Modern Languages and Literatures

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures regularly offers instruction in Chinese, French, German, Russian, and Spanish. Details about the study of each of these languages at Rhodes are found under the subject heading for that specific language. In addition to literature and culture courses in the modern languages, the department also offers some courses in literature and culture in English translation. Classes in Portuguese are available through consortial agreement with the University of Memphis.

The F10 Degree Requirement. The degree requirement in languages may be met by the successful completion of any appropriate four-credit course numbered 201 or higher or by demonstrating proficiency through placement into a language course at a level above 201 and approval by the appropriate language faculty. Students who take 201 (or higher) or the equivalent at another institution can earn transfer credit, but must still demonstrate proficiency (see above) in the specific language before the degree requirement is satisfied. This pertains to languages that are taught at Rhodes. Students who can demonstrate native or near-native proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening in a language other than English may petition the department of Modern Languages and Literatures to waive the F10 requirement.

All students who plan to fulfill Rhodes’ foreign language degree requirement in a language they have previously studied for two years or more in high school must take a placement test in that language. For French, German, Russian, and Spanish, scores on that test will be used to place students in the course most appropriate for them at Rhodes. Students with fewer than two years in a language may enter that language at the 101 level. Any student who scores at the 202 level or higher will need to consult with the department to see if he or she fulfills Rhodes’ foreign language requirement. Students wishing to fulfill the F10 requirement in a language not previously studied should sign up for a course numbered 101 in that language. However, a student normally may not take a course numbered 101 in any language for academic credit if two or more years of that language were completed in high school.

In the modern languages, placement tests typically cover reading comprehension and grammar. Literature or culture courses given in translation do not satisfy the foreign language degree requirement.

Chinese

The mission of the current Chinese Studies Program is to educate students in Chinese language, literature, culture, history, politics and religion, and to provide students with academic knowledge and experiences to understand China as both an ancient civilization and an emerging global power.  In this spirit, Chinese Studies majors will also learn to appreciate their own positions vis-á-vis the challenges inherent in China's rise to global prominence, confronting difficult questions of nationalism and ethnocentrism.  As an interdisciplinary program, Chinese Studies draws on faculty expertise from various departments and prepares students for post-graduate studies.  China related employment opportunities and future engagement of China.

Requirements for a Major in Chinese Studies

A total of 36 credits as follows:
1. Chinese 301 (Advanced Chinese I) and 302 (Advanced Chinese II).
    China Maymester may be substituted for one of the above.

2. One of the following:
    Chinese 306: Introduction to East Asian Cultures
    Chinese 314: Introduction to Chinese Culture

3. Two of the following:
    Chinese 305: Modern Chinese Literature in Translation
    Chinese 307: Orientalism and Global China on Screen
    Chinese 315: Gender in Chinese Literature
    Chinese 316: Asian Urbanization/Cinema
    Chinese 320: Contemporary Chinese Cinema
    (Chinese 305-320 can be taken in conjunction with one credit of 311.)
    Chinese 409: Special Topics

4. Two of the following:
    History 282: Traditional China
    History 283: Modern China
    History 481: Cold War in East Asia
    Religious Studies 258/Philosophy 250: Asian Philosophies

5. One of the following:
    INTS 261: Government and Politics of China
    INTS 262: China’s Foreign Policy
    INTS 263: Comparative Political Economy of East Asia
    INTS 264: China-Taiwan-US Relations

6. Chinese 485: Senior Seminar

Requirements for a Minor in Chinese Studies

A total of twenty (20) credits in Chinese language (above the level of intermediate Chinese 202), literature and culture. The credits are spread across the following courses:

  1. 1. Chinese 301 and 302: Advanced Chinese*
  2. 2. Two of the Chinese Literature and Culture courses:
    1. Chinese 205: Modern Chinese Literature in Translation
    2. Chinese 206: Introduction to East Asian Cultures
    3. Chinese 210: Chinese Literary Heritage
    4. Chinese 214: Introduction to Chinese Culture
    5. Chinese 215: Gender in Chinese Literature
    6. Chinese 220: Contemporary Chinese Cinema
  3. 3. One of the following courses:
    1. History 282: Traditional China
    2. History 283: Modern China
    3. International Studies 261: Government and Politics of China
    4. International Studies 262: China’s Foreign Policy

*Students may substitute 409 for 301 or 302.

