Language & Cultures College

Understand national and cultural perspectives of people around the globe.

Explore the world's cultures through language, holidays and cuisine. Build your skills in cross-cultural communication. Prepare yourself to make the most of a study abroad experience.

Languages & Cultures College Student Staff

Carly Masonheimer

Carly Masonheimer

"As someone who has lived abroad and raised from an international background, I was so delighted to have had the opportunity to participate in Languages & Cultures. As a student athlete, any spare time I had was extremely limited. On reflection, my time was never better spent participating in the residential college. My fondest memories are of the connections and friendships I formed with all sorts of different people that will last until graduation."

Hometown: Northampton, Pa.
Major: chemistry

Mauricio Enrique Martinez

Mauricio Enrique Martinez

"The thing I got out of it was that I am not alone in this journey and meeting the people I got to meet during my res college are one of the best things I found during college."

Hometown: Houston, Texas
Major: cultural anthropology and Japanese

Languages & Culture College Alumni

Foundation Seminar Course Choices

Cinema and the City

The course explores the filmic representation of key "cinematic cities" such as Los Angeles, New York, Rome, Paris, Berlin and Tokyo in order to analyze the complex relationship between cinema, the fictional construction of urban space and the actual city. We will explore the interplay between cinematic constructions, lived experience and urban imagination with a focus on the following topics: the virtual city, the city as site of social encounters and conflict; the city and cinematic visions of utopia/dystopia; the city representing the nation; the city as site of destruction; the city as melting pot; the city and its rural surroundings; the city as site of globalization.

Reimagining Identity

Literature has long been a privileged site for exploring the complex interplay of culture and identity. This course uses graphic novels as a lens through which we can examine some of the timely topics facing our society — immigration vs national security, globalization vs isolationism/nationalism, strength in unity vs richness in diversity — as well as more personal questions that our increasingly diverse student body must ask themselves when they come to Bucknell — Does my identity change when I speak a different language? Do I sacrifice a part of myself when I leave behind my hometown or go from an urban enclave to rural Lewisburg? Are my beliefs my own or simply a reflection of my culture?

How We Do Things with Words

This seminar explores the relationship between language and culture in both English-speaking and non English-speaking cultures. Knowledge of a language is not only a skill and an instrument for communicating thought and information, but language itself is an essential part of our thought processes, perceptions and self-expression. We will explore how language is a complex phenomenon that brings us together with other humans in global societies.

For example, to what extent does our language affect the way we live in the world? How does the way we describe our world with language affect the ways we perceive, think, and act? Do speakers of different languages have different perceptions of the world? How do the figures of speech and the types of sentences we use affect the assumptions we have about fundamental concepts of living in a cultural and linguistic community? What makes a promise something we should keep? What makes the words "I do" different from the words "I think"? Can we rely on language to say what we mean?


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