Undergraduate Program

Learn Italian from scratch and explore the history, art, and culture of Italy, from an interdisciplinary perspective.
The Italian Language Placement exam can be taken at any time, preferably at the beginning of each semester. It has both written and oral components - please contact [email protected]edu to schedule.

 

It is quite possible to concentrate in Italian studies without having studied the language before coming to Brown, although doing so requires an early start. Having fulfilled the language requirement (Italian 0600), students will be able to enroll in a variety of advanced courses taught in Italian, reflecting the interdisciplinary scope of the program (including literature, history, history of art, film, media and culture). Students are strongly encouraged to take Italian Studies courses taught in English before fulfilling the language requirement.

It is quite possible to concentrate in Italian without having studied the language before coming to Brown, although doing so requires an early start.

Having fulfilled the language requirement (Italian 600), students will be able to enroll in a variety of advanced courses taught in Italian, reflecting the interdisciplinary scope of Italian Studies at Brown (including literature, history, history of art and culture). Students are strongly encouraged to take Italian Studies courses taught in English before fulfilling the language requirement.

The concentration requires that students demonstrate proficiency in the Italian language by completing up to Italian 600 (or the equivalent in Bologna). Italian 400 is the first language and culture course that counts toward the ten required courses for the concentration. At least five of the ten courses should be taken in Italian. Concentrators in Italian Studies must also pursue a variety of courses that reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the program. Of the eight "content" courses required for the concentration, three of the courses must be chosen from three of the following four distribution areas:  Italian literature; Italian History (any chronological period); History of Italian art and architecture; Italian film, media or performance. The remaining five courses may be chosen according to the student’s interests in Italian Studies. Italian Studies 192 (independent study supervised by a member of the Italian Studies faculty) can fulfill one of the courses required for the concentration.  Junior and senior concentrators may enroll in any graduate level course with the permission of the instructor and such courses can count toward the requirements for the concentration. 

All seniors will give a brief presentation to the department on an academic topic of their choosing in Italian Studies.  Their presentation can be based on their course work in the Brown Program in Bologna or a seminar at Brown. Fifteen-minute presentations by seniors will be organized into a panel-format by participating students.  Italian Studies faculty and students will be invited to attend this “senior conference” at the end of the academic year.  Since the senior presentations are based on work in a regular course, they do not constitute a “capstone experience” in Italian Studies. Concentrators who wish to pursue an independent research, writing, or multimedia project, should apply for permission to designate one of their courses a capstone course, or they should apply for honors in Italian Studies (see below for more information). 
 

Concentrators are encouraged to expand their understanding of Italian language, history, or culture through independent research that will result in a thesis, a translation, or a multimedia project, developed in consultation with the undergraduate concentration advisor and a faculty member. The Honors thesis in Italian Studies is a two-semester thesis. A Capstone experience in Italian Studies would consist of a course or project that a student, in consultation with the undergraduate advisor, feels would constitute a culminating experience in Italian Studies at Brown. This could also include the Brown Program in Bologna, typically taken in the Junior year. Students may also apply early in the semester for permission to designate one of their courses (100-level or above) a capstone course.  In consultation with the professor, students in capstone courses complete an independent research, writing, or multimedia project that is well beyond the required assignment for the course. Italian Studies 192 (independent study) may also be designated a capstone course with the permission of the instructor.  Students in capstone courses also present their final projects at the “senior conference,” described above.

The Honors thesis in Italian Students is a two-semester thesis.  Students who intend to complete an honors project should enroll for the first semester in Italian Studies 192 (independent study), and have their project approved by their advisor by October 15.  During the second semester, honors students enroll in Italian Studies 198 and continue to work with their advisor to complete the project.  The results of their research will be presented at the “senior conference,” described above.  Italian Studies 198 does not count as one of the eight courses required for the concentration.