Welcome to the Italian Program | LSU Foreign Languages and Literatures

Welcome to the Italian Program

Italy's contributions to the world are numerous. Besides being the fifth largest producer nation of the world, it boasts an impressive history with a cultural heritage which has shaped Western thought and civilization. Indeed, Italy's influence reaches every corner of the globe in many ways. 

When we think of music, we think of the great composers that Italy has given us, like Verdi, Varese, Vivaldi, etc. Students of music can learn Italian to assist them in their vocal studies and instrumentality as well.

When we think of cinema and film, we think of the ground-breaking contribution post-war Italian neo-realism and 1960's experimental film made in the dissemination of popular myth. Students of English, Film studies and Italian can profit from the cinematographic techniques initiated by directors such as, Roberto Rosselini (Roma Città Aperta [1946]); Vittorio De Sica (Il Giardino dei Finzi-Contini [1970]); Michelangelo Antonioni (Blow Up [1966]); Pier Paolo Pasolini (Il Decameron) [1970]); Luchino Visconti (Il Gattopardo) [1963]).

The Italian Renaissance, rich in painting and sculpture, is a continued source of inspiration for students of humanist thought, art and art history, as well as being a testament to the fact that Italians have been at the forefront of painting, sculpture and architecture for centuries.

When we think of narrative and lyric poetry, we think of the great Dante Alighieri and Francesco Petrarca, whose metaphysical poems and love sonnets have influenced a great number of poets through the ages.

The short story, perfected and practiced by many writers since the Middle Ages, traces its formal origins in Giovanni Boccaccio, author of the popular Decameron.

When we think of political rhetoric, we think of Niccolò Machiavelli, whose Prince is still studied for its realistic prose and content.

The Program of Italian Studies at LSU offers courses on all levels from elementary Italian to advanced courses in Italian literature. Our faculty is experienced in teaching Italian on all levels with a stress on speaking Italian. Courses in Italian history, culture, and civilization are offered as well as a course on Italian film.

Although a small program, our students have been able to learn Italian well enough and travel in Italy. There is also a summer program in Italy offering students the opportunity to complete courses toward their major and the Italian minor.

To know Italian is to be a part of the larger world; to share the great vision of Italian thought and letters. Be part of that world; study Italian.

The Italian Minor

A minor in Italian will consist of ITAL 1001, ITAL 1002, ITAL 2101, ITAL 2102, and nine hours of course work above ITAL 2102, six hours of which must be at the 3000/4000 level.