RLL offers vibrant programs in French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. Our language classes have long been popular with undergraduates, including those interested in international travel and those who anticipate a global dimension to their future careers. All of our classes focus on culture writ large: we study great texts, and we do so with an eye to gender roles, traditions, communities, individual freedom, social obligations, and many other topics of critical importance today. We offer concentrations in French, Italian, and Spanish, and Applied Linguistics, and introductory Portuguese. Our Ph.D. programs in French and Spanish are comprehensive and designed to prepare careers in academia, with a focus on research and teaching.
Our undergraduate programs in French, Italian, and Spanish include a compelling series of language, literature, culture, and civilization courses that introduce students to the global Hispanic, Francophone, and Italophone communities. The curriculum affords students the opportunity to become fluent in a foreign language, enrich their historical and cultural understanding, and acquaint themselves with influential intellectual, literary, and artistic traditions. Students also benefit from linguistic and cultural immersion opportunities through our many summer, semester, and year-long study abroad programs. These programs offer unique possibilities to combine foreign language training with other interests, including participating in business internships in Paris; pursuing field work in Camaroon; studying art history in Italy, literature in Madrid, or Andean culture in Ecuador. These experiences lead to a variety of career paths, including international law, international business, medicine, journalism, and graduate studies in political science, international relations, history, anthropology, art history, comparative literature, French, and film studies. In order to prepare our students to take full advantage of such opportunities, our faculty provide an innovative range of courses that combine the study of literature with contemporaneous developments in philosophy, science, music, art, and theory.
For undergraduates interested in cross-language study, we offer two programs. First, students may elect to major in Romance Languages and Literatures. This major requires advanced coursework in French, Italian, and Spanish, with one of the three languages as the focus of primary emphasis. Second, they may minor in Applied Linguistics, studying the theoretical, empirical, and practical foundations of teaching and learning languages. The minor is available to all majors on campus but is particularly suited to language majors.
Our graduate programs in French and Spanish prepare graduates for the teaching and research demands of post-secondary education. They encompass a combination of literary theory, literature, and cultural studies across periods, genres, and geographies, as well as carefully designed instructional methods and theory courses at introductory and advanced levels. There are also certificate programs available to complement our Ph.D., in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Language Instruction, Latin American Studies and Film and Media Studies.
More than Just a Program of Study...
In addition to providing exciting programs and contacts with scholars and writers for our own students and faculty, we schedule a panoply of courses, lectures, and activities for members of the University and greater St. Louis communities. Our widely-attended lectures and programs have featured such distinguished visitors as Henri Behar, Alicia Borinsky, Mary Ann Caws, Lou Charnon-Deutsch, Stanley Chojnacki, Maryse Condé, Tom Conley, Dominique de Courcelles, Gérard Defaux, Sara Dunant, Diamela Eltit, Brad Epps, Annie Ernaux, Alberto Fuguet, Aníbal González-Pérez, Amy Kaminsky, Julie Kristeva, Jo Labanyi, Lauro Martines, Jeffrey Mehlman, Sylvia Molloy, Lois Parkinson Zamora, Pedro Pérez-Sarduy, Cristina Rivera-Garza, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Naomi Schor, Geneviève Sellier, Antonio Skármeta, Paul Julian Smith, Sherry Velasco, and Rebecca West.
Our Foreign Language Learning Colloquium Speaker Series, co-sponsored with the Departments of Germanic Languages and Literatures, Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures, and Psychology, as well as the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Teaching Center, has hosted Elaine Bernhardt, Monika Chavez, Richard Day, Nick Ellis, MaryAnn Lyman Hager, Claire Kramsch, Judith Kroll, James F. Lee, Dick Schmidt, and Bill VanPatten, among others. Our own faculty members report on their research at conferences throughout the United States and around the world, and deliver invited lectures at distinguished colleges and universities. Many of our faculty have received teaching awards, and two hold chaired professorships in Arts and Sciences. Our graduate students have secured tenure-track positions at colleges and universities throughout the United States. Many of our undergraduates have obtained advanced degrees from the finest graduate and professional programs in the United States.
To view our departmental organizational chart of key contacts, please click here.