Modern Languages and Literatures

Speak languages. Will travel.

Visit a medieval city and chat with the locals. Learn about biodiversity in Cost Rica and about the origin of German fairy tales. Take a course on Japanese manga. Read the novels of a Nobel laureate in the original texts. Travel through francophone Africa through its literature. Listen to the broadcast of your favorite La Liga team. Make friends. Learn about your heritage. Prepare for your future.

At the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures we offer courses in Arabic, Chinese, Czech, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. We strive to help you develop the cultural competence and the bilingual skillset that will set you apart as a globally aware professional.

Develop your second, third or fourth language while learning about translation, language acquisition, language and business, the cinema, cultural studies, digital humanities, gender studies, bilingualism, and the social aspects of language use.

Resources such as our Kawasaki Reading Room, Language Resource Center, the Language Lab, and the Global Classroom enable our students to have experiences that expand their worldview. Wherever you want to be in the world, we will help you get there.

Remember Chantal

Chantal Kalisa

A new scholarship opportunity has been established for Dr. Marie-Chantal Kalisa, an alumna as well as a cherished colleague in Modern Languages & Literatures.

Chantal Kalisa was born Dec. 5, 1965, in the Republic of Burundi in Africa. She came to the United States in 1990 to pursue her graduate education, earning her doctorate from the University of Iowa in 1999. She began her career at UNL in 2001. As a scholar, Kalisa researched global women’s rights, transnational feminism, women’s literature, African colonial and post-colonial violence against women, and the Rwandan genocide. Her most recent book, Violence in Francophone African and Caribbean Women's Literature, was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2009. A multidisciplinary professor, she led study abroad programs to France and Rwanda; she also chaired the program in Women’s and Gender Studies.

Kalisa developed an appetite for literature at an early age. Long before the electronic era, she excelled in multitasking, reading as she cleaned house with a broom in one hand and a book in the other. She later described herself as a “child of exile,” having been raised by parents who were exiled from Rwanda prior to the genocide that occurred there in 1994 and claimed a million lives, including many of her relatives. “All of my maternal side of the family was killed during the genocide. My maternal grandparents decided to stay in Rwanda instead of fleeing, which is the case of many Tutsi people in 1994,” Kalisa said in an interview with NET in 2014. This connection to Rwanda fueled a portion of her research, including her most recent project of collecting a living history of the genocide through survivor stories. She also co-edited a book in French on the genocide and was often invited to speak at local, national, and international genocide commemorations.

Visit the University of Nebraska Foundation for more on the Dr. Marie-Chantal Kalisa Memorial Fund.

How to Apply

Let curiosity move you to start your story at the College of Arts and Sciences. With over 30 majors in the college alone, specialized programs of study to match any interest area, the opportunity for hands-on experience through our nationally-acclaimed undergraduate research program, and a campus located at the heart of an innovative college city community of over 250,000 people, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers the ideal Big Ten collegiate experience for students at an affordable cost.

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Spring 2016 Newsletters
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