Foreign Languages and Literatures Overview
The mission of the Foreign Languages & Literatures Department is to advance the linguistic and cultural competencies of students in one or more foreign languages. Mastering a foreign language includes speaking and writing proficiency, but also increases one’s appreciation and critical analysis of the cultures that share that language. The Foreign Languages & Literatures Department is part of the Alice Coonley Higgins School of Humanities.
The major is offered in Spanish and French. It is also possible, at the department’s discretion, to major in more than one language, the Combined Foreign Languages major, with a focus on two of the languages we teach at Clark.
There are majors available in Comparative Literature and Ancient Civilization as well. Though based in foreign languages and literatures, these two programs-together with the minor offered by ancient civilization—are described elsewhere in the catalog under their own headings.
For more information, please visit the Foreign Languages and Literatures Department’s website.
The Adviser System
When the student intends to declare a major or minor in a program they should meet with a tenured or tenure-track faculty member in that program to decide on an adviser. Advisers suggest a course of study, discuss and approve related courses and, for majors, identify areas of special interest that could lead to an honors project.
Please use the chart on the department’s main web page to determine what course level to take, depending on how many previous years of the language you’ve had. Consult
Our rule is that regular beginning courses (101-102) are closed to anyone who has had two years or more of that language. The University reviews high school transcripts to make sure you’re not over-qualified for a course. However, in Spanish, we do offer an intensive, one-semester beginning course that builds on the experience you’ve had in high school.
Students with native or near-native fluency in a language cannot take a lower-level course in that language. Native speakers should consult with the coordinator in that language.
Information on study-abroad programs in most of the languages we teach is available at Clark’s Office of Study Abroad Programs.
1. Eight courses above the intermediate level. In French, major credit is given for courses above FREN106; in German, above GERM102; in Spanish, above SPAN127.
The eight required courses include:
- An introductory-level course in literature (FREN 131 or FREN 132)
- A course in culture criticism (FREN 137 or FREN 140 )
- For Spanish majors, an advanced grammar and composition course (SPAN 237 or the equivalent)
- The Advanced Topics course (297)
- At least two courses taken in a Clark-sponsored or Clark-approved study-abroad program (This requirement may be waived in special circumstances.)
At least four of the eight required courses must be taken in residence at the Worcester campus.
2. Five related courses, at least one of which must be CMLT 130 - The National Imagination. These five related courses are to be selected with the major adviser. These are courses that explore human activities and knowledge as related to cultural practices. They might be courses in other languages and literatures or in areas that are broadly related to cultural studies such as: writing/rhetoric/English, the arts (drama/music/art), history/politics/philosophy/religion, some social science courses but not methodologies or field work in social sciences and usually not hard sciences/math. When the major program is concentrated in one language, a reading knowledge of a second language is strongly recommended. Only course grades of C or better may be counted toward the major.”
Combined Foreign Languages Major
Requirements for the Combined Foreign Languages Major
- Eight courses in foreign languages, chosen in consultation with the major faculty advisor, and taken from the list of courses that would count toward a single-language major (FREN120 and higher; SPAN131 and higher). One of the eight must be the Advanced Topics course (capstone course, number 296 or 297).
- One course in Comparative Literature, normally the core course (CMLT130) required of all majors.
- Four related courses, as determined in consultation with the student’s major adviser.
- At least two units of study abroad in a culture in which one of the target languages is spoken. Ordinarily, courses taken abroad may be counted toward the required courses in that language area.
This honors program is for foreign languages and literatures majors only. By November 1 of the capstone semester, faculty will identify qualified senior majors (with a minimum GPA of 3.5) and invite them to work on a semester-long honors thesis during the spring of their senior year. Other students who wish to take honors should identify an area of interest during the capstone semester, consult with the capstone professor and/or an appropriate honors adviser, and submit a proposal by December 1 to the professor they would like to direct the project.
Proposals will be approved at the discretion of the individual professor.
The Department Chair must also approve the project.
The honors candidate and adviser will decide on a work schedule, but a preliminary draft must be completed by the first week of April.
The final version is due one week before the last day of classes.
A second faculty reader will participate in the final evaluation of the honors project.
An honors project counts as one unit of credit.
Foreign Languages and Literatures Faculty
María Acosta Cruz, Ph.D.
Belén Atienza, Ph.D.
Paul Burke, Ph.D.
Marvin D’Lugo, Ph.D.
Odile Ferly, Ph.D.
Everett Fox, Ph.D.
Beth Gale, Ph.D.
Constance Montross, Ph.D.
Juan Pablo Rivera, Ph.D.
Robert D. Tobin, Ph.D.
Alice Valentine, M.A.
Carol D’Lugo, Ph.D.
Kenneth Hughes, Ph.D.
Hartmut Kaiser, Ph.D.
Dorothy Kaufmann, Ph.D.
Walter Schatzberg, Ph.D.
Michael Spingler, Ph.D.
Foreign Languages and Literatures Courses
Listing by Fields of Specialization
German Literature Courses conducted in English
- GERM 188 - The Culture of the Weimer Republic in Literature, Film and the Arts
The Spanish program is based on a three-year rotation. Advanced courses listed as offered periodically are generally available at least once every three years.