Chair: Associate Professor Carolyn Lukens-Olson
Professors: Joseph Ferdinand, Anne McConnell, Kathleen Rupright
Associate Professors: Svetlana Elnitsky, Adrian Languasco, Marta Umanzor
Assistant Professor: Kristin Juel, Jason Busic
Instructors: Hideko Furukawa
Visiting Instructor: Sherry Pachman
In these days of global complexities and rapid changes at the international level, we need to prepare our students to address the challenges that our society is facing; the environment, politics, the economy, communications, education, and business are just a few of the many fields in which languages are of growing importance. The ability to communicate in languages other than English is already necessary within our society, and it is increasingly likely that during their professional careers college graduates will benefit from an understanding of one or more foreign languages.
The programs offered by the Department of Modern Languages and Literature are designed to help students achieve proficiency in one or more of the five languages we teach: French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish and also to give them an understanding of the cultures associated with these languages through the study of their literature, art, history, and politics. Our courses explore rich literary and artistic traditions and teach students to find meaning and value in works presenting sensibilities and views of the world outside the range of their own experiences. We choose and develop our study trips and travel abroad programs with the goal of having our students not only improve their language skills but also immerse themselves in new cultures, often participating in internships and service activities. On campus, we sponsor and organize activities such as concerts, the French and Spanish Masses, film series, Francophone Day events, and conversation hours, to bring together the Saint Michael’s community and the local community, both American and international, through languages.
We offer majors in French and Spanish, minors in French, Italian Studies, and Spanish, and a variety of literature and culture courses taught in English, some of which satisfy the Humanities portion of the Liberal Studies Requirements. Students can apply language credits toward fulfillment of requirements for the International Business minor, the Global Studies minor, and in the case of Japanese, for the minor in East Asian studies.
Study abroad is strongly recommended for all majors and minors; the overwhelming majority of our language majors and minors studies abroad at least one semester.