Language & Cultures College

Learn how different cultures can communicate with each other.

Understand how language shapes our perceptions of the world. Get introduced to the cultures of non-English-speaking countries. Discuss topics like daily life, the arts, society, politics, religion, pop culture and commerce.

Languages & Cultures College Student Staff

Tyler Candelora, Junior Fellow

Tyler Candelora, Junior Fellow

"Choosing the Language & Cultures Res College was absolutely the best choice I have made while attending Bucknell. During my first year in the Res College, I have made a plethora of friendships that I am certain will carry through until I graduate. In fact, I have made some of the strongest relationships with professors in my Res College. Being a part of the Language & Cultures Res College allowed me to follow my passions and unlock new doors with limitless possibilities."

Hometown: Coal Township, Pa.
Majors: comparative humanities and Spanish

Ariana Fisher, Junior Fellow

Ariana Fisher, Junior Fellow

"The Languages & Cultures Res College is an amazing way to become a part of the greater Bucknell community. For me, it eased the process of transitioning into college by creating a space in which I could connect with others. Sharing a foundation seminar, spending common hours or weekend trips together with other students in the RC created a positive impact on my college experience."

Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.
Major: anthropology

Daniel Portillo, Junior Fellow

Daniel Portillo, Junior Fellow

"Residential Colleges are a great way to take your education outside of an academic setting and create long-lasting friendships. It is great to have intriguing conversations with the same people in the classroom. Languages & Cultures Residential College helps you meet so many people from different backgrounds and you get to learn a lot about new cultures. My favorite aspect of Languages & Cultures is definitely trying all of the delicious foods!"

Hometown: Somerville, Mass.
Major: global management

Languages & Culture College Alumni

Foundation Seminar Course Choices

Place, Identity, and Culture

Popeye's favorite refrain was "I am what I am." But what if we changed it to "I am where I am"?

Does place — whether a geographic location or a cultural environment — determine a person's sense of self? Nationality, language, pastimes, food preferences, and fashion trends are just some of the ways our identity and location are linked. Students in this course will draw on academic readings, popular culture, and personal experience as they explore the intersection of social identity and cultural environment. Are city dwellers fundamentally different than rural residents? Why do we care so much about regional or national differences? Under what conditions will contact between indigenous populations and immigrants produce conflict/enrichment? Is genealogy destiny? And what exactly did Dorothy mean when she said that "there's no place like home"? These are just a few of the questions we will try to answer as we study the relationships between identity, place, and culture.

Keeping it Surreal

World War I. Two medical students meet in a Parisian military hospital and discover a shared admiration for poetry as "beautiful as the chance encounter, on an operating table, of a sewing machine and an umbrella" (Lautréamont). With a growing circle of friends, the two — André Breton and Louis Aragon — create the most influential international avant-garde cultural movement of the 20th century: Surrealism. An enduring influence that extends not only to literature and art, but also engages fields such as philosophy, science, anthropology and politics, Surrealism is fundamentally concerned with freedom: our freedom to think, to create, and to act.

The Surrealists grapple with basic questions. How do language and culture affect our ability to discover and invent? How do they limit what we accept as "reality"? What is the social role of the artist and intellectual? Discussing these questions, analyzing Surrealist works and essays, researching Surrealist themes, and engaging in our own Surrealist games and experiments, we will embark on our own voyage of discovery.

How We Do Things with Words

This seminar explores the relationship between language and culture. 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. The seminar will explore how language is a complex phenomenon that brings us together with other humans in global societies.

To what extent does our language affect the way we live in the world? How does the way we describe our world 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 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? Through this foundation seminar students will investigate and discuss these central issues of language, discourse and culture as we grapple with the question of how we do things with words.


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