This course explores western culture as expressed in the literary, visual, and musical arts in historical and intellectual context from origins in Judeo-Christian and Greco-Roman traditions through the 20th century. Particular emphasis will be placed on the study of ancient Rome, the Renaissance, the development of Christianity in Western Europe, and on the Italian context. The course will make extensive use of field trips in Rome and across Italy and will take place within an experiential living/learning community.
In this course you will accomplish the following as you move towards the outcomes described in the next section.
In this course, we will study Italian cinema from its Golden Age in the 1940s and 50s to the present. We will look at films of early master directors such as Roberto Rossellini, Federico Fellini, and Vittorio DeSica, among others, as well as more recent actor/directors like Roberto Benigni. Along with the well-known Italian “high art” genres of neorealism and commedia, we will also view the lesser known and appreciated genres of the Spaghetti Western and “Sword and Sandal” films. Films can be important artifacts of the past. As Peter Rollins suggests, “films register the feelings and attitudes of the periods in which they are made.” During the course of the semester we will discuss together what those feelings and attitudes might be. Additionally, we will gain knowledge of the technical and theoretical vocabulary of film analysis, and we will collectively develop a method for viewing and enjoying films as Christians. As one of the most recent artistic forms, films provide an exciting and enjoyable way to consider the human maker of films as an image bearer of God who makes art out of light. The power of the multi-billion dollar film industry, according to critic Mark Coppenger, has progressed so far that film has “replaced the pulpit as the primary moral/spiritual influence in our society.” While various more recent electronic media might be replacing film’s supremacy; nevertheless, film remains a potent cultural force. As audience members and film analysts, we will use our interpretive skills to understand the claims to truth and artistry found in Italian film.
Italy’s Timeless Cities and Their People (SOC 202, 3 credit hours)
Note: This course will replace “Italian Cinema” beginning with the Fall 2013 semester
Through inductive study, this course introduces Semester in Rome participants to the fundamental elements of sociology. Employing the vibrant cities of Rome, Pompeii, Florence, Venice, and Siena as observational laboratories allows students to apply methods of sociological investigation as they reside in Rome and encounter the other cities during field trips. The primary purposes of this course are to introduce students to a way of seeing the world through social spectacles that comports with God’s creational intentions and to help participants better understand Italian culture.
This course is designed to provide enrichment in the language and culture of Italy and its people. The course will address the basic aspects of pronunciation, grammatical structures, and cultural knowledge needed for using Italian in conversation. Vocabulary development will be an integral part of the course as will experiential approaches to learning.
The discussion of Cultural Perspectives is designed to challenge students’ perception and understanding of the culture that they grew up in and the culture they now find themselves in while in Rome from a biblical standpoint. The discussion will prepare students to consider their role in shaping and transforming the culture around them as they experience various aspects of culture including, but not limited to: culture shock, politics, religion, food, and the differences between American and European social behaviors and practices.