Italian Studies in the Community

ITAL/EDS 190 | ITAL 190 | ITAL 376R

The I.V.C. Virtual Community

Created and Authored by Dr. Judy Raggi Moore  

CefaluA meaningful use of web technology has allowed the Italian Virtual Class, Chiavi di Lettura [referred to as I.V.C.] project to become an active forum for students around the world in which to share their experience of learning, and a community for the instructors in which to discuss new ideas and experience innovative ways of teaching.

The basic premise of the I.V.C. method is to allow Italians to describe Italy and Italian culture and to bring their perspectives to the classroom, via web technology, culturally intact, and without allowances and simplifications to accommodate the non-native learner. The digital audio-visual component of the project is integrated within a selected carefully designed anthology presented to foreign students so that they may learn the language and culture in an authentic and natural manner. The global job market increasingly demands that our learners put their language skills to use in a real-world setting. Therefore student success hinges upon competent exposure to the economic, social, cultural, and political fabric of an increasingly global community, acquired through an integrated, culturally contextualized language-study, what we call the "keys to understanding". Emory students reach out to the Italian community, both in Atlanta and Italy, and engage in collaborative activities that benefit all communities involved.

E-learning, or distance learning opportunities, allow faculty of the I.V.C. method to offer on a weekly basis, through video podcasts, extensive and fundamental distance training and assistance to participating faculty teaching at universities in other states or countries. In essence, the podcasts teach teachers how to facilitate the co-learning of Italian culture and language within their classes. Annual workshops conducted virtually or in person allow the I.V.C. instructors to enrich their professional experience and share in the understanding of their discipline. Authors, co-authors, teachers, and I.V.C. professionals work as a collaborative group of educators to engage each other and their students in a learning community that is growing and changing as rapidly as the on-line technologies that support it.

If you are interested in becoming part of the I.V.C. community through adopting our method, please contact Judy Raggi Moore at Please visit the I.V.C. website for further information:


Created and Developed by Dr. Christine Ristaino

SienaThe Vision in Action program originated with Christine Ristiano's ITAL/EDS 190 How We Learn classes and independent studies, which compare Italian and American educational systems with the aim of facilitating community-engaged learning and inspiring lifelong commitments to education. How We Learn evolved from a conversation about Italian Education and the pedagogy of Reggio Emilia Schools in Italy into a dialogue about the American Public Education System and how it can be improved using discussion of foreign educational models as a jumping off point.

In order to learn how to effect change and become active participants in learning communities, Dr. Ristaino¿s students integrate and explore course topics with local schools. Italy's Reggio approach, which was developed in the Reggio Emilia region of Italy after the Second World War to create community and a safe place for children to learn and explore their world, is the lens with which students discuss local schools and education. Each semester ITAL/EDS 190 partners with three Reggio-inspired preschools and a number of local elementary and high schools.

Students in Ristaino's ITAl/EDS 190 also have a chance to work with the Waller Scholars Chapter at Emory University, a partnership which grew out of ITAL/EDS 190. Students from Emory University and Drew Charter School became founding members of a mentoring organization that fosters lifelong relationships between college and elementary school students. The Waller Scholars at Drew Charter School, the Crew Teens at Drew Charter, and the Waller Scholars Chapter at Emory continue to promote excellence and leadership in education. This unique partnership is a source of enjoyment, renewal, and a unified vision.; Please contact Christine Ristaino at if you are interested in working with the Waller Scholars Chapter at Emory or participating in her class or visit her website:

ITAL 190: Italian Food in Literature, Film and Culture

Created and Developed by Dr. Simona Muratore

pastaITAL 190 Italian Food in Literature, Film and Culture explores the art of cuisine through the analysis of literary texts, culture and film from the Roman period to the 21st century. Students also study the principles of the Slow Food movement, which was founded in 1980 in Italy to counteract fast food and to promote local food traditions.

Throughout the course, students take field trips to local farmers' markets and organize workshops with the students in the Decatur High School to promote healthy food habits. Decatur High school has a culinary art course and a school garden. Using our knowledge of the Slow Food Movement and Italian cuisine, students of this course work to create a collaborative experience between the two educational institutions.

The course is divided into four different modules: the history and mission of the slow food movement; the Mediterranean diet and Nutrition; a cooking demonstration; social aspects of food in Italy.

The idea for this course was born from Dr. Muratore's passion for healthy food and literature and it expanded, thanks to the Piedmont project and Community-Engaged Learning and Scholarship seminars. Initially, the course was an historical overview of Italian food analyzing literature and movies. The Piedmont project helped Dr. Muratore to see that she could diffuse the principles of the slow food movement to promote local food as well as raise awareness about food choices and spread them into the community.

Dr. Muratore is also the faculty advisor of the Italian Club, which connects to the local Italian community on a regular basis through cultural activities, projects, and events. Please contact Simona Muratore at if you would like more information about the Italian Club, the Slow Food Movement, or course partnerships.

ITAL 376R: Medicine and Compassion

Created and Developed by Dr. Ruth Parker and Dr. Judy Raggi Moore

MateraSassiAbout 40 percent of Emory's undergraduate students pursue pre-medical curricula, most commonly through majors in neuroscience and behavioral biology, biology, or chemistry. Their majors and medical school admissions recommendations dictate 70 percent of their graduation requirements. Indeed, our students' brains are primed to apply memory and recall to scientific content. Their minds are further challenged through studies in social science, some required by Emory and others highly recommended for medical school admission. But what about our students' hearts? In this essay, we offer our insight on teaching medicine and compassion to undergraduates based on our experiences developing and teaching Medicine and Compassion, an undergraduate medical humanities course that is part of the cultural studies in Italy summer curriculum.

The word "compassion" literally translates from Latin as "to suffer together." The word "patient," again from the Latin, reveals both "bearing and enduring without complaint" and the "suffering or sick person." Linking these two words is the idea of suffering. The person offering compassion is offering to share in the sick person's suffering. Do heathcare professionals need to be reminded, or perhaps even taught, that compassion reflects true listening and speaking with our brains, our minds, and our hearts? Most importantly, can we teach these concepts to students considering careers in healthcare?

These questions took on an immediacy six years ago when Judy Raggi Moore of the Emory College faculty asked Ruth Parker of the School of Medicine faculty to design a course that would integrate an undergraduate medical humanities course with the cultural studies in Italy summer curriculum. In other words, propose a class that would both help prepare future healthcare professionals and engage the cultural immersion they would experience. Parker surveyed colleagues and leading medical faculty around the country: if they could offer one course taught in Italy to pre-medical students today, what would it be? The sense that Emory's popular pre-medical curricula lacked "education of the heart" led them to try to create one essential pre-health career course.

For the past five summers, Emory undergraduates enrolled in Medicine and Compassion have spent six weeks asking, "What is compassion?" The main goal of the course is for each student to understand how compassion relates to the profession of medicine. Using moral imagination as a tool for inquiry, students examine historical and recent work from the humanities: literature, philosophy, the arts, and numerous cultural and social renditions of complex concepts such as love, care, mercy, pity, sorrow, death, and healing. They are asked to explore compassion and medicine both as private individuals and as professionals called to the work of healing. Faculty from the School of Medicine (Parker) and the CDC (Cantey), along with Raggi Moore and faculty from the humanities, social sciences, and sciences provide cross-disciplinary insights.

Read the full article in Emory's scholarly magazine: the Academic Exchange.