The Italian Studies program at Bryn Mawr emphasizes a holistic approach to the study of Italian culture. From language and literature to history and culture, we offer an interdisciplinary course of study that brings together interests in the works of the great Italian authors and more popular genres of literature as well as politics, gender and sexuality, philosophy, history, film, and the visual arts.
Several of our students opt for a double major by combining Italian with work in other fields such as music, International Studies, Comparative Literature, History of Art, Cities, Classics, Anthropology, and Film Studies. After fulfilling basic units of language instruction, students choose from a variety of interesting courses (offered in English and Italian) on the literature, art, culture, history, and cinema of Italy.
Why Study Italian at BMC?
The Department of Italian welcomes all students from the Tri-Co system interested in Italian culture as viewed from a variety of critical perspectives and cross-cultural reflections, including but not limited to cultural studies, women’s studies and feminist criticism, post-colonial theory, and film theory. The sound reputation of Italian that our department enjoys may be measured by the fact that all the students who have majored in Italian and have gone on to do graduate work in Italian have been accepted by the schools of their choice including Harvard, Berkeley, Rutgers, Johns Hopkins—often with financial assistance.
Trico students may choose to study Italian as:
- a major in Italian Language/Literature --ILL
- a major in Italian Cultural Studies --ICS
- a minor in Italian Studies
- a romance languages major combining Italian with French and/or Spanish
- a major in Comparative Literature with Italian as the primary or secondary language
- as a double major
- as a major or minor in International Studies
- as part of the Medieval Studies program
What to do with a major in Italian Studies?
Perhaps the best way to answer this question is to see what our alumnae have done over the years -
- Internships in Milano (SITE Program, one or two years).
- Graduate School (History, Literature, Linguistics, Romance Languages, Education, Public Health, Library and Information, Social Work, International Education), Law School, Medical School, Veterinary School.
- Alumnae who decided not to continue with graduate school, have found employment as –Mortgage Broker, Sale Associate, Business Managers, Project Managers, Special Youth Managers, Publishing/Translating, Acting, Realtors, Research Assistants, Business Analysts, Service Associates, Researchers, Advertising.
Can I start an Italian major from scratch?
Yes, a beginner in Italian has the same chance of majoring in Italian with honors (3.7 GPA) as a non-beginner. In our average first-year class enrollments of 35-40 students and of 7-10 majors in Italian, one a third of these will have previous knowledge of the language.
Extracurricular Activities and Fellowships
The classroom experience is enriched through the mediation of the Italian Club (le Italianiste di Bryn Mawr), which sponsors a variety of cultural activities, including the Tavola Italiana (once a week), the Italian Major & Minor Information Session (once a semester), scholarly events, and films.The Italian Department also offers fellowship opportunities for students of Italian via Italian-American institutions. Visit our useful links and Internships page.