French

Honors in French

A minimum of 44 hours above the 200-level courses in French; a research paper on a specific literary topic; demonstrated proficiency in spoken and written French; and study abroad (at least one semester.)

Requirements for a Major in French

A total of forty (40) credits as follows:

  1. French 202*.
  2. French 301, 485, 486.
  3. French 321 or 322.
  4. French 323 or 324.
  5. Twenty (20) additional credits in French (5 four-credit courses) at the 300-400 level, three of which must be in literature.

Recommended: A second modern language or Latin; related courses in English, history, philosophy, and art.

Majors are strongly encouraged to spend their junior year in a French or Francophone university. Departmentally pre-approved courses taken there will normally be accepted as courses in the major.

Requirements for a Minor in French

A total of twenty (20) credits as follows:

  1. French 202*.
  2. French 301.
  3. French 323 or 324.
  4. Additional elective four-credit courses at the 300-400 level. French 202, 301, and 323 or 324 must be taken before elective courses above 324 are attempted.

Minors are strongly encouraged to spend at least one term of their junior year in a French or Francophone university. Departmentally pre-approved courses taken there, beyond French 324, will count as elective courses in the minor. French 305 counts as one elective course in the French minor.

*Students who place into the 300-level are neither required nor permitted to take French 202 for credit toward the major or minor. Students placed at the 300-level are still required to take a total of 40 credits for the major and 20 credits for the minor. Students who choose to take appropriate 300-400 level courses offered by the French section in English may count only one course taught in English toward the major or minor.

German

Honors in German

A minimum of 40 credits above German 201; a research paper on a specific literary, linguistic, or cultural topic; demonstrated proficiency in spoken and written German.

Requirements for a Major in German Studies

A total of nine courses (36 credits) above 201 as follows:

  1. German 301 and 302. Must be taken before any other 300-level course is attempted but may be taken concurrently with others. German 305 taken abroad may be substituted for one of these.
  2. German 320 and 321 (each must be taken in conjunction with one credit of 311.)
  3. Two of the following: German 340-348 (Students who wish to count these toward the German major will do portions of the work in German.)
  4. German 409 (topics vary.)
  5. German 202 may be applied to the major unless a student places into a higher level course in the curriculum.
  6. One of the following courses may be applied to the major: German 240-248. (Students who wish to count these toward the German major will do portions of the work in German.)
  7. German 486 (Senior Paper). Required for majors.

Majors are strongly encouraged to participate in the exchange program with the University of Tübingen, the University of Landau, or with a departmentally approved ISEP program during their junior years; equivalent courses from there will be accepted as substitutes.

Recommended: A second foreign language; related courses in English, international studies, philosophy, and history.

Requirements for a Minor in German Studies

A total of five courses (20 credits) above 201 as follows:

  1. German 301 and 302. Must be taken before any other 300-level course is attempted but may be taken concurrently with others. German 305 taken abroad may be substituted for one of these.
  2. At least one of the following: German 320-321 (each must be taken in conjunction with one credit of 311.)
  3. At least one course numbered 340 or higher.
  4. German 202 may be applied to the minor unless a student places into a higher level course in the curriculum.

Minors are also strongly encouraged to spend at least a semester at the University of Tübingen, the University of Landau, or with a departmentally approved ISEP program; equivalent courses from there will be accepted as substitutes.

Modern Languages and Literatures: Faculty and Staff

Professors

Michelle Mattson. 2004. B.A., University of Minnesota; M.A., Ph.D., Stanford University. (Twentieth-century German literature and culture, Gender and Sexuality Studies)

