way to better understand the European Union as it is nowadays. On completion of the course, students will have acquired the instruments for grasping, interpreting, and discussing the topical issues of the European Union and its relations with the United States.

Textbooks During orientation at the Institute, students will receive a list of textbooks and/or course readers they are required to purchase. Students should not purchase any texts before orientation. Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor.  

HUM 306 – The History & Culture of Food: A Comparative Analysis Credits: 3

Instructor: Peter Fischer, Ph.D.
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 3

Description
In this course we will examine the relationship between food, culture and identity in Italy through a variety of readings, discussions, outdoor activities and tasting experiences. We will trace the historical evolution of Italian food culture in a world history perspective focusing on the many global influences which over the centuries have shaped the use of different food products, preparation methods, consumption patterns, i.e. the Italian approach towards food as well as on the many ways in which Italy itself has become a dynamic factor in the process of culinary globalization. We will look at food in its social and cultural context through a multi-disciplinary approach — history, anthropology, sociology, and geography. A major focus will be on understanding the extraordinary significance of food in the definition of “Italianness” from an Italian, as well as from an international (i.e. American) perspective.
Lectures and class discussions will be supplemented by special food workshops in which we will explore the history, culture and taste of selected Italian food products: bread, wine, olive oil as well as gelato. We will visit food markets in Florence, and go on a fieldtrip to the Tuscan countryside.

The course will be taught through a combination of formal lectures (incl. power point presentations) class discussions, student presentations, tastings and outdoor activities designed to engage students with local community in Florence. The structure of the course will follow a chronological order and methods of analysis will be predominantly historical in nature.

Objectives
By the end of this course you should be able: to understand the relevance of an interdisciplinary approach studying food; to be familiar with the historical and social construction of taste; to develop an understanding of food as a most fundamental cultural aspect of Italian society and to have enhanced your academic skills of critical analysis, literature reviews and oral presentation.

Textbooks
During orientation at the Institute, students will receive a list of textbooks and/or course readers they are required to purchase. Students should not purchase any texts before orientation.

Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor.

 

International Business

MGMT 320 – Family Business in Italy Credits: 3

Instructor: Clive Woollard, M.B.A.
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 3

Description
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Italy, many of them family owned, account for 81% of the Italian workforce, compared to a European average of 67%. Many of the world’s most famous brands such as Prada, Ferrari, Ferragamo and Benetton are Italian companies that remain firmly under family control.
Family businesses have long been the motor of Italian economic development. Is there something in the fabric of Italian society that leads to such a high proportion of family businesses? Are there lessons to be learned for family businesses elsewhere?
This course will explore the trends in family business, the challenges that they face, the keys to their success and the future, bright or otherwise, of these businesses.
Another unique feature of Italian business is the Industrial Cluster. Internationally, companies generally try to put as much distance as possible between themselves and their competitors. In Italy, however, competitors have often tended to cluster in tight geographical locations. We examine the reasons why, the implications of doing so and the likely future development of such clusters.
The first half of the course will focus on achieving a solid understanding of the theory of family business, what makes it successful and what threatens its survival, through classwork and visits. After the mid-term break, we will deepen our analysis by looking at a series of world-class Italian family businesses, to understand the secrets of their success.

Textbooks
During orientation at the Institute, students will receive a list of textbooks and/or course readers they are required to purchase. Students should not purchase any texts before orientation.

Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor.

 

Italian Language

ITAL 101 – The Florence Experience I: Beginning Italian I Credits: 4

Instructor: ISI Italian Faculty
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 4

Description
The Florence Experience I is an interdisciplinary course which focuses on achieving a basic level in cultural and linguistic-communicative competences (speaking, writing, reading and understanding) regarding familiar contexts, everyday life activities and simple interaction with native speakers, while introducing the students to various, relevant aspects of contemporary Florentine life and Italian culture. The course offers students an interdisciplinary experience in language learning. As is well known, this is possible only by direct immersion in the target culture. Since language and culture are deeply connected (language IS culture and culture IS language), each class will introduce students to linguistic skills such as communicative structures, grammar structures, vocabulary and pronunciation. At the same time, however it will provide them with a deeper knowledge of Italian culture. The city of Florence will thus become a cultural laboratory: with its world-famous fashion concerns, its beautiful theaters and lively markets, its young writers and actors, and its characteristic stores and artisans’ workshops, it stands out as a most appealing mix of contemporary Italian culture to be explored by the student.
In addition to classroom work, which is based on the standard content of the first semester of language study, the course includes a series of on-site meetings (incontri). These will range from interviews with Florentines to meetings with artisans in the botteghe (workshops) of the characteristic Oltrarno neighborhood, field-trips and treasure hunts at the most vivacious markets in town, as well as meetings with students from the University of Florence. Students will also meet young Florentine actors who will offer interactive performances.

