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Imagining Rome: Art Studio and Creative Writing Workshops in Italy

May 26-June 24, 2016


Imagining Rome: Art Studio and Creative Writing Workshops in Italy is a Cornell University summer study abroad program. It is designed for both Cornell students and students of other institutions, at any level of expertise, interested in studying writing or studio art (with a focus on drawing) at Cornell's teaching facility in the historic city center of Rome.

The program allows participants to enroll for six (or, with permission, seven) credits of specialized study at the introductory, intermediate, or advanced undergraduate level. Students enrolling in introductory courses are assumed to have no experience in the field. The program also offers independent study options in writing or in studio art for graduate students.

The syllabi for the courses are designed to take advantage of the text that the city of Rome itself offers. Students will also study the architecture, sculpture, painting, and spatial design of the city as well as the culture of Rome as expressed in its visual art and in the poetry, fiction, memoirs, and letters of writers, painters, and sculptors who have lived in Rome or visited there.

Many of the writing assignments are made in association with site visits that all students and faculty make together to various points in and near Rome, including archeological sites, piazzas, churches, museums, and one or two nearby hill towns.

Students must be capable of ascending and descending numerous stone steps and must be able to walk on the cobblestone streets of the city and across the uneven terrain of archeological sites.

Because the Rome creative writing courses are already approved as courses that may count towards graduation (they are listed in the Courses of Study online catalogue), and because the courses are offered at a Cornell facility and taught by full-time Cornell faculty, the courses automatically will count towards the 120 credits that Cornell undergraduate students must earn for graduation. Depending on a student's college and major, the courses may also fulfill requirements for electives, distribution requirements, the major, or a minor in creative writing, English, or fine arts.

Students from the following Cornell University colleges and units have earned academic credits in the Rome summer program: Art, Architecture, & Planning; Arts & Sciences; Agriculture & Life Sciences; Engineering; Human Ecology; Hotel; and Industrial & Labor Relations.

Cornell undergraduates should consult with their academic advisors before choosing classes in the Rome program. Undergraduates from other colleges and universities should discuss the courses and the program with their own academic advisors to discover how the Cornell transfer credits might be counted. Graduate students should consult with their special committee chairs or thesis advisors.