Students in Saint Louis University’s Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures don’t just study language; beyond linguistic and intercultural competence, they gain an appreciation for art, politics, people and cultures around the world.
The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures has developed comprehensive curricula that fit easily into the study of humanities, as well as the social and natural sciences. And, if you pursue a double major in a modern or classical language, you will find you are better prepared for employment in a number of rewarding careers.
Why Study Languages?
Studying languages can help you gain a broader understanding both yourself and the customs of others, an exceedingly important virtue in today's increasingly globalized world. In addition, language study helps develop analytical and synthetic reasoning, and provides a better understanding of your first language and of language in general.
During his sabbatical in spring 2018, Italian professor Simone Bregni, Ph.D. traveled to Asti, Italy, where he continued conducting research on video game-based learning (VGBL); coordinating contact with colleagues in the field who are interested and willing to cooperate on research projects; writing invited articles and chapter contributions; and delivering a series of invited lectures and workshops based on his research, expertise and teaching practices at academic institutions in Spain, Italy and Austria.
Above: Simone Bregni delivering the workshop "(E-)Life is (not) Strange: Using Video Games in Foreign/Second Language Acquisition" to an audience of professors, instructors and MA students in Spanish and ESL at the New York University Campus in Madrid.
Both his workshop and presentation formats were created with the assistance of the Saint Louis University Reinert Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning. Some of Bregni's research was founded by the James H. Korn Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award, which he received in fall 2017 for developing and teaching “Intensive Italian for Gamers.” The course, which applies game-based learning and digital media to second/foreign language acquisition, will be offered again at SLU in spring 2019.
The Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures held its annual graduate and undergraduate symposium on Saturday, April 7, 2018.
Each year this event provides students with the opportunity to present their own research in languages, literatures and cultures, and learn from others. At this year’s symposium, students of French, German, Italian, Spanish and Russian participated in a total of 51 presentations organized into 16 sessions.
On February 12, 2018, members of Pi Delta Phi, the National French Honor Society, gathered to celebrate Mardi Gras.
The event included French crêpes, Louisiana "King Cake", a Mardi Gras favorite, and authentic French macarons. Students discovered the cultural links that tie these delicious creations to French and Francophone traditions.
On November 9, 2017, the "SLU Spanish Club" held their first meeting.
Students from all levels of Spanish enjoyed Ecuadorian horchata, Spanish tortilla, Mexican pan dulce, and lots of lively conversation. The club was started by Chad Hanson and Remy Arnold, physical therapy students minoring in Spanish. Check the club's Facebook page for updates on upcoming meetings.
On Friday, November 3, 2017, New York Times- and worldwide bestselling author Isabel Allende was hosted by Left Bank Books to a sold-out crowd of more than 400 people at St. Louis' Ethical Society.
Amy Wright, Spanish professor, interviewed the well-loved author, asking incisive questions about Allende's life and her sweeping new novel (In the Midst of Winter, 2017) that explores issues of human rights and the plight of immigrants and refugees. Those in attendance were privy to a fresh look into Allende's motivations for writing and her deep love of storytelling through Wright's candid interview, which was followed by many questions from the audience and a standing ovation. A recent recipient of SLU's 2017 Helen I. Mandeville Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Humanities and a professor of Latin American Literatures and Cultures, Amy Wright's courses frequently examine questions of community and otherness in Hispanic contexts, such as her most recent course on Immigration and Border-Crossings in 21st-Century Film.
On November 3-4, 2017, German faculty and students from SLU's and Webster U's German program participated in the annual German Immersion Weekend (Sprachwochenende) at SLU's Lay Center near Louisiana, MO.
Students immersed themselves in German culture by only conversing in German with each other, cooking German food, watching German films and playing German games and getting to know one another. Friday evening concluded with a bonfire under the stars. On Saturday morning, students were placed in different groups based on their German language proficiency and participated in group activities on the topics of German youth slang and idioms, songs from the Storm & Stress Period, and how to move from racism and exclusion toward integration. After a hearty brunch, students participated in a hike on the trails at the Lay Center before returning to Kaffee und Kuchen and presenting their projects from the morning's group activities. They were also treated to live accordion music played by Joseph Wendl and to Franz Schubert's Erlkönig sung by Daniel Carter.
The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures received funding from the College of Arts and Sciences to hold a symposium on the Russian Revolutions of 1917.
The event commemorates the Russian Revolutions of 1917 with student, alumni, and faculty presentations on literature, political science, and culture addressing such topics as the application of the cult of personality to Soviet/Post-Soviet heads of state, the changing face of Moscow architecture and literature over the past hundred years, African-Americans as fellow travelers of the communist revolution, women's impact during the Soviet period, and a general assessment of Polish/French/Russian revolutions on the creative imagination.
The Russian program would like to thank the College of Arts and Sciences, the Language Resource Center, and departmental faculty, especially assistant professor of Russian Zdenko Mandušić, for supporting both the related film series and symposium, to which the French program provided both leadership and technological support. Faculty from political science, English, history, and REEAS were central to the success of the symposium.