For Future Students
Top Reasons to Study French at Southwestern
Global Citizenship Emphasis
We focus on global perspectives through language, literature, culture, and film. We foster diverse perspectives creatively applied. Our students use their strong critical and creative skills to excel in many careers. Many alumni have gone on to work in graduate schools and public service – Dori Glanz ’06 works in health care at the White House! Our placement of language in its global context at all course levels is a unique feature of the Southwestern undergraduate experience.
Mentoring as a Top Priority
We work closely with students at every level of the learning process. We get to know everyone personally and move students toward scholarships and jobs in the USA and internationally. In Chinese, we mentor student teachers active in local schools and encourage combining interdisciplinary work with plans for study abroad. In French, five alumni earned Teaching Assistant in France scholarships in recent years. In German, eleven alumni have earned Fulbright Fellowships. Many of these Southwestern graduates study multiple languages and cultures.
Our teaching in Modern Languages and Literatures is inherently interdisciplinary, as much across the fields of language, literature, and culture as across other fields: Art History, Business, Environmental Studies, Feminist Studies, Film Studies, History, International Studies, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Religion. We intentionally incorporate interdisciplinary approaches into departmental and extra-departmental courses, including First Year Seminar, Advanced Entry Seminar, and Paideia. Our integrated curriculum, which encourages combining or pairing majors or minors, contextualizes language study in historical, geographical, cross-cultural and transnational frames.
Diverse Interests and Approaches
We specialize in diverse geographical and thematic areas and employ a variety of approaches in our teaching and scholarship. Our faculty members study China, France, Germany, Austria, the United States, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, the European Union, the Mediterranean world, and Francophone Africa. Our language, literature, and culture specialists research issues from the medieval period to the present day. They are nationally and internationally known for interests in calligraphy, cities, culture, the environment, film, food, gender, literature, music, rhetoric, and transnational identity.
Our senior Capstone Seminar enables students to research and write original scholarship in an area of personal interest. They can also apply for departmental honors, which encourages still greater depth. By producing substantial independent research and delivering a formal oral presentation, students hone their job skills and use the Capstone as a springboard into exciting, challenging, personally fulfilling careers. Majors and minors often pursue internships, scholarships or study abroad to further advance their marketability, interdisciplinarity, and intercultural awareness.
We foreground critical thinking, reading, writing, and awareness of cultural differences as skills useful in many fields. We teach skills, knowledge, and attitudes for building communities and promoting change. Through on-campus work, study integrated with other disciplines and consortium colleges, and study abroad, we prepare students to be effective, flexible, culturally aware citizens. Our graduates see the world with new eyes and share their passion for learning throughout their personal and professional lives.