Contacts

Office: Building 260, Rooms 127-128
Mail Code: 94305-2010
Phone: (650) 723-4183, Fax: (650) 723-0482
Email: fren-ital@stanford.edu
Web Site: https://dlcl.stanford.edu/departments/french-and-italian/about

Courses offered by the Department of French and Italian are listed on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site under the subject codes FRENCH (French General and Literature) and ITALIAN (Italian General and Literature).  For courses in French or Italian language instruction with the subject code FRENLANG or ITALLANG, see the Language Center section of this bulletin.

The department is a part of the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages.

French Section

The French section provides students with the opportunity to pursue course work at all levels in French language, literature, cultural and intellectual history, theory, film, and Francophone studies. It understands the domain of French Studies as encompassing the complex of cultural, political, social, scientific, commercial, and intellectual phenomena associated with French-speaking parts of the world, from France and Belgium to Canada, Africa, and the Caribbean.

Three degree programs are available in French: a B.A., a terminal M.A., and a Ph.D. A Ph.D. in French and Italian is also available.

Visiting faculty and instructors contribute regularly to the life of the French section. The section maintains contacts with the Ecole Normale Supérieure, the Institut d'Etudes Politiques, and the Ecole Polytechnique.

A curator for Romance languages oversees the extensive French collection at Green Library. The Hoover Institute on War, Revolution, and Peace also includes materials on 20th-century France and French social and political movements.

Stanford Center for Interdisciplinary Studies

The Stanford Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, founded in partnership with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, aims to bridge the disciplines of the humanities, social sciences, sciences, engineering, business, and law, to address historical and contemporary issues. Its programs bring faculty and students from across Stanford's departments and schools in contact with colleagues in France to explore issues of common intellectual concern. The center invites French-speaking scholars to offer courses or give lectures or seminars on campus. It facilitates internships for Stanford students in computer science and engineering in Sophia-Antipolis, France's new high-tech center near Nice.

Stanford in Paris

The Bing Overseas Studies Program in Paris offers undergraduates the opportunity to study in France during Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters. It provides a wide range of academic options, including course work at the Stanford center and at the University of Paris, independent study projects, and internships. In addition, the program promotes interaction with the local community through volunteer employment, homestays, and internships. The minimum language requirement for admission into Stanford in Paris is one year of French at the college level.

Courses offered in Paris may count toward fulfillment of the requirements of the French major or minor. Students should consult with the Chair of Undergraduate Studies before and after attending the program, in order to ensure that course work and skills acquired abroad can be coordinated appropriately with their degree program. Detailed information, including program requirements and curricular offerings, may be obtained from the "Overseas Studies" section of this bulletin, the Stanford in Paris web site, or the Overseas Studies Program Office in Sweet Hall.

La Maison Française

La Maison Française, 610 Mayfield, is an undergraduate residence that serves as a campus French cultural center, hosting in-house seminars as well as social events, film series, readings, and lectures by distinguished representatives of French and Francophone intellectual, artistic, and political life. Assignment is made through the regular housing draw.

Mission of the Undergraduate Program in French

The mission of the undergraduate in French is to expose students to a variety of perspectives in French language, culture, and history by providing majors and minors with training in writing and communication as well cultural, textual, and historical analysis.  Through such skills, students develop into critical and global thinkers prepared for careers in business, social service, journalism, and government, or for graduate study in French.

Learning Outcomes (Undergraduate)

The department expects undergraduate majors in the program to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes. These learning outcomes are used in evaluating students and the department's undergraduate program. Students are expected to demonstrate:

  1. oral proficiency in French beyond the interpersonal level with presentational language abilities.

  2. writing proficiency in French beyond the interpersonal level with presentational language abilities.

  3. close reading skills of authentic texts in French.

  4. the ability to develop effective and nuanced lines of interpretation.

Italian Section

The Italian section offers graduate and undergraduate programs in Italian language, literature, culture, and intellectual history. Course offerings range from small, specialized graduate seminars to general courses open to all students on authors such as Dante, Boccaccio, and Machiavelli.

Three degree programs are available in Italian: a B.A., a Ph.D., and Ph.D. in French and Italian. An Italian minor program is available to undergraduates.  

Collections in Green Research Library are strong in the medieval, Renaissance, and contemporary periods; the Italian section is one of the larger constituents of the western European collection at the Hoover Institution for the Study of War, Revolution, and Peace; and the Music Library has excellent holdings in Italian opera.

La Casa Italiana

La Casa Italiana, 562 Mayfield, is an undergraduate residence devoted to developing an awareness of Italian language and culture. It works closely with the Italian Cultural Institute in San Francisco and with other local cultural organizations. It hosts visiting representatives of Italian intellectual, artistic, and political life. A number of departmental courses are taught at the Casa, which also offers in-house seminars. Assignment is made through the regular undergraduate housing draw.

Stanford in Florence

The Bing Overseas Studies Program in Florence affords undergraduates with at least three quarters of Italian language the opportunity to take advantage of the unique intellectual and visual resources of the city and to focus on two areas: Renaissance history and art, and contemporary Italian and European studies. The program is structured to help integrate students into Italian culture through homestays, Florence University courses, the Language Partners Program, research, internship and public service opportunities, and by conducting some of the program's classes in Italian. Many courses offered in Florence may count toward the fulfillment of requirements for the Italian major or minor. Students are encouraged to consult with the Italian undergraduate adviser before and after a sojourn in Florence to ensure that their course selections meet Italian section requirements. Information on the Florence program is available in the "Overseas Studies" section of this bulletin, the Stanford in Florence web site, or at the Overseas Studies office in Sweet Hall.

