2015-16 Pomona College Catalog 
    Jul 12, 2024  
2015-16 Pomona College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG] Use the dropdown above to select the current 2023-24 catalog.

Romance Languages and Literatures

Professor Virginie Pouzet-Duzer, department chair
Professor Jack Abecassis, French coordinator
Professor David Divita, Spanish coordinator

Professors Abecassis, Chávez-Silverman2, Montenegro1, Waller
Adjunct Professor Dávila-López
Associate Professors Cahill, Cartagena-Calderón, Coffey, Pouzet-Duzer
Assistant Professor Divita
Visiting Assistant Professor Yoshioka-Maxwell
Lecturers Kim, Rolland, van Ginhoven Rey
Sheri Shepherd, academic coordinator


The objective of a major in Romance Languages and Literatures is to develop advanced language skills and to provide a broad and deep understanding of diverse literary and cultural traditions of French- and Spanish-speaking countries. In upper-division classes, the aim is to develop analytical and writing skills along with oral proficiency through intensive critical study of Francophone and Hispanic literature, cinema, culture and history.

To foster an awareness of a culture different from our own, departmental courses are often interdisciplinary in approach, introducing art and music; historical background; social, philosophical and political issues; and other cultural concerns. Many are affiliated with the programs in Gender & Women’s Studies, Chicano/a-Latino/a Studies, Latin American Studies and Media Studies. Many courses make extensive use of multimedia. The department also works closely with the Study Abroad Program.

Majors in French, Spanish and Romance Languages and Literatures have gone on to a wide variety of careers (medicine, law, business, government, allied health care, university and secondary school education). They have served in the Peace Corps and accepted prestigious scholarships (Watson, Fulbright, Rotary, etc.). The ability to speak a foreign language and the knowledge of another culture are highly prized by employers and lead to a significant degree of satisfaction in work and in life.

The department also offers a minor in French and in Spanish.

1On leave fall 2015 2On leave spring 2016 3On leave 2015-16

Other Information

Placement. Any entering student who has previously studied and plans to take French and/or Spanish must take the appropriate placement examination to ascertain the appropriate course level. This includes students who have received Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate credit in the language. Scores on the placement exam do not fulfill the language requirement.

Oldenborg Center. All students may apply to live in the Oldenborg Center for Modern Languages and International Relations, a coeducational residence hall on the Pomona College campus. Residence sections in French and Spanish provide daily opportunities to practice and improve language skills. The formal requirement for living in Oldenborg is one semester’s study of a foreign language at the college level or the equivalent. Conversation classes led by the foreign language residents are available in Oldenborg. Oldenborg Center also hosts language tables for students and faculty and native speakers of the language. Any student of the Claremont Colleges is welcome to attend the language tables. Further information about the Oldenborg program is available from the director and at www.oldenborg.pomona.edu.

Transfer credit: Approval for transfer credit satisfying foreign language or major/minor requirements in RLL will be considered after departmental review of syllabi and work completed. Students may consult with coordinators in advance regarding the equivalency of courses taken at another institution.

Limitation on enrollment. So far as is practicable, enrollment in romance languages may be limited. Courses numbered 1, 2, 22 and 33 should not exceed 18 students per section; courses numbered 44 and higher should not exceed 15 students per section.

Preparation for graduate study. Students who plan to continue a romance language or romance literature in graduate school are reminded that a second modern language is usually required.

Study Abroad

Study abroad is considered an important part of the French and Spanish major curriculum at Pomona and students in romance languages are expected to complement their Claremont curriculum with a semester or a year stay in France, Spain or French- or Spanish-speaking countries, offered through the Study Abroad Program of Pomona College. Most of the coursework completed in France or French-speaking countries counts toward the major and minor. (See below.)

It is strongly recommended that students studying abroad take a French or Spanish course the semester prior to leaving. Currently, students may study abroad on the following approved programs:

French: France/Cameroon/Senegal
Paris: Institute for the International Education of Students (Chicago)
Paris: Middlebury College
Montpellier: The Global Campus of the University of Minnesota
Cameroon: School for International Training (Brattleboro, VT)
Senegal: Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE)
NOTE: For the major and the minor, only courses taught in French count. For the major, courses must consider French or francophone literature, cultural history, politics, economics, geography, etc. Grammar courses do not count toward the major, but they do count toward the minor.

Spanish: Spain/Latin America
Santiago, Chile: Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE)
Monteverde, Costa Rica: CIEE (Biology and Ecology)
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: CIEE
Quito, Ecuador: School for International Training (SIT)
Havana, Cuba: Sarah Lawrence College (SLC)
Merida, Mexico: IFSA-Butler University Program
Madrid, Spain: Middlebury College Program (Córdoba, Getafe, Logroño)
Salamanca, Spain: Institute for the International Education of Students (IES)
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Middlebury College Program


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