Associate Professors

Elizabeth Bridges. 2010. B.A. Hendrix College; M.A. University of Arkansas; Ph.D. Indiana University (Late-Eighteenth through Early Twentieth-century German Studies, Film Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies.)
Kathleen Anne Doyle. 1999. B.A., Saint Xavier College, Chicago; M.A. and Ph.D., University of Chicago. (Spanish Language, Modernism in Spain, Contemporary Peninsular Spanish literature, Gender and Sexuality Studies.)
Han Li. 2008. B.A. Nanjing University; Ph.D. University of California, Irvine  (Literature and culture of Late Imperial China.)P.
Eric Henager. 1995. Chair. B.A., Rhodes College; M.A. and Ph.D., University of Illinois. (Spanish language, Contemporary Spanish-American literatures and cultures, popular culture and literature, Latin American Studies.)
Alexandra Kostina. 1996. M.A. Novgorod State University; Ph.D. Gornyi University/Russian State Pedagogical University (Russian Language, Linguistics, and Culture.)
Felix Kronenberg. 2009. M.A. University of Regensburg, Germany; Dr.phil. University of Regensburg, Germany (Language Acquisition and Technology, Stereotypes in Advertising, German Culture.)
Laura Loth. 2009. B.A. College of William and Mary; M.A. and Ph.D., University of Minnesota (Nineteenth- and Twentieth-century French Studies, Francophone Literatures, Gender and Sexuality Studies.)
Shira Malkin. 1990. Doctorat de Troisiéme Cycle, Université de Paris VII; Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo. (French language and literature, drama, intercultural education, and translation.)
Elizabeth Marcela Pettinaroli. 2007. B.A. Franklin and Marshall College; M.A. and Ph.D., University of Virginia (Early Modern Hispanic literature, Spanish American literature, Space and Place.)
Alberto del Pozo Martínez. 2008. Licenciado en Filologia, Universidad de Zaragoza. M.A. and Ph.D. Vanderbilt University (Modern Spanish American Literature and Literary Theory.)
Chia-rong Wu. 2011. B.A. National Kaohsiung Normal University; M.A. National Dong Hwa University; Ph.D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Modern Chinese Literature and Culture.)

Assistant Professors

Rachel Noël Bauer. 2008. B.A. Duquesne University; M.A. Purdue University; Ph.D. Vanderbilt University (Early Modern Spanish Literature, Golden Age Narrative, Don Quixote de la Mancha.)
Brandy Brown. 2013. B.A. Middle Tennessee State University; M.A. The Pennsylvania State University (Medieval and Early Modern French Literature, Medieval and Modern Arthuriana, Genre Studies, Print Culture Studies.)
Clara Pascual-Argente. 2011. B.A. and M.A. Universidad de Salamanca; Ph.D. Georgetown University (Medieval and Early Modern Spanish Literature, Film Studies.)
Catherine Sundt. 2012. B.A. Grand Valley State University; M.A. and Ph.D. The Ohio State University (Modern Spanish Literature and Urban Literature)

Instructors

Nora Jabbour. 2002. B.A. Universidad Rafael Landívar; M.A. Mississippi State University (Spanish Language and Hispanic Cultures). 

Staff

Christy Waldkirch 2005. Departmental Assistant.

Modern Languages and Literatures: General Courses

Modern Languages 150. Selected Foreign Languages.

Credits: Variable.

Certain foreign languages not listed above as regular course offerings are taught on occasion. Information concerning languages not regularly taught may be obtained from the Registrar or the department chair.

Modern Languages 240. Language Acquisition and Pedagogy.

Spring. Credits: 4

This course is a survey of a range of issues related to language acquisition and teaching. Among the areas covered are instructional methodologies and approaches, second language acquisition theories, language skill development, language teaching and learning technology, communicative and cultural competency, and assessment.

Rhodes offers a secondary licensure program within the Teaching and Learning track of the Educational Studies major. This program prepares students to teach middle and/or high school in one of eleven endorsement areas, including the following languages: Chinese, English, French, German, Latin, Russian, and Spanish. The course of study for secondary licensure students is designed with guidance from faculty members in the discipline in which the student is being certified as well as members of the Educational Studies Program. All secondary licensure candidates are required to double major in Educational Studies and their endorsement discipline.

Modern Languages 280. Introduction to General Linguistics.

Spring. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F9.

The Introduction to General Linguistics course presents language as a specific object of knowledge, thought, science, and philosophy. Students will be introduced to the major linguistic theories and examine language as a system and structure at its various levels, as well as a tool to guide, plan, and monitor human activity. Offered in alternate years.

Modern Languages 460. Internship.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 1-4.

Degree Requirements: F11

Internships in the departmental languages are occasionally available for language majors and permit a qualified student to receive academic credit for an internship experience on or off campus, for example by working with a business, a non-profit organization, or within the department itself. The internship, which requires of the student an advanced competence in a foreign language, must entail a significant encounter with a foreign language. Working with a faculty mentor, students must submit a project proposal for the internship prior to the beginning of the internship itself. The completed project will be graded by the faculty mentor. Intradepartmental internships will be reserved for students planning to continue their studies in a foreign language and culture beyond the undergraduate level. Such internal internships will involve working with a faculty mentor on projects of a diverse nature that seek to enhance the program offerings of the language section. Placements must be approved by the faculty mentor who teaches the language in question and the chair of the department. Internship credit will not be awarded retroactively and does not count toward the total number of credits required for the major.
Pass/Fail only.

