This building is home to Classics, Film Studies, and all nine of the foreign languages departments Bowdoin offers (Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian, Latin, Greek, Chinese and Japanese). The basement of Sills Hall houses the Language Media Center, equipped with television and radio connections to all over the world. It also houses a fourteen-station audio-active language lab.
It is noteworthy that the Classics program is an interdisciplinary program: the department has long offered our students both the essential training in the classical languages that is basic to the study of Greek & Roman Antiquity, and a wide range of other courses which extend students' understanding of these cultures far beyond their texts. Courses on topics such as Classical Mythology, Homer, Pompeii and the Cities of Vesuvius, and Ancient Greek Tyranny: Image and History, as well as others, illustrate the continuing vitality of this discipline.
Secretary of Defense William Cohen `62 was a Classics major.
The majority of classics majors study away their junior year on one of two programs specially designed for students with classical interests: College Year in Athens and the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome.
There is a minor in Film Studies but no major. There are also courses on film offered through other departments, most frequently in English, Russian, and German.
Two student film groups exist: one for showing and discussing films, and a new group that is making films. There are no film production courses at Bowdoin.
The German program offers courses in three major areas: language, literature and literature in translation. The language portion involves a three-year sequence followed by courses in literature and culture taught in German.
There are a number of study-away programs in which German students have participated, including programs in Germany and Austria, particularly in Munich, Berlin, Vienna, Freiburg, Hamburg, and Tubingen. A weekly German table meets throughout the academic year.
Courses at various levels in French, Italian, and Spanish language and literature. A major in Italian is not offered.
Students of French also enjoy a yearly trip to Quebec to meet French-speaking students, as well as an optional ten-day home stay program in Bordeaux over the winter break. This program also allows for internships in schools, businesses, and other locations.
Language and literature classes usually have 10-25 students and discussion sections have 5-8 students per section.
Available to provide technical support for language study, the center holds over 3000 videos, over 1000 of which are foreign language titles.
It receives live satellite television 24 hours a day from Russia, Germany, Spain, Italy, China, and France. LMC relays many of these signals to classrooms and dorm rooms via Bowdoin’s campus cable TV system. Additionally, 24 hours of international news from 30 different countries is provided by SCOLA on the Bowdoin College cable television system. Also an eight-station audio-active language laboratory; fifteen individual viewing stations for multi-region videocassettes, DVDs, and Laserdiscs; and a networked laboratory with multi-media capabilities.