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The Department of European Languages, Literatures, and Cultures   fosters research and teaching in modern and classical European languages, literatures, and cultures at the undergraduate and graduate levels, in native languages and in translation.

The Department prepares students for professional training, graduate study, and for a global market in which knowledge of other languages and cultures is increasingly essential.

The Department offers programs in Classical Civilization, European Studies, French, German, Italian, Italian American, Medieval Studies, and Russian Studies.

Why Study European Cultures and Languages?

People walkingThere are many motivations to learn a new language. It might be an interest in international travel and a desire to connect with the culture of the country on a deeper level, or it might be to improve their career prospects and employability.

In an increasingly competitive and international job market, European languages are increasingly valuable to employers. From an employer's perspective, to build and deliver sustainable growth in the world of international business, multilingual graduates are a key asset to capitalise on opportunities for growth in overseas markets. (adapted from   The March 5, 2015)


In the Spotlight

Aaron "Bill" Godfrey
January 10, 1929 - April 7, 2020

Bill Godfrey We’re saddened by the passing of  Aaron (Bill) Godfrey on April 7, 2020.  

For more than 55 years, Bill inspired students across Stony Brook University. Throughout his decades of teaching, research and service, he instructed students in Latin and the Classics while publishing numerous articles and books. Bill served as Director of the Upward Bound program and the Teacher Opportunity Corps, and as President of both the University Senate and the Stony Brook chapter of the UUP, to name just a few of his many roles on campus over the years. He retired from the College in 2017, yet remained a fixture until his passing. 

Bill was a generous donor to the University in support of the Classics, and he was particularly supportive of students; his most passionate commitment was always his students. In his last teaching statement, he wrote, "It is fortunate that I am still in touch with many of my former students who remember me. This is the real reward of a teaching career." His course evaluations were consistently filled with comments such as, "He really cares about his students," "He is incredibly generous with his time," and "He is an amazing teacher." One student wrote, "I wish he was my grandpa so he could tell me stories at the dinner table about the Greeks and Romans." Bill's absence will be felt deeply throughout the SBU family. We will miss him enormously.

Bill is survived by his wife Valerie and their 10 children and 26 grandchildren.

Contributions in Bill’s memory may be made to the   Friends of Latin Current Use Fund   or the   Aaron W. Godfrey Endowed Scholarship in Classical Literature and Latin


Center for Italian Studies



Since its establishment in 1985, the Center for Italian Studies has become an integral part of the Italian and Italian-American community on Long Island. Its mission is multifaceted:


  • First, to stimulate interdisciplinary research by the local academic community on issues that encourage a better understanding of Italy and of Italian Americans;
  • Second, to become a national and international focus for Italian and Italian American affairs;
  • Third, to promote a better understanding of Italy and of Italian Americans by bringing the latest scholarly findings on Italy and Italian Americans to the general public as well as by organizing cultural activities of general interest.

Through its active calendar of events and activities, the Center strives to be a gathering place for people with a variety of interests to meet and discuss new ideas and to share ongoing interests.

The Center for Italian Studies takes pride in its efforts to focus both on scholarly endeavors as well as cultural enrichment for Stony Brook University and the Long Island community.


The Center for Italian Studies                                                   at Stony Brook University
Melville Library, Fourth Floor,  E4340 
Stony Brook, NY 11794


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