for consortium members
and associated universities
Nov. 2011 - Feb. 2012, newsletter N. 8


BCSP Spring Semester Courses

Interview with Professor Fulvio Cammarano

Student Blogs

Student Events & Excursions

Student Spotlight

Alumnae Notes

As many of our readers know, BCSP offered for the first time this year a Fall Semester option. The eight students enrolled (from University of Wisconsin, University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern University, Indiana University, Princeton University, Mount Holyoke College, University of Minnesota) completed their exams for BCSP courses and the University of Bologna before the winter holiday break. Most of them took at least two BCSP classes and one at UniBo.

The annual students took their final exams at UniBo in January.

Thirty-six Spring Semester students arrived in Bologna on January 9. Their orientation calendar is available to download on our website.




The courses held at the BCSP office this semester include: Advanced Course in Italian Language and Society (Prof. Christine Dodd and Prof. Clara Piovaccari), The Culture of Food and Italian Identity (Prof. Massimo Montanari), Italian Political History 1943-2000 (Prof. Salvatore Botta), and Arts and Society in Italy from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance (Prof. Giancarlo Benevolo). Students are in the process of confirming their schedules after having spent the first few weeks of the semester shopping for courses that they judge most appropriate to their majors or interests.


Fulvio Cammarano is a tenured professor of Contemporary History at the University of Bologna's School of Political Science and President of Sistema Bibliotecario d'Ateneo (UniBo's library network). He was formerly Director of the Department Politica, Istituzioni, Storia (Politics, Institutions, History) from 2004 to 2010. He has taught Italian and European history and politics at BCSP since 2001. His course, The Italian Historical Transformation: from Unification to Fascism, is offered to BCSP students during the Fall semester.

Professor Cammarano is a graduate of the University of Bologna and received his PH.D. in Contemporary History from the University of Turin. He is a member of the Italian Association of Contemporary Historians (Società Italiana per lo Studio della Storia Contemporanea, SISSCO) and has collaborated as editor with Il Mulino and Le Monnier. He regularly contributes to the Italian national newspapers Il Messaggero (Rome), Corriere Adriatico (Ancona), Corriere della Sera Bologna (Milan - Bologna). His most recent publications include:  

Storia contemporanea. Dal XIX al XXI secolo. Milano-Firenze, Le Monnier Mondadori, 2009 (con G. Guazzaloca, M.S. Piretti), pp. 426 
Il nemico in politica. La delegittimazione dell’avversario nell’Europa contemporanea, (a cura di, con S. Cavazza) Bologna, Il Mulino, 2010

Il garante interessato: monarchia e politica in Italia e Gran Bretagna dopo il 1848, in G. Guazzaloca (a cura di), Sovrani a metà Monarchia e legittimazione in Europa tra Otto e Novecento, Rubbettino, Soveria Mannelli, 2009, pp. 67-91
Il Trasformismo, in Nuova Informazione Bibliografica vol. 4 (2009), pp. 661 - 681
 Forca e dinamite. La delegittimazione politica nell’Italia liberale, in F. Cammarano, S. Cavazza (a cura di), Il nemico in politica. La delegittimazione dell’avversario nell’Europa contemporanea, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2010, pp. 13-58

Storia dell'Italia liberale, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2011

Q. BCSP students come from various universities and academic backgrounds. Although all of them have taken Italian language classes, not everyone has taken a non-grammar subject matter, such as an Italian History course. How do you introduce the material to the students and what are your goals for them by the end of the course?
A. The students gain a basic but well-structured knowledge of Italian history within the larger context of European history.

Q. What appears to be the most challenging aspect of your course for BCSP students?
A. Helping them to understand the historical progression of Europe and Italy, which is unknown to the students and very different from American history.

Q. Your course involves a visit to the Museo Civico del Risorgimento and Casa Carducci. What do the students learn and how is this relevant to the course?
A. The museum visits are important because the students learn firsthand about many aspects of Italian history that they may not discover just by reading the books.

Q. How would you describe the improvements that BCSP students make in being able to analyze and interpret historical events by the time they have finished your course?
A. They develop a greater awareness of the cultural and political differences and similarities, and how they originated, between Europe and the Anglo-Saxon countries.

Bernadette poses for a picture before going
for a ride on her bicycle.

Sarah 'al mare' in Palermo, Sicily with
her roommate and friend.


