Modern Languages and Literatures

We define culture broadly to include both the academic and the everyday. Guided by creative and enthusiastic faculty committed to language immersion, students explore topics ranging from literature and film to politics to cuisine. Today, students may study francophone or Latino/a literature; tomorrow, they may learn French or Spanish “business-speak”. Cultural immersion and potential internship experience complement the student’s program of study.

Because of our close ties to Chicago’s cultural institutions, students pursue internships with organizations like the Alliance Française and the Chicago Latino Film Festival. Academic excursions to immigrant neighborhoods like Chinatown and Pilsen, allow students to meet and learn from native speakers.

We offer coursework in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish as well as occasional courses in Italian and Portuguese. Most language majors and minors enhance their linguistic and cultural knowledge by taking advantage of the College’s numerous options to study and complete internships abroad.

Department News

  • Thanks to a generous summer research grant from Lake Forest College, Prof. Denise Kripper had the opportunity to spend the summer in Denmark taking part in Harvard’s Institute for World Literature (IWL) at the University of Copenhagen in joint partnership with Aarhus University. She attended seminars on Multilingualism and Migrant Writing, and presented her research on a colloquium on World Literature and Translation.
  • Whatever you do, don’t accuse Victoria Cisneros ’20 of using Google Translate. She’s spent weeks translating challenging material from Spanish to English with the help of Assistant Professor of Spanish Denise Kripper, and it is not as simple as copying and pasting.

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