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The Italian program, which offers both a major and a minor,  ensures that students gain a thorough understanding of speaking, listening, reading, and writing in the language. Using these tools, students go on to study culture and literature in their upper-division courses. The program seeks to familiarize students with the most influential literary, philosophical, critical, and cinematographic works in Italian, properly understood within their cultural and historical context; to introduce them to the major social and political developments that have shaped the Italian world; and to provide them with an understanding of the structure of the language, attitudes towards its use, and the variation it displays across time, geographical regions, and social groups. The program also aims to develop an awareness of the important cultural contributions made by Italy to the Western and world culture and the student’s capacity to function as a world citizen.