Department of French and Italian

College of Letters & Science


Celebrating 500 years of Machiavelli's "Mandrake"

Group photo of scholars participating in Machiavelli Symposium

October 15, 2018

On October 12-13, 2018, the University of Wisconsin-Madison hosted a number of world-renowned scholars, who traveled from all over the country to convene on campus in honor of the 500th anniversary of Niccolò Machiavelli’s 16th century comedy, The Mandrake. The Symposium was organized by Professor of Italian and Art History, Dr. Kristin Phillips-Court, whose own research focuses on Machiavelli and the visual arts, among other topics. The event was generously sponsored by the Department of French & Italian, along with the Anonymous Fund, the Institute for Research in the Humanities, and the Departments of Art History and Integrated Liberal Studies.

 “On Human Nature: Machiavelli’s Mandrake at 500” explored many themes over the course of the two-day event, including sickness and medicine, manipulation and flattery, politics and power, and religion and ritual. Scholars from universities such as Dartmouth, University of Washington-Seattle, Brown, UCLA, Johns Hopkins, University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, Yale, and Notre Dame joined colleagues at UW-Madison to revisit established interpretations of Machiavelli’s famous play, and to posit new venues for exploration. The Department of French & Italian is honored to have had a role in this important intellectual endeavor!

French House to Celebrate 100 Years

September 19, 2018

Have you heard? The French House is turning 100! With more than 2000 undergraduate residents over the years, scores of conferences and lectures hosted, and who knows how many baguettes and boeuf bourguignons enjoyed, what was once just the clever idea of a few forward-thinking professors has blossomed into a Madison landmark. Celebrations began in January and will conclude with a Centennial Gala on Friday, October 19 at the Memorial Union Great Hall. Join alumni and friends of the French House to honor the past 100 years and look forward to the next century of French language and francophone culture in Madison. To register, visit Au plaisir de vous avoir parmi nous! 

Yves Citton visits FRIT for Hilldale Lecture in the Arts and Humanities

September 5, 2018

In April 2018, the Department of French and Italian hosted Professor Yves Citton who presented the 2018 Hilldale Lecture in the Arts & Humanities entitled “The Humanities as Arts of Attention in the Age of Computational Mediarchy.” In his lecture, Yves Citton analyzes how digital and computational technologies reconfigure our collective attentions. He presents the Humanities as arts of collective embodied attention which can orient and steer the techniques of automated attention currently mobilized through computational assemblages. Citton's lecture is now available online . Citton is professor of French Literature at the Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint Denis. Co-editor of the journal Multitudes, his latest publication is Médiarchie (Paris, Seuil, 2017). 

Outreach & Events

Oct 19, 2018

Interested in a career in diplomacy? Susan Notar, a Senior Criminal Justice Sector Advisor for Iraq at the US State Department and former French House resident, will talk about this exciting career path and answer questions. Conversation in English. Open to all students.

Oct 19, 2018

Friday, October 19, 2018
Memorial Union Great Hall
6 pm cocktail hour 
featuring the Wilder Deitz Trio
7 pm dinner

Join us Friday night of Homecoming Weekend to celebrate our 100th Anniversary as we honor the people, past & present, who have made the French House what it is today. We will also look forward to the future of the French House on our campus and in our community.

Oct 22, 2018

Enzo Traverse (Cornell University), will be on campus to give a talk and lead some activities (class visits and meetings) during his stay on campus, October 22-26, 2018.

Oct 24, 2018

Learn about more than 100 major and certificate programs from faculty, staff, and upper-level students.