Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Sunday, April 22, 2007


The Honors Program is excited to offer its fifth annual summer study abroad program in Rome. This seminar will explore the history of the city through the art and architectural patronage of its most famous noble families.

Power and Privilege
In ancient Rome power and privilege was bestowed on those who were descendants of the ruling families. And, with that power, the ancient Romans built an empire (veni, vidi, vici — I came, I saw, I conquered) stretching from Syria to Spain and from France to the Sahara and ruled the western world. Ancient Roman civilization left its mark on modern language, engineering and architecture, the 12-month, 365-day calendar, et cetera (yes, Roman/Latin). Today, of course, empire-building is a dirty word, but it is important to study Pax Romana to understand our world. To that end, this class will examine the roots of that power and privilege in Italy from ancient to modern times. What are the symbols of today’s power and privilege in Rome? Can someone still be born to power and privilege? How does the industrialized Italy in the north differ from the more agricultural italy of the south? Can power and privilege be bought? Is it represented in Italian products such as exotic and outrageously expensive fast cars, food, art or fashion? Or, is there simply power and privilege in appearance, in beauty, in a country where bella figura means everything?

The seminar will be based at the UW Rome Center, housed in the 17th century Palazzo Pio in the heart of historic Rome - the Campo de’ Fiori. This piazza is an open-air fruit and vegetable market by day and a gathering place by night. The Rome Center provides classroom space, computer lab, library, and logistical assistance.

The Families Who Made Rome, 10 credits
Instructors: Lisa Schultz, Shawn Wong

In this course students will study the art and architecture, palaces and piazzas produced by the powerful Roman papal families who changed the face of the city during the 14th through17th centuries. Rome was not built in a day. To the contrary, it is distinguished among cities as a place of layers, of memories, of overlappings, and occasionally of dramatic cancellations. In some ways the focus of our seminar is really the city itself – how it has been transformed, exploited, and embellished by successive generations. Students will learn to “read” the city for what it can tell us about its own past.

In addition, students will “read” Rome in the writings of authors such as D.H. Lawrence, Henry James, and Edith Wharton. Rome has always been a powerful symbol, not only during its rise as an empire but also in the 20th century in terms of literature, culture, and history. It is a city of contradictions—acting as the center of Roman Catholicism and pre-Christian paganism, of immense beauty and infamous ruin, and of opulent antiquity and contemporary extravagance. Few cities in the world can provide students with such an inspiring and memorable landscape to work from.

Students will take an active role in presenting key monuments to the class based on advance research begun in Seattle and will work on “reading and writing” Rome.

Communicating in Italian, 3 credits
ItaliaIdea Language School
Students will be encouraged to utilize the Italian language while in Rome. To this end, we will work with one of Rome's most outstanding language schools – ItaliaIdea. Students will participate in an intensive "survival Italian" language class that will familiarize them with idiomatic expressions, the basic rules of grammar and proper pronunciation. They will also learn important cultural skills that will enable them to navigate Rome with confidence.


Instructor: Lisa Schultz

1. Each participant in the seminar will present one topic/monument/site to the group. It will be a fairly specific research topic that you will define and begin working on long before you arrive in Rome. It can be something chosen from/related to the list below, or something else that interests you: a specific painting, sculpture, building, object, or site. You will work with me to refine your particular angle, sources, research questions, etc, before presenting your results to the group on site.

2.Students will create a 5-7 page, written version of their main presentation on the Honors Rome blog. This paper will follow a specific outline and may include images, photographs, maps,drawings, diagrams, etc. This must be completed within 4 days of the student’s on-site presentation.

3. Renaissance Florence was the center of a true flowering of art and culture and produced some of the world’s greatest artists; Brunelleschi, Donatello, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo, to name but a few. The city becomes our classroom as we explore the paintings and sculptures, churches and palaces, streets and piazzas. In lieu of on-site presentations students will participate in (and be graded on) “The Quest”. The Quest is a creative writing assignment covering matters of history, culture, art, literature, local color and obscure facts, which is handed out daily, and is to be turned in on the last day in Florence. It requires students to pay close attention when they're on their walks with the group, and to be engaged as they explore Florence on their own.

