International Languages and Cultures

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The Department of International Languages and Cultures is committed to the study of particular societies around the world, with the aim of bringing forth an understanding of the world view and cultural perspective of peoples who live outside the English-speaking world. Our approach is humanistic, giving attention to the cultural productions, including the literary traditions, as well as the cultural agents of the societies we study. We are particularly concerned with promoting the development of both linguistic and cultural literacy. Language is one of the main mediums through which human beings express their specific cultural identity in relationship to the human race in its totality. For this reason, in order to understand a culture on its own terms it is necessary to approach it through its own linguistic framework. We need to study languages besides English in order to understand other cultures from their own internal perspective. Through the Department of International Languages and Cultures, students can gain exposure to a large variety of cultures from Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America.

As human beings we are increasingly confronted with the need to live in a globalized context. Patterns of international economic, political, social, and cultural exchange increasingly define how we are to live, work, and relate to one another. One of the major challenges facing our society is to understand and learn how to work collaboratively with other societies in search of common interests. This challenge is especially crucial for the United States because it is at the same time one of the most powerful international agents — economically, politically, culturally and militarily — as well as being a society that, because of geographic and historical circumstances, has evolved with a high degree of isolation. The U.S., however, can no longer maintain this isolation given its international role, as well as its internal demographics. We are increasingly in need of professionals who have both linguistic and cultural literacy that extends beyond the English-speaking world.

The major within the Department of International Languages and Cultures offers concentrations in Chinese, French, German, and Spanish languages and cultures, as well as Latin American Studies. The Chinese concentration provides coverage of the Chinese-speaking world. The French concentration covers both metropolitan France, as well as the broader field of Francophone cultures in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe. The German concentration focuses on areas of German language and culture. The Spanish concentration covers Spain and Latin America, with particular attention to the great cultural variety within the Spanish-speaking world in the Americas. The Latin American Studies concentration allows students to study this important region of the world through a multidisciplinary approach.

The French, German, and Spanish concentrations include four credits of a language outside the student’s concentration, to be taken at the level where the student places. This experience with an additional language lends special insight into linguistic structures and encourages students to consider multiple global perspectives on issues they have encountered through their concentration language. The Chinese concentration includes an elective eight-credit intra- or cross-disciplinary field of focus in language, literary, or cultural studies beyond the core courses in Chinese. This integrated elective field of focus enables students to combine their area concentration with study in other fields, either within or outside the department, with the purpose of broadening, deepening, or contextualizing the Chinese concentration.

We strongly advise majors to spend time abroad to gain both linguistic and cultural fluency and confidence. The experience abroad can be pursued in various manners: study abroad with our own programs or with those of other colleges and universities; internships with international organizations or governmental agencies abroad; or "au pair" or other work-related experiences. Some of the experiences noted above can be pursued for credit, others not. It is important that students begin to think about experiences abroad as early as possible during their time at St. Mary's, and that they discuss their interests with a faculty adviser within the department. Students are expected to either choose a faculty adviser in the department, or discuss their plans within the major with the chair of the department.

Degree Requirements for a Minor in International Languages and Cultures with Concentrations in Chinese, French, German, Latin American Studies, and Spanish

Students may receive a minor in International Languages and Cultures with a concentration in any of the language areas of the department (Chinese, French, German, Spanish) by completing a minimum of 18 credits of course work in the target language, with a minimum of 12 credits of upper-division course work (300 or 400 level) with a minimum grade of C- and a GPA of 2.0 in the relevant courses.

Students may pursue a minor in International Languages and Cultures with a concentration in Latin American Studies by completing 24 credits as follows:

  1. a maximum of 12 credits in language courses
  2. 12 credits minimum of general electives in Latin American Studies (at least eight of these credits must be 300-level and above). Students who do not take 12 credits of language courses because they began the language sequence above beginner level may use unused language credits for additional Latin American Studies electives. Students must earn a minimum grade of C- and a GPA of 2.0 in the relevant courses.

Degree Requirements for a Major in International Languages and Cultures with French, German, and Spanish Concentrations

To earn a bachelor of arts degree with a major in International Languages and Cultures, a student must satisfy the following minimum requirements:

