Languages, Literatures and Cultures

  • Department Information

    Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

    Kasongo Mulenda Kapanga, Chair
    Professors Bonfiglio, Bower, Howell, Kapanga, Ravaux-Kirkpatrick
    Associate Professors Chan, Delers, Pappas, Radi
    Assistant Professors Bertucci, Gao, Weist
    Director of the Arabic Language Program Sulzer-Reichel
    Director of the Intensive Language Program in French Baker
    Director of the Japanese Language Program Suzuki
    Director of the Global Studio Marsh-Soloway

    Master a language. Live in that language and its culture and learn to think differently. Study complex global social and ethical issues through art, literature and film. This is what the faculty of LLC offers you in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Russian.

    Departmental courses designated as LLC are taught in English and have no prerequisite, except as noted. Approved LLC courses may be counted as elective credit toward the relevant major in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, or Russian Studies if taken in conjunction with a Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum (CLAC) component (.25 units).

  • Major
  • Minor

    Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Minors

    Arabic Studies

    Chinese Studies

    French

    German Studies

    Italian Studies

    Japanese

    Russian Studies

    For full course listings in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Russian, see the individual program pages.

  • Study Abroad

    Study Abroad

    Study and travel abroad are strongly encouraged for all students. The department offers summer study programs in China, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Jordan, and Russia. In addition, there are exchange agreements for study during the academic year in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Quebec, and Russia; others are being negotiated. For a complete list, contact the Office of International Education.

  • Residency

    The Residency Requirement

    For all LLC majors, at least 5 of the 9 courses required for the major must be taken on the University of Richmond campus. If the student participates in a study abroad program, at least one upper-level course in the major must be taken upon return from the program.

  • Administration

    Administration

    Placement

    A student who desires to continue study of a language begun elsewhere or spoken as a first language will be placed for continuation by the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. The determination of level may be by the score received on the AP, IB or SATII test in a given language; by placement test; or, in special cases, by interview. Students who meet the language communication skills requirement by placement may not take for credit 100- or 200-level courses in the same language.

    Sequential Credit

    Once the 100 or 200 level is begun, continuation, if any, must be to the next higher level within the sequence of courses. Students cannot receive credit toward the degree for 100- or 200-level coursework which is taken after credit has been earned in coursework more advanced in the sequence.

    Medium of Instruction

    All courses taught in the department are taught in the respective language with the exception of the courses listed in the languages, literatures and cultures category.

  • SDLAP

    Self-Directed Language Acquisition Program (SDLAP)

    The Self-Directed Language Acquisition Program allows students to study languages not offered in the standard curriculum. Participants in the program develop competence in speaking, reading, and writing a less-commonly-taught language while honing their skills as autonomous learners and exploring the cultural context of language use. Modern Hebrew, Persian, Swahili, and Turkish are routinely offered; other languages are offered upon student request when necessary resources can be arranged.

    All students begin the program in SDLC 110 or SWAH 110. SDLAP courses do not fulfill the COM 2 requirement. It is strongly advised that students complete COM 2 before entering the program.

Courses

Expand All
  • LLC 135 All About America

    Units: 1

    Description

    Explores beyond the "what" differs in U.S. culture to "why" U.S. culture is the way it is and Americans act the way they do. Through readings, films, radio podcasts, TV shows, and other media, studies topics such as U.S. pop culture, family life, education, the media, social relationships, and much more. Uses an experiential learning approach to explore U.S. culture through fieldtrips in our community and region as well as visits with our neighbors. Focuses on strengthening English oral communications skills such as speaking, listening, discussion, and pronunciation.

    Prerequisites

    Departmental approval. Open only to international exchange students who are speakers of English as a second language.

  • LLC 140 How to Write Everything

    Units: 1

    Description

    Designed for international non-native English speaking students to strengthen skills in informal and formal university academic writing. Assignments reflect skills needed for the kinds of academic writing University of Richmond students must master, such as research papers, presentation writing, comparison contrast, effective timed writing, other papers specific to majors. Special attention to grammar, style, and culture. Time for students to engage in individualized instruction is included.

  • LLC 198 Teaching English as a Second Language through Literature and Film

    Units: 1

    Description

    Introduction to methods of teaching ESL. Emphasis on using literature and film as texts to enhance the ESL learning experience. Hands-on application of ESL theories. Includes experience with lesson planning, materials development, and instructional technology.

