Language, Literature and Culture Overview
The Language, Literature and Culture Department aims to promote students’ competency in learning other languages, and to broaden and enrich their education through in-depth study of other cultures. Mastering a language includes listening, speaking, reading and writing proficiency. Students can easily apply these skills to other disciplines at Clark and to their future professions.
Students can study ASL, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Latin and Spanish at Clark, and can major in Ancient Civilization, Comparative Literature, French or Spanish. It is also possible, at the department’s discretion, to major in more than one language taught at Clark (the Combined Language major), or to self-design a major in German. Students can also apply skills in Asian languages to an Asian Studies major and skills in Hebrew to a concentration in Jewish Studies.
The Language, Literature and Culture Department is part of the Alice Coonley Higgins School of Humanities.
For more information, please visit the Language, Literature and Culture Department’s website.
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. The University reviews transcripts to ensure that students are not over-qualified for a particular course. Students with native or near-native fluency in a language should consult with the coordinator in that language to determine the appropriate level.
For more on language placement, please consult
Participation in a Study Abroad program gives you a chance to view the interests and issues you care about from the perspective of another culture. Students in LL&C are encouraged to study abroad in exciting cities in Chile, China, the Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Japan, Senegal, and Spain. The staff in Clark’s Office of Study Abroad and Study Away Programs can help you find an experience that fits your requirements.
Combined Languages Major Requirements
A combined languages major is designed for students who want to study more than one language. Spanish and French - or one of those plus another language, like Chinese, Japanese, German, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew.
One course in Comparative Literature, normally CMLT 130 - The National Imagination
Eight courses in 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). Intermediate (103 and 104) courses count for Chinese, Japanese, German, Latin, Greek and Hebrew. One of the eight must be the Advanced Topics course (296 or 297).
Two related courses, as determined in consultation with the student’s major adviser. A beginning language sequence can count towards these courses.
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.
Combined Languages Capstone Requirement
The capstone in combined languages allows students to demonstrate their skills in the literary and cultural interpretation of texts from at least one language tradition. These texts can be traditional literary works such as poems, novels, plays, short stories, and essays, as well as film and television. The capstone project usually culminates in a substantial paper written in one of the target languages, of at least 15 pages.
Students usually fulfill this requirement by the following measures:
- if they have focused on French or Spanish literature, they may take the French or Spanish capstone courses. If they have focused on an Asian language, they may take the Asian Studies capstone course, again with permission of the instructor of that course.
- other 200-level literature courses in, German, Japanese, and Chinese may be allowed, with permission of the adviser and instructor of the course.
- directed study, only if offered by an instructor approved by the adviser.
Students generally take the capstone in the next-to-last semester (typically the first semester of the senior year). Students who excel in their capstone course may have the opportunity to continue their work as an honors thesis, to be completed in the final semester of their college career. Honors theses are more in-depth than the capstone paper, typically at least 30 pages long.
Double majors may, in consultation with advisers in both majors, devise a capstone that satisfies both majors. The combined languages portion of the combined capstone should still demonstrate the student’s ability to perform literary and cultural analysis of texts in at least one language other than English.
This honors program is for language, literature and culture 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 submit a proposal for 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.
*Students graduating early and wishing to do an honors project should see their adviser during the fall of their junior year and get approval for the project from the thesis director and the department chair.