Rome Campus Courses

A variety of liberal arts and pre-professional courses are offered each semester. Course offerings may include History, Art History, Theology, Philosophy, Comparative Literature, Italian, Accounting, Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies, among others. Most courses count towards general education requirements, so students can maintain progress toward their degree while getting the most advantage from study in Rome.  Students of affiliated institutions travel to Rome knowing that they will receive full credit for all courses taken at the Rome campus.  For students from other American colleges and universities, Assumption staff will make every effort to ensure that they too receive full credit for courses taken in Rome. (Please scroll down on this page for detailed course descriptions.)

Spring '16 Fall '16 Spring '17
CLT 266 Italian Cinema ARH 350 Art of Rome (D. Borghese) ARH 223 Renaissance Art and Architecture (D. Borghese)
PHI204R: God and the Philosophers THE 204 Catholicism Today (TBA) THE203 Early Church (TBA)
ARH 224R: Baroque Art and Architecture CLT 206 Literary Foundations of the West II: Romanticism (P. Ady) PHI 202 Ethics (C. Gobel)
THE 204 Catholicism Today PHI 204 God and the Philosophers (C. Gobel) POL203 Modern States (J. Geddert)
ITA101+ Italian at placement level (Italiaidea) ITA 101 (Beginner) to ITA 103 (Advanced)  ITA101+ Italian at placement level (Italiaidea)

Please scroll down to view details of courses offered in Rome.

Spring 2016

CLT 266 Italian Cinema – Rome Campus Faculty
The course provides an introduction to Italian cinema. Students will explore the nature of neorealism, the hallmark of the Italian cinematic tradition, through an examination of the development of the film industry, the socio-historical situation, and the literary tradition within the Italian peninsula. The study of neorealism, which involves discussion of directed readings and screenings of classics by Rossellini, De Sica, and Visconti, provides a basis for the examination of ensuing movements and Italian “auteurs,” such as Fellini, Antonioni, Bertolucci, and Pasolini, and of the contemporary scene. Counts as a second literature (humanities).

PHI 204R: God and the Philosophers. Prof. Christian Göbel
Is there a god? The course offers – through the study of some important texts by both believers and non-believers – an examination of the ways that philosophers have understood the divine. After reflecting on the appropriate way to speak of the divine and the relationship between faith and reason, we’ll be discussing some major arguments for and against the existence of God. In a concluding part of the course, special emphasis will be given to the question of the ‘logic’ of the Christian faith, philosophical foundations for interreligious dialogue and the relationship between religion and morality (How does our understanding of the existence and character of the divine bear on our self-understanding and how we live?). Counts in the core as a second or third (humanities) philosophy.

The course takes a systematic approach but we will also focus on two important figures, Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, and ‘follow in their footsteps’ in and outside Rome, e.g. at Santa Sabina, Ostia Antica, Monte Cassino, Aquino, Fossanova, etc.

ARH 224R: Baroque Art and Architecture - Prof. Heidi Gearhart
This course will look at Baroque art and architecture in Italy and, particularly in Rome, from the late sixteenth century to the late seventeenth century. By looking at paintings, sculpture, and architecture, we will be able to study how historical and cultural shifts– such as the Counter Reformation or the growth of scientific thought- affected the way in which art was produced. The course will included multiple on-site visits, helping students understand the experiential and mulit-media aspect of the Baroque. Artists will include Bernini, Caravaggio, and the Carracci. Counts in the core as Art/Mus/Tha and for credit towards Italian Studies major and minor, and the MEMS minor; Museum based.

THE 204 Catholicism Today – Prof. Christian Göbel
Catholics do not live their lives within a Catholic bubble, a hermetically sealed world in which everyone and everything is shaped by the teachings of Catholicism. Christ himself said this would not be the case, informing his disciples that in this world they would have to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God that things that are God’s. As a result, the Catholic Church has always had to find some way of engaging the world in which it currently finds itself. This course introduces students to Catholicism’s ongoing engagement with the world today, paying particular attention to both the main currents in contemporary thought and the representative social movements that shape the modern world. Counts in the core as second or third (humanities) theology.

Italian: ITA 101 (Beginner) to ITA 103 (Advanced) - Rome Campus Faculty
Students will study Italian according to skill level. An intensive Italian language study option is also available. Counts in the core at level III or higher. If II is followed by III, both will count If 101 is taken in Rome, and if placement on return is 103, 101 and 103 will count.
 
