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World Languages and Cultures

Course Information

Before you register for courses, please take a moment to look at some of our unique course offerings and courses that offer general education credit. 

Unique Course Offerings

FREN 360 / ARTH 482 / PEAC 550 / WMST 450 - Women of the French New Wave

This course will focus on the important roles played by influential women who made (or continue to make) indelible contributions to the cinema movement known as the "French New Wave". Students will view a series of films by women directors, as well as films featuring actresses associated with the movement. Class discussions will focus on the cultural context of France during the 1950s-60s, the influence of related visual art forms on these films, and the artistic vision and innovations introduced into French cinema during this period. In particular, we will explore the specific challenges faced by female directors as they sought to use filmmaking as a means for asserting their creative agency in a domain filled with the often conflicting expectations imposed on women during a period of great sociopolitical change. Contemporary questions surrounding the role of women and female agency in today's film world that resound with the #metoo movement and its repercussions in Hollywood, Cannes, and beyond will also be explored.

GERM 383X - The Films of Margarethe von Trotta

What is the essence of a director’s style? What aspects of culture does the director express or mirror? This course is an intensive investigation of films by a preeminent and celebrated woman director and screenwriter, Margarethe von Trotta, whose career spans from 1968 to the present. We will focus on the creation of a single director, considered one of the greatest film artists in Germany and internationally. We will examine her films that evoke the inner life of individuals caught in moments of terrorism, political and social turmoil. We will also study von Trotta’s biopics on women as diverse as the medieval mystic, Hildegard von Bingen, the revolutionary, Rosa Luxemburg, or the philosopher of the holocaust, Hannah Arendt. How does a director convey the inner life of historical figures? We will examine as well von Trotta’s films on the relationships of sisters or intimate friends, rife with psychological insight.


Students are expected to compare von Trotta’s films, and discern the fluctuations, continuities, and divergences that define her work. Von Trotta’s films may also be discussed in relation with works by other directors in international contexts. Films will be viewed with subtitles and discussion will be in English.

SPAN 385 - Topics in Spanish/Hispanic Civilization and Culture

The main goal of SPAN 385 is to familiarize students with concepts and ideas related to the culture found in the Spanish-speaking world. Major topics include but are not limited to political leaders in history, art, and STEM. All discussions and written work take place in Spanish.

General Education Credit

Oral Communication

GERM 313 - German Conversation
MLAN 391 - Principles of Teaching Modern Languages in Grades K-12

Intensive Writing

SPAN 310 - Advanced Grammar & Composition
FREN 310 - Advanced Grammar, Composition I

Global Perspectives

FREN 201 - Intermediate French
FREN 280 - The French Film
FREN 302 - French Civilization & Culture II
FREN 360 - Special Topics in French
GERM 201 - Intermediate German
GERM 280 - The German Film
GERM 301 - German Civilization and Culture
SPAN 201 - Intermediate Spanish I
SPAN 280 - The Spanish Film
SPAN 360 - Special Topics in Spanish

Historical Perspectives

FREN 385 - Topics in French/Francophone Civilizations
SPAN 385 - Special Topics in Spanish/Hispanic Civilization & Culture

Humanities & Arts

FREN 250 - Intermediate Composition & Conversation
FREN 395 - Topics in French/Francophone Literature
GERM 250 - Introduction to German Literature
GERM 401 - Survey of German Literature
SPAN 250 - Intermediate Composition & Conversation
SPAN 395 - Topics in Spanish/Hispanic Literature  

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