Morgan State University, the historically Black educational institution in Baltimore, is now offering courses in Italian within its department of world languages. The courses are being taught by Nicolino Applauso, who began teaching Spanish at the university in the fall of 2017.
Helen Harrison, interim chair of the world languages department at Morgan State University stated that “we became aware we had a demand at Morgan for Italian. I teach French and German, and over the years, I’ve heard especially from music students in my German class that they really wanted to take Italian.” Morgan’s music programs include the study of Italian musical compositions.
Dr. Harrison notes that “if you look at the Modern Language Association statistics, Italian is No. 6 in the number of language students at the 2,500 or so institutions they looked at.” But she says, the study of Italian is rare at historically Black colleges and universities.
Dr. Applauso reports that 80 percent of the students who are taking Italian are music majors. But he says “Italian is open to anyone with an interest in the language and culture of Italy and can benefit students majoring in any of the disciplines taught at Morgan.”