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

Latest News

June 5, 2017

Congratulations to French Certificate student Tayler Bujnowski, recipient of a $5,000 Henderson-Resnick Internship Scholarship. A double major in Communication Arts and International Studies, Tayler will spend the summer interning at the BMP Film Company in Chicago where she will be involved in media production. Félicitations, Tayler! 


May 23, 2017

The Professional French Masters Program announces development of new graduate offerings tailored to K12 teachers of French. The new Masters and Certificate tracks are being designed in collaboration with an Advisory Board of K12 French teachers and administrators from across the state. Expected to launch in 2018, the track will feature online language and pedagogy courses as well as summer sessions in Madison and Aix-en-Provence.


May 11, 2017

Ending the academic year with a bang, FRIT faculty, staff, and students collected 89 articles of school supplies, art supplies, and children's books. All items were donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County. Sincere thanks to everyone who participated!


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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!

Oct 6, 2017
Event Type: 

Public Lecture in Italian

Oct 15, 2017
Event Type: 

Featuring Francesca Brenico

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 can’t list all the ways that the study of foreign languages has enriched my life.