World Languages and Literatures: The New Department Name

World Languages and Literatures: The New Department Name

“Now that the Registrar’s sent the e-mail to all the students, the change finally feels real,” said Maria Lander, Chair and Professor of the World Languages and Literatures department. Lander is referring to an email to all students from, Registrar, David DeConno that said, “The Department of “Foreign Languages and Literature” has changed its name to ‘World Languages and Literatures.’” This was emailed to students as it alerted them to the change of the department’s course code on the Master Schedule to WLL. 

Although this is the first semester for the new codes and the new department name to be reflected on the master schedule, it is not the first semester of the department’s new name. “The process to change the name started in the spring semester of 2015,” Lander said.  During the spring 2015 semester the name change request was sent to the Committee on Educational Policies and Planning. (CEPP). CEPP approved the name change, and the department has been using it since the fall 2015 semester.

The department’s name was changed from Foreign Languages and Literatures to World Languages and Literatures because “we believe that the word “Foreign” does not conform semantically with the College mission of fostering a global education” said Lander.  Every year, Skidmore has a number of international students for whom the languages, literatures and cultures that they learn about are not foreign. Another reason for the change in name is because for many areas of this country, Spanish or Chinese are not “foreign languages.” Simply put, [the name change happened] because the word “World” is more inclusive than “Foreign” said Lander.

            

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