skip to content

French and Italian

Emeriti: (Professors) John G. Barson, Marc Bertrand, Robert G. Cohn, John Freccero, René Girard, Ralph M. Hester, Elisabeth Mudimbe-Boyi, Roberto B. Sangiorgi

Director: Carolyn Springer

Chairs of Graduate Studies: Cécile Alduy (French), Carolyn Springer (Italian)

Chairs of Undergraduate Studies: Dan Edelstein (French), Laura Wittman (Italian)

Professors: Jean-Marie Apostolidès, Jean-Pierre Dupuy, Hans U. Gumbrecht, Robert Harrison, Jeffrey T. Schnapp (on leave), Michel Serres, Carolyn Springer

Associate Professors: Cécile Alduy, Dan Edelstein, Joshua Landy

Assistant Professors: Marisa Galvez, Laura Wittman

Lecturers: Sarah Carey (Humanities Fellow), Yann Robert (Humanities Fellow)

Courtesy Professors: Keith Baker, Margaret Cohen, Paula Findlen, Michael Marrinan

Visiting Professors: Remo Ceserani, Samia Kassab-Charfi

Visiting Associate Professor: Ewa Domanska

Visiting Assistant Professor: Gabriele Pedullà

Department Office: Building 260, Room 127

Mail Code: 94305-2010

Department Phone: (650) 723-4183

Department Fax: (650) 723-0482

Email: fren-ital@stanford.edu

Web Site: http://french-italian.stanford.edu

Courses offered by the Department of French and Italian are listed on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site under the subject codes FRENGEN (French General), FRENLIT (French Literature), ITALGEN (Italian General), and ITALLIT (Italian Literature). For courses in French or Italian language instruction with the subject code FRENLANG or ITALLANG, see the "Language Center" section of this bulletin.

French Section

The French section provides students with the opportunity to pursue course work at all levels in French language, literature, cultural and intellectual history, theory, film, and Francophone studies. It understands the domain of French Studies as encompassing the complex of cultural, political, social, scientific, commercial, and intellectual phenomena associated with French-speaking parts of the world, from France and Belgium to Canada, Africa, and the Caribbean.

Three degree programs are available in French: a B.A., a terminal M.A., and a Ph.D. A Ph.D. in French and Italian is also available.

Visiting faculty and instructors contribute regularly to the life of the French section. The section maintains contacts with the Ecole Normale Supérieure, the Institut d'Etudes Politiques, and the Ecole Polytechnique.

A curator for Romance languages oversees the extensive French collection at Green Library. The Hoover Institute on War, Revolution, and Peace also includes materials on 20th-century France and French social and political movements.

France-Stanford Center for Interdisciplinary Studies—The center, founded in partnership with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, aims to bridge the disciplines of the humanities, social sciences, sciences, engineering, business, and law, to address historical and contemporary issues. Its programs bring faculty and students from across Stanford's departments and schools in contact with colleagues in France to explore issues of common intellectual concern. The center invites French-speaking scholars to offer courses or give lectures or seminars on campus. It facilitates internships for Stanford students in computer science and engineering in Sophia-Antipolis, France's new high-tech center near Nice.

La Maison Française—La Maison Française, 610 Mayfield, is an undergraduate residence that serves as a campus French cultural center, hosting in-house seminars as well as social events, film series, readings, and lectures by distinguished representatives of French and Francophone intellectual, artistic, and political life. Assignment is made through the regular housing draw.

Stanford in Paris—The Bing Overseas Studies Program in Paris offers undergraduates the opportunity to study in France during Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters. It provides a wide range of academic options, including course work at the Stanford center and at the University of Paris, independent study projects, and internships. In addition, the program promotes interaction with the local community through volunteer employment, homestays, and internships. The minimum language requirement for admission into Stanford in Paris is one year of French at the college level.

Courses offered in Paris may count toward fulfillment of the requirements of the French major or minor. Students should consult with the Chair of Undergraduate Studies before and after attending the program, in order to ensure that course work and skills acquired abroad can be coordinated appropriately with their degree program. Detailed information, including program requirements and curricular offerings, may be obtained from the "Overseas Studies" section of this bulletin, the Stanford in Paris web site http://osp.stanford.edu/program/paris, or the Overseas Studies Program Office in Sweet Hall.

Mission of the Undergraduate Program in French

The mission of the undergraduate program in French is to expose students to a variety of perspectives in French Language, culture, and history by providing majors with training in writing and communication as well as cultural, textual, and historical analysis in order to develop students into critical and global thinkers prepared for careers in business, social service, and government, or for graduate study in French.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

The department expects undergraduate majors in the program to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes. These learning outcomes are used in evaluating students and the department's undergraduate program. Students are expected to demonstrate:

  1. the ability to develop effective and nuanced lines of interpretation.
  2. improved critical thinking skills using French literary materials.
  3. facility with the methodologies and presuppositions underlying interpretive positions in secondary literature and in their own work.
  4. improvement in analytical writing skills and close reading skills.
  5. skills in active listening and productive intellectual discussion in class.
  6. proficiency in French.

