Learn how MLL majors are using the department's interdisciplinary and cross-cultural focus to plot courses of study that speak to their interests and career goals. 

Sutton Amthor 22

 I am going to major in Arabic, track III, focusing my interdisciplinary studies on the Abrahamic religious traditions (Islam, Christianity, and Judaism) in the ancient and middle ages. I intend to complete an honors project, and I think I’d like to focus on issues of translation and cross-cultural understanding between the three religions.

Sarah Barlow 22

 I hope to combine my study of Arabic language and literature with international studies, in particular the field of politics and society. By combining Arabic language skills with the knowledge of the politics, religion, and culture of the Middle East/North Africa region, I hope to plot a course of study focused around gender, conflict, and displacement. This interdisciplinary approach helps inform and prepare me for a possible career in NGO or humanitarian aid work.

Rebecca Elbert 22

 In my international studies major, I am able to focus on global politics and culture with an area concentration in Latin America, but I want to expand further on this region. A major in MLL will allow me to use the historical and political context discussed in my other courses and apply this framework to Spanish language, literature, and film. In courses like International Relations and States, Nations, Nationalism, I learned political theory that I can connect to the Spanish-speaking world: in International Relations, I did a case study on the 2018 crisis in Venezuela, and I utilized my readings from States, Nations, Nationalism to aid in my political and literary analysis for my final project in SPAN 348. In my Global Cities seminar, I completed a research project that examined the Jewish community of Buenos Aires as a social ethnic enclave. Moving forward, I want to continue to apply this framework to my Spanish courses, and use the social and political theory from my international studies major to better understand Spanish and Latin American culture, politics, language, and literature.

 Dahlia Gottlieb 22

For my elective study, I plan on using the Spanish language to examine the relationship between law and immigration policy. In my view, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to understand patterns of immigration in Spanish speaking countries without having a comprehensive understanding of the language. Being able to understand Spanish will allow me to read and analyze primary sources from immigrants that will give me greater insight into the experience of immigrants coming to the United States. Thus far, I have taken Immigrant Experience in the US, Sociology of Law and Philosophy of Law. I will use these courses to further my understanding of the construct of legal rights and remedies and the relationship between immigration law, as enacted and applied in various communities and social contexts. Next semester, I plan to take Early Latin America, which will allow me to delve deeper into Latin American policies and what restrictions, if any, there were to immigration to the United States. For my comps, I want to trace the history of immigration policy, and how immigrations law changes depending on contemporary political and/or social climate (i.e wars, economic crisis, labor requirements).

Lidia López 22

It would be interesting to continue learning about the experiences of those who were exiled and how it affects their self-conception. Zora Neale Hurston and Patricia Hill Collins describe their experience as a Black feminists in certain places as "outsiders within". For both of these Black women there were societal expectations for them based on their race, but because of their education, they were able to traverse other spaces. Those that are exiled, for example, from Spain to Mexico can also be outsiders within because they have the advantage of knowing Spanish but can still feel like outsiders in other aspects. Similarly, I think that after watching the documentaries of exiled women in Professor Del Río's courses, talking about the "deep story" would be interesting. I learned about the "deep story" in Professor Kolhman’s class and it is a story that feels true about a highly salient feature in one's life. Instead of focusing on the events that caused people to be exiled, I would focus on the experience and feelings of being exiled.

 Maya Maharaj 22

I would like to pursue an MLL major by combining the Spanish classes I have taken with English and history classes I have taken. My  English and history classes have given me the opportunity to consume a lot of Indian literature and history that I have grown very passionate about studying. When I first considered the MLL track III major, I was at a loss as to what disciplines I could combine with a Spanish interest. I started with a Spanish topic I was passionate about--flamenco, a music style that I find incredibly moving and love listening to on my own time and when I visit my brother in Spain. Through some interesting research I was able to find multiple documentaries and resources on scholars who study the Indian roots of Flamenco. This was a connection I was never aware of before and considering my Indian ancestry and love of studying Indian history, I was instantly drawn to the topic. Right now, I would love it if I could do my capstone project on the Indian origins of flamenco. I am currently trying to determine how to focus this in a more concrete way, either showing similarities between Romani and Indian languages, comparing lyrics that exhibit emotions of displacement/being an outsider, showing similarities in Indian and Romani dance movements, or even taking a more contemporary approach in studying some modern Romani music.

