ROMANCE LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES
2014—2015

Professors: Andrew Curran, French; Bernardo Antonio Gonzalez, Spanish; Ellen Nerenberg, Italian; Jeff Rider, French; Norman R. Shapiro, French

Associate Professors: Michael Armstrong-Roche, Spanish, Chair; Robert Conn, Spanish; Typhaine Leservot, French, College of Letters; Catherine Poisson, French

Assistant Professors: Maria Ospina, Spanish; Stéphanie Ponsavady, French; Olga Sendra Ferrer, Spanish

Adjunct Professors: Octavio Flores-Cuadra, Spanish; Ana Perez-Girones, Spanish

Adjunct Assistant Professor: Louise Neary, Spanish

Adjunct Instructor: Camilla Zamboni, Italian

Adjunct Lecturer: Catherine Ostrow, French

Departmental Advising Experts 2014-2015: Jeff Rider, French Studies; Octavio Flores-Cuadra, Hispanic Literatures and Cultures; Michael Armstrong-Roche, Italian Studies; Michael Armstrong-Roche, Romance Studies

Department/Program Home Page

Department/Program Description.

The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures (RL&L) is a cornerstone of the humanities at Wesleyan and the University’s gateway to the French-, Italian-, and Spanish-speaking worlds. We represent literary and cultural traditions that extend from the Middle Ages to the present. We teach languages, literatures, and cultures that span Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Our students develop and apply their knowledge and skills through the extracurricular activities and study-abroad opportunities that we promote. Through a network of collaborations across departments and divisions, we support a wide array of majors, academic programs, and initiatives.

Additional Information.

Students interested in enrolling in French, Italian, or Spanish at the elementary or intermediate levels are urged to do so during their first and sophomore years.

Department policy gives priority to first-year and sophomore students in our language classes (numbered 101-112) to allow students to study abroad and to meet the requirements of those programs requiring language study. Juniors and seniors who wish to take elementary and intermediate language courses should submit an online enrollment request and attend the first class. They may be accepted during the drop/add period if seats become available. Should a junior or senior enroll in the first course of an ampersand sequence (such as 101-102), he or she will have priority for the second course, just like first-year and sophomore students.

Major Description.

French Studies

French studies major provides students with a command of the French language sufficient to live and work successfully in a French-speaking environment. It enables them to develop an in-depth knowledge of French-language literatures and critical approaches and, through it, an awareness of French and Francophone modes of thought and expression. It also offers them the opportunity to develop simultaneously a broad knowledge of French and Francophone cultures through a flexible, interdisciplinary program combining course work in a number of fields that may serve as the basis for future work or further academic or professional studies.

Admission to the Major.

Our criteria for admission in the major is a grade of B or higher in FREN215 or its equivalent.

Major Requirements.

The major consists of a minimum of eight courses:

* Four FREN courses numbered 220-399.

  • FREN215 or the equivalent is the prerequisite for all FREN courses numbered 220 or higher.
  • Courses numbered 220-299 are introductory courses intended for students who have completed FREN215, who have taken an equivalent course elsewhere, who have placed out of FREN215 through the placement test. In general, these courses are designed for students who have not yet studied abroad in a French-speaking country.
  • 300-level courses are upper-level courses intended for students who have already completed two courses in French beyond FREN215 or who have studied abroad in a French-speaking country for at least a semester:

* Four other courses whose content is devoted substantially to the study of French or Francophone literature, history, culture, or society.

These courses may be in French or English and may include

  • Courses from the French section's normal offering of 200- or 300-level courses.
  • Courses listed as FRST (French Studies) or FIST (French, Italian, Spanish in Translation).
  • Courses taken through approved study-abroad programs.
  • Courses offered by other departments and programs on campus that treat French or Francophone culture, politics, or history. These courses must be approved by the student's major advisor.

A minimum grade of B- is required for courses taken on campus to count toward the FRST major or the RMST major where the student is combining French with one or two other Romance cultures. Starting with the graduating class of 2015, a minimum grade of B will be required for courses taken on campus to count toward the FRST major or the Romance Studeis (RMST) major.

Admission to the Minor.

Our criteria for admission in the minor is a grade of B or higher in FREN215 or its equivalent.

Minor Requirements.

