R5B, Section 3: “Stupendous, Miserable City”: The Many Faces of Rome

TuTh 8-9:30 | 2011 VLSB | Instructor: Julia Nelsen

Units: 4

All Reading and Composition courses must be taken for a letter grade in order to fulfill this requirement for the Bachelor’s Degree. This course satisfies the second half or the “B” portion of the Reading and Composition requirement.

This semester, we’ll take a virtual tour of Italy’s capital as seen through the eyes of natives and foreigners alike. Drawing on fiction, film, poetry, and other cultural artifacts, we’ll approach the Eternal City not only as the static setting against which stories and histories unfold, but as a dynamic protagonist in its own right. “Rome” will therefore serve as the conceptual lens through which to consider broader questions related to Italian history, cultural identity, and our understanding of the city itself, as both a geographical reality and a space constructed by the imagination.

Since this is a Reading and Composition course, our primary goal is to develop and hone our skills as active readers and analytical writers. To this end, students will be expected to thoroughly read all assigned texts, attend class regularly, participate in class discussion, and complete a variety of written assignments.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the “A” portion of the Reading & Composition requirement or its equivalent. Students may not enroll in nor attend R1B/R5B courses without completing this prerequisite.