Italian Film Festival


Summer 2015 Classes




Department Newsletter Fall 2014

Department Newsletter Fall 2014 2

Spring 2015 courses



FREN 1850  French Society through Cinema (Instructor Alina Van Nelson). Everybody likes films. Some because they like to laugh, some because they like to ponder things, some because they want to relax, some because they like to learn new things. Whatever your reason might be, this class will appeal to your appreciation of film. Through screening and critical reading, this class focuses on discovering and analyzing French society after World War II. Students will be expected to learn and understand how French society develops in relationship to major historical and cultural events (World War II, the student revolution from 1968, feminism, colonialism and its aftermath), and how movies portray these changes. Class discussions will gravitate around the concept of French identity and the way films engage in this process.

FREN 1880 Zombie and the Ghost of Slavery (Prof. Murphy). Few pop culture icons of the “post 9/11″ era have had the success of the zombie. From box office smash hits to popular literature, from survival guides to video games, the zombie begs the questions: where does it come from and how did it come into being? If anything, the zombie stands for the dead and the brain dead. It embodies our relation to the dead and our fear of losing control and being controlled; it represents modern alienation at its worst. To broaden our understanding of the zombie, this course examines the socio-historical Caribbean context responsible for the emergence of the modern zombie and develops a critical framework to navigate key issues associated with this undead figure such as loss, dispossession, trauma, death and mourning. The Caribbean roots of the zombie will also make it an effective case study to analyze phenomena of globalization, imperialism and hybridity. Our investigation will take us back to the 18th c. where, in the plantations of colonial Haiti, the first outbreak of figures described as zombies was recorded. We will examine the intersection of colonialism, slavery and the industrialized sugarcane plantation as the breeding ground for the modern zombie. Then, we will follow the diverse mutations of the zombie from its first record on paper to its first projection on the silver screen, and beyond. Throughout the class we will explore the overlaps and differences between representations of the zombie in Caribbean thought and in global mass media.

FREN 3200 Introduction to Literary Theory. What is literature and why does it matter? What does literature have to do with linguistics, Marxism, psychoanalysis and sociology?

Theory is aimed towards examining and dismantling the received ideas and assumptions we make about literature and other art forms. Further, what we call “theory” is not only confined to the literary realm, for it has to do with understanding the various ways in which people construct their worldview. It is “thinking about thinking” an “enquiry into the categories we use in making sense of things in literature and in other discursive practices” (Jonathan Culler).

This course introduces important aspects of both classical and modern literary theory as an aid to reading and understanding literary texts. We shall analyze theoretical works by figures ranging from Plato and Aristotle to modern French critics of the 20th c. such as Barthes, Deleuze and Foucault. FREN 3200 offers students more sophisticated means of understanding issues such as gender, ethnicity, the roles of both author and reader in constructing meaning, the nature and functions of signs, the sisterhood of various art forms, and the relationship between literature and the larger society. Conducted in English, though French majors are required to read the texts in the original language. Taught in English. Required for students taking honours in French or Italian.

FREN 4120 Special Topics: Civilization and its discontents: Legacies of the Enlightenment in Contemporary Cinema. (Prof. Yamashita).  Did you know that the French are credited with the invention of human rights? The first public modern intellectuals are also renown to be a French mediatic invention. The French Revolution of 1789 has been celebrated worldwide as the watershed historical moment where all men (but not women) were, for the very first time, declared to be free and equal. However, the French have grappled with reconciling these emancipatory ideals with the turmoil of their history, past, present and future.

This course seeks to explore some of the most enduring contradictions of French society. How did a country so steeped in hierarchy and monarchism come to formulate the idea of a radically egalitarian society? Why is France such a progressive society and yet still engages in gendered (one might say even sexist) thought regarding galanterie and women? What role does power play in shaping modern French society? We will look at an eclectic range of French and International cinema, paired with texts (fiction and theory) from the 18th c. until the 21st c. to investigate France’s civilization and its discontents. The class is cross listed as both an undergraduate senior seminar and a graduate course (French 5350).

FREN 4860 War, Trauma and Memory (Prof. Bloomfield). This interdisciplinary course investigates how extreme historical events (war, genocide, terror attacks, etc.) create “trauma” and how their traumatic aftermaths are dealt with by personal and collective memory. Starting with documents centered on the question of the traumatic experience, then on the thematic of amnesia in t he aftermath of WWI, we will attempt to understand the psychological, historical and ethical dimensions of memory and forgetting. Following this first investigation, we will move to a study of how representations of trauma (testimonials, historical narratives, literary fiction, movies and memorials) can testify to traumatic events and help the work of recovery. Our examination of these representations – dealing with the holocaust, the Rwandan Genocide and 9/11 respectively – will be framed by the recent polemics about the problematic nature and/or the very possibility of traumatic narrative and memorialization. (Authors and cineast we will work with include Celine, Bertrand Tavernier Primo Levi, Claude Lanzman, Pierre Viidal Naquet, Boubacar Diop, Raoul Peck, Don Delillo and we will also study various memorials, particularly those of 9/11).

