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Welcome to the Italian Section

The Italian peninsula is one of the pivotal centres in the history of the West. From the Roman Empire to the medieval communes, from the Renaissance to Fascism, Italy has shaped the culture and politics of Europe and the wider world for over two millennia.  Studying the languages and cultures of Italy offers a wonderful opportunity to engage with these traditions, as well as with the one of the most vibrant European nations of today. 

We aim to teach and promote the study of the widest possible range of Italian literature, linguistics, art, cinema and cultural history, and to teach the Italian language to the highest level of spoken and written competence. We lay great stress on the connections between the study of a language and the critical understanding of its culture and history; and on the skills of close reading, whether the 'text' in question is a poem, a painting, a film, a dialect recording, or an advertisement. We work hard to shape our course to contribute to a shared degree course in modern European languages and cultures.

The Italian Section offers a unique breadth and depth of expertise, combined with a commitment to interdisciplinary engagement that make it a vibrant and dynamic place for teaching and learning the language and culture of Italy. In this close-knit community of academics and students, eight outstanding and enthusiastic academic staff guide and inspire 120 undergraduate and 20 PhD students, and have secured the Section’s ranking as best in the country for Italian. In national Research Assessments in the UK, Italian has consistently been ranked above all other Italian sections or departments in the UK. In the 2014 Research Exercise Framework (REF), 40% of research submitted by the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages was rated as “world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour”.

 

Why Study Italian at Cambridge?

 

Please feel free to explore our website. On this site, you will find extensive information about the Italian Section and the undergraduate and graduate courses which we offer. You will also find information about our staff and their research interests which cover a wide range of specialisms.

There is a link to the extensive Italian Collections at the University Library here.

The Italian Section is happy to answer any questions that current or prospective staff and students may have. Please do get in touch with us! Contact details for our Section Coordinator can be found here.

Listen to our sample Italian lecture by Dr Heather Webb

Latest News

Book talk: Jessica Maratsos in conversation with Stuart Lingo presents her new book: Pontormo and the Art of Devotion in Renaissance Italy

30 January 2023

On 10th Februrary, 13:00-17:00 Jessica Maratsos will give a book talk with Stuart Lingo about her new book 'Pontormo and The Art of Devotion in Renaissance Italy'. Further details are available using the link below: Jessica Maratsos Book Talk

Italian Research Seminars.

26 January 2023

Come join us for our Italian Research Seminars! Details are listed below. 25th January, St Johns College Dr Gianmarco Mancosu (University of Calgary) 'Exotic Fascism: Imperial Propaganda in between Film, Literature and Ethnography' 16 February, Selwyn College Professor Francesca Southerden (University of Oxford) ''Cosi o...

Professor Robert Gordon's new book: Modern Luck: Narratives of Fortune in the Long Twentieth Century

19 January 2023

Professor Robert Gordon’s new book, Modern Luck: Narratives of Fortune in the Long 20th Century has just appeared with UCL Press. The book is a wide-ranging study of the workings of luck in modern storytelling, between literature and film.

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