Mission of the Undergraduate Program in Italian

The mission of the undergraduate program in Italian is to expose students to a variety of perspectives in Italian language, culture, and history by providing majors with training in writing and communication as well as cultural, textual, and historical analysis in order to develop students into critical and global thinkers prepared for careers in business, social service, and government, or for graduate study in Italian.

Learning Outcomes (Undergraduate)

The department expects undergraduate majors in the program to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes. These learning outcomes are used in evaluating students and the department's undergraduate program. Students are expected to demonstrate:

  1. oral proficiency in Italian beyond the interpersonal level with presentational language abilities.

  2. writing proficiency in Italian beyond the interpersonal level with presentational language abilities.

  3. close reading skills of authentic texts in Italian.

  4. the ability to develop effective and nuanced lines of interpretation.

Graduate Programs in French and Italian

The department offers a Ph.D. and terminal M.A. in French, a Ph.D. in Italian, and a Ph.D. in French and Italian.

Learning Outcomes (Graduate)

The purpose of the master's program is to further develop knowledge and skills in French or Italian and to prepare students for a professional career or doctoral studies. This is achieved through completion of courses, in the primary field as well as related areas, and experience with independent work and specialization.

The Ph.D. is conferred upon candidates who have demonstrated substantial scholarship and the ability to conduct independent research and analysis in French, Italian, or French and Italian. Through completion of advanced course work and rigorous skills training, the doctoral program prepares students to make original contributions to the knowledge of French, Italian, or French and Italian and to interpret and present the results of such research.

Faculty in French and Italian

Director: Laura Wittman

Chair of Graduate Studies: Cécile Alduy (French), Laura Wittman (Italian)

Chairs of Undergraduate Studies: Dan Edelstein (French - Autumn), Fatoumata Seck (French - Winter/ Spring), Sarah Prodan (Italian - Autumn, Spring), Laura Wittman (Italian - Winter)

Professors: Cécile Alduy, Jean-Pierre Dupuy, Dan Edelstein, Marisa Galvez, Joshua Landy (also Comparative Literature), Robert Harrison (on leave Spring)

Associate Professors: Laura Wittman

Assistant Professors: Sarah Prodan, Fatoumata Seck

Lecturers: Anna Ilievska (Mellon Fellow), Andrei Pesic

Courtesy Professors: Keith Baker, Margaret Cohen, Paula Findlen

Courtesy Associate Professor: James P. Daughton

Emeriti: (Professors) Jean-Marie Apostolidès (also Theater and Performance Studies), John G. Barson, Robert G. Cohn, John Freccero (also Comparative Literature), Hans U. Gumbrecht (also Comparative Literature), Elisabeth Mudimbe-Boyi (also Comparative Literature), Carolyn Springer

Graduate Advising Expectations

The Department of French and Italian is committed to providing academic advising in support of graduate student scholarly and professional development. The overall goal of advising, both in the DLCL and the department, is to help graduate students make academic and career choices wisely, and think ahead, in order to craft a long-term plan for their graduate student career and beyond. When most effective, the advising relationship entails collaborative and sustained engagement by both the adviser and the advisee. As a best practice, advising expectations should be periodically discussed and reviewed to ensure mutual understanding. Both the adviser and the advisee are expected to maintain professionalism and integrity. Advising is both an academically invaluable form for the transmission of expertise, as well as a key aspect of creating a strong departmental and Stanford community.

Faculty Advisers

Faculty advisers guide students in key areas such as selecting courses, designing and conducting research, developing of teaching pedagogy, navigating policies and degree requirements, and exploring academic opportunities and professional pathways.

  • Upon enrolling, students plan their work under the direction of the Chair of Graduate Studies or a faculty member designated by the program. When the student selects a more specialized adviser, the transition should involve oral or written communication between both advisers and the student concerning the student's progress, goals, and expectations. It is possible for doctoral students to choose two main advisers at the dissertation stage, provided all agree this is academically sound. 

  • Faculty advisers should meet with assigned students to discuss their selection of courses and to plan from a broader, longer-term perspective, including discussion of Program milestones and a basic timeline; an overview of Department and DLCL offerings beyond courses; student goals and interests and DLCL or Stanford programs that may be relevant; and (for doctoral students) how to transfer previous graduate coursework.

  • Faculty advisers and graduate students should meet at least once per quarter to assess the advisee's course of study, performance over the past quarter, and plans for the next quarter, as well as longer term plans. If a student has two advisers, the student should meet at least once per quarter with each adviser and at least once per year with both advisers at the same time. 

  • For doctoral students, faculty should help their advisees plan for exams, research grant applications, develop research projects, and plan ahead for both the academic job market and the job search beyond academia.

  • Faculty advisers should provide feedback about the student's progress to the department during the Annual Review process. For more information about the Annual Review, see the Graduate Handbook.

Graduate Students

Graduate students are active contributors to the advising relationship, proactively seeking academic and professional guidance and taking responsibility for informing themselves of policies and degree requirements for their graduate program.

  • Upon enrolling, students plan their work under the direction of the Chair of Graduate Studies or a faculty member designated by the program. As the student develops a field of expertise, the student choose a program adviser to replace the Chair of Graduate Studies role. The transition should involve oral or written communication between both advisers and the student concerning the student's progress, goals, and expectations. 

  • Graduate students and faculty advisers and should meet at least once per quarter to assess the advisee's course of study, performance over the past quarter, and plans for the next quarter, as well as longer term plans. If a student has two advisers, the student should meet at least once per quarter with each adviser and at least once per year with both advisers at the same time. 

  • Students should consult with their advisers on all academic matters, including coursework, conference presentations and publications, research travel, and teaching plans. 

  • Students should provide a thorough self-evaluation each year for the annual review. For more information about the Annual Review, see the Graduate Handbook.

For a statement of University policy on graduate advising, see the Graduate Advising section of this bulletin.