This Fall, the Department of French and Italian participated in the Indiana University Arts and Humanities Council’s First Thursday events on September 5 and October 3 in the Arts Plaza in front of the IU Auditorium. The aim of the First Thursdays program is to highlight IU’s offerings in the arts and humanities, including academic departments, performing arts entities, the IU libraries and museums, and visiting performers. The Department was part of the Humanities Salon, a section of the outdoor event with tables and activities offered by various humanities programs. The Humanities Salon was organized this fall, in part, by French minor and Aix-en-Provence program alumna Anna Groover, who reached out to FRIT to participate.
“I enjoyed meeting the many members of the IU and Bloomington communities who stopped by our table to ask (or answer!) a question, participate in a craft, or share a story about what French/Francophone or Italian language and culture has meant to them,” said Professor Barbara Vance, Director of Undergraduate Studies in French. “Some newly arrived residents were particularly delighted to discover the huge variety of offerings in humanities at IU.”
Professor Colleen Ryan, our Director of Undergraduate Studies in Italian, agreed, saying “The large outdoor event was very inspiring and ideal for conveying the great scope and breadth and energy of the many humanities offerings at IU.”
On September 5, FRIT unveiled its Trivia Wheel where participants could spin to pick a category and then answer questions for prizes. Questions ranged from sports to food to Haitian rap music. While several were able to correctly identify the French philosopher who said “I think, therefore I am” (Descartes), no one seemed to know what “in bocca al lupo” meant in Italian (Good luck!). Prizes included French and Italian cookies (madeleines and biscotti) and program-specific stickers, to be (we hope) put on laptops and travel mugs to spread the word about FRIT.