Italy 2007 Course

West Virginia Folklife Center at Fairmont State University

FOLK 3399/ EDUC 5099

Spring Semester and Summer 2007


Dr. Judy P. Byers (

Noel W. Tenney (

Office hours, M, W, 2:30-4:00 p.m., 113 Education Building

Phone – 367-4403 (WV Folklife Center at FSU)(

Course Description


     Roads to Appalachia Through Italy Study Abroad, FOLK 3399/ EDUC 5999 is a course designed to support the 15- day travel study to the Italian peninsula including parts of northern and southern Italy, June 11-25, 2007.  The course will study the historical and cultural context, geographical/geological and natural features, architectural landmarks and historical monuments, regions and cities, and museums and galleries. Cultural and historical awareness (classical and traditional) will be emphasized through the study of Italian language, art, music, literature, architecture, archaeology, food, fashion, customs, festivals, stories, and spirituality.  Study will rely on texts, films, guided discussion, guest lectures, conversational language practice, culinary tasting, and student research and presentations.

Meeting Place and Time  

      114 ED, Thursday, 6:00- 8:50 p.m.


Alonso, Rosalyn Queen. Arrivederci: Customs and Recipes Every Italian Girl Takes From Home. Clarksburg, WV: Rosalyn Queen Alonso, 2006.
Marano, Russell. Poems from a Mountain Ghetto. Webster Springs, WV: Back Fork Books, 1979.
*Vellaccio, Lydia and Maurice Elston. Teach Yourself Italian. Blacklick, OH: McGraw- Hill, 2003.
*Wild, Fiona, Project Editor. Eyewitness Travel to Italy. New York: DK Publishing, Inc., 2006.
Olmi, Ermanno. The Tree of Wooden Clogs. (Film that looks at rural Italian peasant life at the turn of the century)

The Italian Hour. WTCS Radio AM 1490 and WRLF Radio FM 94.3, Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (Fantasia Broadcasting Inc. Total Italian music and cultural perspective)

Heritage Calabria Association 
The National Italian American Foundation
West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival

Course Goals/Objectives/ Learning Outcomes
Following completion of this course and Study Abroad program students will be able to:

• Identify major components of Italian culture and history both traditional and classical.
• Compare and contrast the major regions of Italy.
• Converse in the Italian language.
• Analyze the unique similarities between Appalachia and Italia, especially “mezzogiorno” (southern Italy) through research, critical, and creative skill development.
• Acquire an enhanced awareness of the role of Italian immigrants into the West Virginia regional culture during the early 20th century.
• Develop an increased respect for cultural diversity and literacy through research and Study Abroad.
• Share travel learning experiences with larger audiences through post travel dialogues, curriculum development, and presentations.
• Develop a life long attitude toward learning through travel and cultural interaction.


(1) Three written responses on content presented from texts and films ( 20 points total)
Students will create a three page response paper for each resource listed below. Content should include personal reactions and observations, as well as critical and comparative analysis.

• Alonso, Rosalyn Queen. Arrivederci: Customs and Recipes Every Italian Girl Takes From Home. (For this assignment students will choose from the Wayland D. Hand classification of customs and beliefs found on pages 156-158 at least ten components. Using this selection, students will illustrate the concept with examples from the reading and from their individual life/cultural experiences.) (due date, February 15)
• Marano, Russell. Poems from a Mountain Ghetto. ( Students will read this collection of poetic writings by Clarksburg/Glen Elk native Marano. Students will then analyze these poems in regard to the attitudes held by the Italian immigrants toward the “Ghetto” and the “otherside.” The analysis should also include the attitudes held by the “otherside” toward the Italian immigrants to America in general and Clarksburg’s Glen Elk in particular.)(due date March 22)
• Olmi, Ermanno. The Tree of Wooden Clogs. (After viewing this film students will identify the represented elements of folklife [storytelling, music, festival/celebrations, customs, agricultural traditions/sharecropping, material culture] and compare these examples with historic and contemporary Appalachian folklife.) (due date April 19)

(2) Two-part Journal (20 points total)

Course Journal composed of responses to readings, films, class discussions and presentations, lectures, and other radio listenings, as well as questions or issues to be studied during the actual Study Abroad. Journal should be kept on a weekly basis and will be reviewed by your instructors at the end of the course.

