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320 Milbank Hall  
212-854-5418 / 212-854-5481 / 212-854-8312

Department Administrative Assistant: Tomara Aldrich

Chair: Nelson Moe (Associate Professor)
Adjunct Professors: Rebecca Bauman, Lynn MacKenzie

Other officers of the University offering courses in Italian:

Professors: Teodolinda Barolini, Paolo Valesio
Associate Professors: Jo Ann Cavallo, Andrea Malaguti
Assistant Professor: Flora M. Ghezzo
Senior Lecturers: Maria Luisa Gozzi, Barbara Spinelli
Lecturer: Scott Failla (Columbia Language Coordinator)


The Italian Department seeks to provide students with the opportunity for in-depth study of the language, literature, and culture of Italy; it aims to enrich students' understanding of Italian culture through an interdisciplinary curriculum; it offers students the advantages of closely supervised work with its faculty. Through its full intergration with the Columbia University Italian Department, the Barnard Italian Department aims to provide a wide range of courses covering Italian literature and culture from Middle Ages to the present.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate with an Italian major should be able to attain the following outcomes:

  • Write, speak, read, and listen in Italian at the intermediate-high level in Italian language and carry-on an everyday conversation;
  • Identify and discuss the historical significance of major cultural works such as film, novels, plays, and opera;
  • analyses of Italian literary texts and films at an advanced level;
  • Demonstrate a broad knowledge of Italian literature and culture;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of major texts and authors in the Italian literary tradition, from the Middle Ages to the present;
  • Knowledge of the historical, political, cultural and literary aspects of the North/South divide in Italy;
  • Conduct original research on a literary or cultural topic project culminating in a 30-40 page thesis, successfully demonstrating an advanced level of textual and/or historical interpretation and the coherent presentation of an argument.

Undergraduate instruction in Italian has long been fully and successfully integrated among the various undergraduate schools-Barnard College, Columbia College, and the School of General Studies. All courses are open to Barnard students. The Advanced Italian courses, though part of the requirement for a major in Italian, are open to all qualified students whose main goal is to improve their competence in the language.

A major in Italian offers the advantages of closely supervised work for a small number of students. Through the senior tutorial, students pursue research in a chosen area of Italian culture under the guidance of a specialist.

The courses given in English have no prerequisites and are open to students majoring in other departments who nevertheless wish to study Italian literature and culture.

The Barnard Italian office is located in 320 Milbank, and the Columbia department is housed in 502 Hamilton.

Graduate courses are open to qualified students with permission of the instructor.