Jul 15, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

(248) 370-2060
Fax: (248) 370-4208

Department Website


Chairperson: Jennifer Law-Sullivan

Distinguished professors emeriti: Jack R. Moeller, Munibur Rahman, Amitendranath Tagore

Professors emeriti: John W. Barthel (German), Dolores Burdick (French), Carlo Coppola (Hindi-Urdu), Renate Gerulaitis (German), Don R. Iodice (French), David Jaymes (French), Barbara Mabee (German), Frances Meuser (Spanish), Estela Moreno-Mazzoli (Spanish), Munibur Rahman (Hindi-Urdu), Robert E. Simmons (German), Amitendranath Tagore (Chinese), Carmen Urla (Spanish) 

Professor: Christopher Clason, (German)

Associate professors: Adolfo Campoy-Cubillo (Spanish), Hsiang-Hua Chang (Chinese), Stephen Filler (Japanese), Stacey L. Hahn (French), Mary Hartson (Spanish), Jennifer Law-Sullivan (French), Seigo Nakao (Japanese), Aldona Bialowas Pobutsky (Spanish), Ronald F. Rapin (Spanish), Maria Cecilia Saenz-Roby (Spanish)

Assistant professors: Akiko Kashiwagi-Wood (Japanese), Daniel Lorca (Spanish), Raquel Prieta (Spanish), Anja Wieden (German)

Adjunct associate professor: Malik Balla (Arabic)

Special instructors: Dikka Berven (French), Julia Urla (Spanish) 

Special lecturers: Yukiko Aigbedo (Japanese), Elizabeth Cardozo Anderson (Spanish), Bernadette Donohue (French), Jamila Doppke (French), Fátima Ferreira (Spanish), Tara Gardner (Spanish), Dunya Mikhail (Arabic), Angela Milliken (Spanish), Caterina Pieri (Italian), Michele Plattenberger (Japanese), Maria Ploof (Spanish), José Saenz (Spanish), Cornelia Schaible (German), Mayra Schmalzried (Spanish), Wendy Shyu (Chinese), Emily Stow (French & Spanish), Ulrike Treder (German), Grzegorz Tokarski (Italian), Holly Walker-Cote´ (Spanish)

Lecturers: Anna Alexander-Marczewski (German), Maria Alicandro (Spanish), Shubhangi Dabak (German), Tanita Ey (German), Fernanda Galvadon (Spanish), Masako Hirokawa (Japanese), Xue Jiang (Chinese), Nira Lev (Hebrew), Christine Mouawad-Azzi (French), Maissa Saker (French), Eyda Vaughn (Spanish)

Chief adviser: Ronald F. Rapin


The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures offers programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree. The modern languages curriculum is designed to help students acquire competence in the language of a given country or countries and, through the study of literature and civilization, to acquaint them with the cultural background of the country or countries. It also prepares students for graduate work, teaching and careers in business or government service. The department houses an interactive video, audio and computer language-technology facility, in which students have access to a broad variety of tutorials, exercises and multimedia activities supporting their classroom learning experiences.

Students may wish to investigate the advantages of combining a knowledge of foreign languages and cultures with competence in other fields. Study of a foreign language and culture is an important asset for students with majors such as business, communication, computer science, economics, international management, international studies and journalism. Knowledge of a foreign language also enhances the study of other disciplines, such as anthropology, art, cinema studies, education, English, health sciences, history, integrative studies, liberal studies, linguistics, music, philosophy, political science, pre-law, religious studies, sociology, theatre and writing and rhetoric.

Placement Examinations

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures offers language placement testing in Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish year round. Students can take the test using a personal computer or at computer labs in Kresge Library or in the Oakland Center or in the language lab. The test in Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish can be accessed on the website (password: grizzlies1). For placement in the other languages, please contact the department. Students who enter Oakland University with high school work in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese or Spanish must take the appropriate placement test. In case of questions concerning proper placement, students should consult with the department advisers, (248) 370-2060.

Admission to Major Standing

To be eligible for a major in one or more foreign languages, a student must be admitted to major standing by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. Normally, a student should apply for major standing at the department office after having attained 56 credits and no later than three semesters before graduation. A student planning to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree will be admitted to major standing after completion of 8 credits of language or literature at the 3000 level with a minimum grade point average of 2.80.

Departmental Honors and Scholarships

Departmental honors may be awarded to graduating majors for outstanding achievements. In order to be eligible, students must submit for faculty review a writing project, usually either a research paper or a translation of superior quality, completed in a 400-level course. In addition, students must maintain a grade point average in major courses of at least 3.60 and have taken at least 16 credits of the major at Oakland University. Qualified students who wish to be nominated should contact a full-time faculty member in their major at the start of the semester in which they will graduate.

There are two scholarships specifically for majors in the department. The Don R. Iodice Grant-in-Aid for Foreign Travel is available for majors who will return to Oakland University for a minimum of two full semesters. The Carmine Rocco Linsalata Memorial Scholarship offers one stipend to an incoming student who intends to major in a foreign language and another to a major with a minimum of 28 credits. The Jack Moeller Gift Fund offers stipends to German majors for study at Oldenburg and for study in German courses at Oakland University. The Betty and Kiichi Usui Scholarship is available to students who have declared a major or minor in Chinese or Japanese. The department also offers the Holzbock Humanities Scholarship. For information, see www.oakland.edu/scholarships.

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to study abroad. Students should consult departmental advisers for information on a variety of foreign study opportunities. Students wishing to transfer credits from study abroad programs must arrange for that prior to their departure. Chinese language students interested in studying abroad should contact Professor Hsiang-Hua Chang.

Students majoring or minoring in French wishing to participate in the exchange program with the University of Orléans in France should contact Professor Stacey Hahn. Students majoring or minoring in German wishing to participate in the exchange program with the University of Oldenburg in Germany should contact Professor Christopher ClasonStudents may also participate in the Junior Year in Munich Program with Wayne State University.

Japanese language students interested in studying in Japan should contact Professor Seigo Nakao.

Students majoring in Spanish may participate in Study Abroad Programs in Spain and Mexico, administered by the Director of International Education, 160E North Foundation Hall. For further information on these programs, and on other study abroad opportunities, see the International Studies Program  section of the catalog.

Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language

Students may earn a certificate in teaching English as a second language (ESL) by completing the following courses:

 ,   and   or their equivalents. In any case, a student must complete 12 credits in linguistics courses at OU to obtain this certificate. Students interested in earning this certificate should contact an adviser in the Department of Linguistics .

Translation Program

Students qualify for a translation certificate by completing language courses numbered 3550, 4550 and 4800. A 4800 course does not apply toward the major.

Concentration in French Studies

Coordinator: Stacey Hahn

The concentration in French studies provides an interdisciplinary understanding of French culture for students not majoring in French. Courses in French language, literature, civilization, art history and history are required. Students should refer to the Other Academic Options  section for concentration requirements.

The department offers selected courses from this catalog as warranted by student needs and availability of faculty. Specific offerings for each term may be found in the Schedule of Classes. Modern Language courses at the 1140-level satisfy the general education foreign language and culture requirement. Students who place into 1150, 2140 or 2150 may use the credits to satisfy the general education foreign language and culture area.



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