The French studies minor provides students with a command of the French language sufficient to live and work in a French-speaking environment. It enables them to develop a good knowledge of French-language literatures and cultures, and, through it, an awareness of French and Francophone modes of thought and expression. The minor consists of a minimum of 5 courses.

* Four FREN courses numbered 220-399:

  • FREN215 or the equivalent is the prerequisite for all FREN courses numbered 220 or higher.
  • Courses numbered 220-299 are introductory courses intended for students who have completed FREN215, who have taken an equivalent course elsewhere, who have placed out of FREN215 through the placement test. In general, these courses are designed for students who have not yet studied abroad in a French-speaking country.
  • 300-level courses are upper-level courses intended for students who have already completed two courses in French beyond FREN215 or who have studied abroad in a French-speaking country for at least a semester:

* One FRST course:

The other credit may be in French or English and may include any one of the following course:

  • A course from the French section’s normal offering numbered 220-399.
  • A course listed as FRST (French Studies) or FIST (French, Italian, Spanish in Translation).
  • A course taken through approved study-abroad programs.
  • A course offered by other departments and programs on campus that deal partly or primarily with France or a Francophone region. This course must be approved by the student’s minor advisor.

Although there is no overall GPA requirement to stay in the minor, a grade of B or higher is required to receive minor credit for a course.

Study Abroad.

All majors are strongly encouraged to spend at least one semester studying abroad in a French-speaking country. We encourage students to participate in Wesleyan's program in Paris (the Vassar-Wesleyan Program), but other Wesleyan-approved study-abroad programs currently exist in Cameroon, France (Aix-en-Provence), Madagascar, and Senegal. Wesleyan also sends one exchange student a year to the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris. Students who have strong academic reasons for wishing to participate in other French-based programs may also petition the International Studies Committee for permission to do so. For information on the approved programs and the petition process, contact the Office of International Studies, 105 Fisk Hall (gwinter@wesleyan.edu).

Honors.

See the department web site or click on AP, Transfer of Credit, Honors, Capstone & Amphersand Courses

Advanced Placement.

See the department web site or click on AP, Transfer of Credit, Honors, Capstone & Amphersand Courses

Transfer Credit.

See the department web site or click on AP, Transfer of Credit, Honors, Capstone & Amphersand Courses

Major Description.

Hispanic Literatures and Cultures

The major is designed for students committed to achieving fluency in Spanish and a broad and deep knowledge of the literatures and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. The major emphasizes both the historical interest and cultural diversity of a world whose geographic reach is vast and whose heritage extends from the Middle Ages to the present. The major focuses primarily on literary and related modes of representation (performance and the visual media). It recognizes course work outside the department insofar as such courses bear on the Spanish-speaking world and contribute to a fuller understanding of the themes writers and artists routinely address or the conditions for literary, theatrical, and media production. Students majoring in Hispanic literatures and cultures have the flexibility to tailor the major to their intellectual interests as long as they meet our expectations for coherence.

Admission to the Major.

Students qualify for this major with a grade of B or better in SPAN221 or the equivalent.

Major Requirements.
  • Nine courses numbered 221 and above.
  • Five courses in SPAN taken on Wesleyan’s Middletown campus.
  • Breadth requirements: at least one course centered on periods before 1700 (Medieval, Spanish Golden Age or colonial Latin America, normally SPAN230-249), post-1700 Spain (normally SPAN250-269) , and post-1800 Latin America (normally SPAN270-299). Breadth requirements may be fulfilled at Wesleyan or abroad.
  • Students will take at least one course in SPAN at Wesleyan during their senior year. (Tutorials and language courses do not count.)
  • Students are expected to earn a B or better in courses that count for the major. Students wishing to count a course with a lower grade toward the major are expected to consult with the Spanish section about it as soon as the grade is recorded.
  • Courses must be taken for a letter grade, unless the student is also majoring in COL.

Options:

  • Students may apply up to four units for courses taken in Spanish in related fields on selected programs abroad. (See criteria for related-field courses taken in Spanish and English and list of selected programs below.)
  • Of the nine required courses, students may take one course in a related field through the medium of English (bearing in mind they must take at least 5 courses in Spanish on the Wesleyan campus).
  • Students who do not study abroad may, with approval from the advisor, take up to two courses in a related field through the medium of English.
  • Special provision for students interested in majoring in both HISP and LAST: Students may count no more than four courses toward satisfying requirements of both majors concurrently.

