A Vital Spring Semester is About to Start in Italian Studies

In spite of the fact that the effects of the pandemic are protracting into the spring, the Italian Studies program at Chapman University is not slowing down its activities and is about to begin a particularly lively and stimulating academic semester, filled with guest speakers, virtual social events, and novel course offerings.

Italian Studies faculty continue to effectively deliver courses online at all levels of Italian and language instruction. In addition, this spring semester, Dr. Francesca Paduano will offer a new course titled “The Made in Italy: Fashion, Design, and Material Culture”, which aims to give a deep understanding of how Italian fashion culture has developed within a unique craftsmanship and artisan context, and rose to become a major influence on the global fashion arena. While exploring the “Made in Italy” brand, both in terms of its economic, cultural, and artistic significance, Dr. Paduano’s students will engage with a series of guest speakers representing contemporary expressions of Italian design and fashion.

This spring semester, Dr. Federico Pacchioni will also offer a new course, “Power and Imagination in the Italian Renaissance,” which investigates the ways in which Italy served, during this revolutionary period, as the crucible for the formation of new ideals and values as well as for a new understanding of the role the intellectual, writer and artist should play in society. By analyzing and contextualizing a variety of representative texts – including poetry, visual arts, and scientific and political treatises – Dr. Pacchioni’s students will examine the complex relationship between imagination and power dynamics of a political and religious nature.

In addition the many virtual social events organized by Chapman Italian Club, the event calendar includes various speakers presenting on Italian arts, cinema and society. On April 30, the Vice President of Regione Lazio, David Porrello, will connect with Chapman’s Italian Studies students to offer an inside look into the functioning of Italian regional government and on how it compares with US Federalism (interested community guests can contact Dr. Pacchioni at pacchion@chapman.edu for details).

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