 

Russian

Programs Abroad

Rhodes College maintains a close relationship with the Gornyi Institute in St. Petersburg, where the Russian Studies Program’s Maymesters take place (see 209, 309, 256 descriptions). Through affiliation with Bard College, Rhodes students of Russian can study at the Smolny Institute of St. Petersburg for a semester or a year. In addition, students studying Russian can spend a summer, semester, or academic year in Russia through such nationally-recognized programs as the Council for International and Educational Exchange (CIEE) in St. Petersburg or the American Council on the Teaching of Russian (ACTR) in Moscow.

Requirements for a Major in Russian Studies

A total of forty (40) credits above Russian 201 as follows:

  1. Russian 202.
  2. Russian 205; and either 212 or Humanities 201. (Russian literature track)
  3. Two courses from Russian 301, 302, 309.
  4. Russian 410, 486.
  5. Russian 300 or 400.
  6. One course from Russian 215, 255, ML280.
  7. One course in Russian history approved by the program coordinator.

Recommended (do not count toward the 41 credits needed for the major): Economics 323 (Classical and Marxian Political Economy) and IS 284 (Russian Successor States.) Majors are encouraged to spend at least one semester studying in Russia.

Requirements for a Minor in Russian Studies

A total of twenty (20) credits as follows:

  1. Russian 301, 302, and 410.
  2. Two of the following: Russian 205, 212, 215, 255, 300, 400.

Minors are encouraged to spend at least one Maymester in Russia.

Russian: Offerings

101-102. Elementary Russian.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 4-4.

Elementary grammar, reading, and conversation, supplemented by materials on Russian culture.

201-202. Intermediate Russian.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 4-4.

Degree Requirement: F10 for 201.

Intermediate grammar and continued training in conversation and composition, supplemented by assignments in the Language Center. Reading of Russian texts of graded difficulty.

Prerequisites: Russian 101-102 or equivalent.

205. The Russian Mind.

Fall. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F4.

Study and analysis of the major intellectual currents of modern Russian history through literature, religious philosophy, and film. The study of these works is intended to identify some important attributes of the Russian national identity. Literary works will include those by Blok, Akhmatova, Soloukhin, Rasputin, and Petrushevskaya. Works of religious philosophy are by Soloviev, Florensky, Berdiaev, and Bulgakov. Films will include Dersu Uzala, The Barber of Siberia, and The Russian Ark.

209. Russian in Russia.

Summer. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F10 for 209, F11.

A 3-4 week guided encounter with the language and culture aimed at solidifying vocabulary and grammar previously acquired. A significant cultural component is part of the course. Takes place in May-June.

212. Masterpieces of Russian Literature in Translation.

Fall. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F4.

Reading of representative works by major Russian writers of the nineteenth century (including Pushkin, Pavlova, Gogol, Goncharov, Soboleva, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Dostoevsky). The literary works include Eugene Onegin, supernatural tales by Gogol, Oblomov, The Cossacks, Notes from Underground, and Fathers and Children. These works will be studied for their individual merit, what they illuminate about nineteenth-century Russian society, and their contribution to the rise of the Russian novel. All works are read in translation.

215. Giants of Russia’s Silver Age: Soloviev, Blok, and Rachmaninoff.

Spring. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F5, F9.

Study of the aesthetic, thematic, and personal connections among three of Russia’s towering figures: Vladimir Soloviev, Alexander Blok, and Sergei Rachmaninoff. The course will examine in depth the creative works of the philosopher-poet Soloviev, the poet-dramatist Blok, and the composer-pianist Rachmaninoff (for whom poetry was second only to music). Master themes and global concepts linking the three creative artists include the yearning for harmony; exploration of Russian Orthodox religiosity; elevation of the –eternal feminineî of Sophia (the body of God); and connection between beauty and goodness. Representative philosophical, poetic, and musical works, respectively, of the three artists will be examined. Offered in alternate years. Scheduled for Spring, 2013.

Prerequisite: At least one course from the following departments or programs: Music, Philosophy, Religious Studies, or Russian Studies.

255. Catherine the Great and the Enlightenment: The Italian-Russian Connection.

Fall or Spring. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F5, F9.

