for BCSP consortium members and associated universities
Spring semester 2015 - N° 14


Pre-Med Student Studies the Human Spirit through Art, History and Literature
Student Photography

BCSP Alumnae Hired to Work in the USA Pavilion during EXPO Milano 2015
Interview with Student Christopher Browner of Columbia University
Sports Immersion!
Alumni Notes

Professor Mark Musa in 1983
Photo credit: Indiana University Archives


The founder of Indiana University's Bologna Consortial Studies Program, Professor Emeritus and famous Dante scholar Mark Musa, passed away in Mallorca, Spain on December 31, 2014 at 80. Our students continue to study and comprehend Italian literature through Professor Musa's criticisms and translations.

BCSP Resident Director, Andrea Ricci, was Professor Musa's student in 1997 and has fond memories of his first class on the Bloomington campus: Professor Musa's Dante course.

Student Events and Excursions


Pasta Making and Eating Day at Agriturismo
Il Primo Fiore, January 31

Scrovegni Chapel - Padova, March 13
Bargello Museum - Florence, April 24
Casa Artusi - Forlimpopoli, May 5
Annual BCSP trip to Tuscany, May 22-23

Pre-Med Student Studies the Human Spirit through Art, History and Literature

Patricia Walchessen (BCSP AY 2014-15, Mount Holyoke College) is majoring in Biochemistry and Italian. She plans on applying to medical school after graduation. Patricia studied Spanish in high school but, drawn to the beauty of the language, chose to take courses in Italian at Mount Holyoke. She is fulfilling most of her credits for the major in Italian while studying abroad in Bologna with BCSP.

Patrizia commented on finding a balance between her majors: "It is important for me to study science because I want to become a doctor, but it is also important for me to have a liberal arts background. I saw the Mona Lisa in Paris and the Lady with an Ermine in Cracow, two portrait paintings by Leonardo Da Vinci, and I am inspired by his ability to comprehend the human spirit from a scientific and humanist point of view."

Patricia's course list for the academic year includes:
Fall semester
Antropologia del corpo e della malattia @ UniBo
(Anthropology of the Body and Disease)
Letteratura e Critica Dantesca @ UniBo
(Dante's Literature and Criticism)
Il percorso storico dell'Italia in Europa:
dall'Unità al Fascismo @ BCSP
(The Historical Journey of Italy in Europe:
from Unification to the
Fascist Era)
Corso Avanzato di Lingua e Società Italiana @ BCSP
(Advanced Course in Italian Language)

Spring semester
Informatica di base @ UniBo
(Basic Computer Science)
Storia della Scienza @ UniBo
(History of Science)
Immunologia e Patologia @ UniBo
(Immunology and Pathology)
Storia Politica Italiana 1943 - 2000 @ BCSP
(Italian Political History 1943 - 2000)


Photos of Venice and Burano by Renata Voci, BCSP AY 2014-15, Tulane University








BCSP Alumnae Hired to Work in the USA Pavilion during EXPO Milano 2015

Expo Milano 2015 is the Universal Exhibition that Milan, Italy, will host from May 1 to October 31, 2015. It will be the largest event ever organized on food and nutrition. At the USA Pavilion, American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet, visitors will be assisted by:

Adriana Di Fazio (BCSP Spring 2014, Barnard College)
Megan Gier (BCSP AY 2008-09, Northwestern University)
Adriana Golindano (BCSP AY 2012-13, University of North Carolina)
Alexandra Kuehl (BCSP Spring 2014, University of Wisconsin)
Sigrid Stensvold (BCSP Spring 2014, University of Wisconsin)

It is of great satisfaction for BCSP to have former students inspired by their study abroad experience to return to Italy for career opportunities or to advance in their education. We hope to see more of this in the future!

Interview with Student Christopher Brownerpassport
(BCSP Spring 2015, Columbia University)

For Chris opera is not only a life-long passion and hobby but a major part of his future dream career: becoming a stage director in the opera world. Chris wrote in his study abroad application essay “almost everything that I have done academically, professionally, and extracurricularly has been in service of this goal.” He considers study at the University of Bologna to be an important stepping stone and opportunity to delve into Italian opera.

Could you tell us about the productions that you have seen in Italy so far?

Since arriving in Italy, I have already seen five different productions in three different opera houses. Only days after arriving, I went to Teatro Comunale here in Bologna to see a modern, but effective, production of Verdi's "Un Ballo in Maschera." Not only was this my first time attending opera in a beautiful, traditional, storied Italian opera house, but the evening was particularly exciting because I was accompanied by some other students in the BCSP program for whom "Ballo" was their first opera. I have returned to Teatro Comunale for performances of Donizetti's "Don Pasquale" and Puccini's "Madama Butterfly," leading a group of 14 students to the latter performance! In addition, I heard a young tenor of promise during a staging of Bellini's "I Puritani" in Florence and attended a musically superb performance of Verdi's classic opera "Rigoletto," in the sumptuous Teatro dell'Opera di Roma.