Independent Study
Students work on independent research projects in an area of their interest, as approved by faculty
 

Fall 2016

ARH 350 Art of Rome (D. Borghese)
Counts in the core as Art/Mus/Tha and for credit towards Italian Studies major and minor, and the MEMS minor; museum based
 
THE 204 Catholicism Today (TBA)
Catholics do not live their lives within a Catholic bubble, a hermetically sealed world in which everyone and everything is shaped by the teachings of Catholicism. Christ himself said this would not be the case, informing his disciples that in this world they would have to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God that things that are God’s. As a result, the Catholic Church has always had to find some way of engaging the world in which it currently finds itself. This course introduces students to Catholicism’s ongoing engagement with the world today, paying particular attention to both the main currents in contemporary thought and the representative social movements that shape the modern world. This course counts as a second Theology in the Core Curriculum. Prerequisite: THE 100. Counts in the core as second or third (humanities) theology.
 
CLT 206 Literary Foundations of the West II: Romanticism (P. Ady)
“The importance of romanticism is that it is the largest recent movement to transform the lives and the thought of the Western world" – Isaiah Berlin
 
Taking Professor Berlin’s views to heart, our course in Rome will concentrate on ways in which Romanticism (roughly 1789 to 1848) arose in defiance of prior modes of expression and dramatically altered intellectual and artistic attitudes in the West. Since Romantics often actively opposed certain beliefs and values of the previous era, we spend some time differentiating them from Neoclassic writers, as well as looking to the impact of Romanticism as it has been sustained through modern texts.   But above all we cover the major writers in the Romantic tradition, with primary emphasis on those authors Byron, Shelley, and Keats, who lived in Italy, and celebrated its culture.  Some travel points:  the Protestant Cemetery in Rome (where Shelley and Keats are buried), the Shelley/Keats museum adjacent to the Spanish steps; Venice, where Byron resided in a villa with his mistress amongst a menagerie of colorful animals roaming about: monkeys, peacocks, cranes, crows, an eagle, and two guinea hens. 
 
PHI 204 God and the Philosophers (C. Gobel)
An examination of the ways that philosophers have understood the divine. Topics may include arguments for the existence of God, critiques and defenses of classical theism, the appropriate language to speak of the divine, the problem of evil, the nature of religious experience, why miracles may be problematic, science and God. How does one’s understanding of the existence and character of the divine bear on one’s self-understanding and how one lives? Prerequisite: PHI 100. This course fulfills the second philosophy requirement in the Core Curriculum. Counts in the core as a second or third (humanities) philosophy
 
Italian: ITA 101 (Beginner) to ITA 103 (Advanced) - Rome Campus Faculty
Students will study Italian according to skill level. An intensive Italian language study option is also available. Counts in the core at level III or higher. If II is followed by III, both will count If 101 is taken in Rome, and if placement on return is 103, 101 and 103 will count.
 
Italian intensive option or Independent Studies are available as needed.
 

Spring 2017

ARH 223 Renaissance Art and Architecture (D. Borghese)
This course looks at one of the most celebrated eras of art history, the Renaissance. Focusing on Italy and Northern Europe, the course will look at art made from the fourteenth through sixteenth centuries. Major themes will include urban development, economic change, the black plague, and the political and religious forces of culture. Material covered will include painting, sculpture, architecture, and fresco, from the devotional works of the Franciscans to the courtly art made for the Duke of Urbino, and works made for women as well as men. Looking critically at primary source material, such as the writings of Alberti and Vasari, the course will also consider the role of the artist and what is often seen as his rise in status, through examples like Botticelli, Michelangelo, Giotto and Dürer. This course satisfies the Core requirement in Art, Music & Theatre. Counts in the core as Art/Mus/Tha and for credit towards Italian Studies major and minor, and the MEMS minor; Museum based.
 
THE 203 Early Church (TBA)
We examine how the Christians of the first five centuries worked out the implications of their original profession of faith in Jesus Christ. What was the relationship between Christian discipleship and Judaism? How did the early Christians envision their role within their social, cultural, and political surroundings? We look back to the earliest Christian writings in order to see how the Christian Church came into existence and to grapple with issues that continue to be important today: the nature of God and Christ, grace and salvation, the use and interpretation of the Bible, and the practice of faith and the sacraments. This course counts as a second Theology in the Core Curriculum. Prerequisite: THE 100. Counts in the core as second or third (humanities) theology
 
PHI 202 Ethics (C. Gobel)
Ethics is an exploration of the question, “How should I live?” Classical, modern, and contemporary positions, as well as practical examples will be examined in an attempt to understand the best human life. Prerequisite: PHI 100. This course fulfills the second philosophy requirement in the Core Curriculum. Counts in the core as a second or third (humanities) philosophy
 
POL 203 Modern States (J. Geddert)
Modern States will familiarize students with the ways in which major global powers understand and govern themselves. This course, which fulfills a Core Social Science requirement, will study how each country’s unique political culture shapes its political institutions, and supports or undermines democracy. Why does Italy have so many political parties? Why is Britain’s constitution unwritten? Why do so many Russians support Vladimir Putin? Students will explore these questions before designing and negotiating the passage of their own constitutions.
 