In this course students investigate the Italian-Russian connections in three major areas of cultural production during the reign of Catherine the Great: music, literature, and architecture. Creative thinkers whose works will be studied include Bortnyansky, Paisiello, Casanova, Beccaria, Rastrelli, and Quarenghi. Students will learn features of the European and Russian Enlightenments, study the intricacies of Russian court culture, and explore the institution of patronage. The course aims to develop an understanding of cross-cultural fertilization and some major differences between Mediterranean and Slavic cultures. It is complemented by an optional, though highly recommended, three-week study trip to Italy and Russia (See Russian 256). Offered in alternate years. Scheduled for Fall, 2012.

256. Catherine the Great and the Italian-Russian Connection.

Summer. Credits: 0-1.

Degree Requirements: F11.

This Maymester program examines the musical, literary, and architectural connections between Italy and Russia during the reign of Catherine the Great. It takes participants to three cities: Rome, Milan, and St. Petersburg. In Rome students will attend lectures at LUMSA (university adjacent to the Vatican), attend a musical performance at the Teatro dell’Opera, visit places associated with Giacomo Casanova, and investigate architectural monuments by Italian architects whom Catherine attracted to Russia. In Milan participants will attend an opera at the Teatro all Scala and visit sites associated with Cesare Beccaria. In St. Petersburg students will attend performances in the Great Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic and the Mariinsky Theatre, and will study major architectural ensembles. Takes place in May and June.

300. Dostoevsky.

Spring. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F4.

This course explores selected works by Dostoevsky in the context of the rise of the Russian novel. The course will examine in depth several short works by the writer, as well as the novels The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov. Concentration is on the major literary, philosophical, and religious issues Dostoevsky raises in his prose, as well as how these issues better enable us to understand the Russian mind. All works are read in translation.

301-302. Advanced Russian.

Fall ,Spring. Credits: 4-4.

Advanced grammar, with greater emphasis on the refinement of conversation and composition skills. Discussion of topics related to contemporary life in Russia.

Prerequisites: Russian 201-202 or equivalent.

309. Russian in Russia.

Summer. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F10 for 209, F11.

A 3-4 week guided encounter with the language and culture aimed at solidifying vocabulary and grammar previously acquired. A significant cultural component is part of the course. Takes place in May-June.

400. Russian Film: Film Theory.

Spring. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F5.

Introduction to the ideological and aesthetic forces that have shaped the development of Soviet/Russian film, with particular attention to various film theories. Films of major directors, such as Eisenstein, Pudovkin, Tarkovsky, Kulidzhanov, and Sokurov will be studied. All films are subtitled; course is taught in English. (Cross-listed with English 382.) Offered in alternate years.

410. Analytical Reading.

Fall. Credits: 4.

This course aims to teach students the strategies of understanding texts of high literary quality by analyzing elements of given texts in their complexity. While focusing mainly on psycho-poetic aspects of reading activity, the course also introduces formal approaches to text analysis, such as identifying the stylistic devices and expressive means employed by the authors.

486. Senior Seminar.

Spring. Credits: 4.

Students will be assigned individual research topics associated with the essential concept of the Russian Idea, give weekly progress reports, which will involve analytical discussion, and present their results orally and in writing at the end of the course. Special attention will be given to assigned readings from the Russian press and from Russian literature.

495-496. Honors Tutorial.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 4-8, 4-8.

Spanish

Honors in Spanish

A minimum of 40 credits above Spanish 202, reading in a field of specialization and preparation of a paper in that field; examinations covering Spanish literature, Spanish American literature and civilization, Spanish grammar and Spanish civilization, and the field of specialization. Approval by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures is required.

Requirements for a Major in Spanish

A total of thirty-six (36) credits above Spanish 202. At least five courses must be completed at or above the 310 level. Required courses are the following:

  1. Spanish 301 or 302. (the other may be taken as an elective)
  2. Spanish 303, 306, and 486.
  3. Five elective courses, at least four of which must be numbered 310 or above.

Requirements for a Minor in Spanish

A total of twenty (20) credits above Spanish 202. At least one course must be completed at or above the 310 level. Required courses are the following:

  1. Spanish 301 or 302. (the other may be taken as an elective)
  2. Spanish 303 or 306. (the other may be taken as an elective)
  3. Three elective courses, at least one of which must be numbered 310 or above.

The Language Learning Center

The Language Center is a support and resource space for language students and faculty. It offers a variety of technology, digital media, and non-digital resources. It offers professional development opportunities for Rhodes language faculty and curricular support, and functions as space for social interaction.