Are you looking forward to seeing other operas later on in the semester?

Yes, yes, and yes! Working in opera being my major career aspiration, I envision this semester in Italy as being incredibly educational both in and out of the classroom. Every new opera house I visit and the performances I see increase my understanding of the art form's origins as well as the broad world of opera. In the next few months I plan to see more performances in Bologna and Florence, as well as productions in Milan, Venice, Naples, Pisa, Verona, and Parma, and I am even considering making the journey to Palermo to visit Teatro Massimo. 

What courses are you taking in Bologna this semester?

In addition to the Italian Language class offered by BCSP, I am taking both Psychology of Music and Musical Dramaturgy at the University of Bologna. The latter class is especially interesting to me because it explores how music, theater, literature, and history are united on the operatic stage. This semester we are examining Mozart's masterpiece "Le nozze di Figaro" through every angle. We are analyzing the composer's genius writing and orchestration and the librettist's (Lorenzo Da Ponte) masterful use of the Italian language, as well as the brilliant wit in the opera's source text, a comedy by Beaumarchais. I already have found ways to build upon the lessons learned in this class in my current and future work in opera.

You became interested in Italian history through opera. Could you talk about what you've learned?

Once a popular art form, something akin to movies in current society, the opera was once a very strong means through which to comment upon and progress social change. Because of this power to comment on society and politics, Italian opera was especially intertwined in the Risorgimento (the Italian independence and unification movement of the mid-nineteenth century). In the works of Verdi especially, the newly self-identifying Italian populace saw their own struggle against foreign rule embodied in operatic allegories and were further emboldened by these stories and this music to continue their nationalist cause. It is nearly impossible to study the history of Italian opera without also encountering the changes in European political and societal orders. 

You have also developed a passion for Italian cooking. Could you tell us about your culinary experiences so far?

Food being a burgeoning interest of mine, what better place to learn to cook well than in Italy? I have already used my time here not only to taste great dishes but also to learn to recreate these flavors in my own kitchen. My Italian adventure has also been series of self-taught cooking classes as well. My mentor in this journey has mainly been Pellegrino Artusi, whose 1891 cookbook La scienza in cucina e l'arte di mangiare bene ("The Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well") has been my guide for the past month. So far I have made half a dozen risottos as well as some meat and vegetable dishes, but I still have many more recipes to try. I also had the great fortune of learning a traditional ragù alla bolognese recipe from a local Bolognese woman and her family. The experience as well as the traditional Italian dinner that followed was a treat both literally and figuratively!



Sports Immersion!

Renata Voci (BCSP AY 2014-15, Tulane University), Caroline Klaff (BCSP AY 2014-15, University of North Carolina) and Philip Curran (BCSP Fall 2014, Cornell University) joined a soccer team with their Italian roommates and friends through CUSB,  UniBo’s Italian intramural sports club. The team took second place overall in the tournament last season. They are looking forward to getting revenge in the Spring! Caroline scored three, and Renata a total of nine, goals!

Quinn Manfredini (BCSP Spring 2015, University of Michigan) found himself in a situation he never thought he would be in while in Bologna. He joined the local lacrosse team, the Bologna Sharks. Quinn could not believe he would be able to play the sport he loved so much while studying in another country. Since joining the team, he has made excellent friendships with his teammates, as well as having had the opportunity to travel and compete with other lacrosse squads throughout Italy. "This is just one of the many unforgettable experiences that Bologna has to offer," Quinn mentioned.


Greg Attra (BCSP AY 2011/12, Indiana University) studying abroad through the BCSP was in many ways unlike anything I could have anticipated—in the best way possible. The people I met, the things I learned about culture and my own identity, and the opportunity to travel and visit historical sites catalyzed my personal development. It was thanks to the BCSP that I found my true passion for political theory thanks to the courses I took at Unibo.

John Petrila (BCSP AY 2009/10, University of Michigan) is in the process of translating the first novel written by Enrico Palandri entitled Boccalone set in Bologna in 1977. It was written when Palandri was a student at DAMS (the Department of Drama, Arts and Music Studies at the University of Bologna) and illustrates aspects of student life in Bologna during that year. John read the book during an Italian literature course sophomore year at the University of Michigan with Professor Vincenzo Binetti . Thanks to an email correspondence with the author, John was able to meet with Palandri in Venice. His thesis project at the University of Iowa, where he is currently obtaining a MFA in literary translation, is the translation of the novel.

www.bcsp.unibo.it andrea.ricci18@unibo.it