Department of French, Francophone and Italian Studies

Welcome! Bienvenue! Benvenuto!

 Within the Department of French, Francophone and Italian Studies, we consider the study of language and culture as essential components of any education.

We offer a wide range of language, literature, and culture courses that emphasize the importance of languages spoken by nearly 200 million people in 70 countries worldwide. The French and Italian curricula feature community-based learning initiatives, a business language program, an International Film Festival, as well as internship and study abroad opportunities in Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean.

We invite you to explore the individual web pages to learn more about the department at the College of Charleston.


Fall 2023 Advanced Course Offerings in French & Francophone Studies:


Fall 2023 Advanced Course Offerings in Italian Studies:


Nuovo Cinema Italiano Film Festival, 2022

Interview with Giuseppe Piccioni, director of "L'Ombra del Giorno" and winner of the 2022 Nuovo Cinema Italiano Film Festival. 


Interview with Andrea Segre, director of "Welcome Venice". 


Faculty News

Congratulations to French, Francophone & Italian Studies Faculty for successful Tenure & Promotion Reviews:

deluca picDr. Giovanna De Luca - Promotion to Full Professor

Dr. Lauren Ravalico - Tenure & Promotion to Associate Professor of French

Dr. Margaret Keneman - positive third-year review


Dr. Katharine Hargrave: “The Politics of Orientalist Fantasy in French Opera” in Modes of Play in Eighteenth-Century France, edited by Fayçal Falaky and Reginald McGinnis, Bucknell University Press, 2021.

Dr. Robert Sapp: “At the Crossroads of History: Cohabitation of Past and Present in Kettly Mars’s L’Ange du patriarche” was accepted to be part of an edited edition entitled Caribbean Crossroads: Women’s Space and Time Reimagined. Spring 2021

Marie Réaux of the Université de Franche Comté's interview with Dr. Margaret Keneman click here for interview

Dr. Lisa Signori: All you Need is Faith: Sainte Foy, Furta Sacra, and Saint Mary Magdalene.” Women and Pilgrimage, edited by E. Moore Quinn (College of Charleston) and Alison T. Smith (The Citadel). CABI. Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Series. Wallingford, UK. March, 2022. [9738 words]

Dr. Lauren Ravalico: “Connecting French Studies to the World through Global Foodways,” in Teaching Diversity and Inclusion: Examples from a French-Speaking Classroom, edited by E. Nicole Meyer and Eilene Hoft-March, Routledge, 2021.

Dr. Bourdier was named a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Knight in the Order of Academic Palms), a national honor bestowed by the French Republic (Ministère de l’Education Nationale) on distinguished academics and teachers and for valuable service to universities, education, and science, 2020

Dr. Robert Sapp remotely presented a research paper entitled at the annual Haitian Studies Association conference held online. October 2020

Dr. Rober Sapp organized and took part in a three-day panel entitled “Creolization of the Spectral Turn: Haunting in the Circum-Caribbean” at the Modern Language Association (MLA) conference in Seattle. January 2020

Department Spotlight

Student Focus

Students Explore Career Interests with Summer Internships

Lea Neufeld
Year/major: Rising senior; international studies, political science and French triple major with a minor in German
Internship: Working at the United Nations University(UNU)-MERIT in The Netherlands
Outlook: “I’m spending my summer as a research intern for UNU-Merit and the institution’s Migration Lab. My work is focused on the return and reintegration trends and data. This includes creating and delivering country briefs, as well as transcribing interviews from experts on various regions and their outlook and forecasts regarding migration trends.
“I’m working with and learning from scholars, policy makers and experts in the field of migration, and it has been such a pleasure already just getting to know them. I’ve tailored my studies at CofC to give me a good base in the field of migration, so it’s really great to be able to put that education to use by actually researching and working in this field. I think that studying migration – in particular forced migration – is extremely important and timely. So many people are displaced around the world and understanding the trends and being able to predict what might happen in the future can be really helpful in creating sustainable policies and finding funding to actually make a difference. Forced migration and displacement are the areas that I hope to focus on professionally, either in the form of academia or by informing policy through other ways. That part I’m not sure about yet, but I’m sure this internship will give me more direction.”

