Mon

23

Dec

2013

Harvard's Romance Languages and Literatures

Big department - along the lines of European languages - the department name is for Languages and Literatures. Romance includes Catalan, Italian, French, Spanish and Portuguese, but no Romanian.

 

Courses:

  Courses
Catalan 4 (3 for the language)
French 48 (10 for the language)
Italian 26 (8 for the language)
Latin American Studies 4 (also refer to Literature, History, Government and Anthropology departments)
Portuguese 28 (10 for the language; multiple mentions of Brazil)
Romance Languages 1
Romance Studies 11
Spanish 50 (12 for the language)
Total 172 (43 for languages)

This department is just slightly smaller than East Asian Languages and Civilization in terms of number of courses offered; and it has even less proportion of language courses but a larger portion of literature / culture courses. Other observations:

 

1. Canonical authors / works mentioned: Marcel Proust, Romance of the Rose, Beckett, Littell, Camoes, Cervantes' Don Quixote (2), Cervantes' Novelas Ejemplares, Borges Surprise here is no courses named "Dante" or "Commedia"! Also surprising, frankly, is the few names that make it to the course titles - feels like the department focus is on literary history - with many courses that study full sweep of a period rather than individual authors or works.

 

2. "The graduate program in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures offers students outstanding opportunities to pursue work in the French and Francophone, Italian, Portuguese and Lusophone, and Spanish and Latin American traditions, alone or in combination." Note - besides the European branch, Francophone (French-using outside of France), Lusophone (Brazilian), Latin American are also highlighted.

 

3. "The Romance Languages and Literatures faculty is committed to interdisciplinary work, including history, philosophy, psychoanalysis, film studies, gender studies, literary theory, literary history, and philology."

 

4. From the PhD program description, this department is highly focused on history of literature(s). It is also curious that the language requirements are not very obvious, but I gather that most needs to learn 2 Romance languages, primary options are: French/Italian, Spanish/Portuguese, sometimes focus on medieval literature requires Latin, and I would also guess the combination of French/Spanish is also prevalent. 

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