New and Exciting FIS Courses Offered in Autumn Quarter 2024

Submitted by Sariah Burdett on

In Autumn quarter 2024, the Department of French & Italian Studies is offering many new and exciting classes for our students to take. Read below to check out some of our classes and their descriptions! More details for these courses can be found on the UW time schedule or here on our website. If you have any questions regarding our courses, please reach out to

ITAL 354/GERMAN 298/GLITS 313: Cross-Cultural Encounters in the Middle Ages, Professor Beatrice Arduini and Professor Annegret Oehme

Marriage of Philippa of Catania and Raymond of Campania

Co-taught by Professor Beatrice Arduini of FIS and Professor Annegret Oehme of German Studies, this class explores literary expressions of cross-cultural interactions between European and Non-European cultures in the Middle Ages, as well as representations of "Otherness" in cultural settings and literary texts. 

Students will engage with a wide range of literary texts; explore how diversity and interconnectivity materialize in the contexts of politics, commerce, migration, religion and similar philosophical and cultural frameworks; and examine how such ‘modern’ global phenomena find root in the 'premodern' world. While focusing on German and Italian-speaking areas, this class will take a critical view of Eurocentric approaches.

ITAL 356/CMS 320 B: Contemporary Italian Cinema, Professor Claudio Mazzola

Picture for Ital 356


This course aims at providing students with an overview of Italian cinema from the end of WW2 to the present day. Where is Italian cinema now? Does the concept of "auteurs" still exist? Has the audience completely abandoned traditional Italian cinema in favor of more entertaining American blockbusters? This course will address all of these questions and will provide students with a strong historical background of Italian cinema to understand what made Italian cinema so famous in the past and in which direction Italian cinema is going now. 

FRENCH 240/ITAL 240: Harmonizing Language and Music: Exploring French & Italian Through Music: Dr. Eun Ju Vivianna Oh

Image for FRENCH/ITAL 390 A


This class uniquely combines language learning with musical exploration, providing students with a distinctive opportunity to enhance their linguistic skills while immersing in the melodies and rhythms that define French and Italian heritage. Through interactive lessons, students will engage with classic and contemporary songs, dissecting lyrics for language comprehension, enhancing pronunciation, and discussing musical contexts for deeper cultural understanding. Additionally, the course integrates the art of singing with language acquisition, culminating in a final performance showcasing students' progress in linguistic proficiency and musical talent. 

FRENCH 212/C LIT 200/GLITS 200: Dynamite Reads: World Literature and the Nobel Prize*, Professor Richard Watts


Experience the world through literature! This 3-credit C/NC course on global literature and Nobel Prize laureates introduces students to writers and literatures from around the world and is built around presentations by faculty members from across the humanities division. 

*Currently listed as FRENCH 390 B in the time schedule, we anticipate this changing before the the start of Autumn quarter registration.

French 378/HSTEU 490 B: The Making of Contemporary France, Professor Hannah Frydman

Photos of social movements in France, Protests


This course examines the development of contemporary France, paying special attention to moments and texts that disrupt the narratives of a unified cultural space that the French (or a certain subset of the French) like to tell. Throughout the course, which spans from the French Revolution to the present day, we will examine how the idea of France is problematized internally by a number of tensions: its equally important revolutionary and reactionary political traditions; its credo of a singular culture (Republicanism) in the face of ascendant multiculturalism; its universalizing impulse and its commitment to sexual difference; its anti-immigrant reflexes and its global cultural and economic ambitions. We will do so by examining a variety of types of texts and objects, with a focus on the historical, literary, and cinematic. Taught in English.

FRENCH 435/TXTDS 403: Archives, Data, and Databases: Critical Archives in Theory and Practice, Professor Hannah Frydman

Digitization projects have profoundly changed the landscape of historical research and have raised critical questions about how to account for the mediated ways we access the past. In this class, we will explore some possible answers to these questions, considering what opportunities digitization affords and what possibilities it forecloses. To do this we will begin by looking at the forms of mediation (and their basis in power structures) that were already present in physical archives before then turning to an examination of how digitization inflects the way archives mediate the traces we use to write history. We will apply our thinking by engaging in a hands-on way in the work of querying, collecting, and organizing archival material, and, in final projects, in integrating these sources into critical historical writing for a variety of different audiences.