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Fall Semester

Academic Offerings

The Italy Center offers courses on a rotating basis each year. Below you will find the courses listed by semester linked to their full course descriptions. Please note the following items when considering your course schedule (applicable to semester programs only):

  • All courses are three (3) credits unless otherwise noted
  • 12-15 total credit hours per semester (any more must be approved by the Director)
  • Minimum three (3) credits of Italian
  • HUM 295 and 490 are permission only and have separate applications (see each course for details)

Download the IC Academic Curriculum as a PDF (updated document available soon)


Fall Semester

**courses may vary based on student interest**

Art History 299: Northern Art in the Renaissance Period

ARH 299 Syllabus

Throughout the centuries, due to its central position, Bologna has always been a place where foreigners stopped during their travels contributing to the spread of new ideas. The University itself, with its importance and antiquity, encouraged the cultural development of the town. In particular the Sack of Rome in 1527, the coronation of Charles V in 1530, the 1547 spring session of the Council of Trent held in Bologna, are all important events which modified the artistic and cultural climate of the town. This course analyzes the lively atmosphere present in Bologna and Northern Italy in that period. Many lessons will be held in churches, palaces or museums in order to better understand the context of the various works of art (approximate costs of entrance fees will be $70).

Art/Communications 253: Introduction to Digital Video Production & Human Rights

ART/CMM 253 Syllabus

This program combines classroom instruction and video production work with work in the Bologna community. Students, with faculty members serving as supervisors, are placed at a local immigrant association and are asked to produce a short web documentary based on the needs of the community. Students will work in teams to find, shape, and tell stories about the lives of recent immigrants. In addition, students will be required to attend film screenings at the Bologna Human Rights Nights International Film Festival and to meet with international filmmakers.

Biology 110: Environmental Biology

BIO 110 Syllabus

In this course we will study the interrelationships between humans and their environment. The course furnishes an understanding of biological principles and the properties of life. It explores the fundamentals of ecology and their relevance to human impact on natural systems. This includes ecosystem structure and function, population dynamics, human impacts on the earth’s natural resources, and “green” economics.

Business 320: International Business

BUS 320 Syllabus

An overview of business in an international environment, incorporating economic, management, marketing, and financial implications of international transactions. Topics include exchange rates, trade policy, international institutions, global theory, and cultural aspects of business. This course will place a particular emphasis on the role of Italy and Europe in the global marketplace.

Communications / Art 253: Introduction to Digital Video Production & Human Rights

ART/CMM 253 Syllabus

This program combines classroom instruction and video production work with work in the Bologna community. Students, with faculty members serving as supervisors, are placed at a local immigrant association and are asked to produce a short web documentary based on the needs of the community. Students will work in teams to find, shape, and tell stories about the lives of recent immigrants. In addition, students will be required to attend film screenings at the Bologna Human Rights Nights International Film Festival and to meet with international filmmakers.

English 321: Italian Literature–Dante in English

ENG 321 Syllabus

An introduction to Dante’s major literary works, La Vita Nuova (The New Life) and the Divine Comedy. Close readings of the text will seek to give students an appreciation of Dante’s place in world literature. Dante’s masterpieces will also be discussed in a historical and philosophical perspective, and supplementary readings will acquaint the reader with the medieval view of life and literature.

History 322: Europe Since 1945

HIST 322 Syllabus

Emphasis is on the postwar period, the Cold War, politics, the process of decolonization, the European Union, the changes in Eastern Europe, and contemporary developments.

Humanities 295: Directed Undergraduate Research

HUM 295 Syllabus

The Spring Hill College Italy Center Director will work with a student and his home campus adviser in order to assist in the design of an academic research project. The project goals and objectives are to be agreed upon by the student with his/her home campus professor. The Italy Center will assist in aligning the student with community resources to include a faculty advisor. Examples of undergraduate research projects include a study of sibling relationships in a Bologna Rom (gypsy) camp and Italian language acquisition among immigrant North African children in comparison to their parent’s language abilities. Independent studies will be approved solely for students who exhibit a prior track record of academic excellence and an ability to work independently.

