French and Italian



Jane Marie Pinzino


Coordinator for Scholarly Resources, Humanities

Librarian Phone Number

(504) 247-1560

Librarian Email

Book Chair

J-G Bidima, French
M. Syrimis, Italian

Dept Chair

Michael Syrimis, Ph.D.

Dept Web Site


Program Description

The French and Italian language and literature collections at Tulane support the instructional and research needs of undergraduate and graduate students, and the faculty in French and Italian. The Department offers B.A, M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in French, the B.A. in Italian, a minor in Arabic Studies, and is staffed by 13 professors with occasional adjunct appointments. The goals of the Department include a commitment to teaching language, literature, and linguistics through the periodized study of texts, the integrative approach to literature as area studies, particularly Francophone, and the theoretical and diachronic study of languages. Faculty teaching and research incorporates Creole, Cajun and Francophone (especially North African, Sub-Saharan, and Caribbean) literature and linguistics, and involves extensive participation in allied programs such as Africa and African Diaspora, Cultural Studies, Linguistics, Medieval Studies, and Women's Studies. The Junior Year Abroad and Semester Abroad programs are integral parts of the Department's mission of teaching the languages, literatures, cultures, and thought of France and Italy.

Affiliated Program: Italian Studies
The multi-disciplinary Italian Studies Program explores two over-arching themes--"The Family and Its Members" and "The City and Its Citizens"--within an historical scope from the Classical Age to the present. These themes encourage courses focused on such topics as the home, the family and artistic patronage; citizen and polity; city and country in the Middle Ages; marriage in the Renaissance and Reformation; women, parents and children; family-based economics; and individual-family relationships in literature. The Program offers a Major and Minor, is staffed by faculty appointed in Art History, Classics, History, French and Italian, Music, and Political Science, and features an invited, distinguished lecturer each semester.  The program is directed by Michael Syrimis,

Affiliated Program: Arabic Studies
Standard Arabic has an estimated 206 million speakers, while colloquial Arabic is spoken by a total of over 400 million, which makes it the fifth most widely spoken language in the world. Arabic classes at Tulane highlight the richness of Arabic culture and literature, as well as its practical applications in the global political economy. The program is directed by Bouchaib Gadir,

Subject Resource Guide


Collection emphasis is on primary and secondary literary and linguistic materials in all French and Italian literature periods from the medieval through the twenty-first century, in support of the curriculum of the Department. Excluded are most "pop culture" (mystery, science fiction, fantasy, romance) prose, poetry and drama, children's literature unless part of a collected author's canon, most translations, and most inspirational literature.


Monographs, monographic series, serials, reference works, conference proceedings, media (including DVDs or streaming items) and recordings are regularly sought; excluded are most anthologies, textbooks, dissertations, manuscripts, maps, and most collections of previously published materials.


To broaden accessibility, journals are sought online when this format is available. Print may be cancelled to reduce costs when ownership of the online version is assured. Online access that requires additional costs with a print subscription will be sought selectively within the amount budgeted for French journals. Monographs and other types are generally purchased as printed text though other formats are considered, including digital.


Primarily French, Italian, and Arabic, though critical materials in other languages may be considered.

Chronological Period

Collection emphasis dates from from the inception of the French and Italian languages and literatures, the medieval through contemporary periods.

Imprint Date

Preference is given to items published within the last two or three years; out-of-print materials are sought, generally, to replace lost materials considered indispensible to the collection, or upon faculty request.

Geographical Considerations

Generally, the French-speaking world is considered, with emphases on Western Europe, Canada, and the Francophone literatures of sub-Saharan Africa and the Maghreb. French in Louisiana is also given due consideration.  Materials focused on the Francophone Caribbean are collected by the Latin American Library. 

Related Collections

Cooperative Resources

The Howard-Tilton Memorial Library is one of 14 members of a cooperative consortium of southern research libraries called KUDZU, which includes a shared online catalog. Loan requests through this system receive priority processing and expedited two-day delivery. The library is also a member of the cooperative Center for Research Libraries (CRL) in Chicago, through which we may borrow a wide range of rare materials for our users. Undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty may borrow materials directly from the main library nearby at Loyola University of New Orleans through a reciprocal agreement called TU/LU. Graduate students and faculty may borrow materials at other New Orleans area academic libraries, and at other academic libraries throughout the state, through the LALINC consortium. For more information about cooperative borrowing privileges inquire at the library's Check-Out Desk.

Supply Sources

Approval plans with GOBI provides coverage for French materials published in the United States; approval plans with Amalivre and Casalini supply European imprints according to established profiles.

Endowed Funds

The Lurcy endowed fund supports acquisition of French language materials.

Selection Tools

Selection tools include World Literature Today; title announcements from Amalivre and Casalini; catalogs of Droz, Editions Honore Champion/Slatkine, Rodopi, L'Hamarttan and Grant & Cutler; with particular attention to faculty requests.