Recent News and Events


    Rachida Madani "Femme Je Suis"

    Rachida Madani "Femme Je Suis"

    Le département de français et d’italien et le centre de recherche et de ressource francophone vous invitent à un débat avec Rachida Madani, précédé d’une présentation par l’auteur qui lira ses poèmes.

    Dans THH 170 2pm-4pm-(14h-16hr) Jeudi 10 Avril 2014.

    Rachida  Madani  est  poète,  romancière, et peintre.  Ses  deux premiers recueils de poèmes, Femme je suis (Inéditions Barbare, 1981) et Contes d’une  tête  tranchée  (Al-Forkane,  2001) sont reparus sous le titre Blessures au vent en même temps que son premier roman, L’histoire peut attendre (La Différence, 2006).

    Pour plus d’informations, veuillez contacter:

    Olivia C. Harrison:

    ou Béatrice Bennett:

    "Mary Queen of Scots (1542-1587): French Poetry and Self- Incrimination"

    "Mary Queen of Scots (1542-1587): French Poetry and Self- Incrimination"

    Please save the date for a lecture by Professor François Rigolot, on Thursday, April 3rd, In the Leavey Library Auditorium, from 3:30-5:30 PM. Professor Rigolot is the Meredith Howland Pyne Professor of French Literature Emeritus at Princeton University. 

    Journée de la Francophonie: March 11, 2014

    Journée de la Francophonie: March 11, 2014

    Pi Delta Phi Induction:

    USC, Doheny Intellectual Commons (DML 233)

    5:00 p.m. -6:45pm: Réception

    En présence de représentants du consulat général de France
    et du consul général du Liban, Johnny Ibrahim

    Cérémonie Pi Delta Phi

    Témoignages de personnalités américaines francophiles

    Dégustations de plats traditionnels libanais

    Portraits and Fictions of the Self: Representations of Women’s Knowledge in the 16th–18th Centuries

    Portraits and Fictions of the Self: Representations of Women’s Knowledge in the 16th–18th Centuries

    February 27th, 2014
    Intellectual Commons
    Doheny Memorial Library

    Beginning 8: 45am.

    Sponsored by the Department of French and Italian, USC's Francophone Research and Resource Center (FRC), and The French Embassy and others. Click here for the Program Flyer. The conference presentations will be in both English and French.

    For further information please contact Dr. Beatrice Mousli-Bennett at or

    Open House for the Department of French and Italian!

    Open House for the Department of French and Italian!

    You are invited to an Open House for the Department of French and Italian!

    Drop by Taper Hall 170 on Thursday, November 7, 2013, between noon and 3 PM, to browse course flyers, meet faculty and advisors, and learn more about our offerings for spring.

    Lunch will be served.  All are welcome! 



    The Istituto Italiano di Cultura and the USC Dornsife Language Center present:

    Paola Tiberii, editor of


    Published by Zanichelli and curated by Paola Tiberii, this new dictionary is an innovative language educational tool based on word combination possibilities. This dictionary is particularly useful for professionals such as journalists and translators, as well as for other non-native speakers (because collocations often don’t have exact equivalents in other languages).

    On: Tuesday, October 22, 2013
    At: 5:00 PM
    In: VKC 101

    Refreshments will be served.

    Translating North African Literature

    Translating North African Literature

    October 17, 2013
    Leavy Library Auditorium

    The Departments of Comparative Literature and French & Italian are pleased to invite you to a round table discussion on translating North African literature. The event will be in English and books will be available for purchase.

    La Source at Ray Stark Theatre in the Cinema School

    La Source at Ray Stark Theatre in the Cinema School

    On October 2nd at 7pm, La Source is coming to USC. The film's screening at Ray Stark Theatre in the Cinema School is to be followed by a Q&A with Generosity Water's CEO, the film's director, and cinematographer.

    Congratulations to our French honors students for 2013!

    Caroline Chapman

    Thesis title:
    "L'art qui a changé la vie sociale en France"

    Kelly Knack
    Thesis title:
    “L’influence du théâtre de l’absurde sur Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead de Tom Stoppard”

  • Congratulations to our French honors students for 2013!

    Caroline Chapman

    Thesis title:
    "L'art qui a changé la vie sociale en France"

    Kelly Knack
    Thesis title:
    “L’influence du théâtre de l’absurde sur Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead de Tom Stoppard”

  • 2013 USC Mellon Mentoring Award

    From the Office of the Chair:

    Dear colleagues and students:

    Please join me in congratulating one of our own--

    Atiyeh Showrai

    --for receiving the 2013 USC Mellon Mentoring Award in the Faculty to Faculty category.

