Romance Languages and Literatures

Katherine L. Dauge-Roth, Department Chair
Kate Flaherty, Department Coordinator

Professors: Arielle Saiber, Hanétha Vété-Congolo**
Associate Professors: Margaret Boyle, Nadia V. Celis, Elena M. Cueto Asín†, Charlotte Daniels, Katherine L. Dauge-Roth, Gustavo Faverón Patriau, Carolyn Wolfenzon
Assistant Professors: Meryem Belkaïd, Allison A. Cooper
Senior Lecturers: Davida Gavioli, Anna Rein, Eugenia Wheelwright†
Lecturer: Julia Venegas
Visiting Faculty: Janice Jaffe, Barbara Sawhill
Fellows: Annie deSaussure, Sebastian Daniel Urli
Teaching Fellows: Arianna Apicella, Adeline Lenik, Andrea Sanchez Moreno, Manon Héléne Toularhoat

The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures offers courses in Francophone studies, Hispanic studies, and Italian studies. In addition to focusing on developing students’ fluency in the languages, the department provides students with a broad understanding of the cultures and literatures of the French-speaking, Italian-speaking, and Spanish-speaking worlds through a curriculum designed to prepare students for teaching, international work, or graduate study. Native speakers are involved in most language courses. Unless otherwise indicated, all courses are conducted in the respective language.

Requirements for Majors in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures

Students may declare a major in Francophone studies, Hispanic studies, Italian studies or in Romance languages and literatures (with courses in two of the three languages: French, Italian, and Spanish). All majors are expected to achieve breadth in their knowledge of the French-, Italian-, and/or Spanish-speaking worlds by taking courses on the literatures and cultures of these areas from their origins to the present. Students should also take complementary courses in study-away programs or in other departments and programs such as art history, Latin American studies, history, English, and Africana studies.

Francophone Studies Major Requirements

Nine courses higher than Francophone Studies 22041, including:

  • Francophone Studies 24072 or 24082
  • Francophone Studies 24092
  • Francophone Studies 24102
  • three courses at the advanced level (3000–3999)
    • Francophone Studies 3299, if offered
    • At least two advanced courses must be taken at Bowdoin.

Hispanic Studies Major Requirements

Nine courses higher than Hispanic Studies 22041, including:

  • Hispanic Studies 23052
  • Hispanic Studies 24092
  • Hispanic Studies 24102
  • three courses at the advanced level (3000–3999)
    • At least two advanced courses must be taken at Bowdoin.

Italian Studies Major Requirements

Nine courses higher than Italian Studies 1101, including:

  • Italian Studies 1102 or 1103
  • Italian Studies 2203, 2204, 2305, and 2408
  • Two courses taught in English whose focus is on Italian art, culture, cinema, or music (such as courses offered by art history, classics, cinema studies, and music) may count toward the major; one must be taught by a member of the Italian studies faculty. Bowdoin courses taught by faculty other than Italian studies faculty or courses taken abroad require approval from the department to fulfill this requirement.
  • At least one advanced course (3000–3999) must be taken in the student’s senior year and at Bowdoin.
  • Students who place out of any of the courses listed above must still take at least nine Italian studies courses, or approved courses, for the major.

Romance Languages and Literatures Major Requirements

Nine courses higher than 22041. Students must fulfill the requirements below from two different languages.
Francophone studies requirements:

  • Francophone Studies 2409
  • Francophone Studies 2410

Hispanic studies requirements:

  • Hispanic Studies 24092
  • Hispanic Studies 24102

Italian studies requirements:

  • Italian Studies 23052
  • Italian Studies 24082

For any of the above combinations, three additional courses at the advanced level (3000–3999) are required, at least two of which must be taken at Bowdoin. These courses may be taken in either or both languages. If one of the languages is Italian, at least one advanced-level course (numbered 3000–3999) must be in Italian.

Requirements for Minors in Romance Languages and Literatures

Students may declare a minor in Francophone studies, Hispanic studies, or Italian studies.

Francophone studies and Hispanic studies minors:

  • at least four Bowdoin courses in one language numbered higher than 2204
  • One must be an advanced course (3000–3999).
  • Courses taken away do not satisfy the requirements for these minors.

Italian studies minors:

  • at least four Bowdoin Italian courses numbered higher than 2204
  • One must be an advanced course (3000–3999) and it must be taken at Bowdoin.
  • One course taken away may be counted toward this minor pending departmental approval.

Placement

Entering first-year and transfer students who plan to take Francophone studies, Hispanic studies, or Italian studies courses must take the appropriate placement test administered online during the summer. Students with questions regarding placement should speak with a faculty member in the department.

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate

Students who receive a minimum score of four on the French Language and Culture AP exam, or a minimum score of six on the French IB exam, are eligible to receive a general credit toward the degree, not the major/minor, if they complete Francophone Studies 2305 or higher and earn a minimum grade of B-. Students meeting these criteria do not receive credit if they place into or elect to take a course lower than Francophone Studies 2305.

Students who receive a minimum score of four on the Italian Language and Culture AP exam or a minimum score of six on the Italian IB exam are eligible to receive a general credit toward the degree, not the major/minor, if they complete Italian Studies 2305 or higher and earn a minimum grade of B-. Students meeting these criteria do not receive credit if they place into or elect to take a course lower than Italian Studies 2305.

Students who receive a minimum score of four on the Spanish Language AP exam or the Spanish Literature and Culture AP exam, or a minimum score of six on the Spanish IB exam, are eligible to receive a general credit toward the degree, not the major/minor, if they complete Hispanic Studies 2305 or higher and earn a minimum grade of B-. Students meeting these criteria do not receive credit if they place into or elect to take a course lower than Hispanic Studies 2305.

Study Away

A period of study in an appropriate country, usually in the junior year, is strongly encouraged for all students of language. Bowdoin College is affiliated with a wide range of excellent programs abroad and interested students should seek the advice of a member of the department early in their sophomore year to select a program and to choose courses that complement the offerings at the College. Students who study away for one semester receive a maximum of three credits toward the major. Those who study away for the academic year receive a maximum of four credits toward the major.

Independent Study

This is an option primarily intended for students who are working on honors projects. It is also available to students who have taken advantage of the regular course offerings and wish to work more closely on a particular topic. Independent study is not an alternative to regular course work. An application should be made to a member of the department prior to the semester in which the project is to be undertaken and must involve a specific proposal in an area in which the student can already demonstrate knowledge.

Honors in Romance Languages and Literatures

Majors may elect to write an honors project in the department. This involves two semesters of independent study in the senior year and the writing of an honors essay and its defense before a faculty committee. Candidates for departmental honors must have an outstanding record in other courses in the department.

Additional Information

  • Students must achieve a grade of C- or higher in all courses for the major or minor, including prerequisites.
  • No more than two courses may be in independent study, and no fewer than five courses should be taken at Bowdoin for majors.
  • Courses that count toward the major or minor must be taken for regular letter grades (not Credit/D/Fail).


1 Or eight courses higher than 2204 for students beginning with 2203 or lower.
2 Or an equivalent course from off-campus, in consultation with a faculty advisor for the major.

(Department/Program website)