Textbooks
During orientation at the Institute, students will receive a list of textbooks and/or course readers they are required to purchase. Students should not purchase any texts before orientation.

Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor.

 

ITAL 102 – The Florence Experience II: Beginning Italian II Credits: 4

Instructor: ISI Italian Faculty
Prerequisite: One semester of Italian
Credits: 4

Description
The Florence Experience II is an interdisciplinary course which builds on one semester of previous work. It focuses on achieving a post-basic level in cultural and linguistic-communicative competences regarding familiar matters, personal experiences, studies, work and daily routine, while introducing the students to various, relevant aspects of contemporary Florentine life and Italian culture. Students will develop communicative skills in order to easily make themselves understood and understand during interaction with native speakers. The course offers students an interdisciplinary experience in language learning. As is well known, this is possible only by direct immersion in the target culture. Since language and culture are deeply connected (language IS culture and culture IS language), each class will introduce students to linguistic skills such as communicative structures, grammar structures, vocabulary and pronunciation. At the same time, however it will provide them with a deeper knowledge of Italian culture. The city of Florence will thus becomes a cultural laboratory: with its world-famous fashion concerns, its beautiful theaters and lively markets, its young writers and actors, and its characteristic stores and artisans’ workshops, it stands out as a most appealing mix of contemporary Italian culture to be explored by the student. In addition to classroom work, the course includes a series of on-site meetings (incontri). These will range from interviews with Florentines to meetings with artisans in the botteghe (workshops) of the characteristic Oltrarno neighborhood, field-trips and treasure hunts at the most vivacious markets in town, as well as meetings with students from the University of Florence. Students will have the opportunity to interact with author Camilla Trinchieri, who will conduct with them a dialogue about her recent book Cercando Alice. Students will translate selections from the novel during the first part of the semester, and they will subsequently meet the author.
Students will also get to know young Florentine actors who will offer interactive performances.

Textbooks
During orientation at the Institute, students will receive a list of textbooks and/or course readers they are required to purchase. Students should not purchase any texts before orientation.

Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor.

 

Literature

ITAL 430 – A City with a View: Modern Italy through Florence Credits: 3

Instructor: Alessandro Raveggi, Ph.D.
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 3

Description
This course aims to introduce students to the history and the evolution of Italian literary and cultural movements from the 19th century to the present. The city of Florence will be used as a “lens”, as it were, to assess Italy’s history, its protagonists, peculiar settings, and “views” on modern issues. Ever since the aftermath of Italy’s political unification in 1861, Florence has been an important center and a laboratory of ideas, which intersected and anticipated the trends that were to characterize the new Italian nation. In doing so, the city’s culture coped with, criticized, and readapted its glorious and often complex tradition, which was — and, to a certain extent, still is — mostly linked to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. To retrace this rich context the course will adopt an interdisciplinary approach, relying on literature, movies, and the visual arts.

Textbooks
During orientation at the Institute, students will receive a list of textbooks and/or course readers they are required to purchase. Students should not purchase any texts before orientation.

Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor.

 

Political Science

HIST/POLSC 430 – The European Union Credits: 3

Instructor: Simone Paoli, Ph.D.

Prerequisite: None

Credits: 3

Description The European Union is still the biggest capitalist marketplace, the biggest trading power and one of the most influential political players in the world, despite its facing one of the worst political, social and economic crises in history. The course is divided into two parts. The first focuses on the main policies of the European Union, taking into account historical evolution, political objectives and major achievements of each area of activity. The second concentrates on the relations between the European Union and the United States, analyzing separately the most important dimensions of the transatlantic relationship. Classes are structured as lectures, student presentations, and group discussions. Lectures do not simply explain the readings, but also complement them by providing further figures, information, and anecdotes. In doing so, the instructor makes extensive use of multimedia presentation formats such as PPT, movies, and documentaries. Opportunities to meet with experts will offer students a wider range of viewpoints on the present and future of the European Union, while short field trips (without any fee) will provide students with a better understanding of what the European Union represents for its citizens. In this semester there may be also the possibility of visiting (again, free of charge) the Historical Archives of the European Union and the European University Institute, both situated in Florence.

