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MIT Course Catalog 2013-2014

Home > Schools & Courses > SHASS > Foreign Languages & Literatures

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Foreign Languages and Literatures

The Foreign Languages and Literatures Section offers a variety of programs. There are subject sequences in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish languages and literatures taught in the original; a subject sequence on literature in English translation (SILC); studies in bilingualism; and a comprehensive program in English Language Studies.

The Foreign Languages and Literatures curriculum is arranged in three tiers. Fundamental language subjects familiarize students with the principles of the language in both its spoken and written forms, and introduce them to the culture of the country where the language is spoken. Levels III and IV language subjects provide review and refinement of grammar, study of more difficult reading matter with cultural and literary content, and include compositions and discussions in the foreign language.

Subjects in language, literature, and culture are conducted in the foreign language. They introduce students to the form and content of foreign literatures and of foreign cultures and societies. These subjects also offer the opportunity to develop more refined communication skills in the language. Advanced subjects, conducted in the foreign language, encourage students to explore the cultural history of the particular country in which the language is spoken.

Offerings in Studies in International Literatures and Cultures (SILC), taught in English, give students both a specific and comparative focus on foreign cultures.

Concentrations are available in a given language, literature, or culture in the original language or in English. Concentrations should be arranged on an individual basis in consultation with a designated advisor in each language group.

The Minor Programs in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish lead students who have already reached an intermediate level of proficiency into more advanced study of the language, literature, and culture. Note that language levels I and II do not count toward the minor. Also note that, unlike other minor programs in HASS, the minor advisor in each of these languages can, at his or her discretion, approve a minor in which MIT subjects comprise at least one-third of the subjects of the program. However, this exception to the general HASS Minor Requirement is only allowed in those cases in which students have received transfer credits equal to four subjects through study abroad in a country where the language of the minor is the dominant tongue.

Bachelor of Science in Foreign Languages and Literatures/Course 21F
[see degree chart]

Program I in French Studies and Program II in Spanish Studies are designed to provide: competence in reading, writing, and speaking; general knowledge of French or Spanish culture and literature; and advanced subjects in literature, film, and cultural studies.

For either option, each student designs a program in consultation with an advisor in order to meet individual interests, abilities, and goals. However, all majors reflect a balance of historical, geographical, cultural, and linguistic competence.

Minor Programs

The Minor in Chinese typically consists of six subjects arranged into three levels of study as follows:

Tier I   Two language subjects at the intermediate level:
21F.103/21F.173   Chinese III, (Regular)
21F.104   Chinese IV, (Regular)
    or
21F.109/21F.183   Chinese III, (Streamlined)
21F.110   Chinese IV, (Streamlined)
    or
21F.142   Intermediate Chinese I: Very Fast Track
21F.143   Intermediate Chinese II: Very Fast Track

Tier II   Two language subjects at the advanced level:
21F.105/21F.175 spacer Chinese V (Regular)
21F.106 spacer Chinese VI (Regular)
    or
21F.113/21F.185 spacer Chinese V (Streamlined)
    Students in the Streamlined sequence of subjects (as opposed to Regular) should consult with the minor advisor about the special options for them to fulfill the Tier II requirement.

Tier III   Two subjects in Chinese literature, history, or culture, at least one of which must be a Chinese Language Option subject, i.e. 21F.190, 21F.192, 21F.193, 21F.194, or 21F.195. The Chinese Language Option (CLO) subjects meet with the five subjects 21F.036, 21F.046, 21F.030, 21F.038, and 21F.044, respectively, and include some assignments that require reading and writing in Chinese. Students taking the Streamlined track may use the capstone subject 21F.199 instead of the regular Chinese Language Option subjects
21F.027   Asia in the Modern World: Images and Representations
21F.030J/21F.193   East Asian Culture: From Zen to Pop
21F.036/21F.190   Advertising and Media: Comparative Perspectives
21F.038/21F.194   China in the News: The Untold Stories
21F.043J   Introduction to Asian American Studies: Historical and Contemporary Issues
21F.044J/21F.195   Classics of Chinese Literature in Translation
21F.046/21F.192   Modern Chinese Fiction and Cinema
21F.075J   The Global Chinese: Chinese Migration, 1567 to Present
21H.151   Traditional China: Earliest Times to 1644
21H.152 spacer Modern China: 1644 to Present
21H.351J   Shanghai and China's Modernization

Capstone Subject  
21F.199   Chinese Youths and Web Culture

The Minor in French consists of six subjects arranged into three levels of study as follows:

Tier I   Two subjects or fewer depending on demonstrated level of entering competence:
21F.303/21F.373 spacer French III
21F.304/21F.374 spacer French IV

Tier II   Two or three subjects from the following intermediate subjects in French language, literature, and culture: 21F.308–21F.315 (with the exception of 21F.314)

Tier III   Two or three subjects from the following advanced subjects in French literature and culture: 21F.052, 21F.053, 21F.054J, 21F.068J, 21F.320–21F.347, and 21H.142

 

The Minor in German consists of six subjects arranged into three levels of study as follows:

Tier I   Two subjects or fewer depending on demonstrated level of entering competence:
21F.403/21F.473   German III
21F.404/21F.474   German IV

Tier II   Two or three subjects from the intermediate subjects in German language, literature, and culture: 21F.405–21F.412

Tier III   Two or three subjects from 21F.019, 21F.055, 21F.059, and 21F.414–21F.420

 

