The Washington State University Catalog

School of Languages, Cultures, and Race

The online catalog includes the most recent changes to courses and degree requirements that have been approved by the Faculty Senate, including changes that are not yet effective.

School of Languages, Cultures, and Race

slcr.wsu.edu
Thompson 110
509-335-4135

School Director and Professor, C. Lugo-Lugo; Professors, M. Bloodsworth-Lugo, J. Grenier-Winther (Vancouver), F. Manzo-Robledo; Associate Professors, L. Guerrero, M. Hubert, X. Liu, V. Navarro-Daniels, R. Ong, A. M. Rodriguez-Vivaldi, J. Streamas; Clinical Professors, J. Bonzo, W. Cao, S. Davis, C. Gulam (Vancouver), M. Previto, I. Webber; Instructors, R. Abo, J. Arellano-Serratos (Tri Cities), J. Barrows, G. Gamez, K. Jennings, H. G. Lee, M. Lee-Lopez (Vancouver), S. Lopez-Lopez, K. Niimi, M. Sileoni; Associate Director of Humanities and Social Sciences programs, and Academic Advisor for Comparative Ethnic Studies, A. Chow; Academic Advisor for Foreign Languages and Cultures, L. Heustis; Academic Advisor for Humanities, A. Rocha; Academic Advisor for Social Sciences, T. Lavoie; Academic Coordinator, S. Alvarez.

The School of Languages, Cultures, and Race (SLCR) cultivates deeper understandings of linguistic, cultural, national, citizenship, and racial perspectives in a global context as explored through an interdisciplinary approach grounded on the humanities and social sciences. Located in historic Thompson Hall, the School stands as a bridge between the past and the future through its degrees: American studies and culture, comparative ethnic studies, foreign languages and cultures, humanities, and social sciences. Foreign languages have been offered at WSU since 1890 and Thompson remains the site for one of the first dedicated language learning centers in the nation (established in 1911). The interdisciplinary degrees in Humanities and Social Sciences date back to 1911. At the same time, the School includes the contemporary and transdisciplinary envisioning of culture and race studies that American Studies and Culture, and Comparative Ethnic studies embody. Together, these programs collaborate in finding innovative responses to the challenges of our ever changing societies.

The School fosters critical literacy, intercultural engagement, and the pursuit of global social justice through grounded, holistic engagement in interdisciplinary inquiry and programs. Language studies in context, the study of transnational cultural and race matters, and integrative approaches to linguistic, social, and cultural phenomena provide students with the skills, experiences, and perspectives necessary to thrive in an increasingly diverse and heterogeneous global society. The school interests are centered on the following:

  • Critical analysis of culture and its products around the globe.
  • The effects of popular culture and media on social articulations of race and ethnicity.
  • Social and cultural production of languages.
  • Social and cultural influence of languages.
  • Intersectional and interdisciplinary scholarship in the humanities and the social sciences. 
  • Innovative approaches in teaching and scholarly production.

Above all, the school encourages its constituencies to make a difference by learning about and demonstrating a commitment to issues in our changing world through undergraduate and graduate education, scholarship, and outreach.

The School offers Bachelor of Arts degree programs in Comparative Ethnic Studies, Foreign Languages and Cultures (Chinese Language and Culture, French, Japanese, and Spanish), Humanities (including an International Studies track with major concentration areas in Latin American Area Studies, Germanic Area Studies, French and Francophone Area Studies, and European Area Studies; and other tracks in Linguistics, and Religious Studies), and Social Sciences (with an option in Personnel Psychology/ Human Resources, available at WSU-Vancouver only.) The Humanities and Social Sciences degrees are not identified with a specific subject-matter field on the diploma. Additional or second majors in Language for the Professions are available in French, German, Japanese, and Spanish.

The School offers undergraduate minors in language (Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish) and cultural minors in American Indian Studies, Film Studies, French Area Studies, German Area Studies, Global Studies, Latin American Area Studies, Popular Culture, and Russian Area Studies. Language certificates in Arabic, Italian, Korean, and ‘Core Competencies in Spanish Language and Culture’ are available as well.

The School offers two graduate degree programs: a Master of Arts program in Hispanic Studies, and Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy program in American Studies and Culture.

