Languages currently taught at Bard include Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, and ancient Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit. Bard maintains a state-of-the-art language facility, the Center for Foreign Languages and Cultures, at the F. W. Olin Language Center, which offers the Bard community many different ways to explore foreign languages and cultures outside the regular language and literature classes.
Language in the Academic Curriculum
Students may choose to learn a language to enhance their majors or they may major in any language offered as an interdisciplinary program. Literature majors are encouraged to study a language other than English and to consider literary texts across disciplinary boundaries, such as in Middle Eastern Studies. Those who choose a foreign language major can explore a range of interests and develop courses of study that bring together investigations into culture, history, and other fields. Their studies culminate in a professional-grade Senior Project.
Why take a foreign language at Bard?
- Small classes—rigorous curriculum and innovative teaching
- Enhanced options for civic engagement, locally and internationally
- Well-established study abroad programs
- Unique interdisciplinary scholarly work
- Opportunities to conduct research in original languages regardless of field of study
- Countless ways to connect across Bard’s network of international campuses
Foreign Language Requirement
There is no general foreign language requirement at Bard, with the exception of some academic programs that do require knowledge of another language. Please view the Guide to Academic Programs and Concentrations for specifics. However, Foreign Language, Literature, and Culture (FLLC) is one of the nine distribution requirements at Bard. Courses offered by the disciplinary program are focused on language acquisition and/or the analysis of literature or culture via an engagement with a non–English language.
Moderation and Senior Project
While each area of language study has its own intellectual and academic plan, all are connected by the study of literature and other cultural expressions through the medium of language. Students are free to work with the languages and texts of more than one culture; thus they can combine the plans of more than one language for Moderation and in their Senior Project. Moderation requirements may vary depending on the focus language; students should refer to information provided by the specific area of study. For all FLCL students, a Senior Project can be a purely literary project (typically involving critical interpretation and translation) or any combination of literary and nonliterary expressions of a given culture.
Recent Senior Projects in Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
“Bodies Inscribed in the Landscape: Poetic ‘Exhumations’ of Chile and Argentina’s Desaparecido”
“Love, Loss, and Liminality: Classical and Medieval Perspectives on Orpheus and Eurydice”
“Mexican Nationalism in Ignacio Manuel Altamirano’s Clemencia”
“Questioning Authority: An Exploration of Montaigne and Borges”