The Minor in Japanese consists of six subjects arranged into three levels of study as follows:

Tier I   Two language subjects at the intermediate level:
21F.503/21F.573   Japanese III
21F.504   Japanese IV
    or
21F.562   Intermediate Japanese I: Very Fast Track
21F.563   Intermediate Japanese II: Very Fast Track

Tier II   Two language subjects at the advanced level:
21F.505/21F.575   Japanese V
21F.506   Japanese VI

Tier III   Two subjects in Japanese literature, history, or culture, at least one of which must be a Japanese Language Option subject, i.e., 21F.590, 21F.591, 21F.592, 21F.593, or 21F.596. The Japanese Language Option subjects meet with the five subjects, 21F.027, 21F.039, 21F.063, 21F.064, and 21F.065, and include some assignments that require reading and writing in Japanese.
17.433   International Relations of East Asia
17.537   Politics and Policy in Contemporary Japan
17.543   Japanese Politics and Society
21F.027/21F.590   Asia in the Modern World: Images and Representations
21F.030   East Asian Culture: From Zen to Pop
21F.039/21F.591   Japanese Popular Culture
21F.063/21F.596   Anime: Transnational Media and Culture
21F.064/21F.592   Introduction to Japanese Culture
21F.065/21F.593   Japanese Literature and Cinema
21H.154   Pre-modern Japan: Earliest Times to 1868
21H.155   Modern Japan: 1868 to Present
21H.354   World War II in Asia

 

The Minor in Spanish consists of six subjects arranged into three levels of study as follows:

Tier I   Two subjects or fewer depending on demonstrated level of entering competence:
21F.703/21F.773   Spanish III
    and
21F.704/21F.774   Spanish IV

Tier II   Three subjects or fewer depending on demonstrated level of entering competence from the Spanish Intermediate Subjects in Language, Literature, and Culture listing: 21F.711–21F.714, and 21F.792

Tier III   Two subjects or more depending on demonstrated level of entering competence from the Spanish Advanced Subjects in Literature and Culture listing: 21F.084J, 21F.716J–21F.740

 

Please also refer to the Minor in Applied International Studies and the HASS Minors in Regional Studies, which include African and African Diaspora Studies, Asian and Asian Diaspora Studies, Latin American and Latino Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, and Russian and Eurasian Studies, in Part 3.

Other Degree Programs

A degree program is offered in German (Course 21). Joint degree programs are offered in French, German, and Spanish, and include majors in combination with a field in engineering or science (21E, 21S). See the Department of Humanities section for further information.

Inquiries

Further information on subjects and programs may be obtained from the Foreign Languages and Literatures Section Office, Room 14N-305, 617-253-4771.

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Faculty and Staff

Faculty and Teaching Staff

Ian Condry, PhD
Mitsui Career Development Professor of Japanese Cultural Studies
Section Head

Professors

Elizabeth Garrels, PhD
Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies

Shigeru Miyagawa, PhD
Kochi Prefecture-John Manjiro Professor of Japanese Language and Culture
Professor of Linguistics

William Uricchio, PhD
Professor of Comparative Media Studies
Director, Comparative Media Studies Program

Jing Wang, PhD
Professor of Chinese Cultural Studies
S. C. Fang Professor of Chinese Language and Culture

Associate Professors

Emma Teng, PhD
T. T. and Wei Fong Chao Professor of Asian Civilizations
Associate Professor of Chinese Studies and History
MacVicar Faculty Fellow

Assistant Professor

Bruno Perreau, PhD
Assistant Professor of French Studies

Catherine Clark, PhD
Assistant Professor of French Studies

Senior Lecturers

Takako Aikawa, PhD
Senior Lecturer in Japanese

Ellen Crocker, MA
Senior Lecturer in German

Jane Dunphy, MA
Senior Lecturer in English Language Studies

Haohsiang Liao, MA
Senior Lecturer in Chinese

Margarita Ribas Groeger, MA
Senior Lecturer in Spanish
Director, Spanish Language Studies

Sabine Levet, MA
Senior Lecturer in French
Undergraduate Academic Officer

Lecturers

Tong Chen, MA
Lecturer in Chinese

Cathy Culot, MA
Lecturer in French

Nilma Dominique, PhD
Lecturer in Portuguese

Dagmar Jaeger, PhD
Lecturer in German

A. C. Kemp, MA
Lecturer in English Language Studies

Masami Ikeda Lamm, MA
Lecturer in Japanese

Min-Min Liang, MA
Lecturer in Chinese

Yoshimi Nagaya, MA
Lecturer
Director, Japanese Language Studies

Roberto Rey Agudo, PhD
Lecturer in Spanish

Leanna Rezvani, PhD
Lecturer in French

Lissette Soto, MA
Lecturer in Spanish

Peter Weise, PhD
Lecturer in German

Ana Yañez, PhD
Lecturer in Spanish

Jin Zhang, MA
Lecturer in Chinese

Faculty Emeriti

Catherine Vakar Chvany, PhD
Professor of Russian Studies, Emerita

Isabelle de Courtivron, PhD
Professor of French Studies, Emerita

Gilberte Furstenberg, Agrégation
Senior Lecturer in French, Emerita

James Wesley Harris, PhD
Professor of Spanish and Linguistics, Emeritus

Douglas Morgenstern, MA
Senior Lecturer in Spanish, Emeritus

Edward Baron Turk, PhD
Professor of French Studies and Film
John E. Burchard Professor of Humanities, Emeritus

 

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