Objectives The aim of the course is to give students explanations for current trends within the European Union. The focus is on the present, the study of the past being a way to better understand the European Union as it is nowadays. On completion of the course, students will have acquired the instruments for grasping, interpreting, and discussing the topical issues of the European Union and its relations with the United States.

Textbooks During orientation at the Institute, students will receive a list of textbooks and/or course readers they are required to purchase. Students should not purchase any texts before orientation. Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor.  

Visual/Studio Arts

VARTS 430 – Introduction to Digital Photography Credits: 3

Instructor: Gloria Marco Munuera, Ph.D.
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 3

Description
Students will leave the course being confident in knowing how to use their camera, how to correct an image through Adobe Photoshop software and produce a professional portfolio that reveals their personal imagery. They will improve their ability to creatively interpret and criticize the photographic image and develop the ability to think critically about pictures they see. By the end of the course, they will have developed an understanding of their own photographic language and different techniques, and have acquired a more critical eye.

During class time there will be theoretical lectures, technical demonstrations, slide shows, practical work, critiques and photo-shooting field trips.
The teacher will distribute handouts with the most relevant technical information. Since photography is an art and this is a practical course, students are expected to be creative and to actively participate in class critiques and discussions.
Notice that you will not use all the pictures you take. Rather, you will gradually learn to discern which ones are best (from both an aesthetic and technical point of view). The images you photograph are going to be used as a sketchbook for your visual education.

Objectives
Students will leave the course being confident in knowing how to use their camera, how to correct an image through Adobe Photoshop software and produce a professional portfolio that reveals their personal imagery. They will improve their ability to creatively interpret and criticize the photographic image and develop the ability to think critically about pictures they see. By the end of the course, they will have developed an understanding of their own photographic language and different techniques, and have acquired a more critical eye.

Required Material
A digital camera of at least 5.0 mega pixels with an optical zoom lens 3X or more is required. Although not mandatory, it is recommended to have a DSLR camera which functions in manual mode. It is also recommended to have a laptop computer with Adobe Photoshop installed.
The estimated cost for the entire course (considering all materials and lab expenses) is 35 euros.

Students must be equipped with:
− Digital camera (it is recommended to have a DSLR)
− Camera USB cable
− Memory card (4 G card is suggested)
− Card reader compatible with your camera
− Battery charger and an extra battery for your camera
− Laptop computer with Adobe Photoshop
− External hard disk or USB of good capacity
− Matting cardboard for final portfolio (to be bought on site)

Textbooks
During orientation at the Institute, students will receive a list of textbooks and/or course readers they are required to purchase. Students should not purchase any texts before orientation.

Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor.

 

VARTS 481 – Drawing Florence: Putting Things in Perspective Credits: 3

Instructor: Tiziano Lucchesi, M.F.A.
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 3

Description
The course is designed for a Summer Program consisting of 6 weeks, with 2 classes of 3 hours each per week and site visits. The aim of the course is to learn to draw objects in perspective and use architectural perspective.
The first part of the course will be in studio. Students will learn the theory of perspective according to the rules of geometric design developed in the Renaissance, esp. in Florence by Filippo Brunelleschi and Leon Battista Alberti. Theory will be accompanied by practical demonstrations on the board and video screenings of famous works of ancient and contemporary trompe l’oeil. In doing so, this technique’s full potential will stand out and different methodologies to elaborate perspective will be discussed.
Afterwards, students will begin practicing what they learn by making sketches (in the studio and at home) of objects viewed from different angles. Once they have acquired some mastery of perspective drawing, we will proceed to focus on urban spaces. First, they will visit the most architecturally significant areas of the city center. After identifying the most interesting subjects (alleys, building facades, squares, aerial views, from the bottom up etc.) students will have on-site exercise sessions of approximately 2 hours each. At this stage, students can rely on photographs to better elaborate perspective. Their drawings will be in black and white, making use of different kinds of pencils, charcoal, chalk, and paper.
In the latter part of the course, the paper will be shifted to a suitable thickness to accommodate colors. The latter will in turn be prepared by using recipes taken from the best-known Renaissance handbooks.
The final project will be the color drawing of an architectural subject from the city of Florence.

Textbooks
During orientation at the Institute, students will receive a list of textbooks and/or course readers they are required to purchase. Students should not purchase any texts before orientation.

Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor.