The Department of French & Italian has always contributed to serving the community—understood both as the campus community and the local, national, and international community. We also organize events that reach out to our community of alumni in French and Italian on a regular basis. The department’s College in the Schools (CIS) program, administered through the College of Continuing Education, currently enrolls 755 students in 21 participating secondary schools. These students complete either one or two semesters of our Intermediate French course, earning 5 or 10 U of M credits at no expense to their families. Well over 90% of these credits are routinely accepted by other colleges and universities.
At the local level, we have been partnering with several organizations and institutions, including:
- Alliance Française
- Italian Cultural Center
- Center for Victims of Torture
- Walker Art Center
- Film Society of Minneapolis and Saint Paul
- Jewish community centers and synagogues
Last year, in collaboration with the Film Society of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, our department organized a screening of a film on the turning of Cinecittà into a refugee camp that brought more than 150 people to campus. This year, we organized a special evening of multilingual poetry reading and music with local musicians at the Weisman Museum. This event—“Worlds Between Words”—had an audience of over 100 people, and brought together readers from the campus community (students, staff, faculty) and beyond. This is the first event of its kind, and we intend to renew it for next year.