Italian & French Studies


Contact Us

Kerry Lappin-Fortin
Associate Professor
519-884-8111 x 28278
Welcome to the Department of Italian & French Studies

Small class sizes, cultural clubs, conferences, discussion groups, and other organized activities; this is Italian and French Studies at St. Jerome’s University. We nurture our students’ communicative and intellectual skills and broaden their horizons on the local, national or global stage. Additionally, if you are interested in French cinema, please come out to the monthly French movie nights, Soirées Ciné.


Offered as undergraduate Major, Minor, or Option academic plans that lead to specialization in literature, language and culture, many of our courses are offered online and through state-of-the-art technology. Many of the courses offered in the Italian Studies Minor are provided in English, so students can more deeply appreciate Italian culture and literature.


Competency in either of these two languages can also be enhanced through the St. Jerome’s University exchange program to Italy, or through the University of Waterloo exchange program to France or Quebec.

A look at just two of the interesting courses being offered in the Winter term. 
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ITALST 360: Dante’s Divine Comedy
This course journeys through the realms of death in order to discover the meaning of life. It will introduce students to a dynamic reading of Dante’s text, a classic of world literature, encouraging comparative approaches and emphasizing enduring issues of our human condition. Prerequisite: Level at least 2A   Taught in English by Prof. Gabriel Niccoli

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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.
For more information on this course and to view the course syllabus from last year, check out the course page.