Bernadette Myers (University of Kansas) and Sarah Tolman (University of Wisconsin) are two of our most entertaining and insightful bloggers for the year:

"Riding a bike around this city amplifies everything magical about it. With the wind whipping around you and the colorful porticoes flashing past, I feel like I jumped out of an airplane and am parachuting through candy land."- a quote from Bernadette's blog entry on biking in Bologna.

"Hundreds of students piled into a crowded, old, and extremely stuffy classroom. Bazzocchi (Professor Marco Antonio Bazzocchi, Italian Contemporary Literature) sat down and talked nonstop for the entire 2 hours. And I could follow about 85% of what he said! This, for me, besides discovering 'chocolate cake' flavored gelato, is one of the most thrilling things that has happened in Italy so far."- an excerpt from Sarah's blog on her first UniBo class impressions.

Prof. Cammarano's class visit to the Museo Civico del Risorgimento November 2, 2011
Chocolate tasting and visit to chocolate laboratory during Bologna's Cioccoshow, November 18, 2011
Day trip to Verona November 11, 2011
BCSP Thanksgiving dinner November 24, 2011 (photos)
BCSP welcome dinner for Spring students, January 10, 2012
Pasta-making evening at Ristorante La Traviata, January 23, 2012 (photos)
Day trip to Padova, February 18, 2012


Stephanie interned at the International School of Bologna from September to December 2011. She collaborated with Susan Bell, the school's ESL Coordinator. Stephanie assisted in teaching students of various nationalities who were struggling with English.

Stephanie comments on the experience:
"I saw firsthand how young children learn a language and the improvements were astounding. The last day I saw students that couldn't speak any English in September performing their own folktales before their parents all in English."

How did you help them reach these results?
"The tools that we used included stories, music, pictures and games as well as daily exercises with letters. One of their favorite games was picture Bingo, which helped them correlate letters with specific objects."

What drew you to apply for this internship?
"I was interested in education, and I had never worked with such young children. I also wanted to see a school system in Italy. At Penn I have friends that went to international schools, and I was curious about their education before college. I would like to see this style of education in America, even in public and private schools. The students learn about and celebrate from a very young age different cultures and holidays from around the world and become very accepting of diversity around age 5."

University of Pennsylvania
BCSP Fall Semester 2011


Margaret Friedman, Swarthmore College, Academic Year BCSP 1989, now lives in Seattle and came to visit Bologna after more than 20 years. She still speaks Italian very well and this shows how seriously she took this experience. Here is a note that she kindly sent to us after her visit: "I stopped by the Malcontenti office while visiting Bologna between snowstorms in February. What a thrill to see the program flourishing these 24 years later! It has turned into what I had wanted it to be back then… an immersion experience with strong academic and cultural components. In 1988 I took some heat from the administration for living with Italians instead of with other program students; that that is standard now. And how great now that the internet facilitates maintaining those relationships! Although I didn't wind up pursuing a career related to what I studied in Bologna, the life experience of that year colonized a disproportionately large region of my creative imagination and inspired various writing projects. Bologna became a part of my identity. Italy must be tired of minting imitation Italians, but on a daily basis I am grateful for the borrowed patrimony".

Laurel Schuirmann, Mount Holyoke College, BCSP Spring Semester 2009, graduated in 2010 with a B.A. in Italian and is currently pursuing an M.A. in Italian Studies at the University of Notre Dame. She was fortunate to return to Bologna this past summer with a scholarship to attend the Cinema Ritrovato Festival, but even more fortunate to catch-up with the dear friends she made during her first time abroad. She hopes to find a job teaching Italian language next fall, but also knows from her experience in Italy that life is full of surprises!

Erin Leary, University of Wisconsin Madison, BCSP Academic Year 2009 - 2010, wrote: "Studying abroad in Bologna with BCSP was an experience that I can not accurately describe with words. It was absolutely amazing! I learned SO much! Not only Italian or things in books but about life and how to live and enjoy it! It helped me find direction with what I want to do with the rest of my life and I made life long friends. I will never ever forget the wonderful memories I made. The BCSP played a critical role in helping me jump start my time in Bologna. They give support when needed but also allow you to be independent. Thanks to them I had an amazing year and the confidence it takes to live abroad for a year!"

Erin has since returned to Bologna and is volunteering for Cefa Onlus, an EU organization that develops agricultural projects throughout the world to combat poverty and hunger.

Haley Leder, Mount Holyoke College, BCSP Academic Year 2007 - 2008, is living in Sicily, married to an Italian that she met between classes at the University of Bologna, and is currently teaching English. Haley is hoping to move back to Bologna with her husband and recently came to visit our office to rekindle her ties to the city.