Letter From The Chair
Welcome to the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages!
As we look back at two years of extraordinary challenges and look forward to embracing again the full vibrancy of our intellectual community, I take a moment to welcome to the DLCL all those who cherish a life of intellectual inquiry and prize the value of understanding literatures, languages, and cultures from all over the world. This is your home.
Our educational and research missions have never felt more urgent, nor has the creative energy of our faculty and students felt so ebullient. We came together in times of hardship, united by a common dedication to the humanities and humanistic values. Now we look forward to embracing our collective mission: to bring to life the more than 40 languages that we embody and study, and to bring to light new ways of thinking the world and the human experience, in their diversity and commonalities.
As Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman beautifully wrote in “The Hill We Climb”:
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true,
that even as we grieved, we grew,
that even as we hurt, we hoped,
that even as we tired, we tried,
that we’ll forever be tied together, victorious.
Not because we will never again know defeat,
but because we will never again sow division.
Professor Cécile Alduy
The Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages hosts the Departments of Comparative Literature, French and Italian, German Studies, Iberian and Latin American Cultures, and Slavic Languages and Literatures, as well as the Language Center.
Together, these departments and programs champion the idea that people think, live and create in and from specific languages and cultures. The DLCL offers courses, degrees and research programs that seek to think and explore the diversity, complexity and richness of these national and transnational linguistic and cultural spheres. Our students and faculty master modern languages and use them to do research in culture, literature, history, political theory, and philosophy.
In courses on poetry, prose, drama, or film at Stanford and at the Overseas Studies Programs, our undergraduates learn to think both critically and globally about how people use languages to make sense of the world, to claim an identity and a place in history, to foster or challenge past and present representations, to create and to persuade.
Our nationally prominent graduate programs are distinguished by a commitment to interdisciplinarity, rigorous training in critical theory and various methodologies ranging from paleography to digital humanities, and early professionalization. Our Ph.D. students develop their dissertations in conversation with specialists in various world regions and cultures, and their impeccable pedagogical training equips them to teach language and literature effectively.