The study of Italian language, literature, and culture brings into proximity humanistic tradition and global concerns. The excellent language training Wesleyan students receive serves as the base from which to explore Italian history, culture, and society from the Middle Ages to the present. The rich and renewing curriculum enables students to develop and refine capabilities Wesleyan has defined as essential. Those capabilities that Italian Studies fosters and increases include writing, speaking, interpretation, intercultural literacy and effective citizenship, skills that are in service to a variety of professions and courses of study. The small classes, typically conducted through the medium of Italian, a characteristic of Wesleyan’s Italian curriculum, allow professors and students to work closely on a variety of critical topics. The cross-disciplinary composition of the Major allows students to explore their interests in an array of different departments (history, the College of Letters, art history, classics).
Wesleyan graduates in Italian Studies pursue careers in varied fields. Recent graduates work in journalism, law, communications, public policy, higher education, finance, culinary arts and food activism, fashion, international education, music and fine arts, publishing, psychology, and diplomacy, among other fields. Students often combine a major in Italian with other majors. Some recent double majors include pairing Italian Studies with Art History; College of Letters; Neuroscience and Behavior; Psychology; Mathematics; Music; English; Chemistry; American Studies; History; Government; Molecular Biology and Biochemistry; Earth and Environmental Studies; Film Studies; Anthropology; and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Some Italian Studies majors also satisfy requirements for Wesleyan’s certificates in international studies and environmental studies.