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. An undergraduate minor is offered in translation for global literacy and a graduate certificate in literary translation. 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 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. Students are educated to become global citizens who understand and are understood by diverse populations. They are trained to be critical thinkers and problem solvers who are also capable scholars, lucid writers, and proficient speakers.
The division offers instruction in numerous fields related to language, literature, and culture.
- American Sign Language Program: American Sign Language and Deaf Studies
- Department of Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Sanskrit
- Department of French and Italian: Arabic, French, Italian, Swahili
- Department of Linguistics: linguistics
- Department of German: German
- Department of Spanish and Portuguese: Portuguese, Spanish
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 graduate Certificate in Literary Translation offers students the opportunity to develop stronger competencies in translation as a method of scholarly inquiry and pedagogy, and the advantage of the ongoing synergy between creative writing and literary translation.
The Autonomous Language Learning Network (ALLNet), administered by the Language Media Center in the Division of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures, offers scholarship opportunities to learn critical and less commonly taught languages that are not currently taught at the University of Iowa. Any current university student, staff, or faculty member who is interested in pursuing language study to enhance their professional research or academic profile can apply for an ALLNet scholarship. With the support of the ALLNet staff, learners design their own study plans to learn basic language skills or improve upon existing skills in preparation for study or research abroad. Upon admission to the program, learners are provided with learning materials and tutorial sessions with a trained language and culture consultant.
The Language Media Center (LMC) is an essential resource unit for faculty and students in the Division of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures. The LMC provides a wide variety of facilities and services for traditional language laboratory work as well as for foreign language digital media production and computer-based activities. The LMC facilities include a 50-computer information technology center (ITC), two digital audio laboratories, a multimedia development studio, a One Button Studio for video production, 13 media viewing stations, and six small group collaboration spaces. The LMC also circulates a collection of over 3,000 foreign language (including American Sign Language) and English as a Second Language digital media materials.
World Languages, Literatures and Cultures Courses
WLLC:1000 First-Year Seminar1 s.h.
Small discussion class taught by a faculty member; topics chosen by instructor; may include outside activities (e.g., films, lectures, performances, readings, visits to research facilities, field trips). Requirements: first-semester standing.
WLLC:1100 Contraception Across Time and Cultures3 s.h.
WLLC:1200 Disability and Inclusion in Film and Writing Around the World3 s.h.
Exploration of human experiences of dis/ability and exclusion/inclusion as represented in recent international film and popular writing from Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East; how these experiences contribute to and reflect awareness of the challenges of disabilities as well as public policy; strategies that filmmakers and authors deploy to contain, complicate, and challenge cultural preconceptions of the disabled body; how disability intersects with other major identity categories (i.e., sexuality, nationality, race); tools for researching history, policy, and activism. GE: Diversity and Inclusion. Same as DST:1200, GHS:1200, GRMN:1200.
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:2248 The Invention of Writing: From Cuneiform to Computers3 s.h.
Invention of writing as one of the most momentous events in the history of human civilizations; how the use of written sign systems, notations, maps, graphs, encryptions, and most recently, computer programs have consequences that reach deeply into all aspects of people's lives; how writing fascinates and delights, fosters reflexive thinking and facilitates development of complex societies, and gives rise to institutions of social power and control; students explore the invention of writing and its consequences in broad international and interdisciplinary context. Same as ANTH:2248, ASIA:2248, CL:2248, CLSA:2048, COMM:2248, GRMN:2248, HIST:2148, IS:2248, LING:2248, TRNS:2248.
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 and Culture. Same as GRMN:2550.
WLLC:2620 Anne Frank and Her Story3-4 s.h.
Analysis of the Diary of Anne Frank, its media adaptations, and related materials (e.g., fictionalizations, additional first-hand accounts); examination of Holocaust in the Netherlands, Belgium, and other countries outside Germany; anti-Semitism, discrimination, tolerance, resistance, identity formation, human aspiration and belief. Taught in English. GE: Diversity and Inclusion. Same as GRMN:2620.
WLLC:3131 Undergraduate Reading Workshop3 s.h.
Analysis of different types of texts—theoretical, cultural, political, philosophical, literary, poetic—and exploration of varying ways to frame and read them. Same as CL:3131.
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 and English and Creative Writing 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 a GE CLAS Core International and Global Issues 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: GE CLAS Core International and Global Issues course.
WLLC:4801 Seminar in Comparative Literature3 s.h.
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: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.