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People standing outside the Leaning Tower of Pisa during the day.

Department of Italian Studies

One of the world's most beautiful languages
Italian language, culture and post-war immigration has enriched many other societies including the United States, Canada, Germany and Australia.

Our department boasts a lively and engaged student community and a vibrant research culture. Our graduates forge careers in fields as varied as diplomacy, education, tourism, design, architecture, music, fashion, arts and food in Australia and abroad.

The Department of Italian Studies is generously supported by the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, through the Italian Institute of Culture, and has previously been supported by the Cassamarca Foundation. 

Our study offerings

Select from a wide range of language and culture units from one of the largest Italian departments in Australia and undertake a semester with one of our Italian partner universities. Develop high levels of linguistic aptitude and deep understanding of Italian authors, thinkers and literary and intellectual movements from the Middle Ages to the present.


*Available as a major and minor within the Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Visual Arts, as well as all combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degrees.  


Our research

Our staff maintain strong interdisciplinary links with a wide range of research clusters across the humanities as well as the social science disciplines of education and politics. Our research areas include: 

  • Sociolinguistics and language teaching methodologies
  • Translation studies
  • Medieval and Renaissance studies
  • Intellectual history
  • Critical, literary and visual theory
  • Modern Italian literature and culture
  • Migrant and travel studies
  • Italian theatre.

Learn more: Languages and cultures research


Our advanced exchange programs provide life-changing experiences in Italy where students exercise their language skills and develop an understanding of cultural intricacies first hand. 

  • University of Bologna
  • University of Florence
  • University of Padova
  • University of Pavia
  • University of Rome – La Sapienza
  • Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan
  • University of Turin
  • Ca' Foscari University of Venice

Our people

  • Antonella Beconi
  • Daniela Panìco
  • Emeritus Professor Nerida Newbigin
  • Dr Paola Marmini
  • Dr Maria Cristina Mauceri
  • Dr Kathleen Olive
  • Dr Cristiana Palmieri
  • Dr Daniel Canaris


The Italian Studies Seminar Series invites leading scholars from Australia and beyond to share key research findings across a wide range of topics. Catch up on recent talks on our SoundCloud playlist.

Celebrate the life and works of Dante on the 700th anniversary of his death with our special talk series.

The year-long event is organised in collaboration with the State Library of New South Wales, the Italian Cultural Institute Sydney, University of Sydney Library and Dante Alighiery Society of Sydney.

 Lecture series

XXI Settimana della lingua italiana nel mondo

On the occasion of the “XXI Settimana della lingua italiana nel mondo” (Week of the Italian Language in the World) organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy, four further lectures of our Dante 2021 Lecture Series – this time in Italian – will be offered in the framework of a special collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute in Sydney, whose generous support the Department is very grateful for.

13 October

20 October

Organising committee

  • Chair: Francesco Borghesi (Department Chair of Italian Studies, University of Sydney)
  • Emma Barlow (Dante Alighieri Society Sydney)
  • John Gagné (Director, Medieval and Early Modern Centre, University of Sydney)
  • Lillo Guarneri (Director, Italian Cultural Institute, Sydney)
  • Philip Kent (University Librarian, University of Sydney)
  • Alice Loda (University of Technology Sydney)
  • John Vallance (NSW State Librarian and Chief Executive)

See our school's calendar for a full listing of upcoming events.

Department Chair

Associate Professor Francesco Borghesi
View Associate Professor Borghesi’s academic profile


  • School of Languages and Cultures, Room 506, Brennan MacCallum Building A18, The University of Sydney NSW 2006

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