About World Languages & Literatures

The Department of World Languages and Literatures presently offers instruction in the following Classical and Modern languages:  Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, 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 world 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 world language is central to the international mission of the University, since it offers the student a deeper appreciation of a different 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":  world language courses accomplish this by illustrating the different ways that human beings of different nationalities look at and react to reality.