    This is a great honor and one well deserved.

    We are fortunate to have such a committed and wonderful colleague.

    Margaret Rosenthal

  • Journée de la Francophonie

    Come enjoy the Journée de la Francophonie with members of the University of Southern California, official representatives of French-speaking countries, the French community as well as francophiles.

    Each of the following events are FREE and open to the public. Please make sure you RSVP in advance:

    3:30-5:00pm: Café des Sciences by Dr. Fabien Pinaud
    Topic: microbiology, high resolution imaging of the world's tiniest cells.
    This conference will be held in French.

    5:00-7:00pm: Reception
    Pi Delta Phi ceremony, motivational speeches by American francophiles, traditional Lebanese cuisine to enjoy.

    7:00-9:00pm: French Canadian film by Ken Scott
    David Wosniak, a 42 year old teenager, is getting ready to become a father. He finds out that he is the unknown father of 533 children, who are determined to discover their real dad.


    This day is organized in collaboration with the Francophone Research and Resource Center at USC, the cultural services and the mission for science and technology of the French Embassy in the the U.S., the Consulate General of Lebanon in Los Angeles and the Québec Government Office in Los Angeles.


    Journée de la Francophonie with members of the University of Southern California, official representatives of French-speaking countries, the French community as well as francophiles.

    Each of the following events are FREE and open to the public. Please make sure you RSVP in advance:

  • Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Salò: An Expanded Reading

    THURSDAY, February 21, 2013 in The Herklotz Room in the Music Library, DML G-28, 5:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m.

    Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Salò:
    An Expanded Reading

    Pier Paolo Pasolini is one of the most important Italian authors of the last century, and one of the few Italian intellectuals who were able to understand the dramatic changes in Italian society and in the globalized world after World War II.

    During his lifetime he rapidly became a highly controversial figure, due in part to the inflammatory tone and provocative nature of his analyses of Italian politics and society. Pasolini’s power to engage with his and our present has sometimes been obscured by attempts to read his work too literally. This is indeed the case for his posthumously released and most disturbing film, Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975).

    To dispute such myopic readings, this paper will discuss alternative takes on Salò and its significance by contemporary visual artists. Their work will help to assess the relevance of Pasolini’s legacy in contemporary culture, beyond the boundaries of Italy, and provide an “expanded reading” of Pasolini’s film.

    Gian Maria Annovi is Assistant Professor of Italian at the University of Denver. He graduated
    in Philosophy and received a Doctorate in Contemporary Italian Literature from University of Bologna, and a Ph.D. in Italian Studies from Columbia University. In 2011, his Ph.D.  dissertation on writer and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini was granted the ‘P. P. Pasolini Award for Best Doctoral Dissertation’.

    Annovi is the author of Altri corpi: poesia e corporalità negli anni Sessanta (Bologna: Gedit, 2008), a study on the relationship between de-centered subjectivity and corporeality in the poetry of prominent Italian authors such as Rosselli, Zanzotto, Sanguineti and Porta. He is the editor of Antonio Porta’s selected poems Piercing the Page (Los Angeles: Seismicity, 2012) and of a collection of essays on Pasolini and youth: Fratello selvaggio: P. P. Pasolini fra gioventù e nuova gioventù (Massa: Transeuropa, 2013). Annovi’s main interests include 19th and 20th century Italian literature, as well as film and visual arts. He also has a strong interest in critical thought, specifically in the areas of psycho-analytic theory, cultural studies, and gender and sexuality studies. He is currently working on a book on the making of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s authorial figure.

  • “Questioning the National: Subalternity and Southernness from Dossi to Crialese”

    THURSDAY, February 14, 2013 in the Herklotz Room of the Music Library, DML G-28, 5:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m.

    “Questioning the National: Subalternity and Southernness from Dossi to Crialese”

    In this talk, Lorenzo Fabbri looks at how the “Southern question” has been represented in Italian cultural history and tackles it as a crucial trope for the figuration of national identity. By looking at Carlo Dossi’s  I mattoidi (1894) and Visconti’s La terra trema (1948)  , he argues that the South has been physically included in the nation while being symbolically excluded from it.