  • LLC 210 Women, Virtue, and Temptation in Literature

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSLT)

    Description

    Representation of feminine virtue and vice in world literature.

    Prerequisites

    Departmental approval. For students in Moore International.

  • LLC 211 Reading to Live

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSLT)

    Description

    Explores the extent to which fiction can enhance (and often inform) our understanding of complex political, social, and economic issues. Students will learn new categories of analysis that will help them understand why fictional depictions of social values, modes of behavior, and moral choices can make both practical and theoretical contributions to the question of how we, as readers and social actors, might more fully live our lives.

  • LLC 215 Foreign Thinking

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSLT)

    Description

    Study of what it means to see the world from a foreign perspective. Development of intercultural and critical-thinking skills by studying literary texts, films, and works of critical theory that are decidedly not "American." Focuses on questions of gender, race and identity, and class and on environmental issues.

  • LLC 220 Contemporary Chinese Popular Culture
  • LLC 225 Chinese Culture and Civilization

    Units: 1

    Description

    Interdisciplinary introduction to Chinese society and culture from earliest times to the present. Explores topics on ancient philosophy, religion, literature, art, architecture, customs, and other aspects of China's rich and diverse heritage, and introduces social transformation from a pre-modern empire to a modern nation state. Questions such as social changes, urban life, popular culture, and the values and ideas that captivate contemporary Chinese people's attention will also be addressed.

  • LLC 227 The Action Genre in East Asian Cinema

    Units: 1

    Description

    The action genre is a persistent film genre with a strong literary, theatrical, and operatic tradition in East Asian cinema. This course traces the historical and cinematic evolution of the action genre from swordplay to kungfu to gunplay in Hong Kong, Japanese, and Korean cinema from the 1960s to the digital age. Students will acquire a critical vocabulary in visual analysis such as classical Hollywood narration, montage, continuity editing, and the "pause-burst-pause" pattern that are central to the punctuation of kinesthetic shocks in the action genre. We will explore how culturally specific codes of honor, loyalty, masculinity, and femininity (rooted in literature and theatrical codes) are lost or gained in translation as a result of film adaptations, international co-productions, and cross-cultural readings. Taught in English. All films are subtitled in English.

  • LLC 243 Politics and Social Movements in Modern Middle Eastern Literatures

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSLT)

    Description

    Discussion of literary works by writers from the Middle East during the past few decades with an emphasis on the social and political issues these texts address. Examination of these texts as literary products first and foremost and it is within such a status that they can be our entry point to the societies of the Middle East and their problems.

  • LLC 256 Psychoanalysis, Literature and Culture

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSLT)

    Description

    General introduction to use of psychoanalytic techniques to analyze literature and culture. Readings from Freud and post-Freudian theorists used to interpret variety of literary texts, as well as films, ads, and other examples from popular culture.

  • LLC 260 Literature and Social Change in Eastern Europe

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSLT)

    Description

    Selected readings in 20th century Czech and Polish literature. Analysis of primary texts (in translation) focuses on the representation of both science and socialism as powerful ideological forces.

  • LLC 265 German Cinema

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSLT)

    Description

    Survey of German cinema from the 1930s to the present emphasizing the historical and cultural context in which the films were produced. (Same as FMST 265.)

  • LLC 283 Cinema Around the World

    Units: 1

    Description

    Global survey of contemporary cinema. Approaches the cutting edge of audio-visual media production in national and transnational contexts with a focus on their aesthetic, socio-cultural, political, philosophical, and historical significance. (Same as FMST 283.)

  • LLC 321 Introduction to Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSLT)

    Description

    Introduction to Russian literature and critical literary analysis. Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, and others.

  • LLC 322 Introduction to Twentieth-Century and Contemporary Russian Literature

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSLT)

    Description

    Introduction to Russian literature and critical literary analysis. Includes Modernism, Soviet Socialist Realism, and contemporary Russian fiction.

