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WLL Graduate Programs


WLL faculty offer a wide variety of small, engaging courses on influential topics in the evolving disciplines of cultural, linguistic, and literary studies. You have many different courses to choose from based on your interests. Recent courses include:

French 

  • La culture de l'espace et les femmes au XVIIe siècle (Dr. Jennifer Perlmutter)
  • Le théâtre comique à travers les âges (Dr. Jennifer Perlmutter)
  • La faim dans la fiction française (Dr. Annabelle Dolidon)
  • Cours-séminaire sur la poésie française (Dr. Stephen Walton)
  • Le cinéma français de 1939 à 1949 (Dr. Annabelle Dolidon)
  • La Renaissance française (Dr. Gina Greco)
  • Sexe, Genre et Moralité : L’apprentissage des rôles sexués au Moyen Âge (Dr. Gina Greco)
  • L’Amour au Moyen Âge : courtois, mystique, théologique, savant (Dr. Gina Greco)

German

  • Modern German Film (Dr. Steven Fuller)
  • Aus Ost (Dr. Timm Menke)
  • Contemporary German Novel (Dr. Timm Menke)
  • Literature and Berlin: 1945 - 2010 (Dr. Timm Menke)
  • Nazi Culture (Dr. Steven Fuller)
  • Nietzsche (Dr. Steven Fuller)
  • German Intellectual History (Dr. Steven Fuller)
  • 20th-century German Literature: Ost und West (Dr. Timm Menke)
  • Marchen (Mr. Tammo Feldmann)
  • German Critical Theory (Dr. Brian Elliott)
  • Die Zeit Kafka (Dr. Timm Menke)
  • Ancient Greek Myth in German Literature (Dr. Steven Fuller)

Japanese

  • Contemporary Poetry and Pop Culture (Dr. Jon Holt)
  • Modern Japanese Poetry (Dr. Jon Holt)
  • Modern Japanese Literary Criticism (Dr. Jon Holt)
  • Japanese Language Policy (Dr. Patricia Wetzel)
  • Traditional Japanese Theater: Kabuki (Dr. Laurence Kominz)
  • Business Japanese (Dr. Suwako Watanabe)
  • Japanese Language Policy (Dr. Patricia Wetzel)
  • Japanese Language & Linguistics (Dr. Suwako Watanabe; Dr. Patricia Wetzel)
  • Modern Japanese Literature (Dr. Laurence Kominz; Dr. Suwako Watanabe)
  • Japanese Interpretation (Dr. Masami Nishishibi)
  • Classical Japanese Literature (Dr. Laurence Kominz)
  • Japanese Sociolinguistics (Dr. Patricia Wetzel, Dr. Suwako Watanabe)
  • Japanese Discourse Analaysis (Dr. Suwako Watanabe)

Spanish

  • Gonzalo de Berceo y el Camino de Santiago (Dra. DeLys Ostlund)
  • El cine español de los años 1990: Tierra, espacio, globalización (Dr. Robert Sanders)
  • La literatura latinoamericana: La arqueología de la opresión (Dra. Cynthia Sloan)
  • Morfosemántica del subjuntivo (Dra. Eva Núñez)
  • Los nuevos medios en la cultura latinoamericana (Dr. Craig Epplin)
  • La novela latinoamericana y el archivo: Política, derechos humanos y ciudadanía (Dr. Enrique E. Cortez)
  • Don Quijote y la cognición humana (Dra. Isabel Jaén)
  • Mujeres escritoras de la Temprana Edad Moderna (Dra. DeLys Ostlund)
  • Sociolingüística española (Dra. Eva Núñez)
  • Lo indígena en el cine latinoamericano del siglo XXI (Dr. Enrique E. Cortez)

Teaching

Most students choose to participate in our Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) program from the very beginning of their MA. GTAs are trained and guided by our faculty before and during each term. Prior experience is not required —only language skill, professional demeanor, and motivation.

GTAs are allowed to develop their teaching style in an established program that provides the curriculum, structure, and guidance to help those new to teaching.

As a GTA, you will complete the program with excellent teaching experience. You will meet weekly with the Coordinator and the other GTAs for guidance and curricular support. When teaching, you will often, if not always, be the only teacher in your classroom. Students will see you as the instructor and you will run your classes. The professionalism, leadership, and group management skills you will gain are very marketable.

Compensation for GTAs includes full-time tuition (in- or out-of-state) and a quarterly stipend. You will only need to pay student fees.

Mentoring

Our professors will guide you in selecting your courses, honing your critical skills, and developing your research. They are well established in their fields and have wide-ranging interests and expertise.

French Faculty Interests 

  • Dr. Annabelle Dolidon: culture, littérature et film en France autour de la IIème Guerre Mondiale
  • Dr. Gina Greco: la philologie, le genre et l'identité sexuelle dans la littérature médiévale, la production manuscrite, l'intertextualité
  • Dr. Jennifer Perlmutter: Le pouvoir et les relations dans la littérature francaise du XVIIeme siècle
  • Dr. Stephen Walton: la littérature francophone de l'Afrique et des Caraïbes

German Faculty Interests 

  • Dr. Steven Fuller: 19th century German cultural history, the rise of fascism, German philosophy
  • Dr. Timm Menke: Modern German Culture, 20th century literature, Avante Garde author Arno Schmidt
  • Dr. William Fischer: Pedagogy, Content-Based Learning, the interaction of science and technology with literature and language, German science fiction

Japanese Faculty Interests

  • Dr. Jon Holt: Modern Japanese poetry, manga, Japanese Buddhism
  • Dr. Laurence Kominz: Traditional Japanese theater, kabuki, kyogen, dance
  • Dr. Patricia Wetzel: Linguistics, pedagogy
  • Dr. Suwako Watanabe: Sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, language assessment

