News & Announcements for French and Italian

Students from Lyons Township High School get immersion in French

Published Date:November 16, 2017

Students from Lyons Township High School in La Grange, Ill., were special guests of the Department of French and Italian on Oct. 30. The busload of approximately 50 students was initially divided into groups to complete a scavenger hunt en français, under the supervision of Prof. Clay and Prof. Maroun. The scavenger hunt consisted of simple, but fun tasks using the campus environment, such as ‘interview a French-speaking person’, ‘take a photo with some art work’, ‘take a photo with your French instructor’ at UIUC, and so on. From there, the students were divided into three groups and in one-hour shifts participated in the following activities: * Tour of the UI library, guided by Paula Carns * Attended a French course at the entry point of the major (intro to grammar, cultural analysis, or oral expression) with one of the department’s graduate teaching assistants; * While attending lunch catered for the occasion by Bevier Café, viewed a presentation on the French major and minor by Prof. Mroz, listened to the testimony of several senior or graduate French majors (Ashton Carter, Christine Pallon, Emilee McArdle, Marshall Janevicius), and discovered the myriad of employment opportunities that are available, post-graduation. Winners of the scavenger hunt received a copy of “M. Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran,” an award-winning novel by Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt, originally published in French, in 2001.

Published Date: November 16, 2017

U of I helping to digitize collection of Proust letters

Published Date:October 26, 2017

[Editor's note: This is an adapted story from AFP (Agence France-Presse), a wire service] The nearly 6,000 letters to and from the author of "In Search of Lost Time," one of the great masterpieces of western literature, are drawn mainly from the work of Philip Kolb, a University of Illinois professor. Kolb, who died in 1992, assembled and published all of Proust’s surviving correspondence -- about 5,300 letters -- in 21 volumes between 1970 and 1993. Several hundred more letters have since been identified. Kolb estimated the size of Proust's correspondence at some 20,000 documents, but most were lost or destroyed over the years. Illinois joins French partners to digitize the collection, with collaboration from the University of Grenoble Alpes and the Institute of Texts and Modern Manuscripts. The project will first focus on 200 letters that Proust wrote related to World War I, with the goal of having them online by November 11, 2018, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War. "That will allow us to have a first display, with a coherent set," said Francois Proulx, Assistant Professor French and Italian at Illinois. "We were not convinced that the letters from his youth were especially the most interesting to start out with," said Caroline Szylowicz, Associate Professor of French and Italian and the Kolb & Proust Librarian in charge of the U of I’s Proust collection. Proust, who was frail and of poor health, did not fight during World War I. However, his younger brother Robert served as a doctor in the French Army, and the two exchanged letters during the conflict. The handwritten letters posted online will include a printed transcript of the document. "It helps decipher Marcel Proust's writing, which is not always easy to read," said Proulx. The website will also offer various links, including press articles of the time that Proust refers to him the letters. The goal is to eventually post all of Proust's correspondence online. Under Kolb's leadership, the U of I has acquired some 1,200 letters. Letters written by the French author are known to fetch tens of thousands of euros at auction. The university will continue to buy Proust letters, budget permitting, Proulx said.

Published Date: October 26, 2017

Eleonora Stoppino appointed IPRH Faculty Fellow for the Academic Year 2017-18

Published Date:October 17, 2017

Professor Stoppino will be working on her project, “Ugly Beast, Talking Monkey: Contagion and Education in Medieval and Early Modern Culture”.

Published Date: October 17, 2017

Emanuel Rota appointed CAS Associate for the Academic Year 2017-18

Published Date:October 17, 2017

Professor Rota will be working on his project, "Before Unemployment: Work, Idleness and the Uber-working Class," as a CAS Associate 2017-18.

Published Date: October 17, 2017

New Study Abroad Program in Pavia, Italy

Published Date:September 22, 2017

The Italian Program at Illinois is offering a new Study Abroad Program in Pavia, starting in the spring 2018. This is an exciting opportunity for students in LAS and it is eligible for financial support.

Link to the application page:

Published Date: September 22, 2017