romance languages and literatures
The Master’s Degree is offered in French, Italian, and Hispanic Studies. The degree is meant to prepare students to enter doctoral programs, to teach one of the Romance languages, or to take up professional positions in other fields, such as general education, business, or publishing.
The graduate curriculum offers broad coverage of French, Francophone, Iberian, Latin American, and Italian literatures. Survey courses are interspersed with seminars that are organized according to more specialized principles of research, such as author, theme, genre, or theoretical approach. Taking into account the many different ways that the study of literature has been pursued over the past two hundred years, graduate programs in RLL offer students an opportunity to explore literary, linguistic, and cultural phenomena relating to the Romance languages from a large number of traditional and contemporary perspectives, including film and media. An awareness of critical theory and the importance of history are essential aspects of our graduate programs; for this reason, students are strongly encouraged to take courses focused exclusively on theory as well as those that treat the history and philology of the Romance languages. With few exceptions, courses are taught in the target language.
The general aim of courses in the Department is to combine the close, careful, analytical reading of major works of a Romance language with an appreciation of how and why the study of literature continues to occupy a privileged position for confronting the challenges of communication and understanding that necessarily underlie all the liberal arts and that are negotiated daily in every walk of life. In other words, the study of literature is the study of life.
For further discussion of the objectives of the Masters program, please see Learning Outcomes.
Note: The RLL doctoral programs were suspended by the University in 2011. No new applications to these programs are being accepted.
Students accepted into the RLL Masters Program (French, Hispanic Studies, and Italian) are given comprehensive support usually in the form of a Teaching Fellowship, comprising full tuition remission for all courses required for the degree and a monthly stipend which is calibrated to meet basic living expenses. The Teaching Fellowship is renewed for the second year unless the student does not maintain excellence in his or her studies or is unable to perform effectively as a language instructor.
Note that departmental financial support does not include health care coverage, which students can purchase through the university. For more information about health insurance and other forms of financial support offered by the department, see our department's "Funding for Graduate Study" page.
As part of their training, each semester, M.A. students teach two sections of elementary or intermediate language (three-credit courses meeting three hours per week), under the close supervision of a language coordinator. Each year in late August before the start of the academic year, the department offers a two-day comprehensive Orientation Program for new Teaching Fellows, supplemented by one-day orientation programs offered by the BC Office of Graduate Student Life and the Connors Family Learning Center (held during the same week in August) and by additional RLL dept. workshops on foreign language pedagogy offered during the academic year.
The professional formation of students also includes a one-semester one-credit course, RLRL9990, "The Graduate Professional and Pedagogy Seminar," held during the Fall semester, representing a systematic introduction to issues of graduate student life and a preparation for a successful career. Presentations by members of the RLL faculty and other university officials include professional ethics, pedagogy, research methods, strategies for conference participation and scholarly publishing, the evolving role of critical theory, long-term career planning, as well as specific information on departmental requirements.
Students are also afforded direct experience (writing, editing, reviewing, etc.) in the realm of scholarly publication through participation in The Romance E-Review, the online Graduate Journal of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.
Prof. Ernesto Livon Grosman and the students in his graduate seminar on the Latin American avant-garde traveled to NYC to visit museums with collections featuring the avant-garde. While at the Museum of Modern Art, they had the pleasure of a long conversation with Argentinian scholar, Reinaldo Laddaga, whose essays on art and critical theory are studied in their BC seminar. Seen in the photo are: MA students Daniel Cuenca, Josefina Ayllon-Ayllon, Prof. Livon-Grosman, Emmalie Moseley, Lauren Bergeron and Cameron Regan.