Italian & French Studies


Contact Us

Kerry Lappin-Fortin
Associate Professor
519-884-8111 x 28278
Image of The Leaning Tower of Pisa and The Eiffel Tower
Welcome to the Department of Italian & French Studies



However small our department may be, we are big on this: award-winning teaching and one-on-one mentoring. We are dedicated to helping our students learn a second (or third!) language, and to introducing them to the richness of Italian and Francophone cultures.


Our Italian courses, which include beginner and intermediate level language courses, and an appealing array of literature and culture courses taught in English, may be taken either as electives or towards earning an Italian Studies Minor.


Our French students may pursue any of the major or minor programs offered by the University of Waterloo, and may be eligible for the third-year-away program to Québec (Chicoutimi) or France (Nantes) which is organized through the Department of French Studies.


All those interested in French and Québécois cinema are invited to come out to our movie nights, Soirées ciné!

Looking for something different in Italian?

Explore Italian culture and food in Rome during the warm days of February! Take FINE 293/393 or ITALST 394 in Winter 2019 (fulfill your Breadth Requirements) and spend your Reading Break in Rome, February 14-24, 2019.

There is still space available to be part of this journey that includes on-campus classes and a trip to Rome.  Cost of trip = $2695, which includes flights, accommodation, breakfasts, museum, and city travel pass. For more information contact Joan Coutu or Gabriel Niccoli

ITALSTS391: The Italian Novel and Cinema.

A survey of some of the principal novels of the twentieth century in Italy in association with their cinematic versions by eminent Italian film directors. Prereq: Level at least 2A


ITALST 265: Mafia Culture and the Power of Symbols, Rituals, and Myth

The course will analyze the cinematic representation of the Mafia in North America and focus on the manner in which North American cinema productions often glorify the Italian Mafiosi’s lifestyle. Special attention will be given to movies of the 1930s, to Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather trilogy, as well as to the television series The Sopranos. The goal is to deconstruct the romanticized portrayal of the Italian and Italian-American gangster lifestyle created on the silver screen and on television by analyzing the atrocities committed by organized crime.


Antonio Nicaso is a bestselling author, and an internationally recognized expert on organized crime. He is a regular consultant to governments and law-enforcement agencies around the world and a lecturer at various Italian and North American universities.