Skip to main content

Search Bar Icon Close Menu

Online classes

Effective: Late Spring 8-Week, 2017/2018

ITCS 101: Italian Culture And Society

Course Description

This course begins a survey of the social, cultural, literary, and political history of Italy. The course is designed as an intensive study of Italian culture and people.  Course meets the World/Eastern Culture graduation requirement.

Prerequisite: None

Proctored Exams: Final



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • Ott, Serena, ed. Ideas of Italy: Italian Culture and Society Coursepack. Buford, GA: LAD Custom Publishing, 2012.
    • ISBN-MBS#1179069
      • Note: This is a custom packet of resources for this course available only through MBS.
  • Dante Alighieri. Trans. John Ciardi. The Infermo. New York: New American Library, 2009.
    • ISBN-978-0-451-53139-1

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.


Course Overview

Italy has only existed politically since 1861.  The ideas of Italy, however, span a much broader timeframe.  This course is an overview of Italian culture, a study of geography and history as reflected in society, religion, cuisine, art, music, literature, and film.   From pizza to Michelangelo to Pinocchio to Mafia, we will attempt to define what it means to be Italian.

A glimpse of the land and reflections on “national” character will be our starting point.  Roman heritage and the role of Catholicism will allow us to address the key notions of power and belonging.  The medieval poet Dante and the achievements of Renaissance artists will shed light on the extent to which Italy is defined by the artistic and literary heritage shared by Italians.   Ending with the political unification of Italy and its parallel criminal outcomes, our study will highlight the divide between the Italian state and Italian national sentiment.

Far from complete, this course begs to be continued; however, if you are curious about all things Italian, this is your starting point!


Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.


Course Objectives

  • To develop an understanding of and appreciation for the daily life of this particular culture
  • To explore the development of cultural identity for this particular people

Measurable Learning Outcomes

  • Learn the social, literary, political, and economic forces that create a culture
  • Examine the birth, growth, and changes of a particular culture
  • Participate in an intense study of daily life, politics, science, philosophy, religion, architecture, art, music, dance etc.
  • Develop a critical understanding for what it means to have a particular cultural identity in relationship to other cultures

Grading

Grading Scale
Grade Points Percent
A 450-500 90-100%
B 400-449 80-89%
C 350-399 70-79%
D 300-349 60-69%
F 0-299 0-59%
Grade Weights
Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussion Questions (20) 100 20%
Cultural Explorations (5) 100 20%
Long Paper (1) 100 20%
Midterm Exam (1) 100 20%
Final Exam (1) 100 20%
Total 500 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Discussion Introduction 5 Wednesday
Discussion 1A 5
Discussion 1B 5 Sunday
Cultural Exploration 1 20
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 2A 5 Wednesday
Discussion 2B 5 Sunday
Discussion 2C 5
Cultural Exploration 2 20
Paper topic 0
Proctor Information N/A
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3A 5 Wednesday
Discussion 3B 5 Sunday
Cultural Exploration 3 20
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4A 5 Wednesday
Discussion 4B 5 Sunday
Thesis statement and annotated bibliography 10
Midterm Exam 100
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5A 5 Wednesday
Discussion 5C 5 Sunday
Discussion 5B 5
Cultural Exploration 4 20
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6A 5 Wednesday
Discussion 6B 5 Sunday
Cultural Exploration 5 20
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7A 5 Wednesday
Discussion 7B 5 Sunday
Discussion 7C 5
Research Paper 90
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8A 5 Wednesday
Discussion 8B 5
Final Exam 100 Saturday
Total Points 500

Assignment Overview

Discussions

Students are required to answer the first discussion question (A) by Wednesday (11:59 pm Central Time) of each week.  The remaining questions must be answered by Sunday (11:59 pm Central Time).  Failure to post an answer to one question by Wednesday results in point deductions.  No late discussion posts will be accepted.

To receive credit on discussion postings, your post should add to the discussion in a meaningful way by bringing up an original, relevant point.  See the FAQ section in the course on how to write an original post.  If you use a source other than the textbook, document the source within the text of your discussion posting. 

You need to plan on following the progress of the discussions throughout the week so that you can participate in ongoing discussions.  Students who do not read (and mark as read) at least 85% of discussion posts will have up to twenty points deducted from their overall discussion scores.  Refer to the assignment and grading tables for point policy and due dates.

Additionally, students are required to reply twice a week to another student’s post.  Students who do not respond at least sixteen times during the course (twice a week) will have up to twenty points deducted from their overall discussion score.  To receive credit on your responses, each response should encourage, improve, and further the conversation (simply stating “I agree” or “Nice post” does not count as a response).

