Sistine Chapel Ceiling - painted by Michelangelo (Creative Commons, Bren Buenaluz)

International Cultures are made up of a body of courses offered by the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Cultures. These courses are aimed at providing a cross-cultural approach to understanding today’s multicultural world. They involve art, film, popular culture, historical perspectives, and literature. Most courses fulfill Division II and special designations (especially R, S, and L) in the University Core Curriculum.

The courses listed below are chronologically arranged according to cultural areas (e.g., courses on East Asia are numbered 120-129, 220-229, 320-329). For courses in classical cultures and languages (CL), see Classical Studies.

Generic: 100-109, 201-209, 301-309, 401-409

Africa: 110-119, 210-219, 310-319

East Asian: 120-129, 220-229, 320-329

Eastern European: 130-139, 230-239, 330-339

Francophone: 140-149, 240-249, 340-349

Germanic: 150-159, 250-259, 350-359

Italian: 160-169, 260-269, 360-369

Spanish-speaking: 170-179, 270-279, 370-379

Note: All International Cultures courses are taught in English.

International Cultures I

103. INTERNATIONAL FAIRY TALES 3 cr. The historical roots of fairy tales as well as their literary merits; fairy tales as a reflection of time, place, and social norms. Class discussions and independent research. In addition to in-depth study, students write their own interpretation of a fairy tale that focuses on the elements of the genre as presented and developed during the course.

120. JAPANESE CULTURE AND SOCIETY 3 cr. Contemporary Japan viewed from diverse perspectives: religion, businessmen and women, educational system, food, urban and rural areas, traditional and new cultural phenomena, traditional and contemporary dramas, ‘serious’ literature and ‘manga’ (comic books), high culture and mass culture.

140. FRANCE TODAY 3 cr. Emphasis on understanding French culture and society together. Topics include historical influences on contemporary culture; French patterns of daily behavior; artistic expression; and societal, religious, and political institutions. Topics serve as the basis for in-class discussion and composition assignments.

141. ROMANCING A CITY: PARIS THROUGH ART, FILM, AND LITERATURE 3 cr. The heritage of Parisian architecture, painting, music, film, and literature as they reflect life through the centuries.

145. FASHION IN FRENCH LITERATURE AND THE ARTS 3 cr.How clothes relate to culture and social interactions, as well as national, religious, and ethnic identities.

146. THE FRENCH IN THE AMERICAS 3 cr. A literature and culture course in three parts: Part I – North America, primarily Québec and other parts of French-speaking Canada; Part II – North America, with special emphasis on New England and Louisiana; Part III – the French Caribbean region, with special emphasis on Haiti and Martinique, the impact of slavery and the legacy of colonialism; focus on diversity 2 novels and epistolary literature, media, class discussion, individual and paired projects.

160. ITALY TODAY 3 cr. Historical and cultural background of modern Italy. Emphasis on themes such as immigration, the role of women in politics, and the reasons underlying Italy’s current zero birth rate.

162. ITALIAN AMERICAN CULTURE AND CIVILIZATION THROUGH LITERATURE 3 cr. (Formerly ML 260) Prerequisite: EN 111-112 or equivalent. The Italian American experience from the late nineteenth century to the present. Sociopolitical issues seen through literary and other readings, and through cinema.

163. WOMEN IN ITALIAN SOCIETY THROUGH LITERATURE AND FILM 3 cr. The shift in social, political, and economic roles of women in 20th-century Italy. Focus on major Italian women writers and films that depict these changes.

164. ITALIAN LITERARY PARKS 3 cr. The relationship between writing and the writer’s homeland. Focus on major Italian writers and their literary, physical, and emotional portrayal of their place of origin.

165. MODERN ROME IN LITERATURE AND FILM 3 cr.Representation of the city of Rome as capital city of Italy and center of Italian political and cultural life.

170. CONTEMPORARY SPANISH CULTURE THROUGH FILM 3 cr. Contemporary Spanish culture since the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) as seen through a series of films and cultural texts. Explores how the cinema as a medium was used to critique and undermine the restrictive cultural politics of the Franco dictatorship.

171. CONTEMPORARY LATIN AMERICAN CINEMA 3 cr. Major trends and movements in Latin American cinema from the 1980s to the present. Through the analysis of representative films, students are introduced to a variety of cinematic styles, with particular focus on the historical contexts in which the films were produced.

198. SUPERVISED STUDY 1-3 cr. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Supervised independent study on special topics. May be repeated with a different topic.

199. SPECIAL TOPICS 1-3 cr. One or several aspects of a culture or cultures—either in the country of origin or as American heritage—especially as found in its language, literature, ideas, or art forms. May be repeated with a different topic.

International Cultures II

210. LITERATURE FROM FRENCH-SPEAKING AFRICA 3 cr.Emphasizes various genres of literature by African authors and the heritage of French-speaking countries which were part of the French colonial empire until the 1960s.

220. JAPANESE POPULAR CULTURE 3 cr. Focuses on the culture of ordinary Japanese, their interests, lifestyles, and activities, rather than the aesthetics of the elites.

221. A HALF-CENTURY OF POSTWAR WRITING IN JAPAN 3 cr.The works of authors such as Mishima, Tanizaki, Abe, and the Nobel Prize winners Kawabata and Oe.

230. SHORT FICTION OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY: RUSSIAN, SLOVAK, CZECH 3 cr. (Formerly ML 205) Survey of translated short stories and/or novellas from the nineteenth-century literatures of these Slavic peoples depicting the society, history, and culture of that era.

