Major in Italian

The Italian Program at Fordham offers two majors: Italian and Italian Studies.

The Italian Major

The major in Italian is available at Fordham College at Rose Hill and Fordham College at Lincoln Center. Students in Fordham School of Professional and Continuing Studies may major in Italian language and literature only if their schedules are sufficiently flexible to permit them to take day courses at the Rose Hill or Lincoln Center campuses.

Students majoring in Italian

  • Perfect their advanced proficiency in the Italian language,
  • Refine their analytical skills, and
  • Acquire a critical understanding of the historical development of Italian literary and cultural tradition over the centuries, from the Middle Ages to the present, and in all its diverse but often intersecting expressions, from literature to cinema to the fine arts and performing arts.

The study of such canonical authors as Dante, Petrarca, and Boccaccio, and the masters of the Italian Renaissance (Ariosto, Machiavelli, Michelangelo, and Tasso), of modern poetry (Leopardi, Ungaretti, and Montale), theatre (Goldoni, Pirandello, and Fo) and cinema (Rossellini, De Sica, Pasolini, Fellini), is complemented and enriched by the discussion of the relationship between culture, politics, and religion in the early and modern periods, and the analysis of women’s voices (from the lyrics of Vittoria Colonna to the poetry of Alda Merini, from Neera’s stories to the narratives of Elena Ferrante and Igiaba Scego), immigrants’ italophone narratives (e.g., Pap Khouma, Amara Lakhous, and Gabriella Ghermandi), and new cinematic languages (e.g., Matteo Garrone, Alina Marazzi, and Ferzan Ozpetek).

Students who wish to pursue graduate studies in Italian are strongly recommended to develop a reading knowledge of a classical language or a second modern foreign language.

Requirements
Majors in Italian will take a minimum of 10 courses, all in Italian, numbered 1501 (Intermediate Italian I) and higher, to be selected in consultation with the Italian adviser. Students, who place out of any of the following, ITAL 1501, 1502 and/or 2001, will replace them with upper-level courses. The 10 courses for the major normally include Italian Language and Literature (ITAL 2001), Approaches to Literature (ITAL 2500) or Reading Culture Through Literature (ITAL 2561), and six elective courses (or more, depending upon initial placement).

At least one of the 10 courses required for the major must be taken in each of the following groups:

  • GROUP I: The Middle Ages
  • GROUP II: The Renaissance and Baroque
  • GROUP III: Modern and/or Contemporary Literature and Culture

Study Abroad Policy
Students studying abroad for one semester may apply up to three study abroad courses toward the Italian major. Students studying abroad for one year may apply no more than four study abroad courses toward the Italian major. Programs that provide direct enrollment in the Italian university system are particularly encouraged, as are family stays. Students should consult with their Italian adviser to identify programs suitable for their interests and course of studies.

Note: Students who opt to apply study abroad credits toward their major must have these courses approved by their Italian faculty adviser prior to their going abroad.

Senior Thesis
Italian language and literature majors who show great potential and intellectual curiosity and whose course work in Italian has been consistently outstanding may choose to write a thesis under faculty supervision and be considered for honors in Italian language and literature. The thesis must be written in Italian and will normally be 25 to 35 pages in length. A three- to five-page thesis proposal, including a preliminary bibliography, should be submitted to the faculty mentor, chosen by the student in consultation with the major adviser, in the semester prior to the completion of the thesis. Students will be able to complete their thesis in a tutorial/independent study (ITAL 4998). The senior thesis tutorial may count as one of the elective courses required for the major. Students will present their research at a thesis defense, before the Italian faculty, in the spring of their senior year.

Honors
Honors in Italian language and literature will be awarded to students who have a GPA in the major of 3.67 or higher, and who complete an outstanding senior thesis under the direction of an Italian faculty member.

The Italian Studies Major

The major in Italian studies is available at Fordham College at Rose Hill and Fordham College at Lincoln Center. Students in Fordham School of Professional and Continuing Studies may major in Italian studies only if their schedules are sufficiently flexible to permit them to take day courses at the Rose Hill or Lincoln Center campuses.