4. There are family coats of arms all over Rome marking buildings, public works or individual works of art with the heraldic imagery of the family who commissioned for the piece. During the course of our stay in Rome, each apartment will develop its own coat of arms. At the end of the quarter, the residents of each apartment will give a “tour” and explanation of the crest. The crest must have a title and a detailed history – real or fictional. A photo of your crest will be posted on the website along with a written narrative about the history and theme.

5. Participation in discussion and on-site group exercises.

6. Each student will be responsible for recording the activities for one assigned day in the Honors blog Daily Diary.

Main Presentation 30
Website paper 20
Florentine Quest 10
Heraldic Crest 10
Participation 30

READINGS (subject to change):
*Ross King, Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling
*Students should also arrive with a good map of the city such as Artwise Rome
*A course reading packet will be printed and available for purchase once we arrive in Rome.

In addition, the following text is highly recommended for summer reading:
*Christopher Hibbert, Rome: The Biography of a City

Saturday, April 21, 2007


“He who has seen Rome has seen everything” --Goethe

Prof. Shawn Wong
Prof. Erin Malone
UW Rome Center, Apartment 6
Phone #: 06.6830.8695
Cell #: 333.560.4254


The writing portion of our class, “Power and Privilege,” will link the idea of creative thinking and the mechanics of writing effective and creative prose. The work we do for this class will focus on poems, essays and stories that consider how journeys shape our lives, and how they take shape on the page. Dramatic scenery, the art of conversation, the idea of pilgrimage: How does the physical act of traveling influence a person? In short, we hope to explore the difference between simply recording your observations and communicating through a series of images.

If I asked you in class if you are readers, nearly everyone would raise their hands. If I asked how many of you consider yourself writers, probably only a few, if any, would raise your hands. Why is that? By the end of this five-week class, I’d like everyone to think of themselves as writers, just as I hope you will think of yourselves not as student tourists in Rome, but as travelers and that you didn’t just go on a study abroad class and had a lot of fun, but that you lived in Rome for five weeks.

In this class we will write everyday—even on Sunday when there is no class. The assignments are not meant to be long. Your first drafts might be long, but I expect you to make what you have on the page work harder with fewer words, thus making your writing more compact and more effective.

Part of your responsibility in this class is not only doing the writing, but also helping to edit the writing of your classmates/roommates. Find an editing partner or partners such as your apartment roommates. How do you make effective critical comments about someone else’s writing (without offending them)? Rather than say something that isn’t helpful, such as, “I like it, especially the part about the ruins,” try posing your editing remarks in the form of a question, such as, “When I read your piece on the Pantheon, were you trying to connect your observations to the theme of ________?” You can ask me to review anything you’ve written at any time.


• Write everyday. Use your journal when visiting sites (or while sipping espresso at a café), then work from your journal notes to write a more complete draft of your work on the class blog.

• There is no minimum or maximum word count for most of the assignments, so you have to ask yourself or ask your editing partner if you have communicated what you set out to communicate in the writing exercise. If not, figure out what needs to be added or revised. You may want to record in your journals how you revised your writing assignments. Effective writing is all about revision more than it is about sudden inspiration. You can also quote the work of your classmates.

• Everyone must contribute to the class daily diary at least once. I will not censor what you write, but remember, family, UW staff, faculty, and administrators might be reading your diary entries.

• By UW standards, the required reading for this course is very light and not very difficult, therefore the emphasis is on the writing and taking advantage of a city as “text.” Rather than have you read a lot of books, I’m asking you to “read” Rome. Your journal is the best place to record how you read the city as text.

• Proofread. Proofread. Proofread your writing for typos.


Journal 35%
All other writing assignments 35%
Editing other student work 10%
Attendance & daily writing 20%


Please try to complete all the readings prior to the beginning of the class session or by the first week (hey, it’s a long plane ride so you might as well read). Even though many of the writing assignments listed below don’t reference specific readings, we will be discussing much of the material in these books while on our field trips.

Bloom’s Literary Guide to Rome by Brett Foster and Hal Marcovitz (Checkmark Books, 2007)

Dante in Love by Harriett Rubin (Simon & Schuster, 2004)

Caravaggio: Painter of Miracles by Francine Prose (Harper Collins, 2005)
Selected photocopied poetry, fiction and essays.

**Plus photocopied reader (made available in Rome)