Harvard.edu

Harvard Summer Program in Venice, Italy

Dates: 
June 11, 2017 to August 5, 2017
Apply by: 
January 26, 2017
Cost: 
$8,500
Housing: 
Dorms

Explore Venice, Italy, one of Europe's most important nexuses.  

Investigate European and American art, culture, and history alongside Harvard University and Ca’ Foscari University of Venice students and faculty. This collaborative, multidisciplinary program brings together two prestigious universities to deepen your understanding of Venice—a city with a rich history and an environment unlike any other.

You experience its diverse culture, art, and history through workshops, excursions, and field trips, as well as participation in the local community. Through a diversity of course offerings, you also study European and American cultures in various disciplines.     

Courses

Any two courses taken in the Venice program count as two semester-long courses (4 credits each) of degree credit. Consult with your department prior to enrollment regarding the availability of concentration credit.

ENGL S-36V counts toward the Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding General Education requirement. ENGL S-36V also fulfills the General Education Study of the Past requirement. HIST S-35 and HUMA S-125 meet the General Education requirement for Ethical Reasoning. For information regarding department credit for economics courses, please see the Harvard economics department website.

ECON S-1055 Study Abroad in Venice, Italy: Dispute Resolution (33913)

Mondays, Wednesdays, 1:30-4 pm
Marco Li Calzi
4 credits
UN, GR Limited enrollment.

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a sound understanding of the main theories underlying the search for equity or fairness in a dispute. This knowledge is used to set up and solve typical negotiation or bargaining problems arising in business and economics. The necessary skills are developed by working out common applications to typical dispute situations. The examples range from the Bible to Wall Street, and are often inspired by the news. The target audience includes any undergraduate student with a serious interest in negotiation, bargaining, fair division, and equity. The course has a theoretical bent, and tries to balance case studies and formal arguments.

Prerequisites: ECON S-10a or equivalent; MATH S-1a or equivalent.

ECON S-1649 Study Abroad in Venice, Italy: Organizational Theory and Design (33915)

Mondays, Wednesdays, 10 am-12:30 pm
Andrea Pontiggia
4 credits
UN, GR Limited enrollment.

We spend a large part of our life in organizations. Some organization theorists state that organizational identity is a collective result of personal interactions, strongly affected by cultural and cognitive differences. It seems almost impossible to design organizational structures because they emerge naturally as a collective set of shared beliefs. It follows that a "company of strangers" is an indefinite product, an amalgam of experiences, beliefs, cultural values and personal attitudes. This course explains why organizational forms can or must be designed, how to use organizational rationality to structure activities and processes, how to get the most from our competences and skills, and how it is possible to manage individual and collective intentions and goals. The analysis of organizational effectiveness and the design of new organizational forms are presented, considering the experiences of international firms and the emergence of new information and communication technologies.

Prerequisites: This course is open to students who have completed a principles course in microeconomics at the level of ECON S-10a or equivalent.

ECON S-1827 Study Abroad in Venice, Italy: Job Discrimination and the Gender Pay Gap (33914)

Tuesdays, Thursdays, 1:30-4 pm
Matija Kovacic
4 credits
UN, GR Limited enrollment.

Gender equality is not just about economic empowerment. It is a moral imperative, it is about fairness and equity, and includes many political, social and cultural dimensions. In the aftermath of the Great Recession, there is now an urgent need to focus on the economic case and on how changes in the labor market might provide better economic opportunities for both men and women. In this course we will study a wide range of economic issues faced by women, and examine how these issues have changed over the course of the twentieth century in Europe and in the USA. We learn and use the tools of microeconomic analysis to understand how economists model women's economic decision making, and to gain insight into how microeconomic theory can explain some of the changes faced by women. The course is comprised of lectures and student-led discussions.

Prerequisites: ECON S-10ab or equivalent.

ECON S-1936 Study Abroad in Venice, Italy: Redeeming Keynes (33314)

Tuesdays, Thursdays, 10 am-12:30 pm
Stephen A. Marglin
4 credits
UN, GR Limited enrollment.

