Areas of Study

Renowned for its innovative, successful teaching of French and Italian language, literature and culture, the Department of French and Italian is a strong presence in the Humanities that is committed to engaging students throughout their careers.  Some of the department's students choose to major in language and literature; many others connect their study of Italian or French with courses in government, economics, history or the arts.  Each student shares the excitement that comes from being part of a program that is designed to meet individual needs, talents, and aspirations.  See some of our faculty's core fields of specialization below!

Medieval and Renaissance Literatures and Cultures

Professors: Nancy Canepa, Laurence Hooper, David LaGuardia, Andrea Tarnowski

From Dante, Boccaccio, and Petrarch, to Rabelais, Marguerite de Navarre, and Montaigne, these two periods contain some of the most important figures of Western Literature. Dartmouth offers numerous intermediate and advanced courses in these disciplines.

17th-18th Century Literatures and Cultures

Professors: Faith Beasley, Nancy Canepa, Scott Sanders, Kathleen Wine

From the tragedies of Corneille and Racine, to the mythological epic of Marino and the fairy tales of Basile, through the comedies of Molière, to the salons and novels of de Scudéry and de Lafayette, to the theater of Goldoni, to the intellectual revolution of the Enlightenment, to the ultimate revolution of 1789, these two centuries were decisive for the subsequent history of Western Culture. Dartmouth offers a wide range of courses in these disciplines.

19th-20th Century Literatures and Cultures

Professors: Yasser Elhariry, Lynn Higgins, Lucas Hollister, Lawrence Kritzman, Graziella Parati, Robert St. Clair, Keith Walker

From Svevo and Balzac, through naturalism and surrealism, to the critical revolutions brought about by feminism and critical theory, to the tremors of post-colonialism, these two centuries have seen the development of an unprecedented number of literary and cultural trends. Students at Dartmouth have an opportunity of studying the multiple faces of these uniquely diverse centuries.

French and Italian Cultural Studies

The Department emphasizes the fact that literature is only one of a series of cultural artifacts that are the privileged objects of study, along with film, history, theory, music, television, gastronomy, monuments, and so on. It fosters the study of language through an expanded contact with this broad range of cultural manifestations in a wide range of courses.

Francophone Literature

Professors: Yasser Elhariry and Keith Walker

The Francophone countries in Africa, America, and Asia have provided some of the most provocative books and films of recent history. The transformation of French accomplished in these works is explored in a variety of courses at Dartmouth.

Italophone Literature

Professor: Graziella Parati

The literary and creative works of the immigrants in Italy provide fertile ground for the study of culture, and of the enrichment of the Italian language by these new voices from Anglophone and Francophone areas.