The study of language in adolescence can broaden a young person’s possibilities for self-definition and reduce the “foreignness” of others by exposing him or her to different cultural practices and points of view.

Diana L. Beste, Department Head

Sample Courses

Voices of France's Youth

Today in France, teenagers and young adults are a powerful force in art and politics. This course examines works composed in the French language by authors younger than 30 years of age. Blogs, books written in text message format, graphic novels, current slang terms, video clips, poems, websites, songs, short stories and film are studied

Topics in Ancient Roman Literature

This sequence of intensive reading courses presents three distinct elements of Ancient Roman literature in a seminar-style class; one topic each term selected by the instructor. Examples of possible topics include: Lyric Poets and Poetry, Hellenistic Philosophy in Rome, Theater and Early Comedy, The History of the Roman Republic, and Latin Composition. The sequence focuses on reading ancient sources while analyzing them through the lens of modern critics

Third Year Arabic

In this course, students are expected to manage extensive readings in Modern Standard Arabic, and to comprehend lengthy authentic listening materials and follow-up discussions on a variety of social, cultural, and political topics by using argumentative discourse, and to give extended oral presentations with facility.

Chinese in the Cyber Age

This course is a guided exploration of cultural products accessible online as instruments of Chinese language learning, from blogs, forums, advertisements, and commercials to television movies and video clips. Students transcribe, annotate, analyze, and present materials both assigned and self-compiled to rediscover and reconstruct China’s socio-cultural realities in the cyber age

Machismo to Feminismo and Beyond

This course examines the literary sources of stereotypes and archetypes of masculinity – the Don Juan, the Latin lover – and how they have evolved over time. Furthermore, students will study many feminine voices in literature and explore the construction of gender and changing perceptions of masculinity, femininity and non-binary identities.