Studying a language not only allows one to communicate with people unlike ourselves, but also encourages self-awareness, grants cultural understanding, builds tolerance and compassion, and inspires dynamic critical thinking across cultures and disciplines.

GEORGES CHAHWAN, 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.

Fourth Year Latin: Epic Poetry - Where Science and Art Intersect

De Rerum Natura is a six-book poem attempting to explain the origins of the universe and atomic theory. Vergil’s Aeneid not only recounts the founding of Rome by refugees from Troy, but also puts forth a depiction of the afterlife. Both texts are examples of highly wrought and deeply moving poetry, segments of which students will read and analyze, in discussion and critical writing.

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.