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Languages and Literature

About the Department


The Department of Languages and Literature promotes the value of language learning, good writing, critical thinking, and an informed appreciation of literature to our students, the university, and the community. We are dedicated to excellence in teaching, creative and scholarly achievement, and professional service that supports the language arts through lectures, readings, publications, translations, and related activities. We strive to produce literate men and women who understand the importance of language and literature in the history of humanity and who practice effective language use in their daily lives.


Faculty & Programs of Study

One of the largest departments at the university, the Department of Languages and Literature offers students small classes and a diverse, experienced faculty including many award-winning teachers.

The Department provides composition, world literature, and foreign language classes for all students as components of the general education core curriculum. The Department also offers majors in English and Foreign Languages, and minors in English, Creative Writing, English Writing, Film Studies, Linguistics, Professional Writing, French, German, Greek, Latin, Classical Languages, Classical Civilization, and Spanish. At the graduate level, we offer a Master of Arts in English and graduate courses in Spanish for a master's degree in Education.


Our faculty and students also participate in a number of related programs including African- American Studies, Honors, International Studies, Women's Studies, several study-abroad and exchange programs, and the Center of Excellence in the Creative Arts. The Department and the Center of Excellence regularly bring to campus major literary figures as lecturers, readers, and writers-in-residence. Distinguished visitors have included Maxine Kumin, Galway Kinnell, Gwendolyn Brooks, Richard Wilbur, Allen Ginsberg, Carolyn Forche, David Bradley, and Gary Snyder. Through the Center, the creative writing program also publishes a distinguished literary journal, Zone 3.


The Learning Environment

The Department is located in Harned Hall, the oldest building on campus, which in 1988 was saved from the wrecking ball by a concerted effort of faculty, students, and townspeople. Formerly a women's dormitory, Harned was converted into a state-of-the-art showpiece brimming with the newest technologies. Students in languages and literature classes have the advantage of modern computer facilities with network and Internet service as well as current software programs for writing, foreign language study, and desktop publishing. All Harned classrooms are equipped with "smart" technology for multimedia presentations.