Related-Field Courses Taken Abroad in Spanish

Courses in related fields that count toward the major will have a strong interpretive dimension, with a focus on reading, writing, discussion, representation, and/or reflection on the discipline's or subject's history or debates within it. Such courses will not, therefore, be about gathering, measuring, evaluating, or memorizing empirical data or theories in that field nor will they be about research, mathematical, or statistical methods.  Courses that meet the above criteria are commonly found in sociology, anthropology, history, art history, music, and philosophy. They can also be found in government, economics, and psychology when the goal is not mastery of critical terms, concepts, and methods proper to the field in question but rather critical engagement with how the field is represented, conceived, or used in public (i.e., not just disciplinary) debates or contexts. Normally, the kinds of knowledge and information learned in these courses bear more or less directly on the kinds typically conveyed in our department courses.

Related-Field Courses Taken at Wesleyan in English

Courses in related fields that count toward the major have a strong interpretive dimension, with a focus on representation and/or discourse.  These courses, therefore, are not primarily about empirical analysis, the measurement and application of data, or mathematical or statistical models. Courses that we accept are commonly found in sociology, anthropology, history, art history, music, and philosophy.  They can also be found in government, economics, and psychology when the goal is not mastery of critical terms, concepts, and methods proper to the field in question but critical engagement with how the field is represented, conceived, or used.  The idea is to ensure intellectual coherence in your study plan, i.e., that the courses you take for the major in related fields complement the kinds of knowledge we impart and the problems we explore in the Spanish section's courses on campus.

Study Abroad.

The following programs abroad are recommended for majors in Hispanic literatures and cultures:

  • Vassar-Wesleyan Program in Madrid (Spain)
  • CIEE in Buenos Aires (Argentina)
  • Middlebury in Chile (Various cities)
  • CIEE in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic)
  • IFSA Butler at the Universidad Autónoma (Mérida, Mexico)

Students may petition for ad hoc approval of other programs abroad. For more information concerning study-abroad opportunities, visit the Office of International Studies, 105 Fisk Hall.

Capstone Experience.

Students are encouraged to present a substantial piece of work during their senior year that is comparative and transnational in nature, either within the framework of a single course (a term paper, for instance) or as their senior essay or thesis.

Honors.

Go to the romance languages and literatures web site, click on AP, Transfer of Credit, Honors, Capstone, & Ampersand Courses

Advanced Placement.

Go to the romance languages and literatures web site, click on AP, Transfer of Credit, Honors, Capstone & Ampersand Courses

Transfer Credit.

Go to the romance languages and literatures web site, click on AP, Transfer of Credit, Honors, Capstone & Ampersand Courses

Major Description.

Italian Studies

The study of Italian language, literature, and culture brings into proximity humanistic tradition and global concerns. The excellent language training Wesleyan students receive serves as the base from which to explore Italian history, culture, and society from the Middle Ages to the present. The rich and renewing curriculum enables students to develop and refine capabilities Wesleyan has defined as essential. Those capabilities that Italian studies fosters and increases include writing, speaking, interpretation, intercultural literacy, and effective citizenship, skills that are in service to a variety of professions and courses of study. The small classes, typically conducted through the medium of Italian, a characteristic of Wesleyan’s Italian curriculum, allow professors and students to work closely on a variety of critical topics. The cross-disciplinary composition of the major allows students to explore their interests in an array of different departments (history, the College of Letters, art history, classics).

Major Requirements.
  • Nine courses above the level of 102 (i.e., 111 and higher). Sophomores who are satisfactorily completing ITAL102 and intend to pursue Italian will be admitted to the major even though that course does not itself count for the major.
  • At least one course taken in Italian at Wesleyan after study abroad.
  • All courses that count toward the major must be taken for a grade.

Allowance: 

  1. One course of these nine may be taken through the medium of English.
  2. Students on the ECCO Program only who take a course at the Università di Bologna in the semesters listed may  take the course on a Cr/U basis for ITST major credit: Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015. Any additional courses taken at the Università di Bologna must be taken for a quality grade. All other courses, on campus and on the ECCO program, must be taken for a grade. This option is not available to students enrolling on other programs in Italy. 

