Brian Ahern, Contributing Writer
The summer Rome program will offer three new courses for the summer of 2014. Two new liberal arts classes will be offered in addition to an intensive second-year Italian course.
Dr. Scott Crider will be teaching a literature course, entitled “Shakespeare’s Rome,” in which students will read Shakespeare’s poem The Rape of Lucrece in addition to five of his historical Roman plays. The course will be offered alongside a theology course previously entitled, “Faith, Reason, and Culture in the Roman Catholic Tradition.” Due to variations in the course’s content, however, it has been renamed “God, the Lover and the City: Explorations in Catholic Faith and Culture.” It will be taught by Dr. Ron Rombs.
All students who enroll in the summer Rome program are required to take six credits. They may choose either the two liberal arts courses or the two Italian courses, Second-Year Italian I and II. Second-Year Italian I will focus primarily on grammar and proper usage of the Italian language as it did before, while Second-Year Italian II, a new addition to the curriculum, will focus on Italian history, art and culture.
“It seemed natural to offer intensive Italian on our campus in Italy, where students can use their summer to complete a language requirement while daily using their language skills and experiencing the culture they are studying,” said Rebecca Davies, director of the Rome program and Rome summer program.
With the additions to the summer Rome program, Davies hopes that a new, positive dynamic will emerge on the Rome campus and on class trips.
“The presence of students of Italian language and culture on group tours will inform discussions of Shakespeare’s understanding of the ideas of ancient Rome and [discussions of] … the relation of faith and reason [by combining them] with observations about the relation of these issues to modern Rome, Italy, and Italian and Western culture,” said Davies.
Students who have attended the summer Rome program in the past are highly positive about the program and say that their experiences were on par with the fall and spring Rome programs.
“Compared to what I’ve heard from my friends who went during the fall or spring semesters, I had much more free time – time to explore Rome and get to know my fellow Romers a lot better,” said Michael Longoria, a student who attended the summer program this past summer.
Junior Emily Madden, another participant in the summer Rome program, enjoyed the small class size and the intimacy of campus life.
“There were only 15 students who went, and I think that I personally benefited from the smaller group, seeing that the campus was less crowded and I was able to have a smaller teacher-to-student ratio,” she said. “Although the summer program has a shorter duration, it still gave me an unforgettable summer abroad and the opportunity to experience many things that other students during the regular semester had done.”