Language and Culture in Today’s Renaissance Florence
French and Italian
A native of Italy, Professor Heyer-Caput graduated from the University of Turin, Italy, with a "Laurea" in Philosophy and German Literature, and earned her Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard University. She taught for several years at the University of Berne, Switzerland, and various universities on the East Coast. She joined the faculty of the French and Italian Department at UC Davis in 2000 and has been affiliated with the Film Studies Program since its inception. Her research and teaching areas cover the Italian literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Italian and Italian American Cinema. One of her books, Grazia Deledda's Dance of Modernity (Toronto University Press, 2008) was awarded the 2009 Ennio Flaiano International Prize for Italian Studies. Among the numerous courses that she has developed and taught at UC Davis, ITA 121/FMS 121, which she will offer in Florence, is one of her favorites. This popular class focuses on filmic representations of migration, youth, family, and politics and how they reflect and question the multiple changes that Italian society is undergoing in a global world. Professor Heyer-Caput received the 2015 Phi Beta Kappa Northern California Association’s Excellence in Teaching Award. Founded at the College of William and Mary in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest honors society for the liberal arts and sciences and is regarded as one of the most prestigious academic honors societies in the nation. Most recently, the Sardinian committee of the Association of Women Entrepreneurs and Corporate Executives (AIDDA) recognized Professor Heyer-Caput with the 2016 AIDDA Prize for her prestigious curriculum, for her contributions to Italian (women’s) studies, and for having deepened the knowledge of and scholarly research on Grazia Deledda, 1926 Nobel Prize recipient in literature.
A Message to Students and Parents
"I decided to teach abroad and be involved in the Intensive Italian Language and Culture Program in Florence because my academic career and personal journey have been profoundly shaped by my own study abroad experiences. As an undergraduate at the University of Turin I studied German in the former German Democratic Republic, and then I went on to the University of Berne, Switzerland, with a yearlong exchange fellowship. From there, I moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts to pursue my Ph.D. at Harvard University. From my own experience, I know that studying the Italian language and culture immersed in the rich beauty of Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance and a vibrant, modern city at the same time, will spark a life lasting intellectual and personal maturation. Through hands-on cultural activities in Florence and excursions to other Italian cities such as Turin and Bologna, students will not only acquire or improve their linguistic fluency and explore Italy's many contributions to world culture but also, and more importantly, become citizens of the world, capable of better understanding and appreciating their own identity in a global and multicultural perspective. And the journey will go on!"