Travel Journal composed of observations, information, data, anecdotes, and stories collected during travel, as well as thoughts and feelings about the Study Abroad experience. Journal will be individually reviewed during the travel.

(3) Course Presentations (team or individual) (30 points total)

Shared brief introduction followed by a 40-minute presentation/discussion from presenter(s), closing with a brief period of shared questions and answers. Presentation should be accompanied by a handout on major topics and issues covered, supported by visual material (maps, internet materials, posters, power point, films, etc. on chosen topic important to the Study Abroad). (This entire presentation MUST be limited to no more than one hour).
Content for the presentations will include regions/cities or cultural elements of northern and southern Italy to be experienced on the Study Abroad. Both of these categories are outlined in the attached course weekly schedule. The following content will guide the presentations:
Regions/Cities (Presentations made by undergraduate scholarship students)
Presenters should discuss topics of interest concerning the regions/cities, such as location, topography, climate, major landmarks, significant thumbnail history, famous citizens (past and present), cityscape design, arts and foods specialties, traditional celebrations/feast days, shopping possibilities, cuisine, and entertainment/ night life.
Cultural Content (Presentations made by GEARUP teachers)
Presenters should discuss the specifics of the chosen topic emphasizing both the historical/ contemporary and the classical and traditional where applicable
Food/Culinary (Presentations made by culinary students)
Presenters will work in teams, under the direction of Chef Floyd, and will make six culinary related presentations complete with tasting experiences.

(4) Midterm and Final written reviews/assessment (10 points total)

(5) Follow-up Study Abroad Projects (20 points total)

Scholarship Students
This presentation is a 30-45 minute discussion of some topic encountered during the Study Abroad that would interest public school students, college age audiences, or adults. Materials should be carefully organized around some guiding principle and developed by means of ideas and evidence, such as those collected in the journals or class presentations. Speech should be supported by artifacts collected during the Study Abroad travels (photographs, slides, films, or posters), though these should be subordinated to the discussion itself. It is expected that these discussions will be presented to actual audiences: community, school, college, or otherwise.

GEARUP Teachers
GEARUP teachers will be expected to constantly use the experiences of this intense study abroad time to heighten their own historical understandings, to seek out specific information in order to formulate curricular application to their classrooms based on these understandings, secure teaching aids (maps, books, photographs, artifacts, etc.), make contacts to be continued through internet connections that will become primary resources for student and teacher (this could be used to create cultural comparisons, exchanges, “pen pals,” or any first hand learning), and much more. An open dialogue will be maintained and emphasized throughout the travel experience between the teachers, directors, scholars, museum personnel, tour guides, and most importantly the general populations that will be encountered. Teachers will be expected to create portfolios of pertinent travel and cultural memorabilia which will become the basis for future curriculum and research projects. Each teacher will develop a learning unit to be implemented in the classroom during the 2007-2008 academic year. Teachers will be encouraged to prepare their materials for publication. One pre-travel and one post travel all day Saturday session will be scheduled and required for GEARUP teachers to attend.

Culinary Students/ Others not traveling with the Study Abroad group
These students will create a research paper/project in place of the travel journal and public presentation. Discuss with professors for subjects and terms.

Attendance is MANDATORY for full cultural experience. If there is an emergency, students must inform the instructors immediately by email or phone as listed on this syllabus only. There will be very little flexible time in the course schedule so please do not ask to rearrange presentation times.

Evaluation Scale
100-93 = A
92-85 = B
84-77 = C
76-69 = D
68- = F

Academic Integrity
Fairmont State values highly the integrity of its student scholars. All students and faculty members are urged to share in the responsibility for removing every situation which might permit or encourage academic dishonesty. Cheating in any form, including plagiarism, must be considered a matter of the gravest concern. Cheating is defined here as the obtaining of information during an examination; the unauthorized use of books, notes, or other sources of information prior to or during an examination; the removal of faculty examination materials; the alteration of documents or records; or actions identifiable as occurring with the intent to defraud or use under false pretense.