  • LLC 325 Revolution and Modernity in Chinese Literature

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSLT)

    Description

    Exploration of modern Chinese literature, visual culture, and critical thought from the beginning of the twentieth century to the end of the Mao era (1911-1976). Focus on the use of literature in "saving the nation" as a response to imperialism and the challenge of the West in the early twentieth century. Discusses how various writers and genres such as the short story, prose poetry, novella, and film convey and advocate ideas about "revolution" and "modernity".

  • LLC 331 Russian and East European Film

    Units: 1

    Description

    An introduction to 20th century Russian and East European film raising questions on ideology, propaganda, violence, identity, authenticity, and representations of history. Discussion of how various cinematic narrative techniques influence and build viewers' understanding of historical events and the larger implications of film genre, production, censorship, and cultural setting. Selected films from the former Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, and Soviet republics will be screened, as well as post-Soviet films from various countries. Taught in English; all films have English subtitles.

  • LLC 335 Bolsheviks, Bombs and Ballet: Soviet Culture and Civilization

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSHT)

    Description

    Survey of intellectual and scientific life, artistic movements, and popular culture under communism in the Soviet Union. Interdisciplinary focus on the arts, music, science, and literature with attention to complicated relations between official and private culture.

  • LLC 341 Gender and Sexuality in 19th-Century France

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSLT)

    Description

    Examines representations of gender and sexual identity in 19th-century France as demonstrated in literature, film, and historical documents.

  • LLC 346 Insiders and Outsiders: Arabic Encounters with the West

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSLT)

    Description

    Study of texts from throughout Arab history since the expansion of Islam until today, in which travelers and thinkers, academics and politicians, everyday people and people with religious or other ideological agendas describe their encounters with the world outside their own cultural environment. These texts will be analyzed less for the information they contain about the world they describe, but for what the views and thoughts their writers reveal about their own world and frame of mind. The texts will be read in translation and will cover material from the earliest Islamic travelers such as Ibn Fadlan to figures of current history such as Usama bin Laden.

  • LLC 347 Islam, Nationalism, and the West - Modern Thought in the Arab World

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSHT)

    Description

    Historical survey of the main thinkers and ideas in the Arab world during the past two centuries. Emphasis on the different and contending reactions to the challenges of modernity and the West as well as the relation to indigenous and traditional ideas, especially religion.

  • LLC 355 Chinese Cinema

    Units: 1

    Description

    An introduction to Chinese cinema in relation to issues of modernity, nationalism, gender, cultural identities and beyond. Selected canonical films of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong will be introduced.

  • LLC 358 Desire and Identity in the Renaissance: The Lyric Tradition

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSLT)

    Description

    A comparative investigation of Italian, French, and English Renaissance lyric poetry. (Same as English 309.)

  • LLC 360 Representing the Holocaust

    Units: 1

    Description

    Critical analyses of visual and textual representations of the Holocaust in an international context. The course raises questions about the limits and meaning of Holocaust representations as well as their ideological and moral implications.

  • LLC 362 History of the Romance Languages

    Units: 1

    Description

    Readings and tasks designed to develop students' understanding of language change as exemplified by the evolution of the Romance languages (French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, etc.) from Latin. Includes linguistic terminology, discovery of the origins of the similarities and differences apparent in the Romance languages, experience with written evidence of language transformation, and exploration of the impact of historical events on language.

    Prerequisites

    French 121, Italian 121, Latin American and Iberian Studies 121, 151, or Latin 102

  • LLC 388 Individual Internship

    Units: .5-1

    Description

    Internship experiences outside of the department in fields related to LLC programs. No more than 1.5 units of internship in any one department and 3.5 units of internship overall may be counted toward required degree units.

    Prerequisites

    Permission of department.

  • LLC 389 Practice Assistantship

    Units: .25

    Description

    Students lead practice sessions associated with the elementary and intermediate language sequences outside of the regularly-taught program languages. The practice assistantship does not count as credit toward the major or minor. Up to one unit can be applied toward graduation credit.

    Prerequisites

    Permission of department.

  • LLC 390 Performing Sex and Gender

    Units: 1

    Description

    Analysis of gender, sex, and sexuality through the lens of theater and performance studies. Applies ideas from gender and queer theory to facilitate close readings of plays from and about Germany and to guide students through the process of devising their own performance.

    Prerequisites

    1

  • LLC 397 Selected Topics

    Units: 1

    Description

    Special interest topics offered at department's discretion.