Written Assignments

The written assignments will be graded according to the point system presented in the rubrics near the end of the syllabus.  Your written assignments include five cultural exploration assignments (250-300 words) and one research paper (750-800 words).

a. 
Cultural Exploration (CE) assignments are worth 20 points each, assigned on the basis of analytical and critical thinking skills, completeness, correct spelling, correct formatting and citations, and neatness.  The reading requirement and questions for the CE assignments are found under the weekly headings in the course schedule below.  A CE assignment is essentially a short essay.  Due to the short nature of the assignment, quotations should be kept to a minimum (no more than 15 words).  You are required to prepare CEs as formal submissions and place them in the Dropbox no later than Sunday at 11:59 pm Central Time.  Answer all the questions in at least 250 words.  Use 12-point font and double spacing.  Please type your name, assignment, and course number (e.g., ITCS 101) at the top of your paper.  MLA preferred for citations and reference pages. No outside research or texts are required for CE assignments, but they are always acceptable.

 

b.  Research Paper (min. 1000 words), worth 100 points.  Research papers are due Sunday at 11:59pm Central Time of Week 7.  You will choose from a list of topics provided by the instructor.  You should use and cite at least four specific sources in MLA format, two of which must be outside of assigned course readings.  You must submit an annotated bibliography (due week 4).  There are samples in the course content.  Please be advised that Wikipedia is not an acceptable source.
 
Please note the following timetable for the research paper:

1. 
Sunday 11:59 pm CT of Week 2: A general paper topic must be submitted in the appropriate discussion forum. 

2. 
Sunday 11:59 p.m. CT of Week 4: Your thesis statement and annotated bibliography must be submitted in the appropriate Dropbox folder.  There are sample annotated bibliographies in the content section of the course.  Sources will be scored out of ten points.    It is your responsibility to verify that I have approved your thesis statement and sources.  

3. 
Sunday 11:59 pm CT of Week 7: You must submit your final research paper (1000 words) in the appropriate Dropbox folder.

Papers submitted without following these steps will automatically receive up to a 20 pt. deduction.  Please see the “Research Paper Guidelines” in Content section for topics and complete instructions on writing and formatting the research paper.

Exams

There will be a midterm and final exam.  The midterm exam will consist of multiple choice, true/false, and short open answers.  The final will consist of multiple choice, true/false, short open answers and longer open answers.  Exams will be based on the readings, discussions, and cultural exploration assignments. All exams are computerized and students will have two hours to complete it.

Only the final exam requires a proctor. 
You will be asked to submit your proctor information in the relevant week 2 Dropbox. See the information below about locating a proctor.

The final can be taken between Tuesday and Saturday the last week of class.
  Please be aware that the course ends Saturday at 11:59 pm Central Time. 


Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

Week 1: Introduction to Italy, its regions, and its people
Readings
ITCS 101 Reader – Week 1: Italy, its regions, and its people
Discussion Introduction
In the “Introduction” discussion thread, introduce yourself to your fellow students.  Please give your name, your major, your hobbies, and discuss any special interest you may have in Italy.
Discussion 1A
Post a contribution for this week’s discussion questions. Answer question (1A) by Wednesday of this week. All questions must be completed by Sunday at midnight.

1A) Let’s create a visual overview of Italy.  Choose one of the landmarks mentioned in the text (or Course Content Week 1) and present it to the class as shown in the model online.  Include a medium size picture, date, location, and a brief description of the landmark’s meaning.  For instructions on how to add a picture to a post see FAQs in the course.  The  list of landmarks to choose from are located on a table in the Week 1 Content area of our course.
Discussion 1B
Seeking pleasure in “small” things: do you think it reflects wisdom or resignation?  Fully explain your answer and use an example to illustrate, if you can.  What does such an attitude reveal about a culture?
Cultural Exploration 1
What does Luigi Barzini mean by “the importance of spectacle” and what does he attribute it to?

Answer the question above in 250-300 words. Use 12pt. font, one-inch margins, and double-space your paper. If referencing the text either by paraphrasing or a direct quotation, use MLA citation guidelines. Paraphrasing or quoting the author without citing the page is considered plagiarism. Place your assignment in the Dropbox by midnight Sunday. Please type your name, assignment and course number at the top of your paper.

Note:  Before you are able to place any assignments into the Dropbox of the course in Desire2Learn, you must score 100% on the Plagiarism Quiz Plagiarism.  You will find a Tutorial in the Content area of our D2L course.  This will take about 20 minutes, so I advise you do it early in Week 1.
Week 2: Family, State, and Food
Readings
ITCS 101 Reader – Week 2: Family, state, and food.
Discussion 2A
Post a contribution for this week’s discussion questions. Answer at least one question by Wednesday of this week. All questions must be completed by Sunday at midnight.

