Mission Statement

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.