28 June 2013

Spain for Spring Break 2014, anyone?

Spain: The Land of Latin Authors and Christian Martyrs

Travel Dates: March 14 - 22, 2014

Courses English 364: Latin Literature, 3 credits
Latin 112: Elementary Latin II, 3 credits
(or permission of instructor)

For Eng 364: Eng 298 or Permission of Instructor
For Lat 112: Lat 111 or equivalent

Spain’s contributions to Latin literature are immeasurable. The tragedian Seneca, the epigrammatist Martial, the orator Quintilian, the epic poet Lucan, the agricultural writer Columella, as well as the Christian allegorist and hagiographer Prudentius, all proudly called Hispania their birthplace.

“Spain: The Land of Latin Authors and Christian Martyrs” will discover the Roman past that lay beneath both Barcelona, founded as a Roman colony in the late 1st Century B.C.E. and San Sebastian, the possible home of the pre-Roman tribe, the Varduli, who for many years had fielded a unit in the Roman Legion to guard Hadrian’s Wall.

In Barcelona, students will explore everything from the ancient Spanish garum factory, upon which the Museu d'Història de la Ciutat de Barcelona is built, and the remains of the city’s Temple of Augustus to a Roman necropolis-turned-fashionable-cafes and the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia, the 13-year-old martyr who faced death at the hands of a Roman prefect in the 4th Century C.E.

In San Sebastian, students will explore the ruins along the Camino de Santiago, a medieval pilgrimage route to the burial place of the apostle St. James.

The trip, in short, will offer the sharp juxtaposition of the ancient and the modern, of the pagan and the Christian, of the past and the present and will be sure to make each traveler experience the Roman inheritance that Spanish life still enjoys today.

Students may register for either ENG 364 (Latin Literature), which fulfills the world literature requirement or an elective credit in the English BA program, or Lat 112 (Elementary Latin II) which fulfills the Foreign Language requirement in Skill Area III.

The spring break trip will offer the students many opportunities to gather material for either the Latin author project (in Eng 364) or the Roman language/culture project (in Lat 112), required of all students in the classes. After returning home, students will create and submit their projects for evaluation.

Students who go on the trip will learn about Spain’s Roman past (both physical and intellectual), read selected works of the most famous of Spain’s Latin writers, and create a project examining some specific aspect of Spain’s Roman literary and/or cultural history.

Registration Information and Program Costs
The cost of the travel program includes round-trip airport transfers in the U.S. and abroad, economy-class international airfare, multiple-occupancy accommodations, and ground transportation and entrance fees to all required site visits. All personal expenses (i.e., meals, medical, souvenirs, laundry, telephone, etc.) are not included.

Course tuition is not included in the Course Abroad program fee. Tuition for Spring Course Abroad programs may be included in a full-time student's tuition, if the student is carrying no more than 18 credits. Excess credit fees apply to all students carrying an overload. Part-time students must pay course tuition and registration fees. See the CCSU Bursar's website for complete information about tuition and fees.

Note to students from Eastern, Southern, and Western Connecticut State Universities regarding the Connecticut Reciprocity Program:

Under the terms of the State College/University Reciprocity Program, full-time students (graduate and undergraduate) may, in certain circumstances, take courses at another state college or university without paying additional tuition. This policy is applicable to ECSU, SCSU, and WCSU students registering for Spring Course Abroad programs offered by CCSU.

To request consideration under the Reciprocity Program, visit the Registrar’s Office (or the Registrar’s website) on your home campus and obtain a copy of the appropriate Request for Reciprocity form. Complete the form and submit it to your home campus’s Registrar for review and approval. After the form has been approved by the home campus Registrar, you can submit it to the CCSU Registrar’s Office at the time of registration for the coursework connected to the Course Abroad Program. The Registrar will process your course registration and forward your approved Reciprocity Agreement to the CCSU Bursar, who will waive the course tuition and registration fees for the program.
Fulfillment of the University's International Requirement:
All credits earned overseas on a CCSU-sponsored study abroad program, including courses offered in conjunction with Course Abroad programs, automatically receive "I Designation" and count toward fulfillment of the University's General Education International Requirement.

Cost: $2,795 per person


A limited number of $300 scholarships will be available on a competitive basis to matriculated CCSU students with a GPA of at least 2.50 who are registered for at least one of the academic courses associated with this program.

Faculty Director

Prof. Gilbert Gigliotti
English Department
(860) 832-2759

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27 June 2013

Recent facebookings

Gilbert Gigliotti

wonders about the credentials of the folks whom Comcast employs to write the t.v. show and movie descriptions that pop up on the screen when you press the "Info" button on the remote. Whatever they are, they're not indicative of people who know what they're doing.
is never fond of his physician's saying, "Hmm, I don't know what that is."
must confess, in the wake of James Gandolfini's untimely death, that he's never seen a single episode of The Sopranos.  In his defense, he admits to having loved the short-lived The Montefuscos, the Sinatra episode of Life with Luigi, and Rosemary Clooney's "Mambo Italiano."
would argue that the decision is correct, i.e., that the imposition on only those state is unfair, but that the remedy is wrong.  He thinks EVERY state should have to have any changes in voting laws approved by the feds.

thinks there's a reason that you can't spell "Gilbert Gigliotti" with the majority of letters in "D.I.Y." Note to M. P.: Your next husband really needs to be handy.

thought, when he read the title "Oates Lands at Apollo" on an article at Inside Higher Ed, that Daryl Hall's former partner either booked a gig at Harlem's most famous theatre or was heading to the moon. He was wrong on both counts. (It's really about somebody named Jane and the parent company of University of Phoenix. Yawn.)

notes that there was no such thing as a "high-school-sponsored all-night substance-free grad party" in 1977, if for no other reason than the rationing of hyphens during the Carter administration.