Italian: ITA 101 (Beginner) to ITA 103 (Advanced) - Rome Campus Faculty
Students will study Italian according to skill level. An intensive Italian language study option is also available. Counts in the core at level III or higher. If II is followed by III, both will count If 101 is taken in Rome, and if placement on return is 103, 101 and 103 will count.
 
Italian intensive option or Independent Studies are available as needed.
 

Fall 2017

PHI 100 Socrates and the Search for Truth (Corrigan)
This course introduces students to the activity of philosophy, understood in the Socratic sense of living an examined life.  Philosophy begins by questioning ordinary experience and the opinions one already holds, and it becomes a comprehensive, fundamental, and self-reflective search for the truth about the nature of human beings and the good life, the world, and God.  Readings include Plato’s Apology of Socrates and the Allegory of the Cave, as well as at least one medieval and one modern text.  This course also introduces elementary principles of logical reasoning and basic distinctions of philosophic importance.  It serves as the first half of a core seminar, and each section includes some direct link with the content pursued in each of the intermediate core courses in philosophy. The Rome Campus version will take advantage of the setting in Italy in its selection of texts and with various excursions.

ENG240R  Gothic Literature (DiBiasio)
Gothic fiction, with its pronounced focus on the sublime and picturesque in nature,  heightened feelings of terror and isolation of the protagonists,  architectural ruins, and the destruction of aristocratic dynasties influenced the development of several types of popular fiction, including horror and ghost stories, the detective story, and the suspense novel. The earliest Gothic novels, Horace Walpole’s Castle of Otronto, and Ann Radcliffe’s A Sicilian Romance, were set in Italy and many later Gothic short stories and novels were set in Italian forests, ruins, and Rome. The Gothic genre gained renewed vitality in the nineteenth century through the travels and writings of Romantic poets, especially Keats, Byron, and Shelley, who spent many years in Italy. We will visit some of the sites associated with the writers and artists, including the Capuchin catacombs, Pompeii, the Keats-Shelley house, and the Capitoline Museums. Texts include Castle of Otronto, Radcliffe’s The Italian, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Polidori’s The Vampyre, Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, and several short stories.

ENG369R Special Topics in 19th C. Literature: The Grand Tour (DiBiasio)
While the Grand Tour (especially of Greece and Rome) was the highlight of an 18th century English classical education, it appealed primarily to aristocrats who could afford both the early education in England and the ‘study abroad’ of the tour itself. By the time of Queen Victoria, the Grand Tour had filtered through the Romantics and their circle of artists, writers, and political theorists to the bourgeoisie in Britain and the US. This was combined, especially for the rising middle class, with a desire for a national identity within a broader heritage. Jacob Burkhardt published The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy in 1860, just after Charles Darwin published Origin of Species in 1859, and Thomas Bulfinch’s Mythology, a popularization of classical mythology and Arthurian tales, was published in 1867. At the same time, book publishing and literacy reached a high point, especially in Britain, just as reliable rail travel across Europe became available in 1863. Suddenly, thousands of British and American families could afford to take some version of a Grand Tour and have a personal link to classical civilization. This course will replicate “the Grand Tour” for students in the Rome Program, who will travel to several of the sites associated with our texts for the course, such as the Vatican Libraries, the towns of Livorno, Naples, and Pompeii, the Borghese Gallery, Casa Magni, and a day at the Cinecitta Film Studios. In addition to selections from texts mentioned above, readings and films will include E. M. Forster’s A Room With a View, Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley, Robert Graves’ I, Claudius, Mark Twain’s Innocents Abroad, and Henry James’ Daisy Miller. Students in the course will keep a commonplace book and contribute to a course blog.

ITA 101 (Beginner) to ITA 103 (Advanced) - Rome Campus Faculty
Students will study Italian according to skill level. An intensive Italian language study option is also available. Counts in the core at level III or higher. If II is followed by III, both will count If 101 is taken in Rome, and if placement on return is 103, 101 and 103 will count.

Spring 2018

PHI 154 God and the Philosophers (Corrigan)
Is there a God? What could God be? What does God have to do with us? What is the role of reason in relation to faith? This course examines several ways that philosophers have thought about the divine: its existence and its relation to the world and to human beings. It considers classic arguments for the existence of God and various challenges to theism, such as those made in the name of science and the problem of evil.  Included among the readings are the “Five Ways” of Thomas Aquinas, Anselm’s “ontological argument,” and Nietzsche’s “Mad­man” parable. This version of the course will include texts and excursions which take advantage of our location in Rome.

Italian: ITA 101 (Beginner) to ITA 103 (Advanced) - Rome Campus Faculty
Students will study Italian according to skill level. An intensive Italian language study option is also available. Counts in the core at level III or higher. If II is followed by III, both will count If 101 is taken in Rome, and if placement on return is 103, 101 and 103 will count.