Welcome to the Department of Italian at Columbia University.
The study of Italian language and literature at Columbia has a venerable history dating back to 1825 when the Lorenzo Da Ponte, celebrated librettist of Mozart's operas, became the first Professor of Italian Literature in the United States. While our Department continually strives to fulfil its core mission of teaching Italian language, literature, and culture across the centuries, we are also engaged with today’s globalized world and contemporary concerns though new directions of intellectual enquiry, in particular, the interdisciplinary field of Mediterranean studies.
In addition to working with faculty representing a diverse spectrum of interests and critical approaches, students are able to take advantage of rich cultural and scholarly events organized through our Department, especially the Italian and Mediterranean Colloquium (IMC), and though the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America housed in Columbia’s Casa Italiana.
Our Department not only aims to bring a global perspective to courses offered on Columbia’s New York campus, but we also offer opportunities for study in Italy through our summer program in Venice.