2A) How would you feel if Apple Pie were the first thing people associated with the United States?  What do you think food and dining can represent?  What does this reveal to you about the peculiarities and possibly the limits of Italian nationalism? 
Discussion 2B
Choose one type of Italian pasta, sauce or pizza and present it to the class.  Refer to the table in Week 2 of the Content area of our course. Why do you think pasta and pizza represent Italy so effectively?
Discussion 2C
Find an Italian proverb relative to food and/or drink.  Any equivalent in English or your native language?  What does the original proverb reveal about Italian culture?
Cultural Exploration 2
Explain the function of the Italian family.

Answer the question above in 250-300 words maximum. Use 12pt. font, one-inch margins, and double-space your paper. If referencing the text either by paraphrasing or a direct quotation, use MLA citation guidelines. Paraphrasing or quoting the author without citing the page is considered plagiarism. Place your assignment in the Dropbox by midnight Sunday. Please type your name, assignment and course number at the top of your paper.
Paper topic
Post a generic idea for your paper topic in the appropriate discussion thread by Sunday at 11:59 pm.  There is a list of topics in the content section of the course under “Research Paper Material.” 
Proctor Information
Submit your proctor form to the appropriate Dropbox folder by the end of the week. Remember to “Save” the form before placing it in Dropbox. See the Content area for more information.
Week 3: Roman Heritage
Readings
ITCS 101 Reader – Week 3: Roman heritage.
Discussion 3A
Post a contribution for this week’s discussion questions. Answer at least one question by Wednesday of this week. All questions must be completed by Sunday at midnight.

3A)To what degree do you believe Italians are entitled to a “Roman” past?
Discussion 3B
How does Italian perception of law/authority compare to yours?
Cultural Exploration 3
Compare and contrast the myth of Romulus and Remus and the myth of Aeneas by focusing on the values put forth in each myth.  Conclude by explaining which one you prefer.

Answer the above in 250-300 words maximum. Use 12pt. font, one-inch margins, and double-space your paper. If referencing the text either by paraphrasing or a direct quotation, use MLA citation guidelines. Paraphrasing or quoting an author without citing the page is considered plagiarism. Place your assignment in the Dropbox by midnight Sunday. Please type your name, assignment and course number at the top of your paper.
Week 4: Catholic Italy
Readings
ITCS 101 Reader – Week 4.
Discussion 4A
Post a contribution for this week’s discussion questions. Answer at least one question by Wednesday of this week. All questions must be completed by Sunday at midnight.

4A)
Overall, do you find that the Vatican as an institution has helped or hindered Italy?  Support your answer using the text.
Discussion 4B
Choose a religious festival celebrated somewhere in Italy and present it to the class.  Does it reflect regionalism?  OR  Choose an Italian saint and present it to the class.  Include a small picture.  In what way can the reliance on saints be interpreted as a typically Italian attitude?
Thesis statement and annotated bibliography
Submit your thesis statement and annotated bibliography in the appropriate Dropbox folder by Sunday 11:59 p.m..  There are samples in the content section of the course.

The thesis statement summarizes the point you will prove in the paper. 

You should utilize and cite at least four sources in your paper, two of which must be outside of assigned course readings.  You must submit the complete bibliographic record of your sources (in other words, simply listing “Columbia College Library” or “Smithsonian Magazine” is not considered a source), and briefly describe each source and how you plan on using it – this is an annotated bibliography.  Please note that Wikipedia is not an acceptable source.   It is your responsibility to check back and verify that I have approved your sources. 

Your thesis statement and annotated bibliography is worth 10 points. 
Midterm Exam
Students will take their midterm exam between Wednesday and Sunday of this week. The exam covers the material read in weeks 1-4 and consists of multiple choice, true/false questions and short answer questions. Questions will come from the readings, the discussion postings, and the cultural explorations. The exam is computerized and students will have two hours to complete it.  Books and notes are permitted while taking the exam; however, studying is strongly advised. The midterm is not proctored.  The midterm is located in the Quiz area of the D2L course.
Week 5: Dante’s Inferno
Readings
Dante Alighieri. The Inferno. Trans. John Ciardi. New York: New American Library, 2009.  Read the introductions to the Inferno and the introduction to each of the cantos.  Choose a canto of the Inferno that appeals to you and read it in its entirety.