The major at a glance

  • One course in Italian post study-abroad required.
  • Students are highly encouraged to satisfy the post study-abroad requirement in the semester they return to campus.
  • Four credits from Bologna accepted.
    • Only one of these may be on a topic that is not Italian in nature (i.e., economy of Russia taken at the UniBo).
  • Lecce credit accepted only for students who have completed through 102 only before study abroad.
  • If a student attends a study-abroad program other than ECCO, a review of the number of credits that will be accepted into the major will be required.
  • Students placing into ITAL221 or higher are required to complete nine courses, three of which may be in English.
  • All students are required to take at least one course in their senior year.
Sample transcripts

YR

SEM

Student 1

Student 2

Student 3

Student 4

Student 5

FR

F

ITAL101

ITAL101

 

 

ITAL221

S

ITAL102

ITAL102

 

 

ITAL2++

SO

F

ITAL111

ITAL111

ITAL101

ITAL101

ITST**

S

ITAL112

ITAL112

ITAL102

ITAL102

ITAL2++

JU

F

ECCO

ECCO

ECCO

ECCO

ITAL221

ITAL111

Lecce (=ITAL111)

ECCO (=ITAL112)

ECCO

ECCO

ECCO

ECCO

ECCO

ECCO

ECCO

S

ITAL2++ or ITST*

ECCO

ECCO

ECCO

ECCO

ECCO

ECCO

ECCO

ECCO

ITAL2++

ITAL2++ or ITST*

ITAL2++ or ITST** (or 0)

SE

***

 

ITAL2++ or ITST*

ITAL2++ or ITST*

ITAL2++ or ITST*

ITAL2++ or ITST*

ITAL221 and

ITAL2++

ITAL2++

and ITST* or ITAL

ITAL2++ or ITST*

ITAL2++ or ITST*

ITAL2++ (or 0)***

ITAL2++ (or 0)

NOTES:
  • * 1 ITST course permitted for the major.
  • ** Up to 3 ITST permitted for the major for students placing into 221 or higher.
  • *** One ITAL must be taken in the student’s senior year.
Key: Courses in bold: accepted as courses for ITST major
  • F = Fall / S = Spring
  • ITAL = courses taken through the medium of Italian at Wesleyan (in RLL)
  • ITST = courses on Italian literature/culture taken through the medium of English at Wesleyan
  • ECCO = courses taken on the ECCO Program in Bologna
Study Abroad.

Program in Bologna, Italy. Wesleyan University cosponsors with Vassar College and Wellesley College a program in Italy for up to 15 students from each of the three schools without regard to their choice of major. ITAL102 or the equivalent of one year of college-level Italian is the prerequisite for participation. Students may choose to participate in either the fall or spring semesters, or (optimally) both. For fall or full-year participants, the program begins with a seven-week (two credits) intensive language and culture course that consists of three weeks in Siena in the month of August, followed by a short break, and then four more weeks in Bologna before the beginning of the academic year; spring-only participants will have a similar three-week (one credit) course in Bologna in January. A full complement of courses taught in Italian dealing with Italian literature, history, government, art history, and other areas is offered at the program’s center, taught by faculty from the Universita’ di Bologna and by the program director.

Qualified students are strongly encouraged to enroll in courses at the Universita’, and, thus, students with good language skills will have a wide range of fields from which to choose, including economics, government, and the natural sciences. All courses carry one Wesleyan credit.  Since the Italian studies major emphasizes linguistic and cultural competency, all courses taken at the University of Bologna in Italian--regardless of discipline--will normally count for the major.

Cost of the program is approximately equivalent to that of staying on the home campus for the same period, and it includes round-trip air transportation between New York and Italy. Applications for the fall semester are due by March 1, for the spring semester, by October 1, and must be submitted to the Office of International Studies.

Students participating in Wesleyan’s Program in Bologna for any duration may receive credit for four courses. Students attending study-abroad programs other than ECCO are required to have those credits reviewed by their advisor before they will be accepted for the major.

Honors.

See the department web site or click on AP, Transfer of Credit, Honors, Capstone & Ampersand Courses

Advanced Placement.

See the department web site or click on AP, Transfer of Credit, Honors, Capstone & Ampersand Courses

Transfer Credit.

