The convergence of intellectual and artistic change and the new energetic urbanism of the post-pestilence West appeared first and most strikingly in Italy. This burst of new ideas and activity was spurred on by the devastation of the Black Death, an event one historian called “the closest thing to a complete rupture” in the history of the world.

The goal of this field school’s academic program will be to acquaint students with some of the major achievements in literature and art of humanists from and in Italy, in the centuries just before and just after the chief outbreaks of plague in mid-fourteenth century. The works themselves demand our attention. What their creation reveals about the resilience and determination, the capacity for change, of a culture that has endured catastrophic loss is even more important to consider.

Students will study these works along with the history of these times with the aim of relating developments in different disciplines to each other as well as to their economic, political and demographic contexts.

Field School Director: Dr. Anne Higgins <ahiggins@sfu.ca>

Courses

The following courses are designed to work together to give students a strong background in the debates, concerns and stresses of this turbulent and defining age, with the support of a class in Italian language and culture.

The program will consist of the following three courses for a total of 11 SFU units.

ENG 377-4: Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarca

This course will focus on the central writers and works of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance in Italy. With the help of some readings in history, this class will work to identify the key notions of this new intellectual effort. We will focus on the impact on all parts of life of the pestilences of the fourteenth century. By moving beyond their most celebrated works to some less familiar, we hope to reveal more about the motivating ideas of this movement, and about the relations between writers and artists in this energetic age.

ENG 378-4: Towns, Patronage, and Wealth: A Cultural Studies Approach to the Production of Literature and Other Arts in Post-Pestilence Florence

In Florence, both literary and visual arts were more than a diversion or preoccupation of the devout and the wealthy. Their production became significant businesses in their own right, and were affected not only by the pleasures but the ideas and the economy of Florentines. The social changes caused by the losses of the plague affected this evolution strongly. We shall proceed in this class by reading contemporary accounts by and about Italian artists, and by visiting their works in fieldwork in Florence and its vicinity.

ITAL 100-3: Introductory Italian

This course is designed to provide the student with the means of acquiring basic spoken fluency and reading facility.

Students who have already completed ITAL 100-3 will be responsible for enrolling in an alternate Distance Education course at SFU to ensure they are registered as a full-time student during the field school.

The field school courses can be applied to the Certificate in Italian Studies.

Dates

September  15 - October 3   
Three weeks of coursework at SFU Burnaby
October 18
Each student travels to join the group in Prato  
October 18 - December 13 
Eight weeks of coursework in Prato
December Final assignments due

*These dates are provided as guidelines and are subject to change.

Costs and Funding

*Tuition (11 units) $1,875.50  
Program Fees $5,146.69
Total Cost (estimated)    $7,022.19

* Differential tuition fees are charged for international students.

Program Fees include:

  
    Shared Accommodation          Some Group Meals
     
    In-Country Transportation
         Field Trips
 
    
  Pre-Departure Orientation, In-Field/Re-Entry Support

Program fees do not include personal expenses, independent travel, textbooks, inoculations, mandatory health insurance, or international airfare (participants are responsible for arranging their own international travel – see below). Program costs quoted in Canadian dollars are approximate and may vary subject to exchange rates, travel, and accommodation cost quotations. 

Students must pay tuition and program fees directly to SFU Student Services by the due date as outlined in the SFU calendar.

Students participating in SFU field schools are eligible to apply for student loans. SFU students may also apply for bursaries, scholarships, awards, and International Exchange/Field School Bursaries.

Travel

Participants are responsible for arranging their own international travel to Italy and arriving in time for the start of the program. Any additional costs associated with this travel, including accommodation, are also the responsibility of the student.  Note: the Field School Director’s travel itinerary will be made available and participants may choose to travel at the same time.

Eligibility

Applicants must meet the following requirements to participate:

  • Must be 19 years of age or older prior to departure
  • Have completed a minimum of 36 units of university courses prior to field school departure
  • Have a minimum 2.5 CGPA
  • Completed 2 English courses
  • Consent of the Field School Director

Please note, the field school is open to students from all faculties. If you do not meet one of the eligibility requirements but are interested in participating, please contact the Field School Director at ahiggins@sfu.ca, to see if the eligibility requirement can be waived.

For more information on eligibility for non-SFU students, please see the Application page.

Information Sessions

No further sessions scheduled.

Application Status: Closed
Application Deadline: Friday, May 16, 2014

Note: For people with (physical or mental) medical conditions, international travel can present severe challenges. Because SFU field schools take place in international locations where emergency services, and/or mental or physical support services may be limited, or non-existent, some field school placements will not be appropriate for everyone. Please speak with the program's Field School Director for information on specific conditions for this field school.

If you have a medical condition that poses limitations on your ability to function in certain environments, we strongly advise that you register with the SFU Centre for Students with Disabilities (CSD). CSD staff will ask that you provide documentation from a duly-qualified medical specialist, which contains a diagnosis and a treatment plan.

Where appropriate, CSD staff will communicate with field school staff with regard to accommodation in the field. Please note that, while CSD staff indicate to field school staff that a prospective participant requires accommodation for a medical condition, they do not disclose the nature of the medical condition.

Because overseas arrangements can be complicated, we recommend that you contact the CSD at least three months prior to the commencement of the field school in which you wish to participate. Please note that failure to make proper arrangements in advance of travel could result in termination from the field school with costs and academic credit forfeited.