Facilities

The School is supported by the Language Learning Resource Center (LLRC) located in the historic Thompson Hall since 1911. It provides individual foreign language students with access to 12 Windows 7 PC’s, as well as two HD TVs with VCR & Blu-Ray DVD players, a dedicated computer with a high-speed duplex scanner plus a flat-bed scanner and editing software (Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat Professional, etc.) LLRC also provides foreign language courses with class access to 18 Windows 7 Enterprise computers. The upper mezzanine level (balcony) holds 9 Windows 7 computers and a 55″ HD-TV with a dedicated HD-DVD & Blu-Ray player.  In addition, the lab/classroom in Thompson 28 (ground floor) holds 15 Windows 7 computers and an HD LCD Projector.

UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES

Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Ethnic Studies

The Comparative Ethnic Studies program (CES) within the SLCR brings together leading scholars committed to teaching and research, who have created an intellectual community at the forefront of critical cultural studies in the Pacific Northwest. Comparative Ethnic Studies embraces interdisciplinary, comparative, and transnational approaches to studying race relations and the intersectionality of race, gender, class, citizenship, sexuality, and globalization. The course work fosters an in-depth understanding of the complexities of formations of race and culture.

The major in comparative ethnic studies prepares students to work and function in the multiracial and multicultural world in which we live. Students majoring in comparative ethnic studies must complete 36 hours in CES, as outlined in the program of studies. CES also offers a minor in Comparative Ethnic Studies.  Courses for the minor may not be taken pass/fail. Students interested in declaring a major or minor in CES should contact the College of Arts and Sciences Advising Center at Daggy 201, 509-335-8731, or the School.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the BA in Comparative Ethnic Studies, students will be able to:

  1. Recognize and summarize impact and intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality.
  2. Identify and articulate one's social location in a complex, structurally unequal, and often contradictory world.
  3. Display familiarity with multiple perspectives, employ other interpretations, and consider a range of human experiences in analysis.
  4. Identify and assess social norms and assumptions and envision alternative social norms and practices.
  5. Ask critical questions and formulates a relevant research plan; access information tools to get relevant answers.
  6. Articulate and utilize the basic tools and texts of the interdiscipline.
  7. Examine the influence of historical context on the formation of local, national, and global political and social narratives.
  8. Engage in active and critical verbal and/or written discussion of issues from scholarly sources.

Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Languages and Cultures

The Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Languages and Cultures provides WSU students with the linguistic proficiency and intercultural competence that will allow them to become true and effective global leaders. The degree offers several major programs of study: Chinese Language and Culture, French, Japanese, and Spanish, with teaching options in French, Japanese, and Spanish, as well as Language for the Profession Second Majors in French, German, Japanese, and Spanish. Language minors are available in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish. Cultural minors are also possible in French Area Studies, German Area Studies, Global Studies, Latin American Area Studies and Russian Area Studies. Two year programs of study leading to Language Certificates in Arabic, Italian, Korean, and ‘Core Competencies in Spanish Language and Culture’ are available. Students interested in declaring a major or minor or obtaining a certificate should contact the College of Arts and Sciences Advising Center at Daggy 201, 509-335-8731, or the School.

Student Learning Outcomes for European Languages (French and Spanish programs) Majors:

The program outcomes promote linguistic proficiency and intercultural competence:

  1. Linguistic Proficiency: Students can demonstrate an Advanced Low level of proficiency (as defined in ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines) in the target language in speaking, writing, listening and reading.
    • Speaking: Students are able to handle a variety of communicative tasks. They are able to participate in most informal and some formal conversations on topics related to school, home, and leisure activities. They can also speak about some topics related to employment, current events, and matters of public and community interest.
    • Writing: Students are able to meet basic work and/or academic writing needs. They demonstrate the ability to narrate, describe and express viewpoints about familiar topics in major timeframes with some control of aspect.
    • Listening and Reading: Students are able to understand short conventional narrative and descriptive texts (spoken and/or written) such as descriptions of persons, places, and things, and narrations about past, present, and future events with a clear underlying structure though their comprehension may be uneven. They can understand the main facts and some supporting details. Comprehension may often derive primarily from situational and subject-matter knowledge.
  2. Intercultural Competence: Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of other cultures and their products. By the time they graduate from our program, they will be able to:
    • Recognize and describe the historical, social, economic, and political forces that shape society in the target culture.
    • Analyze and critique the products of the target culture (film, literature, art, popular culture, media, etc.) within their context, including conducting basic research tasks.
    • Examine the validity of one’s own cultural beliefs, behaviors and norms by contrasting and comparing them with those of the target culture.
    • Perceive and value cultural diversity and reinterpret the place of the self as an identity culturally situated in the global context.