Plagiarism is defined here as the submission of the ideas, words (written or oral), or artistic productions of another, falsely represented as one’s original effort or without giving due credit. Students and faculty should examine proper citation forms to avoid inadvertent plagiarism.

Copyright Notice
Material presented in this course may be protected by copyright law.

Class Schedule

January 18

            6:00- 7:00   Introductions, requirements, overviews (Judy P. Byers/Noel W. Tenney)

            7:00 – 8:30  Film Overview of Italy 

January 25

            6:00- 7:15  Italian History Lecture  (Dr. Patrick Albano)

            7:15- 7:45  Foods of Italy (Culinary students)

            7:45 -8:50  Language of Italy (Lucia Murabito) 

February 1

            6:00-6:30  Conversational Italian (Andrea Pammer)

            6:30-7:30  Architecture of Italy (GEARUP teacher presentation)

7:30- 8:30  Italian Spiritual Interpretations (GEARUP teacher presentation) 

February 8

            6:00-6:45  National Travel (discussion of travel details)

            6:45-7:30  Foods of Italy (Culinary students)

            7:30-8:45  Customs and Folklore of Southern Italy Lecture (Rosalyn Queen Alonso)                       

February 15

            6:00-7:00  Rome/Pompeii (Scholarship Students)

            7:00-7:30  Italian Fashion (Dr. Beth Newcome)

7:30-8:30  Crafts and Decorative Arts of Italy (GEARUP teacher presentation) 

February 22

            6:00-6:30  Conversational Italian  (Andrea Pammer)

            6:30-7:30  Fine Arts of Italy (GEARUP teacher presentation)

            7:30-8:30  Music, Film, and Theater Arts of Italy (GEARUP teacher presentation) 

March 1

6:00-7:30  Midterm Review and Assessment     (Judy P. Byers/Noel W. Tenney)

            7:30-8:30  Italian Regional City/State Profiles (GEARUP teacher presentation) 

March 8

6:00 -7:00  Language of Italy  (Lucia Murabito)

            7:00- 7:30  Foods of Italy (Culinary students)

            7:30-8:45 Italian Immigration Lecture (Mr.Victor Basile

March 15  (Spring Break) 

March 22

            6:00-6:30  Discussion Time (Judy P. Byers/Noel W. Tenney)

            6:30-7:30  Naples, Benevento, Serrento, Cosenza, San Giovanni (Scholarship Students)

7:30-8:30  Literature and Folklore of Italy (GEARUP teacher presentation) 

March 29

6:00-6:30  Conversational Italian  (Andrea Pammer)

            6:30-7:30  Historical Italy as world influence (GEARUP teacher presentation)

            7:30-8:30  Geography and Climate of Italy (GEARUP teacher presentation) 

April 5

            6:00-6:30  Conversational Italian  (Andrea Pammer)

            6:30-7:30  Assisi, Ravenna, Venice (Scholarship Students)

            7:30-8:30  Socio-economics of Italy (GEARUP teacher presentation)    

April 12

            6:00-7:00  Italian Language  (Lucia Murabito)

            7:00-7:30  Foods of Italy (Culinary Students)

7:30-8:45  Italian Calabrian Language Dialect and Customs Lecture (Rose A. Mazza          and Maria Iaquinto Destito) 

April 19

            6:00-7:00  Bologna, Florence, Siena (Scholarship Students)

            7:00-7:30  Foods of Italy (Culinary Students)

7:30-8:45  Cultural Politics of Italy (GEARUP teacher presentation) 

April 26

            6:00-7:00  Italian Language  (Lucia Murabito)

            700-7:30   Foods of Italy (Culinary Students)

7:30-8:45  Italian Geoscience Lecture (Dr. Debra Hemler

May 3

            6:00  Festival with all participants 

May 10 (Finals Week) 

May 18  7:00p.m.  Campus location to be announced

            Important meeting with National Travel representatives for final travel documents