    Fabbri identifies this treatment of Southern Italy as the internal Other that needs to be reclaimed as the very ground of “Italianità”: Italy is the answer to the Southern question. But what happens to narratives of national identity – and to the geopolitics inscribed within them – when the South is imagined as a set of answers to be heard rather than a host of problems to be resolved? How does the discursive space of nationhood change once one re-orients frames of reference from the Southern question to the Southern answers?

    Lorenzo Fabbri is a Mellon Fellow at Cornell Society for the Humanities, where he is completing a dissertation on cinema and biopolitics in fascist Italy. Lorenzo holds a doctorate in philosophy from Italy, and has published extensively in Italian Studies and Critical Theory, with his working appearing in diacritics, California Italian Studies Journal, Radical Philosophy Review, Critical Inquiry, and Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies. His first book, The Domestication of Derrida, was published with Continuum in 2008.

  • “Better a Fascist than a Fag:" Disorienting Relations, Orienting the National Family”

    THURSDAY, February 7, 2013 in the Leavey Library Auditorium, 5:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m.

    “Better a Fascist than a Fag:" Disorienting Relations, Orienting the National Family”

    This paper examines the crisscrossing discourses of the family, the nation and deviance in contemporary Italy.

    Specifically, it traces how Italy’s far-right paints queer Italians and recent immigrants as dual threats to the national family. Queers threaten because they are thought non-reproductive, failing to replicate future citizens. Foreigners are instead considered *too* reproductive, altering who and what counts as familiar. In this logic, the national family is always-already heterosexual and bound to propagate only straight, racially similar individuals.

    Here, Italian-ness is not aligned with a vision of European tolerance but a timeless *patria * governed by sexual and racial continuity. In addition to offering a discursive analysis of the far-right’s rhetoric, he examines sub-cultural responses – posters, protest images and websites – produced in Italy’s lesbian, gay and transgender social spaces.

    Such spaces,  he demonstrates, represent a counter-public organized around the trauma of social exclusion. And yet, the collective trauma of homophobia also becomes the basis for a playfully pained politics that at once contests and cites the hurt that spawned it.

    Christopher Atwood graduated from Middlebury College with a degree in Italian Language and Literature. Following graduation, he worked as a New York City Teaching Fellow, instructing bilingual education in a public Middle School. Contemporaneously, he attained a Master’s of Science in Education.

    Currently, he is finishing a PhD in Italian Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, where he completed a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. His dissertation, "Wanting Home: Italy, Same-Sex Desire Narrative," examines the crisscrossed cartographies of time and place in modern and contemporary Italian queer fiction. In particular, it traces the role of "elsewhere" -- whether spatial, intertextual or temporal -- in the narration of same-sex bonds. Rather than aligning modernity with progress, LGBT writers in Italy trace the here-and-now as a site of loss and felt stagnation. Atwood's expertise is in modern Italian literature and culture, Gender & Sexuality Studies, travel writing and theories of learning.  He recently published an article on homoerotic orientalism in the journal Italian Studies and will have a chapter in the forthcoming book Denuncia: Speaking Up in Modern Italy.

  • The Department of French and Italian Presents:
    Gaoheng Zhang, Ph.D.

    Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar in the Humanities
    Department of French and Italian
    University of Southern California

    In: Doheny 223 (Intellectual Commons Rm.)
    Date: Thursday November 29
    Time: 5-6:30

    Lecture Title:

    Chinese Immigration to Italy and Cultural Identities:
    The Protest in Milan’s Chinatown in the Media, Cinema, and Literature (2007-12)


    In this talk, Gaoheng Zhang presents a major case study from his current book project entitled “Chinese Immigration to Italy and Cultural Identities (1998-2012): Media, Entrepreneurship, and Diplomacy.” It concerns the cultural representations of the protest by Chinese merchants in Milan’s Chinatown in 2007 and its aftermath. Both Italians and Chinese immigrants were responsible for producing cultural texts of the event. This is the first major violent protest by a single ethnic minority group against the police authorities in contemporary Italy. Its origin and impact in cultural texts are lenses through which to address such crucial issues as the presumed Chinese mafia and the gender and racialized bias toward immigrants and Italians during recent Chinese immigration to Italy. An analysis of the protest also provides an opportunity to investigate rhetorical strategies and social effects of cultural texts in migratory processes. Gaoheng Zhang will elucidate the conceptual framework, interdisciplinary methodology, and critical implications for this case study, which will be explored at greater length in his book project. Moreover, he will clarify the significance of studying culture for a deep understanding of Chinese immigration to Italy, which is one of the most dramatic migrations in Europe in the recent decade. All of those who are interested in Italy’s and China’s global networks, as well as migration and culture in comparative contexts, are warmly welcome.

