The Division of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures includes several academic units: the Departments of Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures, French and Italian, German, Linguistics, and Spanish and Portuguese, and the programs in American Sign Language, Comparative Literature, Second Language Acquisition, and Translation. A minor also is offered—translation for global literacy. In addition to providing administrative leadership for all of its units, the division fosters interdisciplinary scholarship in languages, literatures, and cultures. It encourages synergy and collaboration among its faculty members and enhances opportunities for cross-cultural course development and research.
Undergraduate and graduate programs in the division serve students with varied interests and career aspirations, educating them to become global citizens who understand and are understood by diverse populations. Students are trained to be critical thinkers and problem solvers, capable scholars, lucid writers, and proficient speakers.
The division offers instruction in a wide array of languages and in the cultures associated with them:
- American Sign Language Program: American Sign Language and deaf studies
- Department of Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures: Chinese, Czech, Hindi-Urbu, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Sanskrit
- Department of French and Italian: Arabic, French, Italian, Swahili
- Department of German: German
- Department of Spanish and Portuguese: Portuguese, Spanish
In addition to providing language instruction, the division focuses on theoretical and applied linguistics; non-Anglophone literatures and cultures, including those of bilingual, deaf, postcolonial, and heritage communities; and aesthetics, cultural theory, and creative writing in languages other than English.
The Department of Linguistics provides scientific study of familiar languages, as well as less well-known languages. The division's Second Language Acquisition Program brings multidisciplinary resources together to examine the processes that underlie non-native-language learning. The Translation Program explores the literary, cultural, and historical contexts of work and their linguistic, aesthetic, and ideological dimensions while it builds skills for translating works from one language to another. The Comparative Literature Program addresses culture across regions and languages in relation to literature, social theory and philosophy, history, and other disciplines. The minor in translation for global literacy introduces undergraduate students to the exploration of translation both as a practical application and as a tool for global literacy.
The division also administers the Language Media Center, which provides facilities for traditional language laboratory work as well as for language video and computer-based activities. The center sponsors a multimedia development studio, where faculty members and graduate students produce and test media-based materials for language instruction.
World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Courses
WLLC:1100 Contraception Across Time and Cultures3 s.h.
WLLC:1355 Approaches to Global Cultural Studies3 s.h.
Framework for thinking about global perspectives on culture; examination of themes within a transnational context; analysis of cultural expression from national and linguistic contexts.
WLLC:2550 Mardi Gras and More: Cultures of Carnival3-4 s.h.
Literature and customs associated with carnival from antiquity through present day; readings on theories of carnivalesque (Mikhail Bakhtin, Peter Burke, and others); materials from three distinct carnival cultures—Renaissance Europe (Francois Rabelais, German carnival plays), 19th-century New Orleans, and present day Rio de Janeiro. GE: Values, Society, and Diversity. Same as GRMN:2550.
WLLC:3185 Global Women's Cinema3 s.h.
Introduction to contemporary women's cinema and feminist filmmaking from around the world; emphasis on post-1968 period and cinema produced outside the United States. Same as GWSS:3185.
WLLC:3191 International Literature Today1-3 s.h.
English majors may apply this course to the following area and/or period requirement. AREA: Transnational Literature and Postcolonial Studies. PERIOD: 20th/21st-Century Literature. Same as ENGL:3595, IWP:3191.
WLLC:3700 Topics in Global Cinema3 s.h.
Identification of new models and methods to investigate cinema's relationship to current global issues beyond traditional scholarly focus in Western Europe and the United States; exploration of an emerging field, moving away from the paradigm of national cinema and bringing together shared theoretical frameworks while acknowledging different historical and cultural contexts. Same as ASIA:3700, JPNS:3700, TRNS:3700.
WLLC:3834 Arab Spring in Context: Media, Religion, and Geopolitics3 s.h.
Protest movements that started in Tunisia in 2011 and swept across North Africa and the Middle East transforming Arab and Islamic societies in radically different ways; function of social media, satellite television, communication technology; influence of religious leaders and groups on some protest outcomes; impact of wealth and geopolitics on social fabric of Islamic societies within and outside Arab countries. Same as IS:3834, JMC:3146, RELS:3834.
WLLC:4512 Topics in Global and Transnational Culture3-4 s.h.
In-depth look at a theme in cultural expression arising from interactions between countries and regions; focus on contemporary or historical issues; use of materials ranging from literature and the visual arts to music, mass media, and more; general processes through which cultures are formed in mutual and uneven relationships; research project. Recommendations: completion of an international and global issues GE course. Same as ARAB:4512, GRMN:4512.
WLLC:4800 Topics in Global and Transnational Culturearr.
In-depth look at a theme in cultural expression arising from interactions between countries and regions; focus on contemporary or historical issues; material from literature, visual arts, music, mass media, and more; general process through which cultures are formed in mutual and uneven relationships; original research project. Requirements: a general education course in international and global issues.
WLLC:5000 Teaching and Learning Languages3 s.h.
Readings in pedagogical theory and practice, second language acquisition; experience designing activities for teaching and assessment with critiques based on current theories and approaches; development of reflective practices toward one's language teaching. Same as FREN:5000, GRMN:5001, SLA:5000, SPAN:5000.
WLLC:5300 The Humboldt Current: Travel, Science, and the Spatial Imagination in Latin America3 s.h.
Travel writings of environmental studies pioneer and Prussian explorer, Alexander von Humboldt, who led a five-year expedition to South America, Mexico, and Cuba in the late 18th century; his writing ushered in an idea of nature central to the Latin American imagination; topics include "Humboldtian science", the scientific traveler's persona, and rhetoric of travel; Humboldt's mapping of the Orinoco, Mexico, and the Caribbean, negotiating the tradition of European cartography with indigenous spatial practices; contribution of Humboldt's travels to a spatial imagination in Latin America; students develop an original research project. Recommendations: one graduate-level course in colonial, 19th-century Latin American literature, and/or ecocriticism and theory (this last course could be taken in related departments, such as English). Same as CL:5300, FREN:5300, SPAN:5300.
WLLC:6320 Topics in Contemporary Critical Theory3 s.h.
Focused discussion of critical discourses and paradigms that have contributed to development of contemporary literary and cultural theory.