Summer Program in Venice

SUMMER IN VENICE:  The Department of Art History and Archaeology and the Department of Italian offer a six week summer program based at Ca' Foscari University in Venice. The program uses an interdisciplinary approach to understanding Italian culture and society through study of its language, literature/film, art history and conservation, and economy and the opportunity to gain a deeper appreciation of the rich Venetian culture, traditions and history.  To learn more about this opportunity and how to apply, please visit the Office of Global Programs Venice websiteFeel free to also reach out to Professor Elizabeth Leake, the Departmental Representative for the Summer Program, with any questions specific to the academic program.

Course Descriptions
1) Italian [In Venice] O1121. Intensive Elementary Italian. 6 points
Prerequisites: None
This intensive course, open to students with no previous training in Italian, covers two semesters of Elementary Italian (the equivalent of 1101/1102 at Columbia) and prepares students to move into Intermediate Italian. The course provides students with a foundation in the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students are encouraged to participate actively in class discussions and activities and to interact with teacher and classmates. We will learn Italian not only thanks to exercises and conversation, but also through songs, clips, pictures, food, and games. Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to:
- provide basic information in Italian about themselves, their interests, their daily activities;
- participate in a conversation on everyday topics using the major time frames of present and past;
- read short edited texts; understand the main ideas, and pick out important information, from authentic texts (e.g. menus, signs, train schedules, etc.)
- write short compositions on familiar topics;
- identify basic cultural rituals and practices in the context of their occurrence.
2) Italian [In Venice] O1203. Intensive Intermediate Italian. 6 points
Prerequisites: One year of college-level Italian or the equivalent.
The equivalent of Italian 1201/1202. An intensive second year course that allows students to develop listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in Italian and a better understanding of Italian culture.
In this course, students develop listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in Italian and an understanding of Italian culture. Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to use a sufficient range of language to be able to give clear description; express viewpoints on most general topics; show a relatively high degree of grammatical control; use cohesive devices to link their utterances into clear and coherent discourse; give detailed descriptions and presentations on a wide range of subjects related to their fields of interest, expanding and supporting their ideas; write clear and detailed text on a variety of subjects related to their field of interest, synthesizing and evaluating information and arguments; understand straightforward factual information about common everyday life; interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes for regular interaction; express news and views effectively in writing, and relate to those of others; express themselves appropriately in different cultural and communicative situations; and be aware of the most significant differences between the customs, usages, attitudes, values, and beliefs prevalent in the Italian culture and those of their own.
Students are involved in activities outside the classroom, where they gather information on Italian cultural topics through interviews and surveys that allow them to engage directly with the local community.
3) Italian O4490: Venice and Modernity: Screening La Serenissima. 3 points.
Prerequisites: None
Instructor: Elizabeth Leake
Note: For Columbia students, this course counts toward the Italian Major/Concentration.
This course will examine representations of Venice in film and literature in order to identify the forms of aesthetic modernism that emerge and become operative from within the specifically Venetian context. How do these modernist narrations engage with their location—imagined or otherwise--in Venice and its environs? Is there such a thing as Venetian regional modernism, and what are its parameters? What are their relations to modernism’s broader national iteration? To answer these questions, we will read texts by Boito, Mann, Dostoevsky, Calvino, and Marinetti. Our Friday morning sessions will be devoted to screening films by Fellini (Casanova), Visconti (Senso, White Nights, and Death in Venice), and Soldini (Bread and Tulips). We will visit some of the sites where they were filmed as time permits.
4) Nobility & Civility: East and West
Prerequisites: None
Instructor: Jo Ann Cavallo
Note: For Columbia students, this course fulfills a Global Core Requirement.
This interdisciplinary colloquium focuses on the examination and comparison of different cultural understandings of the concepts of nobility and civility as they appear throughout the ancient, medieval and early modern world.  Our project involves the analysis of important philosophical, religious and literary texts from the East Asian, Indian, Islamic and Western traditions. A fundamental aim of this course will be the formulation of an intercultural perspective from which the core human concerns of nobility and civility, which these various traditions share, can be more coherently articulated.  More generally, this course seeks to provide a model for integrated undergraduate education focusing on common human values and universal perennial issues while also recognizing cultural and historical differences.  
5) Art History O4430: Art in Venice. 3 points.
Prerequisites: None
Instructor: Caroline Wamsler 
Note: Counts for the Art History Major/Concentration at Columbia.
This six-week intensive course, examines the art, architecture, and culture of Venice from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century. The goal of the curriculum is for students to acquire a firm visual literacy in order to read works of Venetian art and to familiarize themselves with the methods of art history. The course is set up as a field study, using the city as classroom and supporting site visits in and outside of Venice with some classroom discussions. The goal is to provide students with a solid visual knowledge and historical understanding of a set of key monuments, and to encourage them to think through the social, political, cultural, and intellectual forces at play in the creation of these works.  Each day's choice of monuments is based on a walkable itinerary, visiting churches, confraternities, cloisters, palaces, and museums.  Day trips include excursions to Padua and the Palladian villas in Vicenza and the Veneto.
6) Art History : Portraiture in Renaissance Venice, 3 points.
Prerequisites: None
Instructor: Diane Bodart
Note: Counts for the Art History Major/Concentration at Columbia.