231. SHORT FICTION SINCE 1900: RUSSIAN, SLOVAK, CZECH 3 cr. (Formerly ML 206) Survey of translated short stories and/or novellas from the literatures of these Slavic peoples since 1900, depicting recent society, history, and culture.

232. HUNGARIAN CULTURE AND SOCIETY 3 cr. Aspects of contemporary Hungarian society and cultural traditions that focuses on outstanding representatives and works of Hungarian history and politics, ethnography, literature, music, film, and fine arts.

240. SUB-SAHARAN FRANCOPHONE NOVELS 3 cr. Major novels by African writers that represent the life, culture, and aspirations of the colonial as well as post-colonial periods of the French-speaking countries south of the Sahara.

260. ITALIAN LITERATURE AND FILM 3 cr. Study of Italian novels that have cinematic counterparts, concentrating on how the spectacle of film gives a different reading from that of the novel to show the changing conditions of 20th and 21st-century Italy.

262. FAITH, REASON, AND ART IN ITALIAN AND ITALIAN AMERICAN LITERATURE 3 cr. (Formerly ML 270) How faith, reason, and art interact in Italian and Italian American literature.

263. MODERN ITALY AND MASS MIGRATION THROUGH LITERATURE 3 cr. (Formerly ML 275) Historical and cultural background of modern Italy, especially as found in the works of Ignazio Silone. Study of the conditions of southern Italy which led to mass migration to the U.S. in the nineteenth century.

264. MIRRORING THE SELF IN ITALIAN LITERATURE: FROM EPIC POETRY TO FAIRY TALES 3 cr. Analysis of narcissism in Italian literature through examination of the mirrored image.

270. ART AND SOCIETY IN EARLY MODERN SPAIN 3 cr. The relationship of art to society, politics, religion, and imperial ideology. Introduces students to the idea that art can meet objectives that go beyond aesthetic values.

298. SUPERVISED STUDY 1-3 cr. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Supervised independent study on special topics. May be repeated with a different topic.

299. SPECIAL TOPICS 1-4 cr. One or several aspects of a culture or cultures—either in the country of origin or as American heritage—especially as found in its language, literature, ideas, or art forms. May be repeated with a different topic.

International Cultures III

302. INTERNATIONAL CULTURES THROUGH CINEMA 3 cr.Major trends and movements that have emerged from various national cinemas and contributed to the historical development of film as an international art form. Focus on selected films and how they reflect cultural/historical contexts and global creative confluences. Course materials offer a comprehensive culture-based overview of international film history.

303. INTERNATIONAL FILM AND LITERATURE 3 cr.Experiencing “culture” critically by analyzing film and literary works in a global context. Emphasis on establishing connections between literary and cinematic works from majority and minority cultures; comparative methods to understand literary diversity; critical knowledge of cinematic and literary themes, motifs, structures, narratives, points of view, and values that are typical of various regions of the world.

304. MASTERPIECES OF WORLD LITERATURE 3 cr. Survey of translated literary works by authors from one or more cultures/populations involving any time period and one or more literary genre(s).

340. CHINA THROUGH THE EYES OF THE FRENCH 3 cr.French literature within the context of correspondence, travel literature, and narratives, with a particular focus on works authored by Far East-bound French travelers, missionaries, and diplomats.

343. FRANCO-ITALIAN CROSS-CULTURAL RELATIONS 3 cr.Italian influences on the political, religious, artistic, and social structure of French culture.

350. LITERARY REPRESENTATIONS OF THE HOLOCAUST 3 cr.Continuities and differences in the representation of the Holocaust stemming from authors’ historical, emotional, and cultural relationship to the event and their languages, focus, and message.

351. DICTATORSHIP IN 20TH-CENTURY EUROPE: PERSPECTIVES, PROBLEMS, REPRESENTATIONS 3 cr.Personal and collective experiences of dictatorships in Europe, including the National Socialist Regime and the German Democratic Republic.

360. DANTE’S DIVINE COMEDY 3 cr. (Formerly ML 320) Study in modern English translation of Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise focusing on theological issues and literary content. Dante is examined as both a supreme poetic craftsman and a Church reformer.

361. ITALIAN HUMANISM AND RENAISSANCE 3 cr. (Formerly ML 325). Study of Italian Humanism and the Renaissance through the writings of Petrarch, Alberti, Machiavelli, Michelangelo, Collonna, and Leonardo da Vinci. Includes an intensive, on-site learning tour. Travel fee required.

363. FRAMING GRACE: ARTISTS AND POETS IN THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 3 cr. Study of literary theory as seen in the poetry of Vittoria Collonna and Angelo Poliziano and in the artistic representation of Michelangelo Buonarroti and Alessandoro Botticelli.

370. HISPANIC WOMEN WRITERS 3 cr. Reading and analysis of the writings of contemporary U.S. Latina and Latin American women, such as Sandra Cisneros, Julia Alvarez, Cristina Garcia, Esmeralda Santiago, Isabel Allende, Zoe Valdes, Luisa Valenzuela, and Laura Esquivel. Takes a literary, cultural, and comparative approach, while emphasizing critical thinking and writing as a process.

398. SUPERVISED STUDY 1-3 cr. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Supervised independent study on special topics. May be repeated with a different topic.

399. SPECIAL TOPICS 1-3 cr. One or several aspects of a culture or cultures—either in the country of origin or as American heritage—especially as found in its language, literature, ideas, or art forms. May be repeated with a different topic.

International Cultures IV

498. ADVANCED SUPERVISED STUDY 1-3 cr. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Supervised independent study on special topics. For advanced students. May be repeated with a different topic.

499. ADVANCED SUPERVISED STUDY 1-3 cr. For advanced students. Occasional course on a selected topic announced in advance. May be repeated with a different topic.