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Our department provides a robust and creative program on cultures and literatures of France and the French-speaking world. In addition to the regular curriculum, we offer stimulating cultural activities, continual opportunities to improve linguistic aptitudes, and sustained intellectual challenge through our program in Martinique, as well as unique summer research projects. Our majors develop a superior knowledge of language and cultures. Some graduates continue their education in highly selective graduate programs, while others are successfully engaged in exciting roles around the world.
Educated people spend their lives trying to grow in political, social and intellectual freedom. One kind of intellectual freedom requires us to break away from the notion that our native language is the most natural and apt means of expressing the full range of human experience. An education can start with the discovery that all words are purely conventional devices. They are nonetheless tools that stir emotions, articulate ideas, and establish relationships with others.
Learning a foreign language contributes to our education by providing an intimate exercise in cultural and linguistic concepts that open up new vistas on what it can mean to be human. Furthermore, foreign-language courses allow entry into the subjectivity of the target language on its own cultural and linguistic grounds, thus making possible a different and more profound redefinition of our own culture.