Italian at Brooklyn College

Italian at Brooklyn College

In early October 2019, the three professors of Italian at Brooklyn College were informed that as of Spring semester 2020, Italian would no longer be offered at Brooklyn College. The three professors, in turn, would teach courses designated as Modern Language courses (MLAN) or English courses (ENG).

Since the teaching of Italian is one of the various items under the tutelage of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, the three Italian professors approached me and asked for assistance. They provided me with the working document of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures for course offerings for Spring 2020. All courses were listed, even those for languages without a major or minor. At that juncture, I wrote to the people involved, those of Brooklyn College’s administration: the president, provost, dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, and chair of the of Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.

My initial email of October 23 provoked a series of exchanges between me and the provost. The provost contended from the beginning that Italian was not being eliminated from the curriculum. However, until my email, no courses (ITAL) were on the list of courses to be offered. What did occur was that on October 24, three ITAL courses were added to the spring 2020 schedule, a skeletal offering for sure: Ital 1010, ITAL 2030W, ITAL4710. Nonetheless, the major and the minor in Italian have been eliminated as a course of study, with no warning nor any plan to assist those students who were planning to major / minor in Italian.

At this time, the Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost has called for a meeting. We hope it will take place soon.

In the meantime, anyone who would like more information can contact me at:

Cav. Anthony Julian Tamburri, PhD
Dean, John D. Calandra Italian American Institute
Distinguished Professor of European Languages and Literatures