Italy trip enriches English students, faculty
June 12, 2010

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A look at where the stories they read happened–or at least the settings that inspired the tales–capped the spring semester for eight English students as they spent 17 days in Italy in May.

Members of the English department's Italy group are pictured atop one of the towers overlooking Florence. From left are Mary Clare Jones, Emily Britton, Pamela Davis, Aimee Crotts, Brian Livingston, Melissa Longoria, Kara Nissley, and Danielle Rebman.


The students, accompanied by English faculty members Dr. Raymond Legg, Dr. Whit Jones, Mr. Bill Harle and Ms. Pamela Davis, studied travel writing, Italian renaissance literature, and Shakespeare’s Italian plays. In addition, they traveled from Saints Bible Institute in San Lorenzo to Verona, Venice, Florence and a number of nearby smaller towns to see sites they had read about this spring semester.


“Bryan wants us to have signature programs,” Ms. Davis said. “We have a diverse department with a lot of different loves and specialties. As we watched the Italy Abroad Semester develop a relationship with Saints Bible Institute, we thought it would be beneficial to students to see places we have studied. It’s a special pleasure to see where pieces of literature come from, to get better insights into the politics, religion, and social customs.”


Faculty members on the Italy trip are pictured in a church
the group visited. From left are Dr. Whit Jones, Dr.
Raymond Legg, Mr. Bill Harle, and Ms. Pamela Davis.

While there were many planned activities, there were unscheduled events that added to their experience. One of the works they studied was Florentine artist, musician, and writer Benvenuto Cellini’s autobiography.


“He wrote about court intrigue, about working on a statue, and about how another sculptor’s statue is not nearly as good as his,” Ms. Davis said. “We were crossing a piazza in Florence and just happened upon several statues he had written about.”


Ms. Davis said the trip allowed students and faculty to gain a deeper appreciation for their discipline, understand the creative forces that shaped literature, and encourage students to pursue experiences that will further develop them as writers and thinkers.