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Modern Languages and Literatures

The Modern Languages and Literatures department prepares students for life in a global society through the study of language, literature, and culture.

The Modern Languages and Literatures (MLL) department houses seven distinct language and literature programs — American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian — and a comparative literature program, Studies in World Literatures.

The department’s faculty offer dynamic courses that integrate current pedagogical practices as well as cultural programming beyond the classroom. An essential component of our language courses is the practicum run by foreign language assistants, who come to Holy Cross from all over the globe to share the contemporary culture of their native countries and communities with our students.

Courses include offerings in literature, linguistics, film, and culture, which may be conducted in English or in the target language. MLL programs also host events, such as weekly language tables and cafés, films series, lectures, performances and cultural excursions. The department’s study abroad and study away programs enable students to immerse themselves in the language and culture of other countries and communities.

Program Highlights

MLL offers majors in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian and Studies in World Literatures; and minors in American Sign Language, Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Russian. Information specific to each program can be found on the respective program pages:Students interested in Spanish should visit the department page:

Modern Languages and Literatures News

Professor Explores 300 Years of Russian Artistic Imagination in New Book

May 31, 2017

What does commedia dell’arte, a form of theatre born in Italy in the mid-16th century, have to do with Russian cultural history? In “Vagabonding Masks: The Italian Commedia dell’Arte in the Russian Artistic Imagination” (Academic Studies Press, 2017), Olga Partan, …

Holy Cross Academic Conference 2017 to Showcase Student Work

Apr 21, 2017

As the academic year nears its end, more than 350 students will present the results of their independent work in the performing and visual arts, social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences at the 2017 Academic Conference, taking place across campus …