3 Honors College Students Named Goldwater Scholars

Emily Dobrowski, 2022 Goldwater ScholarThree College of Charleston students have been named Goldwater Scholars for the 2022-23 academic year. The scholarship is a federally endowed award that encourages students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, natural sciences and engineering.
Emily Grace Dombrowski, Abanob Hanna and Brison Shira, all of whom are in the Honors College, have each received a Goldwater Scholarship Award from the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. The students are among 417 students nationwide to be awarded the Goldwater Scholarship. The scholarship comes with an award of up to $7,500 per year for tuition, books and room and board.
“These three students have demonstrated an excellent record of scientific achievement as undergraduates, and I look forward to seeing what they will accomplish in the future,” says Suzanne Austin, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. “I congratulate them on their many accomplishments and I thank the faculty members who have mentored them.  Pillar 2 of our strategic plan is Academic Distinction, and the achievements of these students are a clear mark of that characteristic at the national level.”
Over the past two years, the College of Charleston has had a total of six Goldwater Scholars, more than any other university in South Carolina. Since 2012, the College has produced 19 Goldwater Scholars. Faculty mentors for this year’s scholarship recipients include chemistry professors Gamil Guirgis and Jay G. Forsythe and biology professor Jody Beers.
The students say the scholarships will help support their goals for the future.
“I aspire to earn my Ph.D. in marine biology and work for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,” says Dombrowski, a marine biology and French double major from Charleston who wants to explore the effects of climate change. “I hope to continue researching questions about how humans are intertwined in marine conservation and embrace sustainability along our coasts. I am particularly interested in physiology and human interaction with marine organisms.”

NOAA Hollings Undergraduate Scholar: Emily Dombrowski, French & Marine Biology Double Major

Emily Dombrowski

The NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship program provides scholars with hands-on, practical experience in NOAA-related science, research, technology, policy, management and education activities.

Emily Dombrowski, a marine biology and French double major, chose to study marine biology because she wanted to “explore the effects of climate change in the seas” and better understand the processes being used to navigate these challenges.

“When I started college, I was on a pre-med track and pursuing marine biology because I was passionate about the subjects,” says the Evansville, Indiana, native. “As I started to do research, I found really interesting connections between human health, ecosystems and marine organisms. I decided that I was more interested in exploring marine biomedicine than going to medical school.”

This scholarship will allow Dombrowski to conduct research with NOAA and to participate in a summer internship where she will meet like-minded students who are dedicated to conservation work.

“Our generation has grown up with climate change, and I am very interested to see how my peers are approaching this issue and using their perspectives to make meaningful progress,” says the Honors College student, adding the support she’s received from CofC was integral to her receiving this scholarship. “The Honors College pushed us to attend a research fair where faculty and students could connect, and it was there that I met my research advisor and started doing animal husbandry. The College’s financial support and research availability for students, even freshmen, has shaped my career plans.

Alumni Focus

Maxine Bier
Maxine Bier
International Trade Outreach Manager
Georgia Department of Economic Development

Maxine Bier has served as the International Trade Outreach Manager for the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) since August 2017. As trade outreach manager, Maxine is in charge of developing and implementing strategies to grow the number of Georgia businesses that engage with international trade services. She works closely with GDEcD’s marketing team to promote the department’s international trade programs across the state and is the initial point of contact for Georgia companies seeking support from GDEcD’s Trade Division.

Before joining GDEcD’s trade team, Maxine worked in the department’s International Relations Division where she supported the deputy commissioner and chief of protocol in the management of consular corps relations, visiting foreign delegations, international mission planning and marketing efforts to elevate Georgia’s international profile.

Maxine holds a B.A. in Political Science and French from the College of Charleston, an M.A. in Teaching Foreign Language from the University of North Carolina and a dual-degree MBA in International Business from Georgia State University and the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.

Social Media