The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures presently offers instruction in
the following Classical and Modern languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew,
Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. The Department has thirty
faculty members actively engaged in research, instruction, and service.
The University of Memphis offers a bachelor's degree in foreign languages, with single-language
concentrations in French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, and Spanish; more limited
programs are offered in Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Portuguese, and Russian. The Master
of Arts is offered in Romance Languages, with a concentration in either French or
Spanish. Courses are available in literature, linguistics, civilization, and language
for specific purposes.
The study of a foreign language is central to the international mission of the University,
since it offers the student a deeper appreciation of a foreign culture. As the United
States continues to increase its involvement in foreign trade, tourism, and international
cooperative ventures, an awareness and an understanding of the culture and civilization
of those countries become indispensable for the enlightened and literate individual.
In addition to the basic language courses at the lower level, the Department also
serves the wider, humanistic goals of the University as a whole by providing courses
in advanced language, literature, linguistics, culture, and civilization. These courses
provide one of the bases for a liberal education by broadening the intellectual and
cultural horizons of the student and by introducing him or her to a more profound
perception of what is meant by the term "humanity": foreign language courses accomplish
this by illustrating the different ways that human beings of different nationalities
look at and react to reality.