This course explores the birth, death, and resurrection of John Mayard Keynes's The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money from the Great Depression (1929-1939) to the Great Recession (2008-?). Keynes intended The General Theory to provide an intellectually consistent and persuasive argument that would explain the failure of a market system, even an idealized system with all of the warts removed, to provide jobs for willing workers. It is clear from its checkered career that The General Theory was at best a partial success. It is not only difficult to read; it does not make good on the promise of a clear and consistent account of why a competitive economy might fail to reach a full-employment equilibrium. This course attempts to provide the coherent argument that, for all its theoretical innovation, The General Theory did not deliver. In the process we examine the orthodoxy that Keynes attacked and that resurfaced in the 1960s and 1970s; the key concepts on which rest the models implicit in The General Theory; and the attempts of the Keynesian mainstream to make peace with both Keynes and orthodoxy. We also explore the applicability of The General Theory to the long run. A final section views the present economic difficulties through a Keynesian lens.

Prerequisites: introductory economics at the level of ECON S-10ab. A
year of college calculus is useful even though mathematics are used very sparingly.

ENGL S-36V Study Abroad in Venice, Italy: Venetian Art and the Bible (33841)

Mondays, Wednesdays, 10 am-12:30 pm
Gordon Teskey
4 credits
UN, GR Limited enrollment.

William Blake called the Bible "the great code of art." Nowhere was this statement truer than in the famous Italian centers of art, Rome, Florence, and Venice. But the biblical culture of Venice was special because of her rich contacts with the East: with Islam, with the Greek culture of the Eastern Mediterranean, and with the Holy Land itself. The great cathedral of Venice, Saint Mark's, is named for the city's patron, who wrote the oldest and most venerable of the Christian gospels. The Bible provided the artists of Venice with a rich fund of subjects for painting and sculpture. This course gives students an outline of the contents and structure of the Bible similar to what most people in Venice would have had during the period when its greatest art was produced. The aim is for students to be able to look at a work of Venetian art and read not only its biblical subject but also its biblical thinking, especially the subterranean connections between episodes. We also consider how extra-biblical subjects such as saints' legends and episodes from the apocrypha are themselves extensions of biblical reading. Meeting times are about equally divided between classroom discussion and field trips to sites around Venice. Among the more important of these are Saint Mark's cathedral, the Doge Palace, the Basilica dei Frari, the Scuola di San Rocco (with its amazing Tintorettos), the Basilica di Santi Giovanni e Paolo, the Basilica della Salute (with Titian's biblical paintings in the sacristry), and the Accademia gallery, with its great hall containing Veronese's gigantic and exuberant Feast in the House of Levi and Titians large but intimate Pieta, with its subtle biblical meanings adopted to personal expression. The course's final class concludes in this room, in front of these contrasting visions of the meaning of life, seen through the lens of the Bible.

ENGL S-122 Study Abroad in Venice, Italy: Shakespeare's Venice—Jews, Blacks, Muslims, and Christians at the Origin of the Modern World (33365)

Tuesdays, Thursdays, 1:30-4 pm
Stephen Greenblatt
Shaul Bassi
4 credits
UN, GR Limited enrollment.

A great early modern metropolis and a richly symbolic landscape, Venice is the setting of two seminal plays by Shakespeare, a comedy and a tragedy. The Merchant of Venice and Othello have made the Jewish moneylender Shylock and the Moor Othello the emblematic ethnic and cultural outsiders, figures who both foreshadow and challenge the modern notion of a multicultural community. This course analyzes the Shakespearean texts, reads their principal sources, and charts their controversial critical and theatrical histories. We examine the rich cultural and literary material that informs the plays, including the representations of Africans, Jews, and Muslims, and their multiple resonances in different times and places, including modern adaptations in fiction and film. Our presence in Venice is crucial to our understanding: we explore why the setting for these plays had to be here and not elsewhere, and we visit Venetian sites that illuminate the Biblical, classical, and ethnographic contexts that forged Shakespeare's notions of cultural and religious difference.

Note: Professor Greenblatt will lecture for two weeks of the course.

