Dante Abroad by Dante Alighieri Siena
Study Italian in Italy - Authentic Italian experience

In our Study Abroad Program students are encouraged to fully take advantage of their stay in Italy. Learn Italian not only in the classroom but through your everyday life in Siena. Our on-site lectures, academic excursions, visits to museums, field trips, hands-on cooking classes and internships will surely broaden your learning experience. Culture courses and seminars are taught in English so you can fully understand subjects we cover such as: Art history and Architecture, Italian History, Performing Arts, Literature, Anthropology, Economy, Health and Nutrition amongst others.

Literature - Department of Literature

Upper division programs - 45 hours in 8 weeks

TRAVELING WITH THE "CLASSICS": From the origins to the Classic times
The course is designed to accompany students through a journey of discovery and knowledge of classical culture, especially the Latin language and civilization, which have characterized our peninsula for many centuries. Siena and its territory, just as a bit ‘all over the center of Italy, have experienced the various stages of a story "written" by the contribution of the Etruscan civilization and later the by Roman one. How did they live, therefore, these illustrious ancestors of ours? What traditions, myths and traditions distinguish them? Every place and almost every stone are the witnesses that will be interrogated and that, with the help of classical authors and of their works, will give us the tools to know and understand the message of a entire world and of a culture still very much present in the traditions and the language today.

In the early years of exile, which lasted until his death, we are certain that Dante lived in Siena and that direct knowledge of the city emerges from certain passages of the Divine Comedy. Some Sienese characters are portrayed with rapid but significant vivid sections and remain in the memory of the reader. The object of study of the course is to definitely retrace the Divine Comedy, with particular attention to places, events and Sienese characters trying to provide students with historical and critical tools necessary for a deeper understanding of the poem and poet. The course, on the other hand, goes further, trying to outline the Dante criticism guidelines (from the "lectura Danctis" by Giovanni Boccaccio to the analysis of contemporary critics) in an attempt to understand how and why the reputation of Dante and the Divine Comedy alternate in phases of extreme popularity with others where it seems almost to be submerged.

Siena was in the past, from the High Middle Ages to the threshold of the twentieth century, an uninterrupted transit point for foreign travelers who, for different reasons, went down the peninsula towards Rome. In certain moments in history, Siena hosted within its walls, illustrious figures, students and teachers from all over Europe. From the evidence of the guests it is possible to understand the multiplicity of ways in which Siena presented herself to the traveler, or how she was perceived. But equally interesting is how the inhabitant, the Sienese perceived the eye of the foreginer on it's own city. The history of the relationship between the flow of foreginers and the local ethnicity, between mobile and diverse European culture and local closure, gave rise to a series of paradoxes that constitute the importance of the relationship between the European world and the compact Sienese reality.

The figure of the woman was somehow always a passive element, nevertheless the central part of Western culture. Generations of poets and artists have dedicated their lives (not just artistic) to their loved ones, however they remain the sole object of art and almost never take personal possesion. The twentieth century in terms of socio-cultural saw the emergence of the female body as an essential part of society and culture. The woman becomes aware of herself and her social role, managing to emerge first in advanced countries like the United States and Britain and then in the other Western countries. It is possible to distinguish old and new feminism: in the old feminism, which corresponds to the period of the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution, the woman is only the workforce, whereas in the new feminism that leans to the new culture of the `900, the woman gets out of the political and wage context in order to avenge the right to personal equality, even before that of being a citizen. The man writer takes possession of the reality giving it a name, while for the woman we can speak of symbiosis between her and the reality. It is in this literary context, that some important writers make a name for themselves from Sibilla Aleramo to Natalia Ginzburg, each with different styles and topics, but sharing the same desire to make the world known through the eyes of a woman.


The city of Siena

The city of Siena

The school

Dante Alighieri, Siena
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