Humanities 490: Social Justice Internship

HUM 490 Syllabus

Professional experience through a semester of directed part-time internship at a local cultural, business, or not for profit Bologna agency. Enrollment is restricted and will require a two month advance correspondence with the Spring Hill College Italy Center Internship Coordinator. Students are expected to work a minimum of ten hours per week in a community agency. Placements are available in both the English and Italian languages.

Italian 101 & 102: Elementary Italian

ITA 101 Syllabus   ITA 102 Syllabus

The primary goal of this course is to introduce students to the Italian language. This is an intensive course that combines a normal semester’s worth of material into a five week session. Emphasis will be placed on developing speaking, listening – comprehension, reading and writing expressions and grammar sufficient to support these. Through in-class activities and homework assignments, students can expect to learn about modern Italy, including geography, culture, history, and society. The fact that Spring Hill students reside in the Collegio Alma Mater Residence Hall offers a rich language immersion opportunity to practice daily class lessons in one’s life in the residence hall. The majority of Friday’s will include a cultural trip, allowing one to practice his/her language skills in the city while offering exposure to some of the hidden treasures, markets and galleries of Bologna.

Italian 201: Intermediate Italian

ITA 201 Syllabus

The primary goal of this course is to advance students in the Italian language. Aspects of teaching will entail: reading, analysis and class discussion of texts (articles, songs, short stories), oral presentations, based on research on the newspapers, writing homework assignments (compositions, essays, journal). This course is entirely conducted in Italian. Emphasis will be placed on developing speaking, listening – comprehension, reading and writing expressions and grammar sufficient to support these. The fact that Spring Hill students reside in the Collegio Alma Mater Residence Hall offers a rich language immersion opportunity to practice daily class lessons in one’s life in the residence hall. Dedicated Fridays will include a cultural trip, allowing one to practice his/her language skills in the city while offering exposure to some of the hidden treasures, markets and galleries of Bologna.

Italian 381: Advanced Italian

ITA 381 Syllabus

The primary goal of this course is to advance students in the Italian language. Aspects of teaching will entail: reading, analysis and class discussion of texts (articles, songs, short stories), oral presentations, based on research on the newspapers, writing homework assignments (compositions, essays, journal). This course is entirely conducted in Italian. Emphasis will be placed on developing speaking, listening – comprehension, reading and writing expressions and grammar sufficient to support these. The fact that Spring Hill students reside in the Collegio Alma Mater Residence Hall offers a rich language immersion opportunity to practice daily class lessons in one’s life in the residence hall. Dedicated Fridays will include cultural trips, allowing one to practice his/her language skills in the city while offering exposure to some of the hidden treasures, markets and galleries of Bologna.

Philosophy 214: Environmental Ethics

PHL 214 Syllabus

The course will examine the philosophical issues of environmental ethics and the following questions: The competing paradigms of environmental science; historical roots of the environmental predicament, animal rights, and the idea of a sustainable society. The semester begins with studying the “myths” of origin of humanity in ancient Greece (Prometheus) and in the biblical tradition (Genesis). Chronologically the material will proceed arriving at a late semester review of contemporary authors. The closing sessions will address recent developments with regards to its implications on the future of human nature.

Political Science 161: International Politics

POL 161 Syllabus

This course introduces the major concepts, issues, and theories in the political science subfield of international relations (IR). In particular, it takes into account that the international system is still fundamentally anarchical, meaning that there is no centralized authority capable of enforcing norms and imposing behavior to the actors involved. This generates conflicts of values that can be solved through various instruments, such as war, peace operations, and international institutions.

Social Science 295: Human Rights & Global Change

SSC 295 Syllabus

Community Based Research and Service–Designed to acquaint students with the main human rights issues confronting Italy and Europe, the course focuses on the changing face of the Mediterranean as new immigrants groups are arriving at unprecedented numbers while fleeing dictatorships in the Arab world. The class will concentrate on how Italians, the media, the Italian government and the European Union are protecting (or failing to protect) immigrants and political asylum seekers fleeing from nations at war or on the verge of collapse. This course will bring students in direct contact with immigrants themselves. Students are required to conduct a minimum of 24 hours of community based research and service work in the community.

Theology 261: World Religions

THL 261 Syllabus

A study of religious faith as a central fact of history and world culture through a reflective interpretation of major historical and theological documents. The survey course is anchored in the literature of Christianity, Islam and Judaism.