Abby Timmins 22

 My area courses emphasize the intersectionality of race, class, gender, and culture and how Spanish-speaking individuals come from a variety of contexts that make their experiences unique. Specifically, I want to focus on the relationship between psychology and language; I am particularly interested in how culture influences one’s understanding of the world and how historically, the field of psychology has failed to accommodate those who are not part of a WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic) society. Taking these courses in tandem with Spanish language classes will allow me to gain a better understanding of crucial aspects of Latinx culture including literature, film, and music; furthermore, I will be able to apply my knowledge of the Spanish language to my psychological pursuits and will be better equipped to accurately form a cross-cultural mindset that would allow me to be more cognizant of individual differences and needs. One of the largest barriers to psychologists and therapists in the United States when treating Latinx patients is too often the provider’s inability to effectively communicate, whether it be due to lack of cultural competence or Spanish language proficiency. I want to ensure that regardless of the psychology sub-field I choose to enter, I will be well-versed in Latinx mental health and how human behaviors occur in and are shaped by cultural context.

Erika Abe 23

I am planning to major in French with dance focus. Ballet dance history started in Europe, especially in France, and French politics and French history influenced French dance history, which has a big influence in world dance history. Ballet is one of the most known dances around the world. I grew up dancing ballet, and ballet vocabularies are mostly French, and this is one of the reasons I chose to learn French. I am thinking of taking a modern dance history course and possibly a European art history course as well. For the final project/research, I would like to explore  how French history influenced worldwide dance history. 

 Erika Conant 23

The combination of the Spanish language, paired with biochemistry, will provide me with an adequate entrance into the medical field, as well as provide me with opportunities to work in other countries. Because we live in a world of rich diversity, I hope that the MLL track III interdisciplinary major will allow me to provide others with a sense of comfort in their medical endeavours. As someone who will be working closely with people of all backgrounds, it is imperative that I am able to understand the patient’s situation and provide them with the proper care. Knowing more than one language will not only help me do just that, but will also help the patient to feel more safe and secure in their treatment plan.

 Molly McLaughlin 23

I am interested in track III of the MLL major with classics because I believe that, while there are innumerable modern-day uses for fluency in Arabic, the language's rich literary and linguistic history gels well with a language set in ancient history-- Latin. Many ancient texts were translated from Latin to Arabic (usually via Greek) or vice versa, but this practice generally ceased once Latin phased out. I would be interested in particular in translating Late Antique religious texts, especially those by Saint Augustine (who was born in present-day Algeria) into Arabic.

 Zhixing Sun 23

I am very interested in cognitive psychology and Japanese language and literature. I think an interdisciplinary major will give me the opportunity to build up Japanese language skills and explore the field of cognitive psychology in Japan. I would like to pursue a graduate program in Japan related to psychology studies. MLL track III will prepare me to be a Japanese language learner and help me explore psychology-related knowledge. An interdisciplinary major will be an ideal second major for me because I have already taken several psychology classes, and besides psychology, it helps me expand my world with Japanese language.

Eva Donahue 24

I am very interested in the politics of Latin America and think that an interdisciplinary major will give me both the Spanish language skills to have interesting discussions and read Latin American literature, and the theoretical background to understand why things work the way that they do. I also would like to study abroad somewhere in South America such as a program in Argentina at the University of Buenos Aires where students have the opportunity to work on a human rights campaign in addition to classes. A program or career path along these lines would be ideal for me, and this interdisciplinary major is the perfect combination for a job in human rights. Knowing more than one language is an excellent skill to have especially in our globalizing world, and I am excited to expand my own world with the Spanish language.

