Fabian Alfie

The University of Arizona has the fifth largest Italian Program in the United States--and the largest undergraduate-only Italian program in the country!

Teaching Philosophy


Professor Alfie with his students in Orvieto, Italy (June 2005)

I believe in the importance of learning foreign languages, not only because they can assist students in future careers. Rather, knowledge of another language can open the door to a deep appreciation of other cultures.

Learning another language cannot be divorced from knowledge about its culture, both High Culture and everyday common culture. And an intrinsic part of Italian culture is its literature. Literature in general represents the highest achievements of human thought using language--in this case, the Italian language--as its medium.

Thus, I consider knowledge of Italian literature to be an essential component of the study of the Italian language.

In Spring 2008, I was honored to be given one of four Distinguished Teaching Awards from the UA College of Humanities. The nomination required a "statement of teaching philosophy," which is more fleshed-out than the statement in this webpage. You can read the "statement of teaching philosophy" here.