Spanish Faculty Interests

  • Dr. Craig Epplin (our newest faculty member!): la literatura latinoamericana contemporánea, artes visuales y medios digitales, teoría cultural, poesía
  • Dra. Cynthia Sloan: la teoría literaria, la poesía y novelística hispanoamericana, la literatura y cultura lusobrasileira
  • Dra. DeLys Ostlund: la literatura medieval y del Siglo de Oro, el teatro histórico de Lope de Vega
  • Dr. Enrique E. Cortez: estudios coloniales y poscoloniales, historia intelectual en el área andina, políticas de la imagen y estudios visuales, estudios trasatlánticos y ficción histórica
  • Dra. Eva Núñez: la lingüística, fonética e historia de la lengua española
  • Dra. Isabel Jaén: la literatura siglodorense y la filosofía médica, el cine español contemporáneo, escritoras españolas
  • Dr. Robert Sanders: la estética franquista y su oposición literaria, la pedagogía

Research

MA students have two options for major research projects: two major papers or one thesis. Both options will give you a high level of expertise and prepare you well as a researcher, whether you plan to work after graduation or get a doctorate. Each option is based on your coursework and your relationship with your faculty mentors, and is focused on your interests.

Thesis option: prepare one major research project in culture, literature, linguistics, or pedagogy, 60-80 pages in length, under the guidance of a faculty director and two faculty readers. The readers may be from other disciplines (departments) such as history, linguistics, education, anthropology, communication, etc., if you choose an interdisciplinary topic. The thesis idea will begin in your coursework, with one of your term papers, and can be developed from one term to the next in multiple courses.

Two-paper option:  prepare two major research projects in culture, literature, linguistics, or pedagogy, 20-25 pages in length each, under the guidance of two faculty directors and four faculty readers. The readers may be from other disciplines (departments) such as history, linguistics, education, anthropology, communication, etc., if you choose an interdisciplinary topic. The ideas for these projects will begin in your coursework, with your term papers, and can be developed from one term to the next in multiple courses.

Recent research projects in French

  • “Les Contemplations de Victor Hugo: Dire la mort par la poésie.” (Dir. Stephen Walton)
  • “Le Livre du Voir Dit: Assemblage, écriture, autorité" (Dir. Gina Greco)
  • “Guillaume de Machaut: ‘Le Voir Dit’” (Dir. Gina Greco)
  • “Le développement du moi et le procédé thérapeutique dans les œuvres de Chrétien de Troyes” (Dir. Gina Greco)
  • “Truth and Memory in Two Works by Marguerite Duras” (Dir. Annabelle Dolidon)
  • “Ma Famille: Le fe´minisme africain marque la fin du mode`le post-colonial”  (Dir. Anabelle Dolidon)
  • “Victor Hugo: Les Contemplations” (Dir. Stephen Walton)
Recent research projects in German

  • “Hadamar and Euthanasia in National Socialist Germany” (Dir. Steven Fuller)
  • “Content-Based Instruction in the Foreign Language Classroom” (Dir. William B. Fischer)
  • “Emil und die Detektive: Erich Ka¨stner’s Classic in Franziska Buch's Berlin” (Dir. Steven Fuller)

Recent research projects in Japanese

  • “Lessons in Immorality:  Mishima Yukio’s Masterpiece of Humor and Social Satire” (Thesis, Dir. Laurence Kominz)
  • “Tokuya Higashigawa’s After-Dinner Mysteries:  Unusual Detectives in Contemporary Japanese Mystery Fiction” (Thesis, Dir. Jon Holt)

Recent research projects in Spanish

  • “Beyond the Converso Polemic in La Celestina: Pleberio and the Father-Daughter Relationship” (Thesis, Dir. DeLys Ostlund)
  • “Cárcel de amor como ejemplo para el converso durante una época caótica” (Dir. DeLys Ostlund)
  • “Cimarrón: La picaresca en la vida real” (Dir. Robert Sanders)
  • “La representación de la mujer española en el cine histórico de los años noventa” (Dir. Robert Sanders)
  • “La creación de la identidad en Autobiografía de un esclavo” (Dir. Cynthia Sloan) 
  • “Las identidades fragmentadas: La máscara carnavalesca en Concierto barroco (1974) y La vida breve (1950)” (Dir. Cynthia Sloan)
  • “A Socio-dialect Study: Narco-traffic Words in Colombian Spanish” (Dir. Eva Núñez; published 2013)
  • “Comparative Linguistic Analysis: The DO & IO in Spanish and Albanian” (Dir. Eva Núñez; published 2008)
  • “Desestabilizando la mirada masculina en Volver (2006) de Pedro Almodóvar” (Dir. Isabel Jaén)
  • “‘El jardín engañoso’: La crítica de María de Zayas a Huarte de San Juan y su discurso médico en la España del siglo XVII” (Dir. Isabel Jaén)
  • “Cartucho: Relatos de la lucha en el Norte de México de Nellie Campobello” (Dir. Enrique E. Cortez)
  • “El descubrimiento ‘verdadero’ del Nuevo Mundo en El largo atardecer del caminante” (Dir. Enrique E. Cortez)

Graduation

The MA in World Languages at PSU is a rigorous two-year degree based on contemporary coursework, mentoring, and research. Final defense of your expertise shows your distinction as a researcher and intellectual.

There are two paths to graduation:

  1. Students who write a thesis will have a public defense of their research.
  2. Students who write two major research papers will complete a comprehensive written exam of all coursework and readings, and an oral defense of the exam and of their research papers.

 

For more information on WLL's Graduate Programs, call (503) 725-3522 and ask for the Graduate Admissions Coordinator