Giovanni dalle Bande Nere (Piazza San Lorenzo, Florence)

HUI216.01, Italian Civilization Through the Ages (Spring 2009)

Course Description

The historical development of civilization in Italy with reference to literature and connections to artistic expressions such as the visual arts, music, and theater.


Course Prerequisites

Advisory Prerequisite: Completion of D.E.C. category B.


Course Objectives

This course offers an overview of Italian civilization and guides the students to a better understanding of its diverse manifestations, in various cultural fields and throughout the ages (from the Romans to the Renaissance). For the most part, contents are organized chronologically, bringing together different aspects of the Italian culture (the arts – with the inclusion of painting, sculpture, architecture and music –, philosophy and science, literature and theater); as a crucial aid, background information about the history of Italy will also be introduced. In order to make this material manageable for the students, the course will focus on themes and ideas that are representative of each phase of Italian history and that are still part of the Italian heritage. The appreciation of that heritage and a better understanding of modern/contemporary Italian society and culture will be further goals of this course.

NB: this course satisfies category I of the D.E.C.


Contact information

Instructor: Dr. Andrea Fedi.

Office hours (rm. 1148, Humanities building): Mondays and Wednesdays 5:15-6:15, Tuesdays 3:30-5:00, and by appointment. Telephone: (631) 632-7449 [there is no voice-mail; to leave an urgent message you can call Mary Wilmarth, the secretary of the Department of European Languages, at (631) 632-7442]. E-mail:

Graduate Assistant: Michele Giua. Office hours (rm. 1056, Humanities building): Mondays and Wednesdays 2:30-3:30, by appointment. E-mail:


Topics and readings

No textbook is required for this class. All topics and readings will be posted inside the section entitled Lectures: presentations and readings.


Grades and coursework


Grades will be determined according to the following scale:

  • 5% class participation and attendance
  • 45% paper (due Apr. 29)
  • 50% final exam (May 18, 5:15-7:15; location: Stony Brook Union Auditorium 123).

These are the numeric equivalents of the letter grades:

  • 94-100 = A
  • 90-93 = A-
  • 87-89 = B+
  • 84-86 = B
  • 80-83 = B-
  • 77-79 = C+
  • 74-76 = C
  • 70-73 = C-
  • 66-69 = D+
  • 60-65 = D
  • 0-59 = F


Attendance and participation

Attendance is essential. Since new material is introduced with each lecture, missing even just a few classes may have a serious effect on your grades. Attendance will be monitored through random attendance checks (circulating attendance sheets during some of the classes).

Participation is assessed on the basis of questions and comments made during class lectures, and/or on the basis of comments submitted in writing (via e-mail) to the instructor.


The final exam

The final exam consists of 40-50 multiple-choice questions and 2-4 essay questions. The exam is cumulative.

Copies of the exams giving the past three years can be found inside a section of the page on interactive quizzes.


The paper

The topics for the paper are listed in a separate page of this website, entitled The paper. If you wish to write on a different topic, you must submit an abstract or an outline via e-mail, and get permission from the instructor.

Minimum length for the paper is 1,500 words (approximately 5 pages); max. length is 3,000 words (approximately 10 pages). The paper must be e-mailed to the instructor by the due date, to avoid incurring penalties for lateness. Receipt of the paper will be acknowledged on the class website within 24 hours (check on this page). The paper must be submitted following these rules:

  • margins: 1 inch on each side (top, bottom, left, right)
  • font: Arial 12 pts.
  • line spacing: double-space
  • do not use a cover page: insert your name and Stony Brook ID number on top of the first page, followed by the number and title of your topic
  • the header of each page should include first and last name, and the topic number; the footer should include the page number
  • on April 29, before midnight, send the paper to the instructor via e-mail, as an attachment; send it to in one file, saved in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx), or in Rich Text Format (.rtf); the name of the file must begin with your last and first name, followed the number of your topic, all separated by underscores (_). For example:

Review your paper carefully before e-mailing it. Your submission will be considered final.


Classroom Policy

Students are expected to

  • arrive for class on time and leave the classroom only at the end of class;
  • engage in class discussions and activities when appropriate;
  • exhibit classroom behavior that is not disruptive of the learning environment;
  • secure and turn off all electronic communications and entertainment devices during class time unless otherwise directed by the course instructor.

Academic integrity

Stony Brook University expects students to maintain standards of personal integrity that are in harmony with the educational goals of the institution; to observe national, state, and local laws and University regulations; and to respect the rights, privileges, and property of other people. Faculty are required to report to the Office of Judicial Affairs any disruptive behavior that interrupts their ability to teach, compromises the safety of the learning environment, and/or inhibits students' ability to learn. Each student must pursue his or her academic goals honestly and be personally accountable for all submitted work. Representing another person's work as your own is always wrong. Any suspected instance of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Academic Judiciary. For more comprehensive information on academic integrity, including categories of academic dishonesty, please refer to the academic judiciary website at


Disability Policy

If you have a physical, psychological, medical or learning disability that may impact your course work, please contact Disability Support Services (631) 632-6748 or go to They will determine with you what accommodations are necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation is confidential. Students who require assistance during emergency evacuation are encouraged to discuss their needs with their professors and Disability Support Services. For procedures and information go to the following web site:


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hui216_09/syllabus.txt · Last modified: 2010/01/21 21:16 by afedi
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