Department of French and Italian

College of Letters & Science


Welcome to Department of French and Italian 


Known for our particular intellectual atmosphere of exceptional quality and openness, we have long been recognized for our leadership in literary and critical scholarship, teaching excellence, and pedagogical research and training. We have a long tradition of internationalizing our curriculum, from our decades-old study abroad programs in Italy and the French-speaking world to our doctoral-level research exchanges to our professional master's curricula and required internships.  


  • FRIT meets with K12 French teachers to discuss new Teaching Masters Track
  • New (and excited!) French Alum, Joey Grund - Félicitations!
  • Congratulations to all our Spring 2017 French Graduates!
  • Congratulations to our Spring 2017 Italian Graduates!
  • Donor Monie Upham and nephew with Elizabeth Ann Upham Award recipient, Manuela Molina Hernandez
  • High School students learn about all things Italian during World Languages Day

Latest News

April 7, 2017

Italian Ph.D. graduate student, Caitlin Schaer, was recently interviewed about the Cinetica Italiana film series on WORT.  You can listen to the full interview here.


March 7, 2017

FRIT faculty and programs featured in recent Badger Herald article that discusses the benefits of non-native vs native foreign language instructors. 


Read More

Outreach & Events

Sep 15, 2017

French & Italian Department Picnic and FRIT cup Soccor Challenge! Bring a dish to pass and your own beverage. Plates, cups, siverware, napkins are provided. Guests are welcome!

Intellectual Endeavors

Le vivant, l’informe et le dégoût: Baudelaire, Flaubert et l’art de la (dé)composition

Baudelaire and Flaubert were both attracted to the question of the shapeless and the aesthetic challenges it raises. In more ways than one, the poem “Une charogne”, as well as the misadventures of Bouvard and Pécuchet, faced with putrescent matter, fall within the aesthetics of disgust. The shapeless and putrefaction also serve as a springboard for a claim to formal mastery aiming to make the filthy give birth to the beautiful. In Flaubert’s case, the mention of decomposed matter promotes an aesthetic ideal of autogenesis that echoes Félix-Archimède Pouchet’s theories on spontaneous generation.

Alumni Profile

I feel passionate about understanding the world!