Chinese, French, German, Spanish, and Latin American Studies
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 worldview and cultural perspective of peoples who live outside the English-speaking world. We are particularly concerned with promoting the development of both linguistic and cultural literacy. Through the expertise in the Department of International Languages and Cultures, students can gain linguistic proficiency and understanding of a large variety of cultures from Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.
As human beings, we’re 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 learn how to work collaboratively with other societies in search of common interests.
Language is one of the main mediums through which we express our specific cultural identity in relationship to the human race in its totality. In order to understand a culture on its own terms, it’s necessary to approach it through its own linguistic framework.
Why study international languages and cultures at SMCM?
Currently, the Department of International Languages and Cultures offers majors and minors in Chinese, French, German and Spanish languages and cultures, as well as Latin American Studies. With these concentrations, ILC integrates cultural material into our courses beginning at the elementary level. Our upper level courses examine literature and other cultural expressions, such as film, art, digital media, and music, in their historical contexts.
Our cultural studies approach emphasizes the meaning of creative and social expression in its local cultural contexts and in a global framing. We are interested in how you will use your linguistic and cultural literacy in the world, so we have courses that incorporate media production, translation, community-based learning, and different modes of writing. We develop your intercultural literacy, but also your general ability to analyze the validity of information and to communicate information orally and in writing. All majors complete a St. Mary’s Project, which ties learning in the first three years of your college career with post-graduation goals.
Our majors offer the depth of study of a major, plus courses that place your area of study in a global context: Introduction to Cultural Studies, the St. Mary’s Project Seminar, and the St. Mary’s Project.
At SMCM, we see language and culture as inextricably linked. Our curriculum acknowledges the growing need for professionals who have both linguistic and cultural literacy that extend beyond the English-speaking world.
International Languages and Cultures (ILC) Academic Offerings