UO Abroad: Italy is backdrop for courses on lit and music

Psaki (back, red T) taught courses on Italian literature three hours from Rome
Psaki (back, red T) taught courses on Italian literature three hours from Rome

1. Where in the world were you?

Professors Gina Psaki (Italian) and Marc Vanscheeuwijck (musicology) were in Macerata, in the Marche region of Italy, about three hours northeast of Rome

2. What work were you doing there?

We taught courses on Italian literature, music, history, cooking and culture from 1200 to 1800. We took our UO and other undergraduates on informal trips and hikes to places they couldn’t reach by public transport, and we got to know students better than we could on campus.

3. What does this work mean for your students, peers, the public and/or the university?

Our students can see the Western arts and humanities up close—without the ubiquitous PowerPoint lectures that try to compensate for the Roman buildings and urban design, the medieval and Renaissance churches and artwork.

We also publicized numerous UO academic programs in Italy, along with the extraordinary beauty and vitality of Oregon.

4. Tell our readers something they should do if they ever visit this locale.

The Marche region is one of the true treasures of Italy: “intatta nell’anima,” intact in its soul and filled with unique places. We recommend visiting the 11th-century Eremo di Fonte Avellana, a monastery deeply isolated in the Apennines, near the border between the Marche and Umbria.  

5. What was the most memorable experience on your trip?

Hiking with our students over the hills to Fonte Avellana was a peak experience. Their enthusiasm was energizing, and their reaction to this lonely place, where Dante spent time during his exile from Florence, was moving.

UO Abroad is a recurring feature in AroundtheO that spotlights UO professors, staff and GTFs whose work takes them overseas. If you or someone you know is traveling abroad, send an email to AroundtheO.