Academic Catalog 2021-2022 
    Jul 20, 2024  
Academic Catalog 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Modern Languages and Literatures

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Chair: Professor D. Mosquera
Faculty: Professors C. Batson, M. Ferry, W. Garcia, C. Henseler; Associate Professors K. Bidoshi, M. Chilcoat, C. Ndiaye, E. Nelson-Mukherjee, M. Ricci Bell, J. Ueno, Z. Zhang; Senior Lecturers M. Osuna, A. Pease; Assistant Professors S. Mueller, S. Yi; Visiting Assistant Professors E. Bouhet, D. Collinge                            
Administration: A. Sartiaux (Director of Language Center)
Staff: F. Li (Administrative Assistant)

All students who begin the study of a new foreign language at Union College are encouraged to pursue it for at least three terms. Students who take 100-level courses in more than one foreign language will receive credit for the second 100-level course only upon completion of the 101-level course in at least one of the two languages. Students continuing a foreign language previously studied will be assigned to the proper course level by the department. Placement will be made in consultation with the Chair and faculty members of the department on the basis of the secondary school record and testing scores. Students may construct full majors or interdepartmental majors in Chinese, French and Francophone, German and Spanish and Hispanic Studies. Students in Japanese, and Russian have the option of an interdepartmental major with any other field. Minors are possible in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. Students of Chinese and Japanese have the option of the major or interdepartmental major in Asian Studies. Introductory courses are also offered in Arabic, Hebrew, Italian and Portuguese.

Requirements in All Languages

Requirements for Honors:

  • A candidate for honors shall have an index in Departmental courses of not less than 3.5 and an overall cumulative index of not less than 3.3.
  • The candidate shall have achieved a grade of “A” in three courses in the department, with at least one at the 300-level or higher.
  • Additional stipulations for full and interdepartmental majors in French, German, and Spanish. Majors shall have achieved a grade of at least “A-” in two 400-level courses (not including FRN 489  , GER 489  , SPN 489  ). Interdepartmental majors shall have achieved a grade of at least “A-” in no fewer than three courses at the 300-level or higher, with at least one at the 400-level (not including FRN 489, GER 489, SPN 489).
  • Additional stipulations for interdepartmental majors in Chinese, Japanese, and Russian. Interdepartmental majors shall have achieved a grade of at least “A-” in no fewer than three courses at the 300-level or higher, and one in an MLT course.
  • For the major, the honors candidate shall complete a project of a literary and/or cultural nature. For the interdisciplinary major, the candidate may elect to complete a thesis/project relating the candidate’s chosen disciplines. In all cases, the topic shall have received prior approval from the faculty advisor.
  • For the major, the honors project is expected to be written in the foreign language studied. For the interdisciplinary major, the honors project should be written in the language deemed appropriate by the faculty advisor. For the interdisciplinary major in Chinese and Japanese, the project shall normally be written in English.
  • The honors project shall have been awarded a grade no lower than “A-.”
  • When declaring candidacy for honors, a student shall write a statement outlining the nature and scope of the project and present it to the faculty member chosen to supervise the honors project, as well as to the Chair of the Department. The candidate’s proposal must meet with the approval of both faculty members. This stipulation is waived when the honors project is written under the direct supervision of a Departmental faculty member in a class setting.

Requirement for taking a course without its prerequisites

In order to be placed at the proper level for their first language course at Union or to be assigned to any other course without having completed its prerequisite, students should contact the Departmental office for an appointment with the appropriate professor to get a signed permission slip or petition on the necessary waiver.

German Studies

Open to all students; no knowledge of the German language required, unless the course is taken for German credit. Students seeking language credit for the German Studies Major should register for the corresponding German course number (see GER 330-GER 334  ) and must complete a considerable part of their course-work in German. Prerequisite for German credit in the MLT courses is the completion of at least GER 201  .

German Cultural Studies Program
The German Program offers instruction in language, culture, and literature from beginning to advanced levels. Students can complete a minor and a major or interdepartmental major in German Cultural Studies. All students are well served if they combine their study of German with second fields (e.g. another language, the arts, economics, engineering, history, international studies and management, and/or political science). Language study and the experience of the Term Abroad with their resulting linguistic fluency and cultural sensitivity greatly enhance students’ opportunities as they pursue careers in their chosen fields.

German Cultural Studies Courses
The study and critical understanding of the literature of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, in the context of their larger-cultural, social, political, and intellectual history. Prerequisite for 300-level courses listed in this section is GER 201 or another 300-level course. Prerequisite for all 400-level courses is a 300-level course.

Japanese and Russian Requirements

Course Selection Guidelines
Students should be aware that all of the courses in Modern Languages and Literatures carry HUM and LCC credit for Common Curriculum (CC) Requirements, and many of our MLT courses and upper-level literature and culture courses count towards the Humanities Literature requirement.

Students should also be aware that many of our language programs offer the 100 class (Basic 1) only in the Fall term. French is the only exception, offering FRN 100  in both Fall and Winter terms.

Students with previous experience in a language should come to the Department office to make an appointment to see a professor in the appropriate language for proper placement. Our MLT courses do not require such placement, as they are taught in English.

Courses in Modern Literature, Culture, and Cinema in Translation (Taught in English)
Faculty in the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures offer a variety of courses on works of literature, culture, cinema, and media that have been translated into English. “MLT” courses allow English-speaking students to engage with texts and other cultural artifacts from around the world to help them to develop the awareness of cultural diversity that is needed to be a global citizen in the twenty-first century.

Spanish Language and Culture

Literatures and Cultures (300-level courses)
Majors, ID majors, and minors must take two 300-level courses from different clusters; there are four clusters (listed below). Prerequisite for 300-level courses listed in this section is SPN 203  or permission of the instructor.

Literatures and Cultures (400-level courses)
Prerequisites for 400-level courses listed in this section are two 300-level courses.


    MajorInterdepartmental MajorMinor


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