Minor in Italian

Minor in Italian Studies

The Italian Studies Minor is an interdisciplinary program of study in Italian language, literature, art, history, and culture. To earn the minor, students must demonstrate Italian linguistic competence (by completing or placing out of Italian 203) and complete five approved courses at the 300 or 400 level. A semester of study at an approved program in Italy is highly recommended, but not required. Students are further encouraged to live for a semester or year in the Italian House.


The minor offers some flexibility and can be tailored to complement major studies in English, Spanish, French, History, Art History, Medieval Studies, Music, International and Global Studies, and Anthropology.


Requirements for the five courses at the 300 or 400 level:


  • At least two courses must be taught in Italian; up to three may be taken in translation.  

  • At least one of the two courses taught in Italian must be ITAL 301, 302, or 303.

  • Up to two courses may be taken abroad (pending approval for each course).

  • One approved elective in another Sewanee department may be included.


Course offerings:

As a rule, the Italian Department will offer two 300-level courses per year: one in English in the Advent semester, and 301/ 302/ 303 in the Easter semester. Students with linguistic competency in Italian are encouraged to take the Italian language option for courses taught in English, which entails reading the original texts, participating in regular Italian-language discussion hours, and completing coursework in Italian.


Introductions to literature, taught in Italian (students must take at least two, OR one plus an approved content course taught in Italian while studying abroad)

ITAL 301Introduction to Poetry

ITAL 302 Introduction to Theater

ITAL 303Introduction to Prose


Taught in English, with Italian language option (students may take up to three)

ITAL 310Being Good in Medieval and Renaissance Italy

ITAL 325Women Writers in Early Modern Italy

ITAL 304Petrarch’s Many Tongues

ITAL 440Independent Study


Non-departmental electives (students may select one)

ARTH 325Italian Renaissance Art and Architecture

CLST 353Latin Literature in Translation

ENGL 200Representative Masterpieces (sections emphasizing Dante’s Divine Comedy)

LATN 3--/4--Any upper-level Latin literature course


Future courses with an Italian focus in other departments (such as Music or History) will be considered for elective approval.


Courses taken abroad

Students may apply up to two courses from an approved study abroad program to the minor. Each course is subject to departmental approval. Beginning and intermediate language/ grammar courses will not count toward the minor. Generally, content courses that focus on some aspect of Italy (e.g. a history course on the Fascist period, an anthropology course on Italian food culture) will be approved, as will courses on any subject taught in Italian (e.g. a biology course taught at the Università di Ferrara).