Luca Lanzilotta, Italian

Italian 201 & Sustainability

Italian 201 Syllabi

I participated in Valley & Ridge to get ideas on how to revise the content of my Italian 201 course, so that I could incorporate more issues related to sustainability. My goals were twofold: because the course was already a Food Studies elective, I wanted to highlight the connections between food and sustainability; also, I wanted to find other ways to add sustainability components to my course.

In addition to a strong focus on grammar and vocabulary, Italian 201 is a course with a significant emphasis on culture. My course in particular provides students with an overview of contemporary Italy through relevant topics such as Immigration to Italy, Italian Food, the Italian Economy and the Made in Italy, the Relationship between Italians and Technology, the Italian Family, and the Differences between Northern and Southern Italy.

As a result of the workshop, sustainability will play a substantial role in my revised course, specifically in the units on Italian Food and on the Italian Economy, and in the students’ final project. We will focus on topics such as the Slow Food Movement and the concept of la cucina povera (poor cuisine) and students will do a presentation on an Italian dish prepared with in-season produce and fresh ingredients. Furthermore, we will explore the relationship between some of the major Italian companies and sustainability, beginning with a guest lecture: a Dickinson alum who works at Prada will share her experience at the Italian fashion house. Then we will do a case study of the largest Italian marketplace in the world, Eataly, and analyze its connections with sustainability. Finally, students will have the opportunity to work on a place-based learning activity: their final paper will be the result of a cultural research project on the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, where most of our students study during their junior year, with an emphasis on sustainability.

I am grateful that I had the opportunity to learn about and discuss issues related to sustainability through different perspectives and points of view, with colleagues from all divisions of the college. Valley & Ridge gave me the foundations to add various sustainability components to my course and thanks to what I have learned in the workshop Italian 201 has received the Sustainability Connections (SCON) attribute.