ENGL S-177V Study Abroad in Venice, Italy: American Literary Expatriates in Europe (32606)

Mondays, Wednesdays, 1:30-4 pm
Glenda R. Carpio
4 credits
UN, GR Limited enrollment.

This course explores the fiction and travel literature produced by American writers living in Europe, from Henry James to the present. In the course of this period the relationship between old to new world continuously evolves. While Europe becomes the battlefield for two bloody World Wars as well as a museum of the past, the United States assumes a dominant role on the world stage. At the same time, America also betrays key fundamental ideals as it seeks to extend its sphere of influence. American writers living and traveling in Europe reflect on these shifts and changes while also exploring the complex set of contradictions that expatriate life reveals. For African American writers, for instance, Europe represents both a site of liberation from the oppression of American color codes and also an area of the world where they are often exoticized. We focus on American literature set in Europe with readings that include but are not limited to essays, travelogues, poems, novellas, novels, and short stories.

Prerequisite: none.

ENVR S-133 Study Abroad in Venice, Italy: Earth's Climate—Past, Present, and Future (32299)

Tuesdays, Thursdays, 10 am-12:30 pm
Carlo Barbante
4 credits
UN, GR Limited enrollment.

This course deals with past, present, and future climate changes as evinced from the most recent studies on palaeoclimate archives, such as marine sediments and ice cores. The techniques available for the study of climate are carefully reviewed and the most recent results are presented. Climate changes involve multiple interactions among different components of the climate system, such as the atmosphere, the ocean, the earth, the biosphere, and the ice sheet. One way to make sense of this complex system is to understand the inherent rate at which each of its components respond both to the primary causes of climate change and as part of a web of interactions within the system. Testing of hypothesis by means of climate models strongly supports the experimental data presented in the course.

Prerequisite: none.

GOVT S-1745 Study Abroad in Venice, Italy: Introduction to International Business Law (33633)

Tuesdays, Thursdays, 10 am-12:30 pm
Fabrizio Marrella
4 credits
UN, GR Limited enrollment.

In today's global village, business decisions are no longer local. Even the smallest company may engage in transactions that have international legal implications. As the world gets smaller the ability to access foreign markets grows ever wider. Companies may seek new sources of supply overseas, sales may cross national borders to customers located abroad, and joint ventures and other forms of direct investment in a foreign country abound. Resolving disputes arising from such operations may lead to multistate litigation and/or to arbitration. Many legal systems may become relevant in arbitration including transnational principles (such as the Unidroit Principles) or the lex mercatoria, the on-going formation of a global law for international commercial contracts. This course is designed to introduce students to the problems affecting cross-border transactions from a legal standpoint. The course explores the international private and public law dimensions of business transactions. We examine the legal framework of international commerce, pointing out the potential constraints posed by laws, cultures, ideologies, currencies, and government policies to effective international business negotiations.

HARC S-148 Study Abroad in Venice, Italy: Venice and the Classical Past (33638)

Tuesdays, Thursdays, 10 am-12:30 pm
Lorenzo Calvelli
4 credits
UN, GR Limited enrollment.

Venice is certainly the largest and best known modern Italian city that did not grow on top of a classical settlement. Ever since the Middle Ages, Venetian statesmen and intellectuals supported the idea that their hometown was born from the ashes of the Roman Empire, thus highlighting the city's political independence since the earliest stages of her history. At the same time, however, numerous objects dating to the classical period, including both artworks and simple building materials, can be found in Venice and in the main islands of the surrounding lagoon.
This course explores the shifting relationship that Venice developed with the Greco-Roman past, investigating in particular how classical antiquities were used and re-used in Venice, as well as in the neighboring areas and in the Venetian maritime empire. The course combines class lectures and field trips to different locations in and around Venice (museums, churches, public spaces), in order to get a real experience of the presence of antiquities in the city and in the surrounding islands. In the final week of the course, students present and discuss their own work, based on the reading of Patricia Brown's quintessential book Venice and Antiquity (1996), the only comprehensive survey of this topic that has been published so far.

