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Cinzia Russi

Associate ProfessorPhD Linguistics 2003, University of Washington

Cinzia Russi


  • Phone: 512-471-7024
  • Office: HRH 3.110B
  • Office Hours: Spring 2016 T-Th 1-3pm and by appointment
  • Campus Mail Code: B7600


EUS 347 • Itl Tv Ads: Fashion/Food/Cars

35600 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ 1.118
(also listed as ITC 349, WGS 340)

ITC 349  Italian television advertising: Fashion, food, cars

Unique # 36345

Spring 2016

T & TH 11:00–12:30   MEZ 1.118

Instructor:     Cinzia Russi

Office:            HRH 3.110 B

Phone:            471 7024


Office hours: T & TH 1:00–3:90, and by appointment 

Course Description

Italy is a country associated with “style”—life style (il dolce far niente), fashion style (Valentino, Prada, Gucci, etc.), film style (Fellini and the like), and, for better or for worse, a certain sort of rather effusive political style (Mussolini, Berlusconi, and their ilk, among others). The specific objective of this course is to categorize and analyze the major changes that have taken place in the peculiarly Italian style of television advertising during the past fifty years.

After a general introduction to the language of television advertising, students will compare chronologically ordered versions of Italian TV commercials for a variety of high-use products (for instance, food, detergents, personal care items, cars) in order to identify changes that have taken place at the level of vocabulary, grammar, and language register as a result of new socio- cultural dynamics that have come to characterize present-day Italy. The Italian commercials will then be compared to/contrasted with equivalent ads broadcasted in US to uncover similarities and differences.

Although the course will focus on language change, it will also draw attention to socio-cultural changes that have taken place in the Italian society since the second half of the 20th century, particularly with respect to the role and figure of women (and how they are portrayed in TV commercials vis-à-vis to men), and the structure, life style and values of the ‘typical’ (or ‘stereotypical’) Italian family.

Course material

Selected chapters/sections from the texts listed below. All the the reading material will be available on Canvas.

Attendance & Class Participation

Regular attendance and active participation in class discussion are required. More that three will lower the final grade; for the fourth absence, three points will be deducted from the final grade; four points will be deducted for the fifth absence, and so forth, up to a maximum of ten points. This policy will be strictly enforced.


  • Journal: Weekly entries summarizing and commenting on class lecturers and readings, to be submitted for grading as indicated in the syllabus.The amount of pages for each entry will change during the semester and will be assigned in class prior to each deadline.
  • Eight thought pieces (500-750 words) in which students comment on the different versions of a commercial.
  • Eight in-class unannounced quizzes.
  • One mid-term exam: Short-answer questions on assigned readings and commercials.
  • Research project: In groups of three/four, students will:

a.   Write a short paper on the ‘history’ of a commercial of their choice;

b.   Create an original commercial for the product selected which will be presented in class.


  • Participation                   15%
  • Thought pieces               20%
  • Quizzes                           15%   
  • Mid-term exam               25%
  • Research project             15%
  • Oral presentation           10%


Use of Canvas          

In this class, I use Canvas, a Web-based course management system with password-protected access at, to distribute some course materials. You can find support in using Blackboard at the ITS Help Desk at 475-9400, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., so plan accordingly.

Tutors Please refer to the French and Italian Department’s web page or visit the French and Italian Department’s Undergraduate Office in HRH

Be aware that tutors ARE NOT ALLOWED to do homework for you rather give you individual attention in mastering complex grammatical structures and oral skills. Moreover, if the professor deems – due to a discrepancy with your oral and written performance in class – that your homework has been done with the help of a computer-translation-program or a tutor, you will receive a ‘no-grade’ for that paper; the ‘no-grade’ will neither lower nor raise your overall grade average. Please read carefully the policy on Scholastic Dishonesty.                

Curriculum Vitae

Profile Pages

External Links

  • Center for European Studies

    University of Texas at Austin
    158 W 21st Street
    Austin, Texas 78712