  1. General College Requirements (see “Curriculum” section), including the following requirements to satisfy the major:
  2. At least 48 credit-hours as follows:
    1. Core Courses. Eight courses (32 credit-hours) chosen from a set of core courses in one of the following areas of concentration, and completed with a minimum grade of C- or better in each required major course and an overall GPA of 2.0 or better in these required courses.
      • FRENCH CONCENTRATION REQUIREMENTS
        Core Courses: Six of the eight core courses must be at the 300-level or above, must not include more than one course in translation (ILCT 301), and must include at least one culture and civilization course (355 or 356) and at least one upper-division literature course (362, 363 or 364):
        • ILCF 202: Intermediate French II
        • ILCF 206: Introduction to Literature in French
        • ILCF 355: Culture and Civilization I: Metropolitan France
        • ILCF 356: Culture and Civilization II: The Francophone World
        • ILCF 360: Advanced Grammar and Translation
        • ILCF 362: Topics in Literature I: From the Middle Ages to the French Revolution (repeatable for core credit)
        • ILCF 363: Topics in Literature II: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (repeatable for core credit)
        • ILCF 364: Topics in Francophone Literature (repeatable for core credit)
        • ILCF 440: Special Topics in French or Francophone Studies in French (repeatable for core credit)
        • ILCT 301: Special Topics in French or Francophone Studies in Translation (repeatable for elective credit)
      • GERMAN CONCENTRATION REQUIREMENTS
        Core Courses: Six of the eight core courses must be at the 300-level or above, must not include more than one course in translation (ILCT 302), and must include ILCG 355 or 356 and ILCG 362 or 363:
        • ILCG 205: Intermediate Conversation and Composition
        • ILCG 206: Introduction to Literature in German
        • ILCG 355: German Culture and Civilization: History and Everyday Life in the 20th Century
        • ILCG 356: German Culture and Civilization: Historical
        • ILCG 360: Advanced Grammar and Translation
        • ILCG 362: Topics in Literature in German I (repeatable for core credit)
        • ILCG 363: Topics in Literature in German II (repeatable for core credit)
        • ILCT 302: Special Topics in German Studies in Translation (repeatable for elective credit)
      • SPANISH CONCENTRATION REQUIREMENTS
        Core Courses: Six of the eight core courses must be at the 300-level or above and must not include more than one course in translation (ILAS 310, 340, 350, or 370 or ILCT 303).
        • ILCS 202: Intermediate Spanish II
        • ILCS 206: Introduction to Literature in Spanish
        • ILCS 360: Advanced Writing Workshop
        • ILCS 361: Indigenous Cultures in Latin America (repeatable for core credit)
        • ILCS 362: African Diaspora Cultural Expressions in Latin America (repeatable for core credit)
        • ILCS 363: Cultural Perspectives on Gender (repeatable for core credit)
        • ILCS 365: Creating for Social Change (repeatable for core credit)
        • ILCS 368: The Construction of Nationalism and Cultural Identity
        • ILCS 369: The Problematic of Modernity
        • ILCS 370: Postmodernity and Globalization
        • ILCS 372: Multicultural Characteristics of Early Modern Spain
        • ILCS 440: Special Topics in Hispanic Studies in Spanish (repeatable for core credit)
        • ILCT 303: Special Topics in Hispanic Studies in Translation (repeatable for elective credit)
        • ILAS 300: Democracy in Latin America
        • ILAS 310: The Latino/a Experience in the United States
        • ILAS 340: Social Change and Musical Expression in Latin America
        • ILAS 350: Latin American Cinema
        • ILAS 370: Guatemalan History
    2. Additional Language. One course (four credit-hours) taken in a language other than English and other than the student’s concentration in order to deepen the student’s understanding of linguistic structures and global perspectives. If the student has studied the language before, the course will be at the level where the student places by exam.
    3. ILCT 293: Introduction to Cultural Studies, two credits
    4. ILCT 393: St. Mary's Project Workshop, two credits
    5. ILCF, ILCG, ILCS 493/494. St. Mary's Project in International Languages and Cultures (1-8 E). A student-initiated and student-executed project of eight credit-hours in the language of concentration. Depending on the nature of the project, some components may be written in English, with the approval of the mentor. The project may be a research project in literary or cultural studies, a creative-expressive project involving the arts, or a pedagogical project involving teaching applications. Also, depending on the focus of the student’s course work and interests, the project can be single or multi-disciplinary based. Whatever the nature of the project, students must demonstrate in it: 1) linguistic competence equal to the task; 2) a method appropriate to the task; 3) adequate knowledge of the particular area of research or endeavor; and 4) an ability to analyze and reflect upon this knowledge in order to integrate it with knowledge in other areas of inquiry or performance. They also must critically discuss and share publicly the results of the project. The course is repeatable for up to a total of eight credit-hours. NOTE: Students whose projects are to be based on material collected “in the field” while studying abroad during their junior year or while engaged in off-campus apprenticeships or internships should discuss their plans with a faculty adviser as early as the second semester of their sophomore year. Prerequisites: ILCT 393; approval of a faculty project mentor; approval of the department chair.

Degree Requirements for a Major in International Languages and Cultures with a Chinese Concentration

  1. General College Requirements (see "Curriculum" section), including the following requirements to satisfy the major:
  2. At least 48 credit-hours as follows:
    1. Core Courses. Seven courses (28 credit-hours) from the following list, and completed with a minimum grade of C- or better in each required major course and an overall GPA of 2.0 or better in these required courses. At least three must be at the 300-level or above, and must include at least one culture course (ILCC 355 or 356) and one literature course (ILCC 362 or 363):
      • ILCC 101: Elementary Chinese I
      • ILCC 102: Elementary Chinese II
      • ILCC 201: Intermediate Chinese I
      • ILCC 202: Intermediate Chinese II
      • ILCC 355: Chinese Culture I: Contemporary China (repealable for core credit)
      • ILCC 356: Chinese Culture II: China's Self-criticism (repeatable for core credit)
      • ILCC 362: Chinese Literature I: Contemporary Literature (repeatable for core credit)
      • ILCC 363: Chinese Literature II: Pre-Communist 20th Century Literature (repeatable for core credit)
      • IDIS 354: Fudan Credits
    2. Elective Courses. Two courses (eight credit-hours), chosen in consultation with and approved by a Chinese-area adviser, that constitute an integral elective field of focus that broadens, deepens, gives historical relevance to, or conceptualizes the student's understanding of the area of concentration, including:
      1. Discipline or cross-disciplinary courses (Asian Studies)
      2. Upper-division courses taken in Fudan and at St. Mary's
    3. ILCT 293. Introduction to Cultural Studies
    4. ILCT 393. St. Mary’s Project Workshop
    5. ILCC 493/494. St. Mary's Project in International Languages and Cultures (1-8 E). (See description under the same title above. The St. Mary's Project in Chinese may be written in English but must incorporate a significant Chinese-language component.)

    Faculty

    Nayana Abeysinghe, José Ballesteros, Joanna Bartow, Leslie Bayers, Zara Bennett, Laine Doggett, Jingqi Fu, Katie Gantz, Haomin Gong, Anne Leblans, Jorge R. Rogachevsky, Israel Ruiz (department chair)

    Courses