  • The Departments of French & Italian and Comparative Literature and the Francophone Research and Resource Center are pleased to invite you to a conversation with

    Dr. Kenneth Brown

    Mediterraneans / Méditerranéennes

    Tuesday, November 13th, 12 – 2 pm,
    Taper Hall of Humanities, Room 170:

    Dr. Kenneth Brown will be speaking, in French, about his journal Mediterraneans / Méditerranéennes ( and about his current book project, tentatively titled "Muslim Cities Revisited: Tangier to Alexandria via Oran, Tunis, Tripoli" during our usually scheduled Pause Café (Tuesdays, Noon-1pm).

    Originaire de Los Angeles, Kenneth Brown vit aujourd’hui à Paris. Il est rédacteur de la revue semestrielle Mediterraneans / Méditerranéennes, qu’il a lui-même fondée, en 1991.

    Après avoir étudié à l’Université de Chicago, il obtient son doctorat en « Etudes Islamiques » à l’Université de Californie, Los Angeles, en 1969. Membre du Comité d’Etude Comparative des Nouvelles Nations et Chargé de Recherches pour le Centre d’Etude sur le Moyen-Orient et le Département d’Histoire de l’Université de Chicago (1967-1971), il est professeur d’anthropologie sociale à l’Université de Manchester, en Grande-Bretagne (1971-1992). Pendant ces années, il enseigne également à l’Université de Californie, Berkeley (1981-1982), au CNRS et à l’EHESS de Paris (1987-1988), à l’Université de Dakar, au Sénégal (1988-1989), et à l’Université de l’Utah (1998).

    Il est l’auteur de  People of Salé : The Social History of a Moroccan City (1830-1930), publié chez Harvard University Press (1976). La version française de cet ouvrage,  Les gens de Salé, est disponible aux éditions Eddif, Casablanca (2003). En 1981, il publie « Journey Through a Labyrinth : Israel/Palestine. A photographic essay », écrit en collaboration avec Jean Mohr, et édité par Visual Communication, University of Pennsylvania Press. Son dernier livre,  Irak : de la crise au chaos, écrit en français, est publié par IBIS Presse, Paris (2004).

    A light lunch will be served.

    Please watch this space for further information on this upcoming event.
    For further information, one may contact either Dr. Harrison or the FRC.

  • The French & Italian Department and the USC Francophone Research & Resource Center invite you meet
    Michel Lebris and attend his lecture:

    When California was French.

    Held in French, the lecture will be on Tuesday, November 6th, from 12 pm to 2 pm, at THH 170.

    In 1849, almost 40,000 French citizens left their country to dig gold in California with a "lottery gold bullion”, a campaign whose advertising executive was the son of Alexandre Dumas. San Francisco was called the "Paris of the Pacific", with two theaters and two French dailies.

    Michel Le Bris is a French writer and philosopher who was born in Britanny in 1944. Co-founder of Liberation, one of the most popular French newspapers,  he created and directed with Jean-Paul Sartre, the collection “La France sauvage” at Gallimard editions. A novelist, he wrote Les flibustiers de la Sonore in 1990, La beauté du monde in 2008 and a biography of Stevenson (Les années bohémiennes, 1994). In 1986, he created an international book and film festival called Étonnants Voyageurs in the city of Saint-Malo where he promotes the idea of a “world literature.”

    For more information, please contact us at

  • In conjunction with the Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Los Angeles,
    The Department of French and Italian Presents:

    Claudio Magris 

    “Between the Danube and the Sea”

    In the USC School of Social Work Auditorium, MRF 340
    at 5pm on Wednesday, October 17, 2012

    Please Save the Date!

    Claudio Magris, professor of German literature at the University of Trieste (his native city) since 1978, is one of Europe’s most renowned writers, essayists, cultural philosophers and critics. His work has won him worldwide acclaim and numerous awards.  His best-selling novel Danube (1986) has been translated into more than 17 languages. His internationally acclaimed works include A Different Sea (1991) and Microcosms (1997), and most recently in 2005 the novel, Blindly, (translated into English, published by Yale UP, 2012): a voyage through time and space as seen through the eyes of a lucid madman.

    In 2001 he was appointed to a Chair at the Collège de France. In 2009 he became Writer-in-Residence at Utrecht University where he teaches master classes. Translator into  Italian of the works of Ibsen, Kleist, Schnitzler, Buchner, he has also written essays and critical studies (in Italian) on Borges, Heinse, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Kafka, Musil, Rilke, and Joseph Roth. His work appears regularly in several European newspapers and magazines, including Corriere della Sera.

