Department of Romance Languages and Literatures

The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures promotes the study of languages, literatures and cultures, as it instills in the students intellectual curiosity and the understanding of self in relation to the world. In addition students learn critical skills and creative thinking; abilities that may be used in a variety of career paths.  The Department fosters a vibrant global environment enriched by the linguistic, literary, cultural and artistic expressions from different continents.  Graduates in our program are regularly accepted to some of the most prestigious doctoral programs in the country.  Numerous undergraduate majors receive Fulbright scholarships and other significant awards upon graduation.

Departmental Undergraduate and Graduate Offerings:


The Department of Romance Languages is proud to present the following Lectures by Internationally Renowned Dante Scholars:  


Who is Dante for us moderns? What is Dante’s impact on our culture? Is his vision still relevant today? On the occasion of the celebrations for the 750th anniversary of his birth, the Villanova Italian Program proudly presents a series of lectures dedicated to the great Florentine poet.

The conference series, which will run from October 2014 to March 2015 (the detailed schedule of the events is included in the poster), aims at rediscovering Dante in light of our present, and, at the same time, at reading our world through his work.

The four talks will touch upon such themes as the relationship between Dante and Saint Augustine (in honor of Villanova’s Augustinian tradition), Dante’s presence in Italian and American cinema (since Mélies’ Inferno of 1911, first using special effects), the relevance of Dante in shaping an idea of Europe (in light of the debate on its Christian roots), and the link between Columbus’ diaries (filled with Dantean imagery) and the New World Project.

Our distinguished speakers will be Simone Marchesi (Princeton University), John Welle (University of Notre Dame), Giuseppe Mazzotta (Yale University), and Mary Watt (University of Florida).

The series will inaugurate the Villanova Italian Symposium, which is conceived as a laboratory of open dialogue on broad issues related to Italian culture, and as a fruitful occasion to bridge Italian studies not only with other disciplines on campus, but also with other programs in the greater Philadelphia area.

Faculty Highlights:

St. Augustine Liberal Arts Center, 303
Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085