The Department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies is a new and innovative program that was established in 2020 and that brings together the former departments of French and Francophone Studies, Germanic Languages, Italian, and Scandinavian. We are housed in UCLA’s landmark building, Royce Hall. UCLA is a major center for the study of these diverse cultural, historical, linguistic, political, and social traditions. Languages offered include Dutch, French, German, Italian, Swedish, and Yiddish, and our interdisciplinary humanistic focus includes literature, film, colonial history, postcolonial studies, philosophy, critical theory, media studies, Jewish Studies, gender and sexuality studies, but also the experimental humanities (digital, environmental, medical, and urban) in order to consider how these have altered our relationship to cultural analysis and production.
The term “transcultural” in our name emphasizes our shared European roots, and our expanded focus on the perspectives of filmmakers, writers, and theorists from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and elsewhere, allows for a more pointed, rigorous, and comprehensive understanding of history and more accurate contextualization of the “European” experience in the world. This interdisciplinary and linguistic training aims to encourage us to think additionally about human rights, diversity, religious tolerance, while training students to think critically, to develop writing and research skills, and to understand the power of language to pursue advanced research in a challenging intellectual and globalized world.
Students have the opportunity to achieve a well-rounded education and to pursue advanced research in a challenging intellectual environment with superior research facilities. Many of these fields not only overlap with one another in intellectually exciting ways but also are central to the innovative research being done in the field as a whole. While we understand that students, like faculty, will have particular areas of interest, we consider it important to ensure that all students who receive degrees from this department have, in addition to a solid grounding in at least one of the languages offered, some knowledge of each of the areas that constitute our discipline and how these are in conversation with the broader study of the past and present and how they have flourished in the humanities over the centuries. The department will train students to think critically, to develop writing and research skills, and to understand the power of language to pursue advanced research in a challenging intellectual and globalized world. We will continue to prepare students for graduate school and careers in education, international law and business, NGOs, the arts, media and journalism, museology, international health organizations, advertising, management consultancy, diplomacy, and publishing.
Our department enjoys close interdisciplinary ties to many UCLA departments and collaborative relationships with the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, the Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies and the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, the Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies, the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles, and the Getty Research Institute. The Department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies is marked by our personal attention to students and our deep commitment to undergraduate and graduate education. The faculty are pioneers in their fields of research and each year, thousands of students enroll in our undergraduate courses and our graduate programs. We train students in the literature, culture, and thought that has emerged from these transcultural and global spaces, and we offer undergraduate programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree and graduate programs that lead to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree.