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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

Due to its central position throughout the centuries, 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 critical events that 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 to understand better 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 community’s needs. 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

This course 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 its 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

This course provides an overview of business in an international environment, incorporating international transactions’ economic, management, marketing, and financial implications. Topics include exchange rates, trade policy, international institutions, global theory, and cultural aspects in the business realm. 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 community’s needs. 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 320: Literature–Mediterranean Place, Race, & Language

ENG 320 Syllabus

This course will focus on literary texts that deal with travel/displacement and conflict, difference, and alienation while engaging in a new place, culture, and language. The novellas, poems, novels, and short stories, written between the high middle ages and the end of the last century, from primarily Italy, but also England and the United States, will mirror and help students to make sense of some of the things that they are experiencing this semester as they travel throughout Italy, the Balkans and Western Europe.

Gender Studies 397: Gender Issues in Italy

Students will be introduced to the main topics and keywords related to feminism and gender studies throughout the course, focusing on their meaning and applicability to the Italian context. Each topic will be approached in two steps. First, a theoretical approach serves as a reference point in confronting real-life dilemmas. Second, a practical approach is offered through a workshop complemented by case studies, offering students the opportunity to delve deeper into actual experiences and observe Italian reality.
The course stresses the non-dominant role of women throughout the world and in Italy. In particular, Italian culture’s specificities related to gender in the past and present day.

History 322: Europe Since 1945

HIST 322 Syllabus

Emphasis is on the postwar period, the Cold War, politics, 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 to assist in designing 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 compared 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 intensive course combines a typical 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. Students can expect to learn about modern Italy through in-class activities and homework assignments, including geography, culture, history, and society. Spring Hill students can 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 conducted entirely in Italian. There is an emphasis on developing speaking, listening – comprehension, reading and writing expressions, and grammar sufficient to support these. Spring Hill students can 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 conducted entirely in Italian. There is an emphasis on developing speaking, listening – comprehension, reading and writing expressions, and grammar sufficient to support these. Spring Hill students can 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.

Philosophy 214: Environmental Ethics

PHL 214 Syllabus

The course will examine the philosophical issues of environmental ethics and the following questions: Environmental science’s competing paradigms, historical roots of the environmental predicament, animal rights, and the idea of a sustainable society. The semester begins with studying the “myths” of the origin of humanity in ancient Greece (Prometheus) and 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 regarding their 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 considers that the international system is still fundamentally anarchical, meaning that there is no centralized authority capable of enforcing norms and imposing behavior on 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 leading 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

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