Skip to Main Content

2021-2022 Catalog

Foreign Languages and Literatures

Department Head

Professor Geoffrion-Vinci

Professor Donnell (Acting Head, Fall Semester)

Professor Duhl (Acting Head, Spring Semester)

The curriculum in Foreign Languages & Literatures (FLL) is designed to help students develop linguistic proficiency and cultural competency, both of which facilitate freedom of thought and movement throughout people's personal and professional lives. In advanced courses, students gain an understanding of the literature, politics, history, and cultures of the world regions in which the target language is (or was) spoken. Joining Art, English, Music, Philosophy, and Religious Studies, FLL belongs to the Humanities Division of the College; as such, the Department is firmly committed to the "mind-freeing" educational mission of the liberal arts.

FLL offers majors and minors in French, German, and Spanish, as well as minors in a variety of other languages. Course work in the Department's nine languages also plays a significant role in many interdisciplinary degree programs at Lafayette: Chinese and Japanese support the major and minor in Asian Studies; Russian language and literature are the backbone of the major in Russian & East European Studies; Greek and Latin are the foundation of the minor in Classical Civilization; Modern Hebrew is essential to the minor in Jewish Studies; Spanish is the mainstay of the minor in Latin American & Caribbean Studies. FLL is also home to Comparative Literature, which offers a wide selection of courses taught in English.

The Department encourages all majors to take at least one course in Comparative Literature and to participate in an approved study-abroad program, either for an entire academic year, a college semester, or a summer (i.e., summer programs sponsored by Lafayette and other Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges).

Language course placement: Language level and subsequent course placement will be determined by the Foreign Languages & Literatures Department. All students should submit any relevant AP, IB, or SAT2 subject test scores to the Registrar or, when possible, take the online placement exam prior to registering for a language course.

Foreign Languages and Literatures Courses