Jun 17, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

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

Department Website


Chairperson: Stephen Filler

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

Professors emeriti: John W. Barthel (German), Dolores Burdick (French), Christopher R. Clason (German), Carlo Coppola (Hindi-Urdu), Renate Gerulaitis (German), Stacey L. Hahn (French), David Jaymes (French), Barbara Mabee (German), Frances Meuser (Spanish), Estela Moreno-Mazzoli (Spanish), Seigo Nakao (Japanese), Ronald F. Rapin (Spanish), Carmen Urla (Spanish)

Associate professors: Adolfo Campoy-Cubillo (Spanish), Hsiang-Hua Melanie Chang (Chinese), Stephen Filler (Japanese), Mary Hartson (Spanish), Akiko Kashiwagi-Wood (Japanese), Jennifer Law-Sullivan (French), Daniel Lorca (Spanish), Aldona Bialowas Pobutsky (Spanish), Maria Cecilia Saenz-Roby (Spanish)

Assistant professors: Robert Del Greco (Japanese), Rebecca Josephy (French), Mingming Liu (Chinese), Raquel Prieta (Spanish), Anja Wieden (German)

Visiting assistant professors: Robert E. Mottram (German), Ashley Voeks (French)

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), Masako Hirowawa (Japanese), Xue Jiang (Chinese), Dunya Mikhail (Arabic), Angela Milliken (Spanish), Caterina Pieri (Italian), Michele Plattenberger (Japanese), Maria Ploof (Spanish), Darío Puñal (Spanish), José Saenz (Spanish), Maissa Saker (French), Cornelia Schaible (German), Mayra Schmalzried (Spanish), Emily Stow (French & Spanish), Gregory Tokarski (Italian), Ulrike Treder (German), Eyda Vaughn (Spanish), Holly Walker-Coté (Spanish)

Lecturers: Nira Lev (Hebrew), Lisa Montes (Spanish), Robert Thompson (Japanese)

Chief adviser: Jennifer Law-Sullivan


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 a broad range of careers. The department shares a computer lab in which students have access to a variety of language-related 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 other majors. Knowledge of a foreign language also enhances the study of other disciplines, such as anthropology, art, film, education, English, health sciences, history, integrative studies, liberal studies, linguistics, music, philosophy, political science, pre-law, religious studies, sociology, theatre, and writing and rhetoric, and others.

Placement Examinations

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures offers online language placement testing in Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish year round. 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 a background 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. A student should apply for major standing at the department office, normally 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 4000-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.

The DMLL offers a variety of scholarships that apply to both majors and minors. 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. Also available are the Plattenberger Study Abroad Scholarship, the Rosement Scholarship for China Immersion, the Robert and Genevieve Simmons Scholarship for Study in Germany, the Holzbock Humanities Scholarship, and the Chinese Language Book Award. For information, see link to 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 Jennifer Law-Sullivan. Students majoring or minoring in German wishing to participate in the exchange program with the University of Oldenburg in Germany or with the Kapito Language Institute in Munster, Germany, should contact Professor Anja Wieden. Students may also participate in the Junior Year in Munich Program with Wayne State University.

Students interested in studying in Angers, France, should contact Professor Dikka Berven.

Japanese language students interested in studying in Japan should contact Professor Stephen Filler.

Students majoring in Spanish may participate in Study Abroad Programs in Spain and Argentina, 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: Jennifer Law-Sullivan

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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