University of Pittsburgh


News and Events


Best wishes for a wonderful summer!

We are delighted to congratulate our colleague Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski on her promotion to the rank of Distinguished Professor.


The Department of French & Italian was the featured department in the summer 2014 issue of the Panther Pride Dietrich School newsletter | PDF issue


Fall 2015 Course Schedules are now available: French | Italian


Events >>

Campus Visit of LGBT Moroccan Writer Abdellah Taia

Campus Visit of LGBT Moroccan Writer Abdellah Taia

September 28, 2015 - 10:00am

Moroccan/Francophone writer Abdellah Taia will visit campus for three days to discuss his novels and his recent film (Salvation Army) with the campus community. His oeuvre [including 11 books, two of which are translated in English with one on its way] is ground-breaking as it discusses same-sex sexuality in an Islamic context, dealing with North African/European relations as well. The Moroccan press has written that he is "the first Moroccan to have the courage to publicly assert his difference." Taïa’s novels have “outed” him as “the only gay man” in a country where homosexuality remains a crime. 

Sponsored by:

GSWS; Film Studies; EUCE; French and Italian.


Salvation Army


"Salvation Army," film screening and discussion with director Abdellah Taia

September 29, 2015 - 7:00pm - 9:30pm

Frick Fine Arts Auditorium

Abdellah is a young gay man navigating the sexual, racial and political climate of Morocco. Growing up in a large family in a working-class neighborhood, Abdellah is caught between a distant father, an authoritarian mother, an older brother whom he adores and a handful of predatory older men, in a society that denies his homosexuality.  As a college student, Abdellah moves to Geneva and while faced with the new possibilities of freedom, he grapples with the loss of his homeland.  SALVATION ARMY, the directorial debut for Abdellah Taïa – an acclaimed Moroccan and Arab writer – is adapted from his novel of the same name. Taïa is the first writer of his descent to speak out openly about his homosexuality. Discussion with the director after the screening.

Sponsored by:

GSWS; Film Studies

Salvation Army Film


 For more information on Taia and his work, see this article in the NYTimes; and this piece in The Huffington Post



Mark your calendars for a birthday party! FRIT turns 50 years old in 2015, and we're celebrating with a conference on the topic of Commemoration on Oct 29-30, 2015. Join us for the conference and for the social reception on Oct 30. Like FRIT50 on Facebook. And visit our conference site for information and opportunities to re-connect with friends and even contribute to one of our interactive timelines.

Alumni >>

Gabriella Baika (PhD French, 2007) has recently published The Rose and Geryon: The Poetics of Fraud and Baika Rose GeryonViolence in Jean de Meun and Dante (Catholic UP, 2014) and received tenure at the Florida Institute of Technology.



Marina Starik (PhD French, 2013) is now working for Smith College Abroad, welcoming their students to Geneva and teaching an accelerated French refresher there. Congratulations, Marina!


Send Us Your News!

Alumni and friends of the department are encouraged to send their news to for publication in the French & Italian Department Newsletter.

FRIT Alumni: update your contact information by visiting Registration is easy and free. Or call the Alumni Association at 1-800-258-7488, they would love to hear from you!




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