Welcome to the Italian Program of the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics at Florida State University. These pages provide prospective and current undergraduate and graduate students with information and contacts to division and department resources. The Italian division offers a comprehensive undergraduate program (major and minor) in Italian language and/or literature as well as a teacher certification and possibility of a major with a concentration in business. Students in the Italian division can also pursue an M.A. in Italian studies, which consists of an interdisciplinary program with core courses in Italian correlated with graduate courses from related area(s) of interest. Through the Winthrop-King Bequest, the division is also able to offer a limited number of undergraduates the opportunity to study in Italy in the summer.
Statement on Anti-Racist Commitment of the FSU Italian Program (June 2020)
The Italian Program at FSU stands with the ongoing protests against police brutality and the calls for racial justice on the part of Black people in the United States and across the world. We are committed to teaching and discussing racial inequality. To do so, we commit to call out the silences and omissions that make our own cultural tradition complicit to the myth of white superiority.
Throughout the centuries, Italian culture has stood at the intersection of trading routes and multicultural encounters between North and South, East and West. This has meant productive and ground-breaking moments in Western history, such as the medieval intersection of Islamic, Jewish, and Christian systems of thought; or the rise in Florence of the first Black head of state in the modern world (Alessandro de’ Medici, first Duke of Florence); but it also led to Italy’s colonial massacres in Africa, to the implementation of racial laws on the part of the Fascist regime, and to the racialization of citizenship still occurring within its boundaries today.
This is why it is fundamental to discuss Italian identity as a construct built on what it excludes, on the grounds of race, ethnicity, gender, and sex. As we acknowledge the biases inherent in the culture we teach, we are committed to improving the experience of students from all backgrounds, especially those who may be least represented in Eurocentric literature and culture. We aim to create a safe environment for discussions involving race, white privilege, and the bio-politics of identity in a way that doesn’t marginalize BIPOC voices, rather includes, values, and amplifies them as necessary elements of the narrative we want to build together.