From Bellini to Tintoretto, Venetian artists elaborated individual portraits that were to be an influential model in Renaissance art, while poets, from Bembo to Aretino, celebrated in their verses the perfect illusion of presence and life performed by these works. Nonetheless, the representation of the self in Venice was challenged by the corporative structure of the society and its political institutions: the image of the individual was often to integrate group portraits, while the Venetian woman was generally depicted as an ideal beauty. Through a cross-analysis of sources and works, the course will investigate this tension between the fashioning of the self and the construction of the social and political identity of Venice in the frame of its cosmopolitan world.  The classes will be heldin situ in order to train the students to analyze original works in their context.

7) Art History O4432: Introduction to the Conservation of Venice's Built Heritage, 4 points.
Prerequisites: None
Instructor: Mieke Van Molle
Note: Counts as a seminar for the Art History Major/Concentration at Columbia.
The course aims at providing participants with an understanding of the Built Heritage of Venice, its historical development, construction techniques and building materials and at gaining insight in the related conservation problems. Students are first introduced to the particular conservation problems of the city of Venice and its Lagoon environment. The course then addresses the historical growth and architectural development of Venice, its specific construction techniques and its great variety of stone materials, originating from all over the Mediterranean. It subsequently focuses on the conservation process, including the diagnostic survey, the different decay mechanisms and finally offering an overview of the conservation treatment.
The course includes a series of guided walking tours and diversified site visits which will illustrate and complement class lectures. In addition, participants will conduct a diagnostic field work on the façade of a historical building in Venice consisting in a visual condition survey for conservation of the façade where they will be requested to observe, discuss, describe and document the different constituent materials, their various forms of decay and the related distribution pattern, integrated with historical information on the monument.

8) Art History: Contemporary Art at the Biennale, 3 Points
Prerequisites: None
Instructor: Alexander Alberro

This course introduces the relationship between contemporary artistic practices and this year’s Venice Biennale.  The Biennale has become one of the most important international contemporary art fairs.  This course will expose students to the historical, political, and cultural developments linked to the biennale from its inception in 1895 to present day. In addition to regular class meetings with slide lectures and seminar-style discussion in the classroom, students will visit exhibition spaces located in the historical pavilions of the giardini (fair gardens), the arsenale (a 16th century warehouse space now used to host sections of this contemporary art installations), and other temporary venues located throughout the city as we investigate not only the art, but also the unique spaces in which we encounter it.  Beyond a focus on the history of the Venice Biennale, the course will introduce some of the key concepts of contemporary art as they have developed in the past three or so decades.

9) Venice and Its Musical Identity, 3 Points.
Prerequisites: None
Instructor: Giuseppe Gerbino

Note: Counts as an elective for the Music Major at Columbia.

Throughout its history, Venice cultivated an idealized image of its political and civic identity.  Music played a central role in the construction of the myth of the “Most Serene Republic” both through the prestige of the Venetian music establishment and as a symbol of social harmony and cohesion.  This course explores the history of this unique bond between Venice and its musical self-fashioning as well as the construction of a nostalgic image of Venice’s past musical splendor in nineteenth and twentieth-century music. 









Information and course descriptions.