Prerequisite: none; an essential understanding of Latin would be useful, but the language basics necessary to meet course requirements will be covered in class.

HIST S-35 Study Abroad in Venice, Italy: Nature (33015)

Tuesdays, Thursdays, 1:30-4 pm
Joyce E. Chaplin
4 credits
UN, GR Limited enrollment.

It may seem that questions about human responsibility toward the natural world are new, but there are long-standing traditions within Western philosophy of arguing for ethical behavior in relation to nature, whether to benefit humans or to help non-humans. This course offers a critical and historical analysis of selected texts that identify human beings as a distinctively ethical species within the natural world, with particular attention to the emergence of normative theories that rank humans with and against other natural beings. Topics include definitions of wilderness and property; agriculture, industrialization, and consumerism as historic transformations of humanity; social hierarchies based on perceived natural abilities; ideas of natural rights; conservation and environmentalism; and animal rights. Readings include Aristotle, Locke, Kant, Rousseau, Bentham, Malthus, Mill, Emerson, Marx, Darwin, Nietzsche, and Singer. We also examine how contemporary debates over the human place within nature have continued to cite and critique normative traditions defined in the past.

Prerequisite: none

HUMA S-125 Study Abroad in Venice, Italy: The Ethics of Identity (33883)

Mondays, Wednesdays, 1:30-4 pm
Jay M. Harris
4 credits
UN, GR Limited enrollment.

This course engages with the ethical challenges presented by personal and group identities. Built around K. Anthony Appiah's book, The Ethics of Identity, in conversation with his predecessors, interlocutors, and opponents (among them Kant, Mill, and Rawls), the course focuses on contentious contemporary issues regarding inclusion and exclusion, and on how we can engage with our multiple identities in ethically responsive ways.

MATH S-1BV Study Abroad in Venice, Italy: Calculus, Series and Differential Equations (33800)

Mondays, Wednesdays, 10 am-12:30 pm
Robin Gottlieb
John W. Cain
4 credits
UN, GR Limited enrollment.

The language of mathematics has evolved over time, but Galileo's famous statement that, "the book of the universe is written in the language of mathematics," is as true today as it was then. In this course, students deepen their foundation in modern mathematics and learn more about mathematical applications in other disciplines. The course focuses on three related topics which together form a central part of the language of modern science: applications and methods of integration, infinite series and the representation of functions by power series, and differential equations, with an emphasis on modeling and qualitative analysis. The material introduced in this course has applications in physics, chemistry, biology, environmental science, astronomy, economics, and statistics.

Prerequisites: Students are expected to be familiar with trigonometry, inverse trig, exponentials, and logarithms, and have a basic understanding of elementary calculus, including the notion of a derivative, differentiation using the product, quotient, and chain rules, and definite and indefinite integrals.

Note: Priority will be given to students in the Emerging Scholars Program.

MATH S-1BV Study Abroad in Venice, Italy: Calculus, Series and Differential Equations (33805)

Mondays, Wednesdays, 10 am-12:30 pm
Brendan Kelly
4 credits
UN, GR Limited enrollment.

The language of mathematics has evolved over time, but Galileo's famous statement that, "the book of the universe is written in the language of mathematics," is as true today as it was then. In this course, students deepen their foundation in modern mathematics and learn more about mathematical applications in other disciplines. The course focuses on three related topics which together form a central part of the language of modern science: applications and methods of integration, infinite series and the representation of functions by power series, and differential equations, with an emphasis on modeling and qualitative analysis. The material introduced in this course has applications in physics, chemistry, biology, environmental science, astronomy, economics, and statistics.

Prerequisites: Students are expected to be familiar with trigonometry, inverse trig, exponentials, and logarithms, and have a basic understanding of elementary calculus, including the notion of a derivative, differentiation using the product, quotient, and chain rules, and definite and indefinite integrals.

Note: Priority will be given to students in the Emerging Scholars Program.

