University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, the state’s flagship and land grant institution, just passed the approval to start an Italian Major. The UofA has had Italian since the 1920s when the first ever chairperson of the Department of Romance Languages and Literature, Antonio Marinoni, began the program. Although it died along the way completely and was brought back to life in the last 80s, they never had a major until now. The Italian program is flourishing under professor Ryan Calabretta Sajder’s hands. When he arrived ten years ago, they offered 8 sections of Italian; now UofA offers 16-17 per semester.
Additionally, the UofA will be hosting the Italian American Studies Association’s (IASA) annual conference on Oct 26-29, 2023. It will be a huge event and the Italian Program hopes to launch its 1.5-million-dollar campaign for an Endowed Professorship in Italian and Italian American Studies as well as a permanent Fulbright Scholar from Italy position. J. William Fulbright was a UofA professor, dean, and chancellor, as well as a state senator. In fact, the college is named/endowed after him.
For more information about the Italian Program, contact Dr. Ryan Calabretta-Sajder.