The Italian program in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures (MLL) provides the opportunity to discover the depth and diversity of Italian culture through Italy’s language, literature and film. 

The sequence of language courses from beginning through advanced is the foundation for further study in literature and culture. Students are encouraged to study in Italy during their junior year in order to be able to explore the literary and philosophical heritage that Italian authors bequeathed to the world, from Dante, to Leopardi, to Pirandello, to Calvino and Elsa Morante, in their native language. 

Students explore their own interests as they grow in language proficiency. They often combine a major or a minor in Italian with other languages in MLL or other fields, such as art history, history, psychology and English. Advanced students can compete for positions as apprentice teachers (ATs) to assist the faculty in the language courses, an advantage in winning Fulbright Fellowships following graduation from Kenyon.

Coursework in the close analysis of texts, whether literary or cinematic, gives a solid preparation in critical thinking for careers in the professions. The study of Italy’s culture, different from that of the United States, develops the capacity for responsible world citizenship, by enabling students to become more self-aware and cognizant of their own language and culture.