We are both historians of architecture and city with a specialization in the early modern and modern period. This year at VIU we teach a course in urban history, focused on the impact of the modernity between seventeenth and eighteenth century in the biggest capital cities of the Western World. Of course, we will pay a particular attention to Venice too.
We joined VIU for a new and different experience in teaching, to stay in an international context with colleagues and students from all over the world. Furthermore, we specialize in the history of architecture in Venice, which has always had an international dimension since the Middle Ages: teaching at VIU allows us to test the universality of Venetian architecture with students from very different cultures.
Teaching at VIU is always stimulating and challenging. Classes are small (we know the students by name) and really heterogeneous on many points of view. We have students of different nationalities, European and non-European, coming from very different degree programs, from the social sciences and humanities to the hard sciences. If focused on a common ground, such as urban history, these differences brought by our students can create a surprising dialogue that literally break the boundaries of each one’s discipline broadening our mind and the understanding of the phenomena.
We would recommend other professors to teach at VIU to have an international teaching experience, in a multicultural context of very high scientific value. In this sense, VIU perfectly interprets the democratic and cosmopolitan vocation of Venice which has always been a crossroads of cultures, languages and ideas. The VIU campus is a universal “square” and living in Venice during the teaching period at VIU enriches this experience even outside the academic sphere.
Teaching to international students: first of all we would like the students to talk to each other and therefore to be able to actively participate in campus life as a meeting place for civilizations. We also want to stimulate students to ask ourselves some unusual and original questions, so that they can re-elaborate in a personal way the topics addressed during the lessons.
Differently from other professors that come from abroad, we normally teach here (at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and University of Padua) and daily live Venice, which has been also the subject of many of our studies. So our best moments are when we explain the urban and architectural history of Venice, not only in the classroom but also in special on-site visits. We like to show very famous places, such as St Mark Square and the La Fenice Theater, and also unknown areas of Venice.
For the 1st semester of AY 2021-2022 our course would be in the new specialization track: History and memory. Although our course is listed under the new track, it has many contact points with almost all the other tracks. In particular, the course contributes significantly to the specialization track in Economics, Management and Digital Technologies Applied to Cultural Heritage, because it combines historical lectures with a workshop on the digital tools for the analysis of the urban history.