Italian Section

The Italian section offers graduate and undergraduate programs in Italian language, literature, culture, and intellectual history. Course offerings range from small, specialized graduate seminars to general courses open to all students on authors such as Dante, Boccaccio, and Machiavelli.

Three degree programs are available in Italian: a B.A., a terminal M.A., and a Ph.D. A Ph.D. in French and Italian is also available.

Collections in Green Research Library are strong in the medieval, Renaissance, and contemporary periods; the Italian section is one of the larger constituents of the western European collection at the Hoover Institution for the Study of War, Revolution, and Peace; and the Music Library has excellent holdings in Italian opera.

La Casa Italiana—La Casa Italiana, 562 Mayfield, is an undergraduate residence devoted to developing an awareness of Italian language and culture. It works closely with the Italian Cultural Institute in San Francisco and with other local cultural organizations. It hosts visiting representatives of Italian intellectual, artistic, and political life. A number of departmental courses are taught at the Casa, which also offers in-house seminars. Assignment is made through the regular undergraduate housing draw.

Stanford in Italy—The Bing Overseas Studies Program in Florence affords undergraduates with at least three quarters of Italian language the opportunity to take advantage of the unique intellectual and visual resources of the city and to focus on two areas: Renaissance history and art, and contemporary Italian and European studies. The program is structured to help integrate students into Italian culture through homestays, Florence University courses, the Language Partners Program, research, internship and public service opportunities, and by conducting some of the program's classes in Italian. Many courses offered in Florence may count toward the fulfillment of requirements for the Italian major or minor. Students are encouraged to consult with the Italian undergraduate adviser before and after a sojourn in Florence to ensure that their course selections meet Italian section requirements. Information on the Florence program is available in the "Overseas Studies" section of this bulletin, the Stanford in Florence web site http://osp.stanford.edu/program/florence, or at the Overseas Studies office in Sweet Hall.

Mission of the Undergraduate Program in Italian

The mission of the undergraduate program in Italian is to expose students to a variety of perspectives in Italian Language, culture, and history by providing majors with training in writing and communication as well as cultural, textual, and historical analysis in order to develop students into critical and global thinkers prepared for careers in business, social service, and government, or for graduate study in Italian.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

The department expects undergraduate majors in the program to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes. These learning outcomes are used in evaluating students and the department's undergraduate program. Students are expected to demonstrate:

  1. the ability to develop effective and nuanced lines of interpretation.
  2. improved critical thinking skills using Italian literary materials.
  3. facility with the methodologies and presuppositions underlying interpretive positions in secondary literature and in their own work.
  4. improvement in analytical writing skills and close reading skills.
  5. skills in active listening and productive intellectual discussion in class.
  6. proficiency in Italian.

Graduate Programs in French and Italian

The Department of French and Italian offers three Ph.D. programs: a Ph.D. in French, a Ph.D. in Italian, and a Ph.D. in French and Italian.

Students for each of these programs must complete the requirements outlined in the "General Requirements for the Ph.D. in French or Italian" section of this bulletin, as well as the requirements outlined for their respective Ph.D. program.

Admission to the M.A. and Ph.D. Programs

Applications and admissions information may be obtained from Graduate Admissions at http://gradadmissions.stanford.edu. Applicants should read the general regulations governing degrees in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin. Applicants to the French program should have preparation equivalent to an undergraduate major in French; applicants to the Italian program should have done significant course work in Italian literature and/or Italian studies on the undergraduate level; in both cases, applicants should also have reached a high level of speaking and writing proficiency in the language. Previous study of an additional language is also highly desirable. Recent Graduate Record Examination (GRE) results are required, as are two writing samples representative of the applicant's best undergraduate work. One sample should be in English, one in the language of study.

ADVISING

Given the interdisciplinary nature of the Ph.D. programs and the opportunity they afford each student to create an individualized program of study, regular consultation with an adviser is of the utmost importance. The adviser for all entering graduate students is the Chair of Graduate Studies, whose responsibility it is to assist students with their course planning and to keep a running check on progress in completing the course, teaching, and language requirements. By the end of the first year of study, each student must choose a faculty adviser whose expertise is appropriate to his or her own area of research and interests.

Copyright ©2010 Stanford University | Office of the University Registrar | Academic Year 2010-11 | Terms of Use | Copyright Complaints | Report a Problem with this site.