Welcome Message

Dear Friends of French and Italian,

It is with great pleasure that The Department of French and Italian inaugurates our online newsletter that will be published three times a year and will help spread the word about all of the exciting happenings relating to OSU French and Italian.

As I look back at my first year as department chair, I am amazed and proud by all that we do. This past year is best described as one of collaboration, both between colleagues and cultures. For example, our courses have welcomed over 3,500 students, we created a new study abroad program on ‘The Italian City’ that will kick-off in Bologna, Italy in May, 2019, we’ve begun engagement efforts with the French-immersion school The Ecole Kenwood and The Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum and Library, FRIT members have won prestigious awards including a Fulbright (Professor Cheikh Thiam) and the selective Graduate Associate Teacher Award (Laurene Glimois), and we hosted a fantastic array of events, spanning conferences dedicated to Jacques Rancière (who was in attendance), presentations on Beyoncé or climate change, and packed performances by popular musicians.

This issue highlights some of the many endeavors organized by FRIT folks over the last year. These include: a multidisciplinary lecture and workshop series on French, Francophone, and Italian Studies that reconsiders French and Italian outside of traditional disciplinary boundaries; an Italian Summit that hosted, among others, Italian high school and university teachers throughout the Midwest with the aim of promoting the study of Italian; a workshop on teaching French graphic novels that will take place at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum and will bring together local French teachers and OSU faculty and graduate students; a packed concert of 600 fans by the Quebecois pop star Bruno Pelletier; a concert and workshop by Italian hip-hop artist Amir Assai; a video-concert featuring multi-lingual feminist duo Les Femmouzes T from Toulouse; and a performance by San Remo winning Italian musician Simone Cristicchi that was filled to capacity.

We have much to celebrate.

Our newsletter will regularly include spotlight pieces on some of the excellent people that are part of the department, and this installment features a faculty spotlight on Lucille Toth, a new Assistant Professor of French on the Newark campus who is highly active in the department, and a Student Spotlight on Laurene Glimois, a PhD student in French and Francophone studies working on Second Language Acquisition.

As we look forward to the next academic year and all of our upcoming collaborations, I would like to pause to acknowledge the accomplishments of a few of the members of our FRIT family.

A super grazie/merci to FRIT’s phenomenal Program Coordinator Sonya Afanasyeva who made this newsletter possible.

Complimenti to Visiting Assistant Professor Jonathan Mullins on receiving a position of postdoctoral researcher at The University of Southern California. Jonathan has been with us for two years, and has been incredibly involved in all aspects of the department. We will miss you!

Last but certainly not least, I would like to send a warm congratulazioni/félicitacions to all of our graduates who’ve spent time with us pursuing a minor, major, or graduate degree. Please come back and see us soon!

I wish you a lovely Summer, and look forward to seeing and hearing from you in the Autumn. Until then, please follow us on Twitter @FRIT_OSU and Facebook, and be the first to hear about the great lineup of events planned in the fall.


Dana Renga, Department Chair