Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Welcome to the Department of Languages, Literature and Cultures.

Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (LLC) counts among the biggest departments at Franklin University Switzerland. LLC gathers together numerous innovative academic programs: French Studies (IS), Germanic Studies (GS), Italian Studies (IS), Literature (LIT) and Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies (CLCS). LLC strives to be innovative in its curricular design, learning strategies and faculty-student research output. Departmental course offerings are collectively organized by LLC faculty around a common objective, the scholarly investigation of cultural texts and topics identified as critical to 21st-century international socio-cultural developments and dynamics considered essential to better understanding contemporary issues in global human interaction.

LLC degree programs are directed by robust, mobile and action-oriented thought: literary and media trend analysis, cultural policy production and social justice advocacy.

Our interdisciplinary work is informed by history, contemporary anthropology, sociology, international law, psychology, language and theory.

LLC students are trained to propose real-time solutions to difficult questions that will often take them out of their comfort zones, developing discourse analysis, rhetorical technique, team presentation strategy and advanced problem-solving skills.

Graduates of our minor and major degree programs stay in touch with LLC faculty long after they earn their degrees. We take pride in their success and draw inspiration from student work when advancing our own research agendas through international conference participation and scholarly publications. Faculty investment in student accomplishments through long-term project collaborations is part of what distinguishes the LLC academic community and the department’s growing professional alumni network.


  • Kate Roy

  • Patrick Saveau

  • Fabio Ferrari

  • Sara Giulivi

View All Languages, Literatures and Cultures Faculty

Research and Initiatives

Professors Publish Collaborative Book on Collapse Discourse

Professors Alison Vogelaar, Brack Hale, and Alexandra Peat publish timely volume, The Discourses of Environmental Collapse: Imagining the End

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Publication Highlights

Peat, Alexandra. “Travelling to Modernism’s Other Worlds: Huxley’s Brave New World and Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.” Journeys 17 (2016): 38-59.

Roy, Kate. 2015. 'Only the "outward appearance" of a harem? Reading the Memoirs of an Arabian Princess as material text', Belphégor. Littérature Populaire et Culture Médiatique, Volume 13, Number 1 ('Distinctions that Matter: Popular Literature and Material Culture', ed. by Anthony Enns and Bernhard Metz):

Cuddy-Keane, Melba, Adam Hammond, and Alexandra Peat. Modernism: Keywords. Wiley-Blackwell, 2014.

Majors and Minors

Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies (CLCS)

The Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies (CLCS) major at Franklin offers an interdisciplinary look at the complex, dynamic workings of culture across a number of settings and contexts. We seek to understand cultural phenomena and processes as they unfold under the pressure of historical, social and economic forces, paying particular attention to the manner in which power intersects with race, gender, sexuality, and class. Our approach is both theoretical and problem-based: we study for example how collective memory is shaped in the wake of slavery or apartheid; how unresolved collective trauma haunts contemporary media production and industry; how queer solo-performance functions as a counter-normative response to crises in the international LGBTQIA+ community.
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French Studies (FRE)

The ability to think internationally and across cultures is the core mission of the University. With this in mind, French Studies is conceived and designed to support and strengthen students' abilities to think, read, and write in French and about French literature, culture, and the Francophone world. Students will begin the French sequence according to prior experience and continue through advanced courses devoted to French literature with a particular focus on the writing of the self and Maghrebi-French literature, French cinema (the New Wave, Beur and post-Beur cinema), French culture, and contemporary society. As part of their program of study, students may spend one semester at a French-speaking university or complete a series of courses in related disciplines.
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Italian Studies (IS)

The Italian Studies major expects students to critically engage and communicatively interact with the local culture. To do this, students in Italian Studies complete a three-year sequence of language courses, the principal goal of which is the acquisition of advanced competency in Italian speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. Once the students' language-specific requirements are fulfilled, they are invited to explore a variety of topics in Italian culture, with an emphasis on Italian literature and film studies. Included in the menu of possible classes which count towards the fulfillment of a major in Italian Studies are courses dealing with topics in Communication, European History, Art History, Film Studies, and Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies. Prior to enrolling in a final, required Senior Seminar in Italian Studies, majors will be strongly encouraged to complete at least two Academic Travel courses to Italy.
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Literature (LIT)

