As part of a Research I public institution grounded in the liberal arts, our core mission is multi-faceted. We conduct cutting-edge research and provide rigorous training and generous mentoring to graduate students; teach the French and Italian languages as well as the riches of French / Francophone and Italian cultures to undergraduate students (particularly the majors, minors, and certificate-seekers); and participate in the pedagogical mission and curricular initiatives of the College of Arts and Sciences and the university as a whole.
Diversity and inclusion
The Department of French and Italian reaffirms its commitment to the inclusion of all students, faculty, and staff. It is our ultimate goal to create a working and learning environment where people of diverse gender identities, sexualities, ethnicities, origins, religions, abilities and socio-economic status feel welcomed and supported in their personal and academic development and growth.
In the Department of French and Italian we emphasize diversity and inclusion in all areas of activity: teaching, research, and service.
Our faculty members explore a wide variety of diversity-related topics through individual research and through participation in national and international conversations. These topics include but are not limited to post-colonial Africa and the Caribbean; migration; sexuality; gender; LGBTQ+ communities in French and Italian literature, cinema, and culture; as well as the Pidgin and Creole languages spoken in post-colonial areas. We seek to understand diverse populations throughout the Francophone and Italian worlds, with an emphasis on cultural products, literature, cinema, art, and language. Through our research and teaching, we use diversity as a critical tool to look at the colonial past of France and Italy, as well as racially biased ideology and practices in historical and contemporary contexts.
From our undergraduate to our graduate courses we focus on topics that involve representations of all the minorities connected to the Francophone and Italian-speaking worlds. We regularly offer courses that explore this diversity such as F226: The French Melting Pot; F300: L’Afrique de l’ouest francophone; F310, Black Paris; M450: Seminar in Italian Literature: Migration and Cultural Identity; M453: Virtue and Violence: Italian Women Writers of the 20th and 21st Centuries; F467: Mediterranean Migrations in Francophone Literature & Film; F679: Pidgin and Creole Linguistics; and F651: Race and Ethnicity in French Cinema; to name just a few. These courses allow our students to acquire critical tools to analyze diversity within different cultures. Courses our faculty offer through other programs also contribute to the study of diversity on campus. For example, Global Perspectives in Modern Science Fiction through the Hutton Honors College explores postcolonial science-fiction, aboriginal science-fiction, and Afrofuturism.
In order to include nontraditional and underserved student populations, we offer online courses available to those who might find it difficult to participate in traditional on-campus activities. In both French and Italian we offer all four semesters of basic instruction online as well as M492 (Readings in Italian for Graduate Students), which we make available through the BTAA Course Share System. We also offer distance-learning courses at the MA level in French. We engage in collaboration with high school teachers and students to make our courses more accessible to younger students. We strive to diversify our course offerings and teaching formats in order to respond to different education goals and learning styles. In addition, we make sure to open our extra-curricular activities to the members of the greater Bloomington community in addition to IUB students.
The Department is committed to increasing the diversity in our undergraduate student population by collaborating actively with minority student organizations on Campus. In our basic language courses, we commit to helping students discover minority communities with which they identify, and actively inquire about and respect their personal choices of pronoun and identity. We commit to making more resources available for our graduate students as well, so they can find their campus support systems in a more efficient and quicker way, helping them to succeed in their years at IU.