Administrative Unit: French and Italian
College/School: College of Letters & Science
Admitting Plans: M.A., MFS, Ph.D.
Degrees Offered: M.A. in French; M.A. in Italian; MFS; Ph.D. in French; Ph.D. in Italian
Minors and Certificates: Doctoral Minor in French; Doctoral Minor in Italian
The M.A. and Ph.D. programs in French offer a first-rate faculty in all the areas of French and Francophone literature and culture. The program emphasizes broad coverage as well as specialization, and is organized so as to take advantage of the quality and range of the faculty. A Wisconsin Ph.D. has the ability to teach not only a very focused topic of research, but also much of the French literary tradition.
The French graduate program offers a wide array of courses and seminars each semester, providing a fairly even distribution across the various literary periods in most academic years. Courses typically meet two or three times a week and are quite broad in focus, generally exploring well-defined periods or genres, while seminars are held once a week for two hours and take up narrower topics in greater depth. Both the offerings and the requirements of the M.A. and Ph.D. programs are designed to give students not only the tools necessary for specialization, but also an excellent knowledge of these extremely rich literary traditions.
Strong emphasis is placed on the practice of the language. French is the usual language of instruction in graduate courses and seminars. The department offers possibilities for international stay through exchange programs and further promotes the use of French through lectures, films, theater, and events at the French House.
The French Ph.D. program has a fine job placement record. Its students' solid foundation in the French and Francophone literary tradition is increasingly rare among North American literature programs, as is the extensive training students receive in language pedagogy.
The Italian program offers the master of arts and Ph.D. degrees. In most academic years, a wide array of courses and seminars is offered each semester to provide an even distribution across various literary periods. Courses typically meet two or three times a week and are broad in focus, generally exploring well-defined periods or genres. Seminars are held once a week for two hours and take up narrower topics in greater depth. Typical course offerings over a two- to three-year period cover all centuries of Italian literature and a wide variety of topics, including Italian culture, cinema, civilization, and linguistics. Strong emphasis is placed on the practice of the language; Italian is the usual language of instruction in graduate courses and seminars.
Graduate students gain a solid foundation not only in scholarship and criticism, but also in teaching. Most students have guarantees of support. The standard offer to an incoming teaching assistant provides a guarantee of three or four years of support, depending on whether the student has already done graduate work elsewhere. Study abroad programs and exchange agreements with individual universities provide opportunities for study and research in Italy. For example, the department frequently sends a graduate student to serve for a semester or a year as house fellow for the study program at the Villa Corsi-Salviati near Florence. In addition the department has exchange and cooperation arrangements with the Université di Siena and the Université di Firenze.
The department offers regular workshops designed to give students an overview of the job market and how to best prepare for it, making its placement record outstanding. As one of the largest Italian programs in North America, the department offers an unparalleled opportunity to study Italian literature, linguistics, and culture.
The master of French studies (MFS) is a professional degree earned in the Professional French Masters Program (PFMP). The PFMP is separate from the graduate program in French and Francophone literature. It is an interdisciplinary program combining advanced graduate-level course work in French language and Francophone culture with concentration-area course work in one of six professional concentration areas: French and business, French and education, French and international education, French and European Union affairs, French and international development, and French and media/arts/cultural production. The PFMP prepares graduate students for careers in business, government, nonprofit organizations, media, advertising, and the arts. All PFMP students do a professional internship, in their field, in a French-speaking country, and present a professional portfolio at the end of their studies.
French Faculty: Professors Bousquet (chair), Debaisieux, Goodkin, Langer, Miernowski, Songolo, Tochon and Vila; Associate Professors Armbrecht, El-Nossery, Willis Allen, and Vatan; Assistant Professors Armstrong, Dima, and Gipson
Italian Faculty: Professors Bousquet (chair), Buccini, Livorni, Rumble; Associate Professors Menechella, Phillips-Court; Assistant Professor Todorovic