Faculty Profile

David Commins

Professor of History, Benjamin Rush Chair in the Liberal Arts and Sciences; Director of the K. Robert Nilsson Center for European Studies in Bologna, 2012-14 (1987)

Contact Information

commins@dickinson.edu


http://users.dickinson.edu/~commins/

Bio

His teaching interests are in modern Middle Eastern history with an emphasis on Islamic thought and political movements. His most recent book is The Gulf States: A Modern History. A new publication, Islam in Saudi Arabia, will be available later in 2014. His other books are The Wahhabi Mission and Saudi Arabia, Historical Dictionary of Syria, and Islamic Reform.

Education

  • B.A., University of California at Berkeley, 1976
  • Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1985

2013-2014 Academic Year

Fall 2013

ITAL 101 Elementary Italian
Intensive study of the fundamentals of Italian grammar, with a view to developing reading, writing, speaking, and understanding skills. Laboratory and other audiovisual techniques are used. Cultural elements are stressed as a context for the assimilation of the language.

ITAL 104 Elementary Italian
Intensive study of the fundamentals of Italian grammar, with a view to developing reading, writing, speaking, and understanding skills. Laboratory and other audiovisual techniques are used. Cultural elements are stressed as a context for the assimilation of the language.Prerequisite: 101 or the equivalent

ARTH 205 Reading Bologna:Art & Culture
An intermediate-level study of selected topics in the history of art and architecture. Prerequisites: prerequisites as appropriate to topic.

HIST 213 Hist & Pol of Euro Integration
Selected areas and problems in European history. Suitable for beginning history students, majors, and non-majors.

ITAL 232 Oral Expression
Designed to increase student's comprehension and command of spoken Italian, this course is also an initiation in everyday verbal transactions and cultural communication prevalent in contemporary Italy. Phonetics, oral comprehension, and verbal production are practiced through exposure to authentic documents usually of a non-literary nature, such as television news programs, documentaries, commerical advertisements, and excerpts from films. Two and a half hours classroom and one hour laboratory per week. Prerequisite: 116 or the equivalent. This course fulfills the DIV I. b. distribution requirement.

POSC 276 Studies in Mod Euro Politics
To be offered only in Bologna.

POSC 290 Hist & Pol of Euro Integration
Topics not normally studied in depth in the regular offerings are analyzed in these special topics courses. Recent offerings have included: Contemporary Political Ideologies, Mexican Politics, Political Thought of the Enlightenment, Politics in Fiction, Separation of Powers, The Bill of Rights, and Italian Politics. Prerequisite for 290 is dependent upon topic.

INST 290 European Economic History
Special topics not usually studied in depth in course offerings are examined. Prerequisite dependent upon topic. This course is cross-listed as POSC 290 when the topic is "Transatlantic Relations."

INBM 300 European Economic History
A topics course examining important issues in international management. Examples of course possibilities include issues in cross-cultural communication and ethics, issues in international marketing, issues in international dimensions of financial reporting, issues in government regulation of business, and issues in financial decision-making. Prerequisite dependent upon topic/topic area.

INBM 300 Fund of Operations Mgmt
A topics course examining important issues in international management. Examples of course possibilities include issues in cross-cultural communication and ethics, issues in international marketing, issues in international dimensions of financial reporting, issues in government regulation of business, and issues in financial decision-making. Prerequisite dependent upon topic/topic area.

ECON 314 European Economic History
See ECON 214 above. Special advanced topics. Prerequisite dependent upon topic.

ITAL 323 Italian Colonialism
Study of significant themes and values that inform Italian culture and are informed by it. This course draws on a wide selection of sources including history, sociology, psychology, popular culture. Students in this course will concentrate on specific cultural, social or political issues, such as "Representations of the Holocaust and/or Terrorism in Italian Cinema;" "The Italian Southern Question;" "The Making and Unmaking of Italy," and others. This course is offered in English. Italian Studies majors, Italian minors and INBM majors using this course to satisfy major/minor requirements will attend a discussion group in Italian and will write their papers in Italian. Upon successful completion of the work in Italian, students will receive a "FLIC: Italian" notation on their transcript. Prerequisites: 231 if taken as Italian FLIC; none, if taking the English only portion. This course fulfills the DIV I. b. distribution requirement. Offered on an as-needed basis.

