Message from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures (MLL) at the University of Miami.  Located in Coral Gables, just south of Miami, we find ourselves in an area characterized by linguistic diversity and significant cultural offerings – music, dance, theater, cinema, fashion, not to speak of the lectures and conferences organized by the schools and departments of UM.

The department contributes significantly to UM’s campus and its students.  Faculty publish regularly in their fields, and have won prestigious awards for both teaching and scholarship.  MLL professors teach a wide range of courses in linguistics, literature, and cultural studies:  Italian Renaissance theater, modern and contemporary German and French literatures, the Francophone and Spanish Caribbean, Latin American and trans-Atlantic literatures, Luso-Brazilian poetry and music, bilingualism in the United States, to name just a few areas among many others.  All our courses reflect the faculty’s interests in comparative studies and, with numerous colleagues proficient in several languages and literatures, our courses tend to have a trans-national and/or interdisciplinary emphasis.

Each year, the department invites leading scholars as visiting lecturers, and frequently collaborates with various cultural organizations in the South Florida area, such as the Alliance Française de Miami et Fort Lauderdale, the Centro Cultural Español, and the Miami chapter of the Dante Alighieri Society.  It hosts two annual conferences: an interdisciplinary symposium on Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque literature and culture (MRB), and a colloquium organized by our graduate students. Last year the theme of the MRB symposium was "Authorship", with scholars William Wallace and Jane Tylus as keynote speakers. The theme for the Graduate Students' colloquium was "The Poetics and Politics of Love, " with scholar Patrick O'Connor as the keynote speaker.

Through its courses and programs, our department offers undergraduate students the opportunity to hone their language skills, learn about cultures other than their own, and discover rich literary traditions.  The study of modern languages, literatures and cultures constitutes an increasingly valuable asset in a globalized world and opens doors to careers in education, business, economics, law, medicine, politics, and the arts.

For those of you interested in our doctoral programs in French and Spanish, our majors and minors in French, German, and Spanish, and our minors in Italian and Portuguese, or if you wish to begin the study of Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese, or Chinese, we encourage you to visit us in the Merrick Building.