The major in Literature is perfectly suited for students who love to read, analyze and create texts. Students seeking a bachelor's degree in Literature will encounter canonical literature, including poems, plays and novels, as well as films, oral storytelling, song, journalism, comics, digital media and so much more. In addition to acquiring a broad knowledge of literary history, criticism and theory, students will learn the skills to create some of the forms they study. The major thus produces critical readers and writers.

Central to the major in Literature is the notion that literature has a vital relationship to culture and society. As the major offers students a traditional grounding in literary study and, at the same time, opens up connections to professional pathways, our students learn to think critically about the ways in which literary culture operates in the global sphere. Our topics-based courses are taught by faculty who publish internationally and have connections with the creative industries. Our offerings are particularly strong in the fields of postcolonial studies, travel writing, ecocriticism, media studies and modern literature and culture.

Students who pursue a Literature major graduate prepared and inspired to pursue careers in fields such as journalism, publishing, researching, non-profit or government agencies and the media. Many students go on to further education in literary studies.
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Projects and Activities

Professor Patrick Saveau Publishes New Book: Reimagining North African Immigration

Patrick Saveau, Professor of French language and literature, recently published Reimagining North African Immigration: Identities in flux in French Literature, Television, and Film, a volume that he co-edited with Veronique Machelidon of Meredith College (North Carolina, USA). The authors examine representations of North African migration to France through recent literature, television, and film that call for “an honest and open recognition of the centrality of post-beur authors and directors on the French cultural scene, and of their vital role in overcoming monocultural norms.” The fifteen articles within the edited volume take on the subject with various approaches, from historical and political to literary, cultural, and sociological perspectives that “throw fresh light on challenging works that deflate stereotypies regarding France’s post-immigration population.”


Tandem Program Goes Online

The Tandem program is a language exchange that invites students to take language learning outside the classroom through informal partnership with French, German, and Italian-speaking students from other local universities (USI and SUPSI). This year, two professors, Laura Orsi and Laura Oreggioni, have taken Tandem online for their German and Italian students, thanks to a new partnership between Franklin and the Global Liberal Arts Alliance. Franklin recently hosted a GLAA conference meeting during which university professors from all over the world connected with a colleague from a partner university.


Students and Alumni

“Since graduation I have been working as a paid intern at Harvard Education Publishing Group and in Acquisitions at MIT Press. I am pursuing an M.A. in Writing, Literature, and Publishing at Emerson College in Boston. My CLCS major helped get me my first internship as an editorial assistant at Barefoot Books which specializes in multicultural children’s books. In general, I’ve found that my CLCS major puts weight behind my social justice interests. CLCS and Franklin are a part of my 1-2 punch in job interviews."

Tamara Grasty '16, Double major in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies, and Communications and Media Studies, with a minor in Germanic Studies

“After finishing at Franklin in 2014, I worked for a year in Oakland, California, as an Americorps VISTA at Oakland International High School; an alternative high school for ESL refugee and immigrant youth. I was there primarily to work on Technology and ESL curriculum capacity building. I also taught computer literacy to Refugee adults. I then returned to Lyon, France - the same city where I did my semester abroad while at FUS - and completed a Master 1 degree in International Law and Human Rights at the Institute of Human Rights of Lyon. After successfully completing that program, I was accepted into a Master 2 double-degree at the Institute of Human Rights of Lyon and the University of Grenoble-Alpes in the History, Theory and Practices of Human Rights, which I have just completed as of October 2017. During the last year of my Master, I did an internship at a Centre d'Accueil et Orientation (CAO) for asylum-seekers; working with them to achieve legal status in France and helping them navigate their new lives in France.”

Wendy Okada '14, Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies/French combined major with ELT certification