ITAL 500 Independent Study

Spring 2014

ITAL 101 Elementary Italian
Intensive study of the fundamentals of Italian grammar, with a view to developing reading, writing, speaking, and understanding skills. Laboratory and other audiovisual techniques are used. Cultural elements are stressed as a context for the assimilation of the language.

ARTH 205 Reading Bologna, and Italy
An intermediate-level study of selected topics in the history of art and architecture. Prerequisites: prerequisites as appropriate to topic.

HIST 215 Islam in Italy, 600-Present
Selected areas and problems in comparative history. Suitable for beginning history students, majors, and non-majors.

ITAL 231 Written Exp & Textual Analysis
Designed to increase student's awareness of various rhetorical conventions and command of written Italian through analysis and imitation of model texts of a literary and non-literary nature. Two and a half hours classroom and one hour laboratory per week. Prerequisite: 116 or the equivalent. This course fulfills the WR graduation requirement. This course fulfills the WR graduation requirement and the DIV I. b. distribution requirement.

ITAL 232 Oral Expression
Designed to increase student's comprehension and command of spoken Italian, this course is also an initiation in everyday verbal transactions and cultural communication prevalent in contemporary Italy. Phonetics, oral comprehension, and verbal production are practiced through exposure to authentic documents usually of a non-literary nature, such as television news programs, documentaries, commerical advertisements, and excerpts from films. Two and a half hours classroom and one hour laboratory per week. Prerequisite: 116 or the equivalent. This course fulfills the DIV I. b. distribution requirement.

HIST 232 Modern Italy
A survey of social, cultural, and political developments from the beginnings of the Risorgimento in the 18th century to the post-war period, including the effects of the Napoleonic period, the unification of Italy, World War I, Fascism, World War II, and the Cold War. Offered every other year.

POSC 250 Comparative W Europ Systems
This course provides a general overview to West European politics and the different political configurations that exist in the major West European countries. The course outlines some of the common features of the region's ongoing political development (e.g. democratization, institutionalization of the welfare state and political integration within the European Union) as well as the differences among today's national systems of political organizations.

RELG 260 Islam in Italy, 600-Present
(e.g., Islam; Shamanism; Apocrypha) Prerequisite dependent upon topic.

POSC 290 Transatlantic Relations
Topics not normally studied in depth in the regular offerings are analyzed in these special topics courses. Recent offerings have included: Contemporary Political Ideologies, Mexican Politics, Political Thought of the Enlightenment, Politics in Fiction, Separation of Powers, The Bill of Rights, and Italian Politics. Prerequisite for 290 is dependent upon topic.

INST 290 Transatlantic Relations
Special topics not usually studied in depth in course offerings are examined. Prerequisite dependent upon topic. This course is cross-listed as POSC 290 when the topic is "Transatlantic Relations."

ITAL 305 Ideas of Italy
In this course we study how Italian political thinkers, writers and intellectuals in different historical periods have constructed their own “idea” of Italy. We will analyze authors such as Niccolò Machiavelli, the forefather of modern political science, and Antonio Gramsci, an Italian philosopher and founder of the largest communist party in Western Europe. We also examine the role that film and literature played in the formation of a national consciousness, through selected readings by authors and directors such as Alessandro Manzoni, Gabriele D’Annunzio, Oriana Fallaci, Luchino Visconti and others. This course is taught in Italian. Prerequisites: 231 and 232, or permission of the instructor. This course fulfills the DIV I. b. distribution requirement. Offered every two years.

INTD 390 Intercultural Seminar
This seminar is offered at selected Dickinson Centers abroad to encourage students to reflect broadly on their site-specific experiences. The experiential and the theoretical dimensions of out-of-class experiences such as internships and service learning reinforce and enrich one another, providing students with a window onto the workings of their host society. Through readings, class discussions, writing assignments, and presentations, this seminar provides a rigorous academic context for evaluating and understanding the experiential components of the course. Offered only at selected Dickinson Centers abroad programs. Contact the Center for Global Study and Engagement for the list of programs offering this course.