ITCS 101 Reader – Week 5
. 
Discussion 5A
Post a contribution for this week’s discussion questions. Answer at least one question by Wednesday of this week. All questions must be completed by Sunday at midnight.

5A)
Let’s create an overview of Dante’s Inferno.  Mention one significant aspect of the structure of the work, whether it be from a literary or topographic point of view. 
Discussion 5C
How does the Inferno relate to the importance of spectacle?  How does it relate to Catholicism?
Discussion 5B
Choose a punishment from the Inferno and briefly explain the sin, the punishment, and how it exemplifies the law of contrapasso.  Include a relevant quote from Dante’s work and a picture.
Cultural Exploration 4
Choose a character from the Inferno (a sinner, a monster, or Lucifer himself) and briefly tell his/her story.

Answer the question above in 250-300 words maximum. Use 12pt. font, one-inch margins, and double-space your paper. If referencing the text either by paraphrasing or a direct quotation, use MLA citation guidelines. Paraphrasing or quoting the author without citing the page is considered plagiarism. Place your assignment in the Dropbox by midnight Sunday. Please type your name, assignment and course number at the top of your paper.
Week 6: The Italian Renaissance
Readings
ITCS 101 Reader – Week 6. 
Discussion 6A
Post a contribution for this week’s discussion questions. Answer at least one question by Wednesday of this week. All questions must be completed by Sunday at midnight.

6A)
Choose one of the following works of art from the Renaissance and explain how it reflects new artistic principles.  Follow the online model.
Discussion 6B
In Renaissance paintings, beauty represents philosophical principles.  Do you think beauty can be more than just appearance?  How would you relate this to Italian identity?
Cultural Exploration 5
The Renaissance is arguably the keystone in Italian national development.  Describe at least two ways in which the Renaissance has “made” Italy.

Answer the question above in 250-300 words maximum. Use 12pt. font, one-inch margins, and double-space your paper. If referencing the text either by paraphrasing or a direct quotation, use MLA citation guidelines. Paraphrasing or quoting the author without citing the page is considered plagiarism. Place your assignment in the Dropbox by midnight Sunday. Please type your name, assignment and course number at the top of your paper.
Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
Week 7: Making the Italians
Readings
ITCS 101 Reader – Week 7.
Discussion 7A
Post a contribution for this week’s discussion questions. Answer at least one question by Wednesday of this week. All questions must be completed by Sunday at midnight.

7A)
What are you most proud of when it comes to your country?  How does this compare to Italy?
Discussion 7B
What is the difference between a nation and a government?  How is Italy peculiar from this point of view?
Discussion 7C
Garibaldi and Cavour – Who is better suited to become a national hero? Explain,  Why do you think Italians don’t really have political heroes? How does this attitude compare to the American notion of the Founding Fathers?
Research Paper
Research Paper (1000 words), worth 90 points, due in the Dropbox by Sunday 11:59pm CT.  Refer to the section Writing Assignments in the syllabus for instructions on writing your paper. This information can also be found in the Content section of the online course under “Research Paper.”
Week 8: Criminal Organizations
Readings
ITCS 101 Reader – Week 8.
Discussion 8A
Post a contribution for this week’s discussion questions. Answer all questions by Wednesday.

8A)Some sociologists have claimed that Italians are actually subconsciously proud of the Mafia – to a degree at least.  How would you explain this stance?  How do you think the Italian government should tackle such a problematic attitude?
Discussion 8B
Summarize Pasquale’s feelings toward “the System” at the end of the chapter “Angelina Jolie.”  What has the Camorra made possible?  What has the Camorra taken away?
Final Exam
Students must take a proctored final exam by Saturday at 11:59 pm of this final week. Exams need to be taken between Tuesday and Saturday at 11:59 pm of this week. The proctor must have been approved by the instructor by week 2 of the course. The final exam will consist of multiple choice and true/false questions, short answer questions worth and long answer questions.


Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism

Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.

Non-Discrimination

There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.

No late work will be accepted unless there are extenuating unforeseen circumstances beyond the student’s control.  Supporting documentation may be requested.

Extra credit work is not available.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

Proctor Policy

Students taking courses that require proctored exams must submit their completed proctor request forms to their instructors by the end of the second week of the session. Proctors located at Columbia College campuses are automatically approved. The use of ProctorU services is also automatically approved. The instructor of each course will consider any other choice of proctor for approval or denial. Additional proctor choices the instructor will consider include: public librarians, high school or college instructors, high school or college counseling services, commanding officers, education service officers, and other proctoring services. Personal friends, family members, athletic coaches and direct supervisors are not acceptable.


Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.


+

Request info