This course presents significant films from different cultures in the history of world cinema that address a given theme, such as the tension between obedience and autonomy, appetite and intention, or love and loss. The films are studied to understand how their artistic qualities convey thematic content and to stimulate students' shared reflection on their own values, behavior and ability to make conscious choices. The current theme concerns obedience and autonomy, in terms of the challenge to become fully oneself in community with others, from the micro-level of the child within a family to the macro-level of the citizen in a sociopolitical context. Secondary source material on the theme complements reading in film criticism to guide class discussion of the films. In addition, films are considered in their geographical and historical context. Students are responsible for the factual information about the setting and creation of the films. Coursework is designed for students to develop visual acumen and interpretive skill expressed precisely in speech and writing through guided practice. Coursework includes collaborative preparation for class, journal entries, discussions, two papers, a midterm and a final exam. Attendance at weekly film showings outside of class is required. Films are subtitled. Directors include internationally renowned figures such as Satyajit Ray, Truffaut, Tarkovsky, Haneke and others. This course counts toward the film major. The course is open to first-year students. No prerequisite.
This course develops a broad understanding of human language - what it is, what it is used for, and how it works. It serves as an introduction to contemporary linguistic theory and methods of linguistic analysis, such as phonetic transcription; phonological, morphological and syntactic analysis; the meaning of expressions; language change; the acquisition of language by young children and adults; and the role of language in society. Students develop basic skills and techniques for learning how particular languages work and behave. Additionally, the organizing principles of language and the diversities and similarities of language systems are discussed. This class provides the basic concepts necessary for further linguistic study. No prerequisite. The course will be taught in English.
Individual study offers an opportunity to explore an area of special interest - literary, cultural or linguistic - under the regular supervision of a faculty member. It is offered primarily to candidates for honors, to majors and, under special circumstances, to potential majors and minors. Individual study is intended to supplement, not to take place of, regular courses in the curriculum of each language program. To enroll, a student must identify a member of the department willing to direct the project and, in consultation with that professor, prepare a one-page proposal. The proposal must receive approval from the department chair. It should specify the schedule of assignments and meeting periods. The amount of work should approximate that required in regular courses of corresponding levels. The department expects the student to meet with the instructor one hour per week, at a minimum. Typically, an individual study will award .5 or .25 unit of credit. Students should begin planning individual studies well in advance so that they can complete a proposal and obtain departmental approval before the registrar's deadline.
This course offers independent study for senior candidates for honors, under the direction of the honors supervisor. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Normally offered in the spring semester, this course may be offered in the fall with the approval of the student's honors supervisor and the chair of Modern Languages and Literatures.