COURSE: GSUSFW280 / LAAHFW280 / LAHSFW280
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: 2, A
This course examines the city of Florence with themed walks offering a comprehensive approach to the city as an open-air cultural, historical, and artistic research site from its Roman foundation to its contemporary Zeitgeist. Students will learn the history of the city through its art: they will understand how buildings, streets, squares, and monuments can be mapped as living traces of multiple, overlapping layers of a complex past, and how to encode them in their personal appropriation of the city. Starting from learning how to decode the artistic environment of the city and to unveil its traces – both visible and invisible – the course aims at understanding the main social and cultural reasons underlying the existing shape of the city.
The course explores traces and evidences from Roman times through Middle Ages, Renaissance, Mannerism and Baroque, up to Art Nouveau and contemporary Florence. Students will be provided with a consistent theoretical background related to relevant historic-artistic landmarks and their social and cultural context and main characters (Guelphs vs. Ghibellines, the Florentine Guilds, Dante, the Medici family, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Ghirlandaio, Ammannati, Pontormo, etc.). Students will be encouraged to develop their own experiential tools and strategies to approach the city through guided field learning activities that assess research, on-site involvement, and academic outcome for each themed walk in Florence.
The classroom approach of this course is based on experiencing the city of Florence as the academic space for learning and engagement. Classes are not held in a traditional, frontal-style setting; each lesson is carefully mapped for curricular content and featured locations: lectures, observations, exercises, analysis, and reflections on presented topics are held in relevant sites that are accounted for in the academic planning, syllabus, and related course material. Coursework and submissions will be regularly assessed on the MyFUA platform through daily assignments in addition to exams, papers, and projects. Learning through the on-site classroom approach fosters a deeper understanding of the cultural environment of Florence and how it is related to the subject of study represented by the course, and allows the overall experience to contribute to the students’ academic and personal enrichment.
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