The Daughters' Graduations (June 2013): New Britain High School and Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy




26 June 2013

This ain't your father's "Cabaret," old chum!

Regular readers of Connecticut Wit know that my preference in musicals runs Gershwin-Squared, Richard Rodgers (with Hart first then Hammerstein), Cole Porter, Cahn and Van Heusen, and the rare Sondheim (i.e., only when he's the lyricist for Jule Styne or Leonard Bernstein).  They'd also know that my preferred stage version of scandalous behavior is Pal Joey's approach to his "mice" --- to "treat a lady like a dame and a dame like a lady."   And they'd certainly be able to figure out that my musical-cum-Nazis of choice would be the one with the would-be-nun with the Viennese kids dressed in old curtains.

So how then can I give a rave review to the disturbing and erotic production of Cabaret that is playing at Playhouse on Park until July 21?
Photos by Rich Wagner
Because it's so bloody well conceived, directed, acted, sung, and danced.  Everybody involved in this production makes it work. 

Sean Harris' direction maintains the perfect balance between rousing production numbers of the Kit Kat Klub and the deadly serious social problems that rap, at first, lightly on its door, then come flying through its windows like a brick, and finally tear the place (not to mention Germany, Europe, and the world) apart. 

Colin Britt's musical direction is remarkable (yet again); his marvelously precise ensemble can raise the heat and chill to the bone in frighteningly swift succession. 

And what can be said of Darlene Zoller's choreography? In the intimate space that is Playhouse on Park's theatre, an audience member gets to know the scantily-dressed, lithe, and acrobatic chorus of dancers very well quite quickly.  Indeed, I think, after last Wednesday's performance, I'd be married to at least two of them in some southern states!
The performances are all very fine and several truly remarkable.  Brendan Norton's Emcee (above top) lords over the action like the twisted puppet-master he is -- yet with a manic energy that he somehow manages to have implode in front of us.  And while Erin Lindsey Krom's Sally Bowles and Jake Lowenthal's Cliff give us the full arc of doomed love (from naive devil-may-caring to disillusioned horror) that we expect from Cabaret, for this audience member, Kathleen Huber's Fraulein Schneider and Damian Buzzerio's Herr Schultz (seen below) take this production to a whole other level.  Huber is so natural and compelling that I have a hard time imagining her having to make her decision about marrying her Jewish suitor every night.  And if (Spoiler Alert!) you don't think a pineapple is a loving gesture after Buzzerio's ridiculously sincere gift, you have no heart. 

The production designers Erik Diaz (Scenic), Marcus Abbott (Lighting) and Erin Kacmaricik (costume) all contribute mightily to the power of the play, as well.  (But, let's face it, I haven't seen that much lingerie since I first learned about the Victoria's Secret catalogue in the 1980s.)

At times alluring, decadent, quotidian, and appalling, this superb production can't help but make us face our roles in this tragic dance.  It's not an easy night at the theatre, but you'll find few more fulfilling.

14 June 2013

I must confess that I'm not a fan of the most recent...

...tourism motto for the State of Connecticut, "Still Revolutionary," since it really is as far away from "The Land of Steady Habits" (i.e., the true Nutmeg State) as one can get.

That said, there's something I find very fitting about the newest iteration of the campaign (see below), which seems not unlike a commercial for some erectile dysfunction medication (you know, the kind that plays incessantly during broadcasts of professional golf). 

All they really need to do is to plop the couple down into adjacent outdoor bathtubs, with their backs to us, staring out at Long Island Sound, watching vintage Whalers footage, or maybe idling in their tubs in the stopped traffic of I-84.


But, then again, if this is our new tack, maybe it's just time for a different motto altogether:


We're here

when you're ready


01 June 2013

Top Five Musical Highlights from M*A*SH, the television Show

5. "Some Enchanted Evening" sung by Captain Hawkeye Pierce (Alan Alda) to a Korean family in their home, as he tried to stay awake after sustaining a head injury in a jeep accident

4. "Swimming with Bowlegged Women" sung by Colonel Sherman Potter (Harry Morgan) while shaving

3. "My Blue Heaven" performed by Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan (Loretta Swit) under the direction of Lt. Colonel Henry Blake (McLean Stevenson)

2.  "Mississippi Mud" sung by the crazy (and racist) General Bartford Hamilton Steele (Harry Morgan, before he was Col. Potter)

1. "There's a Long, Long, Trail" sung by Col. Potter and Capts. Pierce and Hunnicutt (Mike Farrell) in the Swamp at the end of Potter's first day of surgery at the 4077th