Leah Kessler 24

Balancing my academic workload with direct community care has made me want to major in MLL, specifically a track III interdisciplinary major with Spanish and medicine/healing in world literature. This major will teach me two languages to use with my current and future patients. The more literal language is Spanish. My high school experience as a translator for Spanish-speaking parents at an elementary school showed me that while children are quick to feel at ease with English, many adults have a much harder time with the language. I demand that I become fluent in Spanish so that I can take equal care of a wider range of patients. The second language I will learn with this major is that which binds literature, life, and healing—what William Faulkner called the universal truths in his Nobel Prize address—“love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice.” In the short time I have worked as a first responder, I have seen all of these underlying each emergency, and the best providers I have had the privilege of working with address these truths in tandem with their medical care. Additionally, I would like to study abroad to learn about traditional medicine and public health.Study abroad programs with these aspects are in India, Chile, and Jordan.

Lauren Teresi 24

A major in MLL was the game plan for my studies at Kenyon from the beginning. Track I’s specific focus on literature, culture, and the arts within a large variety of course offerings complements my second major in art history and a potential minor in anthropology. This combination of interests is leading me to a number of immersive study abroad options, including potential placement in Córdoba, Salamanca, Granada, or Madrid that would deepen my language competency, as well as my exposure to culture, literature, art and architecture of Spain. True fluency in more than one language, not only in speech but also in writing and genuine cultural awareness and appreciation, will only enhance any opportunity I have in my future plans.

Nicole Cooper '24

I love learning about Eastern and Central Europe's history and culture, and I think it is incredibly important to be able to speak the major languages of the region to understand them. I am fluent in Russian since I am a heritage speaker, but I have also learned German up to the advanced level. At Kenyon I took "Intermediate German" last year with Professor Riegert and "Advanced Composition and Conversation" last semester with Dr. Scott. I'm continuing my German language learning by taking "Approaches to German Culture and Literature II" next semester again with Dr. Scott. I have already started to take history courses as well in the region. I took the "ST: Empires and Nations in Eastern Europe" with Professor Hunt last semester, in which we spoke about the late Austro-Hungarian Empire and Germany during World Wars I and II, and East Germany under Communism. I also learned a lot about "German" as a national identity and its relations in modern history with other Central and Eastern European countries, such as Czechoslovakia, Poland and Russia. Next year as a junior, I hope to study abroad with the Macalester German Studies program, which would entail two months in an intensive German language learning program in Berlin and then four months in Vienna taking classes with Macalester faculty and at the University of Vienna. At the University of Vienna, I hope to take classes on Austrian history, as well as improve my language skills and experience the culture, such as the rich history of Viennese theater.

George Novotny '23

I want to major in Japanese, not only for the fact that I fell in love with learning the language, but because it pairs well with my subfield in political science that I have chosen to focus on: comparative politics. In comparative politics, we look at the institutions and policies of countries and compare them with other countries to see what is effective and why certain institutions are able to be implemented in countries. I first started to use my knowledge of Japanese customs and values that I have learned in class when I conducted research in international relations on the U.S.-Japanese security treaty. In "Modern Democracy," my first comparative political science class, I wrote a paper on the institutionalization of koenkai in Japan and its connection to the LDP party. My understanding of the Japanese language and customs that I have learned from class has been indispensable to research. Since I wish to specialize in comparative politics for Asia, with a specialization in Japanese politics, I want to become a Japanese major in order to get a better understanding of Japan's political structure. As I continue to learn more Japanese, I will also be able to read research articles and newspaper articles written in Japanese that will help my specialization. I have also continued taking classes in the comparative politics subfield in order to gain skills integral to practicing and understanding comparative politics that will prove crucial to a specialization in comparative politics in Asia.