Italian studies is an individualized, interdisciplinary major. Students majoring in Italian studies

  • Perfect their advanced proficiency in Italian,
  • Refine their critical skills, and
  • Explore Italian literature, culture, and history in the Mediterranean, European, or global contexts, from a broad range of disciplinary and critical perspectives such as anthropology, art history, classical languages and civilizations, communications and media studies, history, music history, political science, sociology, theology, visual arts, and women’s studies, among others.

In close consultation with an Italian major adviser, students design an individualized course of study, which may include up to three courses taught in English or offered by other departments and programs, on topics relevant to Italian culture and its relation to world cultures, histories, economics, and politics. Students who wish to take courses outside of the department must provide their adviser with a copy of the course syllabus for approval before registering for the course.

Italian studies major are required to keep a portfolio of all their work, and provide a written proposal of their course of study.

Requirements
Majors in Italian studies will take a minimum of 10 courses numbered 1501 (Intermediate Italian I) and higher. The 10 courses for the major normally include Italian Language and Literature (ITAL 2001), Approaches to Literature (ITAL 2500) or Reading Culture Through Literature (ITAL 2561), and six elective courses (or more, depending upon initial placement) to be selected in consultation with the Italian studies major adviser. Students, who place out of any of the following, ITAL 1501, 1502, and/or 2001, will replace them with upper-level courses.

Although it is not required, Italian studies majors who plan to go on to graduate school in Italian, comparative literary and cultural studies, or foreign language pedagogy are strongly recommended to take courses covering both early and modern Italian literature and culture (see the group distribution in the Italian major), and to develop a reading knowledge of a classical language or a second modern foreign language.

Sample Courses of Study
Focus on:

  • Italy and the Arts
  • Italy, Film and Media Studies
  • Italy, Europe and the Mediterranean
  • Italy and the Italian American Experience
  • Italy and the Global Italian Diaspora

Note: Students are not limited to the options listed above. They should work closely with an Italian major adviser to design a cohesive study plan, which will expose them to a broad and diverse array of literary, visual and audio texts, modes of thinking, and critical approaches.

Study Abroad Policy
Students studying abroad for one semester may apply up to three study abroad courses toward the Italian studies major. Students studying abroad for one year may apply no more than four study abroad courses toward the Italian studies major. Programs that provide direct enrollment in the Italian university system are particularly encouraged, as are family stays. Students should consult with their Italian adviser to identify programs suitable for their interests and course of studies.

Note: Students who opt to apply study abroad credits toward their major must have these courses approved by their Italian faculty adviser prior to their going abroad.

Final Presentation
Italian studies major are required to make an oral or written presentation during the spring semester of their senior year in which they demonstrate their independent work in the target field and address the following points:

  • The development of their language abilities (reading, writing, listening and speaking), and the proficiency level they have achieved;
  • The development of their knowledge and understanding of Italian culture and history through literature, the figurative arts, music, cinema and other media, and other disciplines (economics, history, political science, sociology, theology, etc.);
  • How the study of Italian has intersected with their study of other disciplines, and the ways in which various disciplines (including Italian) have enriched or challenged each other in terms of content and methodologies.

Senior Thesis
Italian studies majors who show great potential and intellectual curiosity and whose course work in Italian has been consistently outstanding may choose to write a thesis under faculty supervision and be considered for honors in Italian studies. The thesis will normally be written in Italian and will normally be 25 to 35 pages in length. A three- to five-page thesis proposal, including a preliminary bibliography, should be submitted to the faculty mentor, chosen by the student in consultation with the major adviser, in the semester prior to the completion of the thesis. Students will be able to complete their thesis in a tutorial/independent study (ITAL 4998). The senior thesis tutorial may count as one of the elective courses required for the major. Students will present their research at a thesis defense, before the Italian faculty, in the spring of their senior year.

Honors
Honors in Italian studies will be awarded to students who have a GPA in the major of 3.67 or higher, and who complete an outstanding senior thesis under the direction of an Italian faculty member.

Internships
Students who wish to pursue an internship and receive college credit for it should contact their Italian adviser and career services to identify internship opportunities relevant to their field of study and professional interests. Credits in Italian for internship tutorials will be granted depending upon the type of internship, the extent to which the Italian language is used in the work environment, and the relevance of the experience to a student’s course of study. The number of credits is contingent on the fulfillment of various requirements, such as regular meetings with the adviser, weekly written reports, and completion of a final project, among others.