Department of Modern Languages and Literature

Department of Modern Languages and Literature

The study of foreign languages is an integral part of a liberal arts education. Due to our Roman location, the emphasis in JCU's Department of Modern Languages is on Italian language, literature, and culture. The Italian language program at JCU offers students from all disciplines a wide range of opportunities for intellectual and personal growth.

Our Italian language courses range from introductory to advanced levels, our literature courses cover the whole Italian literary tradition from Dante to contemporary writers, and our cultural studies courses aim at providing a window on contemporary Italian culture in all its complexity and diversity.

The Modern Languages and Literature Department has recently expanded its offerings to include Introductory through advanced French and Spanish courses. This addition has enriched the intercultural curriculum of the Department and offers JCU students a further opportunity to expand their knowledge of foreign languages and cultures.


Our language instructors hold a Laurea (Italian University degree) or higher and are trained and experienced in the teaching of Italian as a foreign language. Our literature professors hold Ph.D.s from prestigious institutions in the U.S. and Europe and are active scholars in their fields.

Federica Capoferri  

Federica Capoferri's research interests include modern and postmodern Italian literature, critical and theoretical intersections between literature and cinema, and cinematic screenplays as a literary genre.

Gina Siddu Pilia  

Gina Siddu Pilia teaches Italian at JCU and is the Coordinator of the Foreign Language Resource Center. She translated and curated the Italian edition of the book Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff for Franco Angeli Editore.


James Schwarten  

James Schwarten earned his Ph.D. in Italian Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2005. He recently contributed an article to Binario 95’s winter issue of Shaker.


Isabella Clough Marinaro  

Isabella Clough Marinaro's current research focuses on urban development and its social consequences in Rome, as well as changing forms of crime and the informal economy in Italy.



Learn more about the Modern Languages faculty.


We sponsor several events in collaboration with local and national institutions. With the whole JCU community, we strive to give degree-seeking and visiting students a unique chance to understand Italy in all its facets, and in doing so, provide them with a firm foundation for lifelong learning.