Professors: Tama L. Engelking (Chairperson); Professors Emeriti: Bruce A. Beatie, Edward Haymes, Laura Martin, John M. Purcell, Anita Stoll, Philippa Brown Yin; Associate Professors: Hebat El-Attar, Delia V. Galván, Annie Jouan-Westlund, Antonio Medina-Rivera, Lee Wilberschied, Stephen Gingerich; Assistant Professors: Abed Tayyara, Kelly Wrenhaven.
MLA courses include culture and literature courses taught in English, in addition to language courses in areas of expanding need in today's global culture. The culture courses and literature courses may cross borders and time periods. The language courses provide both practical linguistic training in the written and spoken languages and an introduction to the cultures of these languages. Building a good resume for career travel or work overseas, or your interests in other languages and cultures that work well with another major, are all reasons to study Portuguese, Russian, or Quechua.
All language courses have the following divisions and courses numbered from:
100-114 (200-214, etc.) concern the development of performance skills;
115-34 (215-234, etc.), the nature of language;
135-64 (235-264, etc.), culture and civilization;
165-89 (265-289, etc.), literature;
190-99 (290-299, etc.), independent and specialized courses.
As performance skills develop through progression in the learning sequence, the skills are used increasingly to introduce students to subject matter in the areas of culture, linguistics, and literature.
All language skill courses require work outside of class time in the language laboratory. Students who are to some degree native speakers of a particular language or who have acquired a speaking ability in a particular language will generally not be permitted to enroll in 100-level courses for credit in that language.
English majors should talk with their English adviser for information on counting courses offered by the Department of Modern Languages toward their major.
Courses listed below cut across the boundaries of specific languages. For courses in specific languages, literatures, and civilizations, see the course listings under Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Slovenian, and Spanish.
MLA 101 102 Modern Languages I, II (4-2-5). Prerequisites: For MLA 101: None: For MLA 102 in a sequence: Completion of MLA 101 with a C or better or permission of instructor. This course involves the development of proficiency in speaking, understanding, reading, and writing a foreign language (such as Portuguese, Russian, Quechua) which are not regularly offered by the department. It may be repeated for credit with a change of language. There is a lab fee. Return to top
MLA 140 240 - 340 - 440 Field Experience Abroad (1 to 6 Credits). Prerequisites: Permission of instructor, departmental approval. The amount of language preparation necessary to participate in any given field experience is determined by the department and instructor. This course is a specially arranged field experience abroad providing intensive exposure to students' target countries and languages. It may be preceded by a special preparatory course. Examples include supervised individual or group work-study experience in the target country followed by a period of travel; and supervised two- to six-week group travel for students interested in a language- or culture-oriented project in the target country. See semester course schedule and contact the department office for further information. Return to top
MLA 192 292 - 392 - 492 Special Topics: Study Abroad (1 to 6 Credits). Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. This course is the study of a particular topic in a foreign language, literature, or civilization as part of the university’s Study Abroad Program. It may be repeated with change of topic. Return to top
MLA 196 296 - 396 - 496 Independent Study (1 to 4 Credits). Prerequisites: Student must have sophomore, junior, or senior standing. Proposed projects must be approved by a full-time department faculty member (who will serve as the project adviser) and the department chairman. The course involves student-initiated supervised projects involving non-native languages or literatures. Examples include in-depth study of a particular writer, special readings in linguistics or significance of Hungarian culture in Cleveland politics. Independent study may be used to cover the materials of a listed course not offered in a given year. Projects are arranged between individual students and instructor; title of the project will appear on the student's transcript; abbreviation of the course will reflect the language area or be designated MLA. It may be repeated for credit with change of topic. Return to top
MLA 200 300-400 Practicum in Language (1 to 4 Credits). Prerequisites: Permission of instructor, departmental approval. Specially arranged projects or supervised experiences using non-native languages conducted in the university and in the community. Examples include special work in the Instructional Media Laboratory, participation in a foreign-language play, tutorial activity in a basic language skills course, and a study or service project involving field work in one of the Cleveland ethnic communities. Projects are arranged between individual students and instructors; title of the project will appear on the student's transcript; abbreviation of the course will reflect the language area or be designated MLA. It may be repeated for credit. Grading is S/U only. Return to top
MLA 201 Words: An Introduction to Etymology (4-0-4). This is a study of the way English words came to have the meanings they do, with emphasis on the Greek and Latin roots of English words; it also increases both active and passive vocabulary and refines accuracy of understanding and use of English. It is especially useful for students in the sciences and in law. Return to top