See the department web site or click on AP, Transfer of Credit, Honors, Capstone & Ampersand Courses

Additional Information.

Course assistantships in Italian. Majors and other accomplished students returning from overseas may apply to serve as a course assistant for elementary Italian. Students may not receive academic credit for this exercise; rather, they will receive a stipend for their work. Students should express their interest to the faculty advisor in the spring for the following fall semester and in the early fall for consideration for the spring semester. Please note that students may serve as course assistant for only one course in the University per semester.

Major Description.

Romance Studies

The Romance studies (RMST) major provides students the opportunity to develop a broad knowledge of two or more of the Romance cultures taught at Wesleyan (French, Italian, Spanish) through a flexible, interdisciplinary program combining course work in a number of fields that may serve as the basis for future work or further academic or professional studies. Students who are interested in this major should contact the chair of the department.

Major Requirements.
  • Determination of a major (five courses in your primary language) and minor (four courses in your secondary language) focus.
  •  A minimum of two comparative projects. The idea is to suspend, for a moment, the nationalist assumption that languages and cultures exist in isolation from each other. Writers, artists, scientists, and businesspersons routinely cross borders and languages. We ask you to do the same in two short or long papers, to be completed at Wesleyan or during study abroad. A comparative project means simply that, in consultation with a course instructor, you will draw substantially on both your Romance major languages and cultures to explore a problem that interests you. The project could be about border-crossing influence, intertextuality, or dialogue between languages, literatures, and/or cultures. Or it could be an exploration of an issue that interests you (the environment, health care, urban planning, food, science, queer identities, fashion, etc.) in cross-cultural perspective, drawing on both your major languages and cultures. The projects may also be more informal or essayistic reflections (the equivalent of two short papers in length) on something significant you have learned or a perspective gained through study of two languages and cultures that you are unlikely to have learned through English only, a single foreign language, or another major. These essays may draw on work or study abroad or on the multiple courses you have taken at Wesleyan in your major languages. They may be written in English or in one of your major languages.  If you write in English you are expected to draw on sources in your major languages.
  • Nine courses at or above determined levels (FREN223, ITAL111, SPAN221) in two Romance Languages.
  • At least one course taken in both your primary and your secondary languages following the student’s study-abroad experience.
  • At least one course taken in both your primary and secondary languages in the student’s senior year.

Further details

  • Study abroad is expected to take place on a Wesleyan-sponsored study-abroad program. Alternatively, students may, with the advisor’s prior statement of support, study on another approved program. This practice is intended to promote the intellectual coherence of a major in which students acquire one language more recently than another.
  • Students may take one course in English centered on the culture of their primary language.
  • With the advisor’s approval, students may satisfy the comparative requirement by way of course work and/or written work conducted on a study abroad program.
  • Students whose primary language placement is higher than FREN215, ITAL112, SPAN221 are required to complete nine courses, two of which may be in English in the primary languages's culture only.
  • You may count up to three courses taken during study abroad toward the major.  These courses may be taken in one or both of the major languages.
  • Except in rare circumstances, students may not double major in any of the majors sponsored by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures: RMST, IBST, SPAN, FRST, ITST.
  • Senior essays or theses must be comparative and involve the literatures and/or cultures of the student's major languages.
Study Abroad.

All majors are strongly encouraged to spend at least one semester studying abroad in a Romance-language-speaking country. In addition to Wesleyan's own programs in Bologna, Madrid, and Paris, there are currently Wesleyan-approved study-abroad programs in Argentina, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France (internships in Francophone Europe in Paris, Aix-en-Provence, Grenoble), Italy (Florence, Padua, Rome), Madagascar, Mexico, and Senegal. Wesleyan also sends one exchange student a year to the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris. Students who have strong academic reasons for wishing to participate in other programs may also petition the International Studies Committee for permission to do so. For information on the approved programs and the petition process, contact the Office of International Studies, 105 Fisk Hall (gwinter@wesleyan.edu).

Honors.

See the department web site or click on AP, Transfer of Credit, Honors, Capstone & Amphersand Courses

Advanced Placement.

See the department web site or click on AP, Transfer of Credit, Honors, Capstone & Ampersand Courses

Transfer Credit.

See the department web site or click on AP, Transfer of Credit, Honors, Capstone & Ampersand Courses