Highlighted Courses

Complete some General Education Requirements with style! Dior, Versace, corsets, leather chokers, petticoats, codpieces, punk—why do we love fashion?

Since the Renaissance, Italy and France have played a fundamental role in the establishment and development of fashion as a creative and commercial enterprise deeply rooted in cultural mores. This course address the historical shifts in cultural understandings of gender, class belonging, consumption habits and expectations, the international circulation of craftsmanship and celebrities, and technological innovation.

Come join us for this once-in-a-college-career course that fulfills gen-eds and is filled with visuals. This course is offered in the spring 2021 term.
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How have the French thought about sustainability? The environment? In policy, art, film, literature, environmental theory, and more? Because the Paris Agreement was signed in France for a reason, and because the French have been on the cutting-edge on environmental questions for a long time, they might have something to teach America.

If you want to know, then take French 1036 Green France, a new interdisciplinary course taught in English with no pre-requisites. It counts towards the Sustainability Certificate and the Environmental Studies and French majors. Join us for colonial and postcolonial history, popular culture, literature, film, cultural theory, case studies and policy analysis. This course is taught in English for an interdisciplinary audience and is offered in the spring 2021 term on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
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Rome has been called the "Eternal City" because of the enduringly important role it has played in Mediterranean, European, and global affairs over a period of more than two millennia. In this course we will use the rich urban history of Rome as the geographic focal point through which to examine the societal and cultural changes that unfolded across these centuries for Rome's citizens, Rome's imperial subjects, and people connected to Rome by networks of travel and trade. Students will learn about these societal changes through direct analysis of a broad range of authentic texts and media, including letters, short stories, biographies, cinema, travelogues, historical and contemporary maps, architecture and visual arts, graffiti, music, guidebooks, recipes, and exhibition catalogues. Students will create a digital final project: an interactive Story Map (created with the ArcGIS digital mapping platform) that will represent the routes and experiences of multiple individuals who traveled to and within the city of Rome in different centuries, based on these individuals' written accounts.

This new course will allow students to explore Rome's history and culture through a wide range of media, including interactive digital Story Maps that students will create. It is open to all students and is perfect for anyone interested in learning more about Rome while fulfilling a General Education Requirement. It is offered in the spring 2021 term.
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Taught in English, this course will introduce students to the history of cinema in Italy from the era of silent films to the present day. We will analyze films from all periods and consider a diversity of forms and genres, including mainstream narrative films, art films, avant-garde experiments, and documentaries. In our century-long journey from the silent blockbuster movies of the 1910s to the Italian super-hero films of the 2010s, we will get to know world-class directors such as Federico Fellini and genre masters such as Dario Argento. We will see what Italian cinema has borrowed from other traditions, and what it has given in return. We will appreciate how Italian b-movies would not exist without American blockbusters, and how a director such as Quentin Tarantino would not exist without Italian b-movies. We will learn about Italy and about how much of its history and of its culture can be seen through the frames of Italian films. No previous course experience with cinema is presumed, as we will learn the basics of how to watch, discuss, and write about films and the film industry. Readings will be available in English and all films will have English subtitles.

This course will introduce students not only to Italy's most acclaimed films, but also to relatively undiscovered gems -- making this class a chance to get to know Italian films that few Americans have the opportunity to watch. It is open to all students and is perfect for anyone interested in learning more about Italian film and Italian culture. It is offered in the spring 2021 term.
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This course is great for anyone who has ever enjoyed a graphic novel or comic book; also, the artistically inclined, Writing majors, Studio Arts majors, people interested in Jewish Studies and the Bible. The course looks at the use of Jewish texts in graphic novels. Each week, students will explore the formal and narrative elements of graphic novel writing and how these elements are used in conjunction with biblical Jewish texts. Exercises will include hands on drawing and visual story telling as well as analysis with an ear (and eye) for learning how to create visual stories. While we will read, discuss, and create comics, there is not enough time to cover all the material to make a full comic or book. Our goal will be to explore the way Jewish texts and comics or graphic novels can work together. This course is offered in the spring 2021 term and will be taught under the REMOTE operational modality.

Ben Schachter is Artist in Residence at Pitt this year only. He is an internationally recognized artist and illustrator, and he is currently working on graphic novels inspired by the Hebrew Bible. This is your chance to work under his guidance.
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