• Assignments

    Last updated: June 25, 2017.

    This is not a final list of assignments; your professors reserve the right to change it before class begins!

    Pre-Travel Assignments:

    10%     Professionalism — includes attendance, class discussion, and responsible participation
    30%     6 Watercolor Paintings: 5 painted in class (2 Sargent, 2 Turner, 1 from photo)
    and 1 painted on your own time in the style of Sargent or Turner.
    40%    4 quizzes @ 10% each
    10%     Book Report
    10%     Blogging

    Travel & Post-Travel Assignments:

    10%     5 “Treasure Hunts” (graded in Venice on the days due)
    10%     Blogging (every blog post must include a photo from the blogger’s camera)
    55%     Semiotic Journal/Portfolio (periodically checked in Venice, Verona and graded on the morning of the last day of Florence) — this includes a variety of required response essays, paintings, photography, poetry and fiction.
    25%     Class Presentation (Last night in Florence)


    Midterm & Final: The midterm and final will cover lecture, readings, audiovisual presentations, and basic Italian words and phrases.

    Paintings: Six paintings will be completed, five of them in-class (Friday art studio hours are available if needed). Don’t worry — you don’t need to be an expert painter for these assignments!

    Pre-Travel Book Report: You must choose one novel primarily based in Venice for your book report; a list of possible novels will be provided. Your report will critically review the book, summarizing characters and plot and analyzing the story’s major themes while paying special attention to the city’s symbolic role within the work. Remember to provide your opinion at the end: was the writing effective? the plot strong? the characters believable? the story memorable? Did you learn much about Venice or Venetians from it? You will be asked to give a brief oral presentation about your book in class.

    Pre-Travel Blogging:  You will be assigned a week in which you must post to the Imagining Venice blog a 900-word (or more) essay regarding the symbol, or an assigned artist, relevant for that week. Blog topics must be approved by the professor.

    Travel/Post-Travel Semiotic Journal/Portfolio: The final journal and art portfolio demonstrates each student’s understanding of semiotics as it applies to Venice as a signifier. The paintings, poems, and stories must all use some aspect of Venice as a symbol of some broader aspect of the human condition.

    Developed over the course of the travel phase and finalized thereafter, the journal and portfolio will consist of 12 response essays written during the travel phase of the class, plus a minimum of 12 original creative works created during the travel portion of the class, to include at least 2 new watercolor paintings; 1 sketch; 1 poem; and 1 work of fiction (short story or complete scene for a script), and 1 to 3 art photographs or short videos of Venice that capture Venice in some symbolic sense discussed in class.

    Students may choose to turn in a paper journal/portfolio or create a digital journal/portfolio in the form of a blog or website. At least one painting (from a photograph in the Boboli Gardens) must be completed post-trip.

    Journal Class Presentation: Students will give a 10- to 15-minute presentation presenting a response to the question what has Venice come to symbolize for you, personally? The presentation should be supported by the student’s creative and documentary work completed during the trip and should include some or all of the student’s artwork, photographs, and/or video. The student should read his or her poem aloud, describe his or her short story, and possibly discuss any journal entry that was relevant to the student’s decision regarding Venice’s personal symbolic importance.

    What if I’m graduating after spring semester?

    Talk to us so that we can work out your units with Study Abroad and the Registrar’s Office. You will be required to complete the post-travel assignments (we want all students to participate in the assigned activities during the trip), but we will discuss alternative forms of post-travel presentation — for example, we may require you to videotape your presentation or put it online as a podcast/slideshow combination on a site such as SlideShare.