Student Learning Outcomes for Asian Languages (Chinese and Japanese programs) Majors:

The program outcomes promote linguistic proficiency and intercultural competence:

  1. Linguistic Proficiency: Students can demonstrate an Intermediate High level of proficiency (as defined in ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines) in the target language in speaking, writing, listening, and reading.
    • Speaking: Students are able to handle with ease and confidence a substantial number of communicative tasks and social situations that require an exchange of basic information related to their home, work, school, recreation, and particular interests. They can also speak about topics related to current issues and matters of public and community interest using connected discourse of paragraph length. They can generally be understood by native speakers who are unaccustomed to dealing with non-natives.
    • Writing: Students are able to meet all practical writing needs and write narrative, descriptive, and expository passages related to work and/or school experiences. They can express their ideas in all major timeframes using proper vocabulary, grammar, and writing styles when writing about everyday events and situations. Their writing is generally comprehensible to natives not used to the writing of non-natives. 
    • Listening: Students are able to understand simple sentence-length speech in basic personal and social contexts with ease and confidence. They can derive substantial meaning or main points from some connected texts. 
    • Reading: Students are able to understand fully and with ease short, non-complex texts that convey basic information and deal with personal and social topics as well as some connected texts featuring description and narration. They can derive substantial meaning and main points and understand supporting details from more advanced, connected texts. 
  2. Intercultural Competence: Students can demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the target cultures and their products. By the time they graduate from our program, they will be able to:
    • Recognize and describe the historical, social, economic, and political events/forces that shape society in the target culture.
    • Analyze and critique the products of the target culture (film, literature, art, popular culture, media, etc.) within their context, including conducting basic research tasks. 
    • Examine the validity of one’s own cultural beliefs, behaviors and norms by contrasting and comparing them with those of the target culture. 
    • Perceive and value cultural diversity and reinterpret the place of the self as an identity culturally situated in the global context.

Language Teacher Training Program

Students preparing to teach should consult the catalog listing of the Department of Teaching and Learning for certification requirements and for teaching majors and minors. Those who intend to major in foreign languages and education should begin the study of the major language in the first year and of the minor language, if any, not later than the beginning of the second year. Students are also required to take FOR LANG 440.  Teacher training is available in the language programs of French and Spanish.

Bachelor of Arts in Humanities

This degree promotes an integrative, cross-disciplinary approach and allows students to work as full partners in the design of their program of studies. It is appropriate for students who have varied interests that may cut across the usual departmental boundaries and who wish to play a role in deciding on a suitable curriculum of study where disciplines in the humanities and/or the arts are the primary components. The Bachelor of Arts in Humanities also offers additional program options in International Area Studies, Linguistics (See Dept. of English), and Religious Studies. These degrees are not identified with a specific subject-matter field on the diploma but it will be reflected in the transcript. Students interested in certifying for this major should contact the College of Arts and Sciences Advising Center at Daggy 201, 509-335-8731, or the School. 

Learning Goals

The stated learning goals specify knowledge and skill appropriate to the humanities degree but may vary depending on the focus of the degree, as chosen by the student. In addition, the student's University experience in terms of assignments, course selection, classroom participation, internships, performances, community services, and service learning activities are considered, and outcomes are measured in terms of society and self; critical thinking and creativity; writing, listening and speaking skills; information literacy; quantitative and symbolic reasoning skills; and depth, breadth and application of knowledge.

  1. To expose students to a thorough and integrated study of humanities, cultures, histories, languages, arts, and other related disciplines, as appropriate to the student’s interest and the program of studies pursued, that will allow them to develop a diverse and transdisciplinary perspective and understanding. 
  2. To expose students to a diversity of ways to Integrate and synthesize knowledge from multiple sources.
  3. To help students develop means of expressing concepts, propositions, and beliefs in coherent, concise and technically correct forms appropriate to their disciplinary standards and professional goals.
  4. To help students think, react, and work in imaginative ways stimulated by a higher degree of disciplinary synergies that will promote transdisciplinary innovation, and divergent thinking.

