Program Highlight

Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires

In keeping with the ILC department's cultural studies orientation, our majors examine a wide variety of cultural expressions in their SMPs, including, but not limited to, literature.

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Requirements of the International Languages and Cultures Major and Minor

Requirements of the Major

There is one International Languages and Cultures major, but there are different concentrations within the major. For example, "International Languages and Cultures/French" is what many colleges would simply call a French major, and most of your courses will be in French.

At the same time, all the concentrations share the ILC mission of cultivating an understanding of the worldview and cultural perspectives of peoples who live outside the English-speaking world. For this reason, there is one major and there are three elements of the major that students in all concentrations take:

  • ILCT 293: Introduction to Cultural Studies (must be taken at the same time as or right before the first 300-level course in ILCC/ILCF/ILCG/ILCS by those students planning to major in International Languages and Cultures)
  • ILCT 393: St. Mary's Project Workshop (should ideally be taken the spring of the junior year, immediately before beginning work on the St. Mary's Project)
  • ILCF, ILCG, ILAS, ILCS 493/494: St. Mary's Project in International Languages and Cultures

These three elements of the major are described below. See the separate web pages for Chinese, French, German, Latin American Studies, and Spanish for the specifics of the major in each of those concentrations.

ILCT 293: Introduction to Cultural Studies (2E) must be taken at the same time as or right before the first 300-level course in ILCC/ILCF/ILCG/ILCS by those students planning to major in International Languages and Cultures. This course introduces students to recent scholarship in the area of cultural studies theory. Students will be exposed to a variety of approaches to textual analysis, be it the text of books found within an established literary tradition, the text of expressions within popular culture, or the text of a given social experience in its broadest sense. Students will learn how to use the insights generated by the discipline of cultural studies to better understand and comment about the cultures that they study within the curriculum in the Chinese, French, German, Latin American Studies and Spanish concentrations. By comparison and contrast, students will also come to a better understanding of how U.S. society fits within a globalized cultural context.

ILCT 393: St. Mary's Project Workshop (2S) should ideally be taken the spring of the junior year, immediately before beginning work on the St. Mary's Project. The St. Mary's Project Workshop prepares students for their St. Mary's Project in International Languages and Cultures by teaching them how to frame a project and by stimulating independent and creative activity. Students will learn to relate their scholarly and creative interests to major issues in their fields and to the linguistic and cultural traditions represented in the department. Students will have an opportunity to explore the possibilities for St. Mary's Projects within the major: literary analysis, cultural analysis, pedagogical application, linguistic study, translation, creative writing. They will also be guided to write a proposal for their St. Mary's Projects. Visitors from inside and outside the College will discuss their critical and/or artistic work with the seminar participants and serve as models.

ILCF, ILCG, ILAS, ILCS 493-494: St. Mary's Project in International Languages and Cultures (8E) is a student-initiated and student-executed project of eight semester-hours in the language of concentration. 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 based in a single or multiple disciplines. Whatever the nature of the project, in the project students must demonstrate: (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 semester-hours. See the SMCM Catalog online for more details.

Requirements of the Minor

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 a minimum of 24 credits as follows:  8 credits in two disciplines chosen from section (a) in the required courses for the major, and a minimum of 16 credits in a minimum of two disciplines chosen from section (c) in the required courses for the major.