Welcome to the Department of Languages & Literatures!
New Arabic Program
There are many reasons to learn Arabic, here are just a few:
- It helps you gain insights into the cultural, religious, and political forces that influence the Arab world.
- It helps you better interact with speakers of Arabic, who can best explain individual experiences, backgrounds, traditions, etc.
Writing Matters Rubric
Created by faculty from all four colleges, the Writing Matters Rubric articulates the core writing competencies we aim to foster in all UW-W students while establishing standards for developing competent and accomplished student writing across the disciplines.
The art of communication, along with the knowledge and appreciation of literature and its cultural context, are central to the mission of the Department of Languages and Literatures.
The Department offers majors and minors in English, French, German, and Spanish through both the College of Letters and Sciences and the College of Education and Professional Studies. Students also can take several levels of Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic. English majors can choose a concentration in creative writing, professional writing, or literature, any of which may be combined with certification and licensure through the College of Education and Professional Studies. World language courses emphasize the development of language proficiency and the cultural and historical context of each language.
- Spring 2011: Thirteen high-school teachers from Oaxaca, Mexico, visited Whitewater to participate in a professional development program focusing on issues of ESL teaching. Dr. Susan Huss-Lederman established the program and, alongside Dr. Jodie Parys, served as a workshop leader and coordinator.
- October 2011: Author Robert Goolrick, whose novel A Reliable Wife earned him the Chancellor's Regional Literary Award, visited campus to discuss his book.
- Fall 2011: Several professors participated in the Colloquia series, a set of monthly presentations designed to make faculty research more accessible to students and connect this scholarship with LEAP learning outcomes.
- Marjorie Rhine, alongside Monica Wilson, shared her research in progress on how significant cultural moments in Nagasaki’s past are constructed for tourist consumption.
- Deborah Fratz and Jodi Piwoni examined how the UW-Whitewater community may expand its understanding of disability in society. Rather than simply approach the topic through narratives emphasizing the theme “overcoming adversity,” they investigated new ways for disability to operate in society and contribute to its intellectual development.
- Halla Ghoneim presented her research on Yusuf Idris, an Egyptian playwright, critic, novelist, and short story writer, who in the 1960s invented a "truly Egyptian drama."
- Donald Jellerson contributed his research on why the subject of tyranny in Shakespeare's works oftentimes involved the subjects of sexuality and gender
The Department prides itself in being a strong teaching department, and received acknowledgement of this in 1999 when it won the UW Regents Award for the Outstanding Teaching Department for the entire UW System. Full-time faculty teach all classes in the department; teaching assistants are not used. Nearly all English faculty hold doctoral degrees in literature, applied linguistics, creative writing, or rhetoric and composition. The foreign language faculty bring diversity to the classroom, with a mix of native speakers and non-native instructors in each language.
Students have many opportunities to gain practical experience through on-campus publications as well as off-campus internships. English students can fine-tune their writing, editing, and publishing skills working for public and private organizations. Additionally, foreign language majors can participate in language/cultural immersion experiences both at home and abroad. Our department offers annual study abroad options in France and other countries, along with service learning opportunities in many Spanish courses.
Students in English are involved in on-campus opportunities, including editing the campus literary magazine, MUSE, and "Works in Progress Caf", a biweekly forum featuring faculty and student works of creative writing. French, German, and Spanish students with a strong academic record can join the local chapter of Pi Delta Phi, the National French Honor Society, Delta Phi Alpha, the National German Honor Society, or Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society. Student-led French, German, Japanese and Spanish clubs provide opportunities for further language practice, cultural exploration, and interaction among students outside the classroom.