    His essays deal with central and eastern European themes —exile, migration, and geo-cultural communities regardless of their different languages. His works  analyze the laceration of the Holocaust, the cultural conflicts and affinities of the German-speaking populations of the Austrian Empire, and the instability of the former Yugoslavia. He is the recipient of numerous book awards including, most recently, the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. 

    For Further Information, please contact Professor Margaret Rosenthal,
    THH 155H, xt. 03702

    For an interactive map of USC and this Venue:

    Type "MRF" in the  Search window to show the location of the venue.




    Wednesday, October 17, 2013 2-5pm THH 170 (Taper Hall 170)


    ARE YOU: Interested in Italian and French cinema, music, literature and popular culture?

    Explore our majors while you meet and mingle with faculty, students and advisors. Pick up course descriptions, meet professors and learn more about the Department, its special events and resources.

  • The USC Francophone Research & Resource Center and
    The USC Department of French And Italian, The USC LIbraries
    The Aurora Institute

    Are pleased to invite you to a reading and a conversation:

    A Tunisian Tale

    Hassouna Mosbahi
    on Thursday, October 11th,
    from 12 p.m to 2 p.m
    in THH 170 (Taper Hall of Humanities, Room 170).

    The lecture will be presented in English.

    The prize-winning journalist, translator and author of "A Tunisian Tale" will read from this work and discuss the role of literature in post-revolutionary Tunisia.

    For further information, please contact Dr. Olivia Harrison at

  • The USC Francophone Research & Resource Center and
    The PhD Creative Writing and Literature Program are pleased to invite you to a new lecture:

    The American Poem, by Yves di Manno on Thursday, October 4th,
    from 2 p.m to 4 p.m

    in THH 420 (Taper Hall of Humanities, Room 420).

    The lecture will be presented in English.

    Author of numerous books of poetry, fiction, and essays, French editor and author, Yves di Manno is also well-known for his translation of American poets, notably William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, George Oppen, and Jerome Rothenberg. His latest book of essays, a reflection on his relationship with American Poetry, Objets d’Amérique, was published in 2009. He is currently working on a new poetic essay, No Man’s Land.

    For further information, please contact the Francophone Research and Resource Center at


  • The Department of French and Italian Presents: Anouar Benmalek

    "From the birth announcement to the obituary:

    Writing as ticket for a strange journey"

    The author will try to demonstrate, without being too sarcastic, the following paradox: It is a gamble for a writer to live in the Arab world. There is nothing quite like violent dictatorships and intolerant societies for putting a high price on the act of writing: either it forever destroys in you the desire to write, or it forces you to follow, willy-nilly, the tough advice of a friend and poet who "paid" the ultimate price:

    "Silence is death
    and you, if you remain silent, you die
    and if you speak, you die. So speak and die."

    Anouar Benmalek is a French Algerian novelist, journalist, poet, and mathematician.  The recipient of  many international awards for his fiction, he has been compared to Camus and Faulkner, with some critics judging him to be the greatest Algerian writer since Kateb Yacine.  Anouar Benmalek is the author of, among others,  Les amants désunis (The Lovers of Algeria), which received the Prix Mimouni; L'enfant du peuple ancien (Child of an Ancient People), which received the Prix RFO du Livre; Le rapt (The Abduction); and his most recent work, published last fall, Tu ne mourras plus demain.

    Co-founder of the Algerian Committee against Torture, Mr. Benmalek collected and published the testimonies of nearly 200 Algerians who had been imprisoned and tortured by the army and police for participating in the anti-government demonstrations of October 1988.  He is currently a professor of statistics and probability at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Paris-Sud (11).

    THH 170 SEPTEMBER 25, 2012 430 PM (TAPER HALL 170)

    For further information, please contact Dr. Harrison at

    For an interactive map and driving directions, please click here

  • CFR New Directions in Feminist Scholarship Listening Party


    The New Directions in Feminist Scholarship Seminar “The Politics of Popular Music” is hosting a listening party next Monday at Ground Zero. Professors from ASE, Musicology, and French--Karen Tongson, Shana Redmond, Mina Yang and Edwin Hill--will be playing and talking about music that has influenced their research.   

    Monday Sept 24, 5-7PM
    Ground Zero Coffee House

    Please join us!