MLA 204 Nonwestern World Literature (4-0-4). This is an introduction to nonwestern literature that examines a range of texts by indigenous and diasporic peoples. This course considers the diverse and changing shape of non-western literatures from a variety of different regions that may include the Americas, Asia, Africa, the Pacific Rim, and the African diaspora. It may be cross-listed with ENG 204. Return to top
MLA 230 330 Gods, Heroes and Ritual: An Introduction to Greek Myth and Religion (4-0-4). This course provides an introduction to Greek mythology and religion and considers their roles in the contexts of Greek culture and thought. Literary and material sources, such as epic, drama, architecture, sculpture, and vase painting, areexamined in order to establish the nature and function of myth and religion in Greek society. Topics include the gods, heroes, cult, local mythic traditions, religious festivals, oracles, and healing sanctuaries. Return to top
MLA 235 Arab Film (4-0-4). This course uses Arab films to introduce students to major cultural features of the Arab world. Course is taught in English. It may be cross-listed with ARB 335. Return to top
MLA 245 Arabic Resources of Cleveland/ Service Learning (1 to 4 variable credits). Prerequisite: ARB 102, or permission of instructor. This is a service learning course that complements class meetings with field study assignments to engage students with Arabic-speaking communities in the Cleveland area. Readings and writings in English, but some knowledge of Arabic required. It may be cross-listed with ARB 345. Return to top
MLA 255 Western European Film (4-0-4). This is an overview of Western European film during the rise of the European Union. Students learn to analyze and discuss recent European movies and relate the narratives and representational strategies for films from a variety of countries to the moment of production in contemporary Europe and to social and political issues that European cultures share with the United States.Return to top
MLA 265 Francophone Literature in Translation (4-0-4). This course includes a survey of literary works originally written in French from across the Francophone world. It includes Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and immigrant communities in France and Quebec. Works are examined in their cultural contexts in order to compare features such as the impact of colonialism and the role of women. It may be cross-listed with FRN 375. Return to top
MLA 280 Women in the Arab World (4-0-4). This course examines women in Arab societies as portrayed in literature, film and art. It focuses on questions of identity related to topics such as family roles, religion, education, and politics. Readings and writings are in Arabic. It may be cross-listed with ARB 380. Return to top
MLA 318 Language Analysis (2 to 4 credits). Prerequisite: Introductory linguistics course or strong background in a foreign language. Topics may include Sanskrit, Hittite, Classical Armenian, Old English, Old Norse, or Gothic, studied with an emphasis on grammar and linguistic issues. It may be repeated as the continuing study of one language, or with a change of topic. A two-semester sequence of one language (such as Sanskrit I and II), or a semester of Old English followed by a semester of Old Norse or Gothic, may count toward satisfying the foreign language requirement. Students who take Sanskrit I and II (4 credits each) may take a second year of Sanskrit III and IV (2 credits each). It is cross-listed with LIN 318 and ENG 318. Return to top
MLA 325 Introduction to Linguistics (3-0-3). This is an introduction to the scientific study of language with emphasis on languages other than English. Topics include principles of linguistic analysis, languages and culture, and linguistics in relation to other fields. It is recommended for language majors. Return to top
MLA 342 Languages in Contact (4-0-4). This is an exploration of relationships between language usage and cultural behavior. Central issues include connections between linguistic and cultural categories, social and institutional effects of language variation, consequences of linguistic and cultural change, language and social role, and role of language in forming social policy. It is in seminar format emphasizing skills of analysis, synthesis, and problem-solving. It is cross-listed with ANT 342 and LIN 342. This is a Linguistic Studies course. Return to top
MLA 347 Maya Hieroglyphic Writing I (4-0-4). This is an introduction to Classic Maya writing and texts from a linguistic and anthropological perspective. Students study the origins and functions of writing in Ancient Mesoamerica, examine the relationship of spoken languages to the script, and learn to decipher, analyze and interpret Maya hieroglyphic texts for information of general anthropological and linguistic interest such as dynastic history, social organization, ritual, cosmology and belief system. Return to top
MLA 370 Athenian Drama in Context (4-0-4). An introduction to ancient Greek drama (tragedy and comedy). Will examine a variety of plays from each of Athens’ major dramatists. Particular consideration will be given to the historical and intellectual contexts in which the plays were performed and the reception of Greek drama in modern film and performance. Cross-listed with ENG 330. Return to top
MLA 447 Maya Hieroglyphic Writing II (4-0-4). Prerequisite: MLA 347, Maya Hieroglyphic Writing I. Building on the basic knowledge and skills learned in MLA 347, students will decipher increasingly more challenging texts in order to reach a more sophisticated understanding of Maya hieroglyphic decipherment, and its indications for understanding and revising history of Classic Maya civilizations. Return to top