Student Learning Outcomes

A student completing the General Studies - Humanities degree programs will be able to:

  1. Integrate learned skills and knowledge derived from their concentrations or areas of study, demonstrating depth, breadth, and the development of a transdisciplinary perspective in the humanities. 
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in using disciplinary-appropriate methods for research, critical analysis, creative work or professional performance. 
  3. Communicate conclusions, interpretations, and implications clearly, concisely, and effectively, both orally and in writing for different types of audiences.
  4. Articulate and apply values, principles, and ideals derived from an individual as well as integrated understanding of their areas of study that demonstrate awareness of current modes of expression and thought.

Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences

This degree promotes an integrative approach and allows students to work as full partners in the design of their program of studies. It is appropriate for students who have varied interests that may cut across the usual departmental boundaries and who wish to play a role in deciding on a suitable curriculum of study, where disciplines in the social sciences or related areas such as administrative studies or communications are primary components in the design of this degree. At WSU-Vancouver only the Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences also offers an option in Personnel Psychology/ Human Resources. The degree is not identified with a specific subject-matter field on the diploma but it will be reflected in the transcript. Students interested in certifying for this major should contact the College of Arts and Sciences Advising Center at Daggy 201, 509-335-8731, or the School. 

Learning Goals

The stated learning goals specify knowledge and skill appropriate to the focus of the degree, based on the disciplines that conform the program of studies chosen by the student. In addition, the student's University experience in terms of assignments, course selection, classroom participation, internships, performances, community services, and service learning activities are considered, and outcomes are measured in terms of society and self; critical thinking and creativity; writing, listening and speaking skills; information literacy; quantitative and symbolic reasoning skills; and depth, breadth and application of knowledge.

  1. To expose students to a thorough and integrated study of social sciences and related disciplines identified by the student’s interests that will allow them to develop a diverse and transdisciplinary perspective and understanding.
  2. To expose students to a diversity of ways to integrate and synthesize knowledge from multiple sources.
  3. To help students develop means of expressing concepts, propositions, and beliefs in coherent, concise and technically correct forms appropriate to their professional goals.
  4. To help students think, react, and work in imaginative ways that will promote transdisciplinary innovation, and divergent thinking.

Student Learning Outcomes

A student completing the Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences degree program will be able to:

  1. Integrate learned skills and knowledge using multi-disciplinary perspectives from their concentrations or areas of study in the social sciences and related disciplines, demonstrating depth and breadth.
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in using disciplinary-appropriate methods for critical analysis, and applied research, as well as engagement in professional performance.
  3. Communicate conclusions, interpretations, and implications clearly, concisely, and effectively, both orally and in writing for different types of audiences.
  4. Articulate and apply values, principles, and ideals derived from an individual as well as integrated understanding of their areas of study that demonstrate awareness of current societal challenges.

Additional Majors in Language for the Professions

Students who are certified in a major may seek an additional major focusing on the professional application of a specific language. This additional major does not lead to a degree.  These additional majors - French for the Professions, German for the Professions, Japanese for the Professions, and Spanish for the Professions - offer skills-based, proficiency-oriented learning that prepares students to communicate in the target language in professional settings. The unique combination of applied foreign language instruction and in-depth study of the culture(s) in which the target language is spoken trains students to achieve a level of proficiency in the language that enables them to identify and analyze cultural traits and concepts relevant to those countries and communities. The distinctive focus of this curriculum, i.e. on both language proficiency and intercultural proficiency, provides students entering today’s increasingly global and diverse workplace with the communication skills necessary to work effectively within, between, and across different language communities. This will enhance marketability and options for employment and allow students to become effective global leaders and entrepreneurs.  

Learning Goals

To support and enhance the University’s stated goal of promoting global leadership, the School is in the unique position to provide WSU students with the communication skills and intercultural competence that will allow them to become engaged participants on a global scale in their chosen field. 

  1. Linguistic proficiency: Depending on the target language, students can demonstrate an Intermediate Mid-High level of proficiency (as defined in ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines) in the target language in speaking, writing, listening and reading.
  2. Intercultural competence: Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of other cultures and their norms as they relate to professional dealings. 

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to: 

  1. Recognize and describe the cultural forces (history, social values, economic practices, and politics) that shape the professional practices in the target culture. 
  2. Analyze and critique professional behaviors and practices (i.e., through the history of specific companies, case studies, or current events) within their disciplinary context, including conducting basic research tasks. 
  3. Examine one’s own behaviors and norms in the professional world by contrasting and comparing them with those of the target culture.
  4. Identify and value diversity as well as the place of the self as an identity culturally situated in the global context. 

GRADUATE STUDIES

Complete details on preparation for graduate study and graduate programs are available from the graduate studies advisor and on the school's website: slcr.wsu.edu.