    Prerequisites

    Permission of department.

  • LLC 406 Summer Undergraduate Research

    Units: 0

    Description

    Documentation of the work of students who receive summer fellowships to conduct research [or produce a creative arts project] in the summer. The work must take place over a minimum of 8 weeks, the student must engage in the project full-time (at least 40 hours per week) during this period, and the student must be the recipient of a fellowship through the university. Graded S/U.

    Prerequisites

    Approval for summer Arts and Sciences fellowship by faculty mentor

  • LLC 410 The Teaching of a Modern Second Language

    Units: 1

    Description

    Theory and practice of teaching modern second language at the K-12 levels. Designed to enable teachers to meet state licensure requirements.

    Prerequisites

    For LLC: Completion of a languages, literatures and cultures minor or the equivalent, or permission of department. For education minors seeking licensure in Spanish that requires LLC 410: the completion of a Latin American and Iberian Studies minor, the equivalent, or permission of the Latin American and Iberian studies department.

  • LLC 495 Independent Study

    Units: .5-1

    Description

    Special projects individually pursued under supervision of faculty member.

    Prerequisites

    Permission of department.

  • LLC 497 Selected Topics

    Units: 1

    Description

    Experimental and special interest topics offered at department's discretion.

  • SDLC 105 Introduction to Self-Directed Language Learning

    Units: .5

    Description

    Development of skills needed to become autonomous learners of language and culture, including how to create a learning plan, use multimedia resources, work with language tutors, and assemble a learning portfolio. Development of basic understanding of the structure of human languages and the relationship between language and culture.

    Prerequisites

    co-requisite: Self-Directed Language and Culture 110

  • SDLC 110 Self-Directed Language Learning I

    Units: 1

    Description

    Development of skills in reading, writing, and speaking a new language. Investigation of the history of the language and the culture of the areas in which the language is used. Assessment of progress through examination and the evaluation of a student-created portfolio.

    Prerequisites

    co-requisite: Self-Directed Language and Culture 105

  • SDLC 111 Self-Directed Language Learning II

    Units: 1

    Description

    Development of skills in reading, writing, and speaking a less-commonly-taught language. Investigation of the history of the language and the culture of the areas in which the language is used. Assessment of progress through examination and the evaluation of a student-created portfolio.

    Prerequisites

    Self-Directed Language and Culture 110

  • SDLC 112 Self-Directed Language Learning III

    Units: 1

    Description

    Development of skills in reading, writing, and speaking a less-commonly-taught language. Investigation of the history of the language and the culture of the areas in which the language is used. Assessment of progress through examination and the evaluation of a student-created portfolio.

    Prerequisites

    Self-Directed Language and Culture 111

  • SDLC 113 Self-Directed Language Learning IV

    Units: 1

    Description

    Development of skills in reading, writing, and speaking a less-commonly-taught language. Investigation of the history of the language and the culture of the areas in which the language is used. Assessment of progress through examination and the evaluation of a student-created portfolio.

    Prerequisites

    Self-Directed Language and Culture 112

  • SWAH 110 Mentored Self-Instruction in Swahili I

    Units: 1

    Description

    Development of skills in reading, writing, and speaking Swahili. Investigation of the history of the language and the cultures of the areas in which the language is used. Assessment of progress through examination.

  • SWAH 111 Mentored Self-Instruction in Swahili II

    Units: 1

    Description

    Development of skills in reading, writing, and speaking Swahili. Investigation of the history of the language and the culture of the areas in which the language is used. Assessment of progress through examination and the evaluation of a student-created portfolio.

  • SWAH 112 Mentored Self-Instruction in Swahili III

    Units: 1

    Description

    Development of skills in reading, writing, and speaking Swahili. Investigation of the history of the language and the culture of the areas in which the language is used. Assessment of progress through examination and the evaluation of a student-created portfolio.

    Prerequisites

    Swahili 111

  • SWAH 113 Mentored Self-Instruction in Swahili IV

    Units: 1

    Description

    Development of skills in reading, writing, and speaking Swahili. Investigation of the history of the language and the culture of the areas in which the language is used. Assessment of progress through examination and the evaluation of a student-created portfolio.

    Prerequisites

    Swahili 112