Luca Trazzi, Italian

Sustainability in Italy:
Environment, Culture, and Food

Course Syllabus: ITAL 201

I participated in Valley & Ridge to work on Italian 201, the intermediate language level that concludes the language graduation requirement at Dickinson. The course provides opportunities to improve familiarity with contemporary Italian language and civilization. I previously worked with students on sustainability-related subjects such as global warming, Kyoto protocol and climate change, non-profit Italian environmentalist associations, farmers’ markets, organic production, and Italian regional foods. Participants in Valley & Ridge explored sustainability from cultural, social, and economical perspectives, and allowed me to enhance the sustainability component of Italian 201. In particular, the seminar helped to enhance the course’s place-based learning approach. Valley & Ridge allowed me to develop connections to Carlisle/Central Pennsylvania and Italy as well as to provide a basis for comparison of cultures.

The new course includes hands-on experience at the Dickinson College Farm as well as at the local farmers’ market, and targeted exercises to assess competencies and dispositions related to sustainability. Experiential assignments are followed by written reflection and/or in-class presentations that will allow students to critically think about sustainability while using a foreign language to deliver contents. The outcome is a redesigned intermediate Italian course with Sustainability Connections (SCON), which can count as the Sustainability general degree requirement at Dickinson.