Mini-Academy | The Mind of Italy: Defining “Italianness” and the Italian Contribution to Civilization

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Brought to you by Odyssey
October 9, 2021
Saturday, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM ET (6 course hours)

Italy is one of the extraordinary shapers of Western Civilization. From Virgil to Dante, Leonardo and Michelangelo, from Augustus to Boccaccio and Machiavelli; from Pico to Galileo; from Pirandello to Ferrari and Fellini – great Italian minds have offered stunning contributions to the way we think about everything from aesthetics to government. Using a range of words and images—and melodies—this course will focus on key figures—both the well-known and the no-longer-familiar—whose work still influences our lives and our thinking, while at the same time asking the question: what defines “Italianness”—what is the essence of what makes Italy Italian? How and when does that essence begin to manifest itself and how does it evolve and develop across a range of disciplines through the centuries?

Join us in-person for this full-day event in Washington, DC. We will meet at the Johns Hopkins Advanced Academic Programs building. Due to COVID restrictions, lunch will NOT be provided. However, Ori will share some recommendations for local eateries that you can enjoy on your own or you can feel free to bring your own lunch.

1 From linguistics to art and politics: Osco-Umbrians, Etruscans and Romans; Vergil, Livy, Propertius; the Maison Carree, Arch of Titus, Pont de Gard, Pantheon, Arch of Constantine

2 The transformation of late Rome to medieval and early Renaissance Italy: from Boethius and the mosaics of Ravenna to St Francis of Assisi; Guido d’Arezzo; Dante, Boccaccio and Petrarch; Duccio, Giotto, Masaccio, and Donatello

3 The Arc of the Italian Renaissance: from Piero della Francesca and Fra Angelico to Botticelli and Verrocchio; Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo; Parmigianino; Titian and Veronese; Machiavelli and Monteverdi.

4 Italian Style from Baroque to Sleek: Caravaggio and Bernini to Canova; Galileo; Leopardi, Manzoni, and Pirandello; Fellini and Ferrari; Verdi, Puccini, Pavarotti, and Fabrizio de Andre

Join Ori Soltes for a full day experience on the Johns Hopkins campus located in Northwest, DC. 

Want more on Italian Style? Visit the Hopkins at Home library and learn from Leonardo Proietti in his mini-course Italian Style in Context.

About the Instructor

Ori Soltes Headshot

Ori Z. Soltes teaches at Georgetown University across a range of disciplines, from art history and theology to philosophy and political history. He is the former Director of the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum, and has curated more than 85 exhibitions on history, ethnography and modern and contemporary art at that museum and in other venues across the country and overseas. He is also the author of 300 books, articles, exhibition catalogues, and essays on a variety of topics; and the writer, producer and narrator of diverse video courses, including a 26-part series, Tradition and Transformation: A History of Jewish Art .


Tuition Remission and Refund Policies

Full-time JHU faculty/staff, their spouses or same-sex domestic partners, JHU retirees and their spouses or same-sex domestic partners are eligible for tuition remission. The tuition remission form is required. All tuition remission forms and details on eligibility can be found here and should be returned to

After registration, tuition remission eligibility will be confirmed by the Odyssey registrar. If eligibility cannot be confirmed, you will be required to pay full tuition for the course. Under the terms of the University’s remission program, Hopkins employees must withdraw in writing at least five working days before the first class to receive a 100% refund. No partial refunds are given to JHU employees and affiliates.  

Please visit the registration and policies page for more information. 

While participating in on-campus events and meetings, participants must follow all public health guidelines required by Johns Hopkins University and Medicine at the time of the event. If you are not fully vaccinated, we require that you wear a face covering during your visit to campus, even when it is no longer required for those who are vaccinated.  

While participating in off-campus events and meetings sponsored by the JHAA/JHM/JHHS participants must follow all public health guidelines mandated by the local jurisdiction and venue at the time of the event, including vaccination and masking and distancing guidance. Johns Hopkins strongly suggests that attendees who join in person be fully vaccinated. 


 Event Date
Saturday, October 9, 2021
Start Time: 10:00am EDT

Johns Hopkins Advanced Academic Programs Building

1717 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036


Alumni status will be confirmed
Osher membership will be confirmed
Tuition Remission Form Required
Tuition Remission Form Required

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