ITAL 3025 Advanced Composition II (Prof. Ardizzoni) This course introduces students to complex forms of writing within Italian studies. It focuses on the analysis of literary genres (e.g. media texts, film, broadcast, advertising, new media) through a step by step process that allows students to craft advanced arguments in Italian. The format of the class will be based on discussions, workshops, writing, peer editing. Taught in Italian. Prereq: ITAL 3015. Approved for 3rd yr Written Communication Core.

ITAL 3140 Readings in Italian Literature, 20th and 21st c. (Prof. Ardizzoni) Covers a selected reading of major texts of 20th ad 21st c. Italian literature. Emphasizes critical reading and analysis of modern and contemporary Italian literature in its literary, social and historical context. This semester the course focuses on social change, emigration and immigration. Taught in Italian. Prereq: ITAL 2130.

ITAL/HUMN 4150 Boccaccio’s Decameron: AFter the Plague, Tales of Death, Love, Rebirth and Sex in the Middle Ages (Prof. Ferme). The Decameron is the most famous prose book to emerge from the Italian Middle Ages. Written by Giovanni Boccaccio following the destruction wrought on medieval society by the Black Plague of 1348, the book contains 100 stories told by ten narrators over a period of ten days (technically, 14 days, they do take breaks for other activities!). In a manner that is highly unusual for the times, Boccaccio explores the culture, history and customs of his age through the characters’ storytelling. Since the book explicitly deals with many topics considered taboo by the Church and the authorities during the Middle Ages and, in doing so, claims to be of consolation for women in love, it sparked much controversy when it was published and in the centuries that followed.

In this course, we will read all the stories and study them through close readings and a variety of interpretive angles (e.g. psychology, history, gender, religion and so on), often using current day equivalents to gain a better understanding of Boccaccio’s motives. Taught in English. The course is approved for the Core Curriculum in 1. Humanities and the Arts, 2. Human Diversity.

ITAL 4290 Italian Cinema (Sr. Instructor Pugliese) The objective of this course is to introduce students to the exciting world of Italian cinema. Students will be given the opportunity to see some pioneer movies, as well as become acquainted with major directors from the 40’s like De Sica, Fellini, Pasolini, Rossellini and Visconti to contemporary filmmakers such as Benigni, Comencini, Crialese, Moretti, Soldini, Sorrentino, Tornatore, Verdone and many others.

Through a choice of best representatives of Italian cinema we will approach cultural, social and political issues that reflect the changes, growths and conflicts of the country.

This is a course intended both to give students a firm knowledge of the subject and to increase their interest in Italian film, literature and culture in general. This class will allow students to get a better grasp and understanding of Italian culture through its movies. Taught in English.

ITAL 4500 Italian Theatre (Instructor Torriani) Using theatre as a medium, this course helps students attain a higher level of proficiency in spoken and written Italian. The study of Italian theatre is integrated with acting activities and pronunciation exercises. The course culminates in the production of a play. The performance is in Italian and the students participate in the writing of the script. Taught in Italian. Contact for more information.

Textbook Info

Required textbooks: for more info, see:

FREN 2110

One combination of these two books:
—Option 1—
1. Bien vu, bien dit, textbook Vol. 1 (chap. 1-6)
2. Workbook/Lab Manual Vol. 1 (chap. 1-6)
—Option 2—
1. Bien vu, bien dit textbook (chap. 1-12)
2. Workbook/Lab Manual (chap. 1-12)

FREN 2120

One combination of these two books:
—Option 1—
1. Bien vu, bien dit, textbook Vol. 2 (chap. 7-12)
2. Workbook/Lab Manual Vol. 2 (chap. 7-12)
—Option 2—
1. Bien vu, bien dit textbook (chap. 1-12)
2. Workbook/Lab Manual (chap. 1-12)

FREN 3010

Savior dire, 2nd ed.

FREN 3050

L’expression Française Écrite Et Orale (2008)

FREN 3060
L’expression Française Écrite Et Orale (2008)

Fall 2015 Courses




Italian Table

Join the Italian Table, through the Spring Semester, Wednesday’s, 4pm in HUMN 270.  Join us for Italian conversation!

French Table

Meet at Bohemian Biergarten, 2017 13th St., Boulder) every Tuesday year around at 5:30pm for informal French conversation.