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Washington State University
News Travels Spring 2015 Summer is around the corner!

Introduction to Foreign Film offered this summer

This summer, Foreign Languages 110 “Introduction to Foreign Film” will be offered online for the 12-week format (May 11-July 31), followed by the 3-week format (August 1-August 23). The course is titled “Mapping the World through a Camera Lens” as it focuses on a number of films produced in thirteen different countries from all five continents.

Students will be introduced to a variety of films, which will allow them to learn and understand the complexities of social, cultural, and political changes experienced by a variety of countries. Through the eyes of a bundle of characters of diverse age, nationality, language, religious beliefs, gender, social class, culture, and ideology, we will look at other societies in a totally new way. Protagonists will lead us to their homes, schools, workplaces, neighborhoods, towns, cities and places where we will meet their families and friends, but also the potential enemies and dangers that surround them. Through these characters we will be introduced to realities that, perhaps, we do not even suspect that may exist. We will learn about the interaction between the social and the individual, the public and the domestic realm, the historical and the transcendental, the political constraints and the intimacy. We will be invited to witness the lives of others, their struggles, their fears, their hopes. This course includes comedy as well as historical, political, religious, gender, and coming of age films, among other genres.

Students will become active participants in the film viewing experience, rather than mere spectators, by developing the skills to achieve a more discerning reading of films produced outside their own cultural context and exploring the familiar in otherness (and vice versa). Students will be able to differentiate and value the cultural diversity represented in these films, and, therefore, re-interpret the place of the self as an identity culturally situated. They will study and analyze representative films from different cinematic traditions, taking into account the historical, social and political context in which they were produced, and how this context is represented in these films.

Italian language returns this summer

Italian is back for the Summer 2015 session! Students can accomplish the equivalent of two semesters of Italian studies in just eight weeks. Italian 101 will be offered May 11-June 5 followed by Italian 102 June 8-July 3. All of the classes will be offered 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Students will learn the basic skills to aid them in travelling around Italy, such as how to introduce themselves, how to check in to hotels, count money, and purchase food. The classes will also cover topics related to Italian culture, music, art, architecture, wines, cuisines, and more. Students will understand the structure of the Italian language and be able to utilize their experiences and knowledge and later apply them to a trip to Italy or other interactions with the language.

Norse Mythology

This semester was the first time we offered Foreign Languages 130 “Global Literature in Translation,” which was titled “Norse (Scandinavian) Mythology: The Pantheon, The Myths, and the People.” Students were given a seminar in stories of the Norsemen who have had a broad influence on the English world and language. Scandinavia influenced the English language greatly in the years before the Norman Conquest in 1066. Anglo-Saxon language and literature show heavy influences of Scandinavian in stories ranging from Beowulf to the Lord of the Rings. During the Norse Mythology seminar, students were exposed to a completely different configuration of societal values to allow them to compare their own values, and how they have come about, to those of the Scandinavians. The course also included historical, geographical, cultural and literary reference points over the modern Scandinavian world. This course will be offered again in Spring 2016.