Foreign Language and Literature

The foreign language and literature program at Wilson College offers courses in French, Latin and Spanish, as well as a major and minor in Spanish and minors in French studies and Latin. Its primary objective is to expand and enhance a student’s liberal arts backgrounds by enabling her or him to enter into another culture directly through mastery of its language and especially, through the study of its literature – one of the most significant expressions of a culture. Exposure to other peoples’ languages, cultures and literature is an enriching experience that is open and available to every student, regardless of professional interests or fields of specialization.

To accomplish our aims, we offer the following sequence of courses:

  • Language courses at the introductory, intermediate and advanced levels in which the study of grammar is accompanied by discussion of cultural and literary readings, and by constant oral practice, both in class and out. Courses on the cultures and civilizations of French- and Spanish-speaking countries, as well as those of ancient Greece and Rome, provide comprehensive overviews of those historical processes, social and political institutions, traditions, customs and intellectual and artistic achievements generally considered as essential and distinctive elements of their cultural identity.
  • Literature courses at the intermediate and advanced levels are aimed at majors or minors in language and literature but are open to anyone with the ability to work in the given language. Often, literature and culture courses are taught in a dual-language format to accommodate interested students who have not studied the language in question. Students enrolling in sections taught in translation must have completed the English foundation requirement and one course at the 200 level in any discipline. Both introductory and advanced courses in literature share the intention of enlarging the literacy and enhancing the analytical skills of students, at the same time that they present – at the introductory level – general overviews of the most important works, authors and trends that make up a particular cultural and literary tradition. The advanced level is a more focused and concentrated study of particular topics or themes.