RELI S-15 Study Abroad in Venice, Italy: If There Is No God, All is Permitted—Theism and Moral Reasoning (33371)

This course is cancelled.
4 credits

Program details

The first two weeks of the program are designed to give you hands-on experiences of Venice. You will participate in a variety of guided activities and workshops on topics such as Italian fashion and design, Venetian mask making, the traditional rowing technique, Voga, and Venetian cooking. 

You then enroll in two of the courses listed below. Please note that course enrollments are dependent on availability, and final course enrollment is determined by the Summer School Registrar's Office upon your enrollment in the program. 

Application

The application deadline has passed.

Before applying, review How to Apply.

Application materials include: 

  1. A personal statement of interest in the program
    • Your statement should describe your overall academic interests and your reasons for wanting to study in Venice this summer. In your statement, discuss any relevant coursework you have taken and address how you think your experience in Venice will shape your intellectual and social development.
  2. Transcripts
    • Harvard College applicants: You may submit an unofficial transcript accessed from my.harvard.edu
    • Non-Harvard applicants: Submit an official transcript from your university
  3. A $50 nonrefundable application fee

Note: Interviews may be requested.

All application materials were due January 26, 2017. You will be notified of admission decisions by mid- to late-February.

Cost

The program fee includes tuition, accommodation, scheduled excursions and activities, and some meals.  

See Funding and Payment for information on how to submit payments and funding options. 

Student budget

In addition to the program fee, you will need to budget for a number of personal expenses: 

  • International airfare ($1,300 to $1,600)
  • Local transportation ($200)
  • Lunches, dinners, and some breakfasts ($2,000)
  • Course materials ($250)
  • Personal expenditures, laundry, communications, and miscellaneous ($300)

Please note: The amounts are approximate, and you may incur additional expenses not listed here. Your actual expenses will depend on a number of factors, including your personal spending habits and currency exchange rates. If you have specific questions about budgeting, please contact the program directly.

Accommodations

The lagoon city of Venice, la Serenissima, has for centuries been the cultural and commercial center of eastern and western Europe. Now it is the site of an educational crossroads and this multidisciplinary program that brings together students and faculty from Harvard University and Ca’ Foscari University of Venice.

Accommodations

You stay in the newly restructured dormitories "We_Crociferi." All rooms are doubles or triples and have air conditioning and Internet. With the exception of breakfast, which is provided in the dorms, you are responsible for your own meals. All bedrooms are provided with a kitchenette so that you have the opportunity to cook meals.

Venice has many restaurants, bars, cafes, and pasticciere. You have the opportunity to shop at the local markets and frequent the restaurants and bars in your neighborhood. Cafeterias offering low-cost meals are another option.

Additional information

Program director

Glenda Carpio

Faculty

  • Glenda R. Carpio, PhD, Professor of English and of African and African American Studies, Harvard University
  • Jay M. Harris, PhD, Harry Austryn Wolfson Professor of Jewish Studies and Dean of Undergraduate Education, Harvard University
  • Joyce E. Chaplin, PhD, James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History, Harvard University
  • Stephen A. Marglin, PhD, Walter S. Barker Professor of Economics, Harvard University
  • Stephen Greenblatt, PhD, Cogan University Professor of the Humanities, Harvard University
  • Gordon Teskey, PhD, Professor of English, Harvard University
  • Robin Gottlieb, MSc, Professor of the Practice of Mathematics, Harvard University
  • John W. Cain, PhD, Senior Lecturer on Mathematics, Harvard University
  • Brendan Kelly, PhD, Preceptor in Mathematics, Harvard University
  • Carlo Barbante, Laurea, Professor of Analytical Chemistry, Ca' Foscari University
  • Shaul Bassi, PhD, Associate Professor of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies, Ca' Foscari University
  • Marco Li Calzi, PhD, Professor of Mathematical Methods for Economics, Ca' Foscari University
  • Andrea Pontiggia, PhD, Professor of Organization Theory and Design, Ca' Foscari University
  • Fabrizio Marrella, SJD, Professor of International Law, Ca' Foscari University
  • Lorenzo Calvelli, PhD, Tenured Lecturer in Ancient History, Ca' Foscari University
  • Matija Kovacic, PhD, Lecturer in Management, Ca’Foscari University