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Undergraduate Program

Overview of MLC Programs

In MLC, we encourage the development and refining of oral and written argumentation in both English and the various national languages. Our courses are focused on careful analysis, original research, and the pursuit of knowledge and understanding across disciplines. Opportunities for independent research and honors projects are available in our programs. MLC majors pair well with other majors throughout the College, including the sciences, social sciences, and other humanities programs.

In our courses, we engage with relevant topics that include: 

  • Why stereotypes are dangerous to real understanding and communication. Learn to avoid linguistic mis-readings and cultural stereotypes.
  • How different cultures interpret news and events. The field of telecommunications is the biggest draw in many colleges around the world. Why? Compare points of view, and get culturally and linguistically informed. Great before study abroad!
  • What questions are young people around the world asking today? What are their hopes and aspirations? What are their doubts and concerns? How do they write about these issues and what language/vocabulary do they use?
  • How might literature have a political role in a society as well as a cultural one? How can literary texts be political without turning into propaganda?
  • What makes great writers great? What criteria have been used to identify greatness in authors? Has this changed? What influences choices of greatness? Trace the path of Nobel Prize winners around the world. Can we agree on their transcendent qualities or might we propose our own?
  • What is the role of the arts in creating a national identity? How have they shaped your own identity? How would cultures be different if no one read?
  • How does pop culture across the globe speak to our deepest hopes and fears? Explore film and video, comics, graffiti art, tattoo art, television and the media, and commercials in various countries.
  • How photography has flourished in the East and West. How it has evolved as an art form as well as an experimental technology?
  • What happens on national borders in today's global cultures? Is nationalism dead? How do cultural stereotypes play into nationalist debates?
  • How is today's social and political thinking different from that of past generations? What are some of the greatest debates today? What are some issues that should be debated but aren't? Are colleges and universities spaces for debate? Why?
  • How colonial cultures transition to be independent nations? How do they redefine themselves when colonial powers leave? What is the language of the colony and of postcolonial discourse? What is the best way to expedite independent thought and in what language?
  • How do race, gender, and ethnicity play out across different cultures? How are they looked at differently from these concepts in the United States? How might they coincide? Why are these factors critical in today's world?
  • What is art for art's sake? How artists have interpreted the place of art in different cultures and at different times in history. What are the different roles of the arts in societies at various historical times?
  • What happens to linguistic difference when English is seen as the lingua franca of different nations? What are some of the consequences of indigenous languages dying out? What might the power of multiple languages be in the world today?
  • How have Marx and Freud influenced cultures around the world? How do societies in different geographical regions read them differently?
  • How has the relationship between science and art been viewed across history and across cultures? How has this changed over time and why? Explore the concept of discovery in history, science, and the arts, and how it is viewed in early modern times, the nineteenth century, and the twenty-first.
  • How is material culture—objects, architecture, and other human creations—stored (museums), housed (private collections), or discarded? Do books form part of material culture? How does the value of objects vary in our global culture and across traditions?