Monday, January 31, 2011

Study Abroad in Florence Spring 2012

Have you ever wanted to study in Florence?  (who hasn't, really...)  In Spring of 2012 a good friend of mine, Kristin McAndrews, is going to be teaching a few courses in Florence.  She is an English Professor at the University of Hawaii Manoa.  If you have never studied abroad, this is the chance for you!  She will help make your experience exciting and rewarding through the courses offered.  Picture field trips (as a class day!) and walking around Florence gathering important "material" (pizza) for your next paper.


Interested, click here to go to UH Manoa's study abroad page.  Or call them at 808-956-6958.   E-mail at

Here are the classes that she is offering through the University of Hawaii in Florence, so if you are a student there, you can take full advantage of the credits to bring back home.


She will be teaching: A Taste of Florence: An Exploration of Life and Food in Italy and The Feast in Italian Art and Literature.

Let me tell you a little bit about each one.  (as written by Professor Kristin McAndrews)

A Taste of Florence: An exploration of Life and Food in Italy

Tuscan food is relatively simple, incorporating fresh produce and herbs and yet it is complex in history. The cuisine has historical roots in poverty, yet Florence displays an abundance of delicious creations. While bridging American and Italian cultures, writers will discover how something as simple as sampling fresh pecorino, sipping an espresso or indulging in a dolce can become a story.  Food writing requires an enthusiasm for food, culture and the ability to summon its wonders in words. In A Taste of Florence, students will learn about the full spectrum of food writing—reviews, a memoir, essays, articles, and blogs—as well as such writing craft elements such as description, structure and voice. Students will frame food narratives towards an audience of other visitors to Florence, specifically study abroad students.  Where can a student find an affordable osteria? Which fiascheterria near the Instituto Lorenzo De Medici has good sandwiches or snacks?  What advice can you offer new visitors to the city about Florentine etiquette?  We will read historical and contemporary food narratives, using these works as models for writing. In addition we will discuss the criticism that food writers often assume a patriarchal gaze of cultural superiority, when describing the culture of others. As a writing intensive course, English 311 will give students practice at writing within two major literary forms, the autobiography and food narrative.

------ this course sounds like an excuse to eat crazy good food everyday and then.... write about it?  What more could you ask for?  Seriously!  This course sounds like a foodies dream...


The Feast in Italian Art and Literature

This course will provide a study of the feast in Italian art and literature in order to examine how this folkloric ritual impacts culture.  All cultures employ feasting often to create a cohesive cultural and social identity and for political and economic gain.  Feasts maintain and enhance social relationships, revealing ideologies of class and gender. With transculturalism in mind, students will learn how the feast functions as a celebration and an agent of cultural identification and oppression, not only in Italy but also in American culture.  

The course will be presented in four sections:
1.  An introduction to folkloric and analytical approaches to the feast. 
2.  The artistic feast as a vision of power, gender and class.
3. The feast in myth, folktale and storytelling
4.  The feast in the film

------This course is more academic with a lot of reflection on eating and what shapes the way that we eat.  So imagine this....  All day you walk around Florence eating, I mean doing homework, and then you go to your next course and discuss the history of feasting.  What better day could you ask for in class??

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