Welcome to the Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Website!
Formerly Modern Languages
We begin with the recognition that cultures do not exist in isolation but are, in some measure, shaped as a reaction or response to other cultures and forces in the world. Thus the study of the interconnectivity of cultures is of paramount import to our major. Our curriculum steers away from the purely instrumental study of language, that is, the idea that language is simply a tool to study other subjects, and instead stresses that language acquisition ought to be conceived in a more integrative way, that language and its cultural products are deeply related, and therefore must be studied together.
In that vein, we recommend that no essential distinction be made between a language itself and the full extent of its culture: these two aspects need to be studied concurrently and constantly.
Because of our belief in integrative competence, we have moved from the more traditional reliance on the study of language leading to the analysis of literature to one encompassing a much broader mandate of cultural and inter-cultural studies, including popular culture. These cultural and inter-cultural studies are by definition inter-disciplinary, and thus reach across many departmental and programmatic boundaries!