Graduate Program in American Studies and Culture

The American Studies and Culture M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at Washington State University offer interdisciplinary research training that aims to map structural inequalities and resistance movements in a U.S. and a global context.  Alumni go on to academic positions in a variety of institutions, bringing a critical, intersectional lens to the study of American cultural and social formations. With a core faculty in the fields of cultural, ethnic, gender, and citizenship studies, students drawn to the program have a strong interest in the scholarly study of and challenge to social inequalities, whether manifested in popular culture, immigration policies, gender-racial discrimination, or other contemporary or historical loci. The Program offers a broad array of intellectual possibilities for developing critical interventions in borderlands studies, the study of colonialism and empire, race and ethnic studies, gender, indigenous studies, sports studies, digital culture and media, film and television studies, and disability studies.

Mission

The Graduate Program in American Studies and Culture seeks to prepare professional educators to engage in critical scholarship and public dialogue about culture locally, nationally, and globally, with deep understanding that is situated historically and in the contemporary period.

Program Goals

  • To train students in the field of American studies and culture for a broad, critical, and interdisciplinary knowledge of cultural formations, historically, in the contemporary period, and in global context.
  • To equip students to engage in scholarly and public dialogue about American culture.
  • To prepare graduates to be effective teachers in the field of American Studies and Culture and an interdisciplinary sub-specialization of their choice.

Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate broad, critical, and interdisciplinary knowledge of American culture, (i.e., historically, in the contemporary period, in global context).
  2. Synthesize knowledge from several disciplinary perspectives.
  3. Think critically about limits of disciplinary knowledge domains.
  4. Analyze documentary (primary source) evidence from written, visual, and oral genres.
  5. Identify and employ primary and secondary source materials located through library and online scholarly research tools.
  6. Design and complete original research in the discipline and an interdisciplinary area of specialization.
  7. Write clear, publishable analytic prose scholarship.
  8. Contribute critically to professional and to public conversations.
  9. Teach undergraduate curriculum effectively

Admission is competitive and qualifying graduate students can be financially supported by teaching assistantships.

Master of Arts in Hispanic Studies (Currently on Hiatus)

The Master of Arts degree in Hispanic Studies focuses on the fields of Latin American and Peninsular Spanish literatures, film, and cultures, as well as on the teaching of Spanish as a second/foreign language. The program offers graduate courses in Medieval, Golden Age, and Colonial literature, 19th-21st Century Latin American literature and film, 19th-21st Century Peninsular literature, culture, and film, foreign language teaching methods (e.g., pedagogy), and classroom second language acquisition.

The program provides a theoretical foundation and practical application to conduct research in the different areas aforementioned. Besides preparing students in literary theory, criticism, and research methods, the program emphasizes an interdisciplinary and trans-regional approach to all the Latin American and Peninsular Spanish literary and cinematic traditions, epochs, genres, and cultural expressions (both high and popular).

The approach of the program to literature, film, and culture bridges theoretical frames provided by fields of studies as diverse as Gender Studies, Psychology, Cultural Studies, Queer Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Sociology, Economics, Philosophy, Fine Arts, and History, to name a few. Admission is competitive and qualifying graduate students can be financially supported by teaching assistantships. Graduate student teaching assistants also receive practical training in the teaching of Spanish as a second/foreign language.

Program Goals

This master’s program prepares students for:

  • Success in a Ph.D. program in Spanish and other areas of advanced graduate education.
  • Teaching careers as instructors in community colleges or universities. In the case of students who have earned their Teaching Certificate(s) at the undergraduate level awarded by the College of Education, completion of the MA will increase their knowledge and preparedness to teach Spanish at the K-12 level, and increase their chances for promotion.
  • Careers outside academia that require advanced analytical and communication skills.

Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Develop and demonstrate a broad critical and integrative knowledge of Spanish and Latin American literature, literary theory, disciplinary research methodology, and Applied Linguistics/ Spanish pedagogy.
  2. Develop and demonstrate the ability to conduct critical thinking of literature and other artistic expressions such as film, in a cultural context.
  3. Develop and demonstrate the ability to conduct disciplinary research.
  4. Demonstrate the potential for developing original research in the discipline.
  5. Develop and demonstrate the ability to communicate their acquired knowledge in Spanish at an advanced/superior (near-native) level.
  6. Develop and demonstrate the ability to teach Spanish at various skill levels.


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