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HF11: Language Study as a Gateway to the Humanities


This group brings together students and faculty within the language study field with the goal of exploring connections between second language study and the humanities–in particular, language courses as a gateway to further study of the humanities.

Open to New People

Active since: 2024

  • Syracuse University
  • Hamilton College

Collaborative Goals

Language courses have long served as vehicles for more than just language learning. They are often an access point for students who might otherwise have little exposure to art, literature, music and other areas associated with the humanities. In the US context, this applies to both domestic students enrolled in language courses and international students participating in intensive English courses, many of whom are STEM majors. Through studying another language, students gain familiarity with the cultures associated with the language they are studying. The collaborative goals of this working group are to:

  1. Collect testimonials/reflections from international and domestic students on the role of language courses as a gateway to the humanities, including how their experience with language learning in a particular course stimulated their interest in the humanities.
  2. Stage a public event where selected students and faculty can give short multimodal presentations on the above, followed by a discussion/Q&A.
  3. Discuss the role of language study within the context of the humanities.
  4. Publish a compilation of the testimonials from the participants on Syracuse University’s institutional repository, SURFACE, with a critical introduction that contextualizes the testimonials within the larger discussion of the topics that arise.

Group Organizers

David Lind

Director, International Programs, Syracuse University

David Patent

Assistant Director, Online & Special Programs, Professional Studies, Syracuse University

Jessica Burke

Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies, Hamilton College

Olga Oganesyan

Assistant Director, Academic Programs, English Language Institute, Syracuse University


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