Department of Spanish & Italian


The specific mission of  the Italian section can be characterized by the message that the 14th century Italian painter Ambrogio Lorenzetti entrusts to the figure of Securitas in his fresco of Good and Bad Government: “Senza paura ogn’uom franco camini, e lavorando semini ciascuno”(May each and everyone who is honest, walk without fear and each and everyone work to sow a seed). Our mission in teaching the language, literature, cinema and culture of Italy, from Medieval to contemporary times, is to contribute to plant a seed that may allow students to become citizens who may walk without fear and saw their own seeds outside the university, seeds that make for a better society here in the United States and abroad.  The Italian faculty is thus oriented toward teaching proficiency in the language in all classes, from Italian for beginners to Film studies and Medieval, and Renaissance Literature, and toward developing critical thinking through exposure to the cultural diversity as means to learn more about oneself, one’s own identity, and those one may consider the others.

The Italian faculty is committed to an open curriculum with clear outcomes for each of our classes in order to be able to assess at the end of the semester, together with the students,  the achievements of the targeted  goals.  All classes are taught in Italian with the most updated technology. Using a communicative and interactive approach in the classroom, we strive to enable students to speak and write in Italian in an informal environment that highlights the culture of Italy over time, while the co-curricular activities outside of the class are to create a bridge to Italy and foster interdisciplinary exchange: from contemporary and classic Italian films, to Renaissance music, drama and cuisine from Italy and the Mediterranean.