For More Information
Contact the Undergraduate Advising Head, Paola Servino.
Learn more about a new Study Abroad Opportunity.
Italian Studies Events:
February 27 Carnevale pictures in The Brandeis Hoot
Brandeis offers students the opportunity to focus on the cultural heritage of Italy from the inception of the Italian language to the present day. The study of Italy’s language and creative achievements enables a student to explore another culture in depth in preparation for study abroad and eventual graduate work or related opportunities in the workplace.
Italian studies provides a minor and an independent major (through an Independent Interdisciplinary Major or IIM) for those who wish to extend their study of Italian beyond language and culture to areas of Italian literature, history, film, art history, and music. The study of Italian within a variety of cultural contexts enables students to deepen their understanding of a national heritage beyond the boundaries of a single time frame, region, gender, genre, or academic discipline.
Students in the program work closely with an adviser to develop an individualized plan of study that balances the exploration of a broad range of topics and sectors with a focus on a single discipline or cultural period.
The minor consists of five semester courses:
- One or two advanced language and culture course(s): ITAL 105a and/or ITAL 106a.
- Two upper level courses in Italian Studies: ITAL 110a, 120b, 128a, or 134b.
- One or two of the Italian Studies electives listed below or two other courses on Italian-related culture approved by the student’s Italian Studies advisor.
COML 103b Madness and Folly in Renaissance Literature
CLAS 115b Topics in Greek and Roman History
CLAS 120a Age of Caesar
CLAS 134b The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Rome
CLAS 136b Roman Technology, Medicine, and Art
CLAS 145b Topics in Greek and Roman Art and Archaeology
CLAS 150b Pompeii: Life in the Shadow of Vesuvius
CLAS 165a Roman Sex, Violence, and Decadence in Translation
FA 45b Art of the Early Renaissance in Italy
FA 46b High and Late Renaissance in Italy
FA 48a Baroque in Italy and Spain
FA 145a St. Peter's and the Vatican
FA 191b Studies in Renaissance and Baroque Art
HIST 123a The Renaissance
HIST 131a Hitler's Europe in Film (when topic is related to Italian Studies)
HIST 139b Fascism East and West
HIST 140a A History of Fashion in Europe
HIST 142a Crime, Deviance, and Confinement in Modern Europe (when topic is related to Italian Studies)
HIST 170a Italian Films, Italian Histories
Students seeking to pursue Italian Studies further may petition for an Independent Major and discuss various options with the Italian Studies faculty members.
All students are strongly encouraged to study in Italy for a semester, a full year, or in intensive summer programs. Study abroad provides students with daily interaction in the target language and enables them to achieve two goals:
- Greater linguistic precision in speaking, reading, writing and listening to the language.
- The experience of living and learning the culture in an authentic setting.
The Italian Studies minor/independent major will obtain a greater understanding of human diversity based on the study or experience of different social backgrounds and settings, especially that obtained through time spent abroad.
Opportunities beyond the Classroom
In addition to studying abroad, students are encouraged to take advantage of resources within the Boston Area Consortium (Boston College, Boston University, Tufts University and Wellesley College).
The Hiatt Career Center has a page devoted to Italian Studies, which has a host of information specific to majors.
For students interested in an off-the beaten-path Italian experience, a summer in Catania, Sicily, is an exciting possibility for you.
Open to all Brandeis students, this eight-week program provides the opportunity for Italian language immersion to students ranging from no Italian background through four semesters of language experience. An academic traveling seminar in addition to language practica and a history and culture course take learning outside the classroom walls and into the streets of one of Sicily's most charming cities.
Students who complete the program may receive numeric credit for three Brandeis courses as well as Italian elective credit.
Download the fact sheet (pdf) and learn more about this program and how it relates to Brandeis credit.
Ready to apply? Start the application process.