Feb 28, 2024  
Butler University Bulletin 2023-2024 
Butler University Bulletin 2023-2024

Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

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Eloise Sureau, PhD, Department Chair

Terri Carney, PhD; Irune del Río Gabiola, PhD; Alex JR Quintanilla, PhD; Larry W. Riggs, PhD; Eloise Sureau, PhD; Sylvie Vanbaelen, PhD; Linda M. Willem, PhD

Associate Professors
Xiaoqing Liu, PhD; Gabriela Muniz, PhD; Sarah Painitz, PhD;Juan Pablo Rodríguez Prieto, PhD

Senior Lecturers
Melissa Etzler, PhD; Liliana Goens, MA, MS; Elisa Lucchi-Riester, MAT; Michelle Stigter-Hayden, MA, MS

Adrian Bello-Uriarte, PhD

Department Website

Why Study Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures?

The study of languages, literatures, and cultures gives students access to a broader global community, invites them to deepen their engagement with other linguistic and cultural traditions, and teaches them to be sensitive and critical readers of cultural texts. Becoming proficient or fluent in another language also enhances self-reflection, increases self-knowledge, and heightens awareness of one’s own community and place in the world. Furthermore, a modern languages degree increases opportunities for employment because Butler students provide companies, nonprofits, and governmental entities with communicative and cultural analytical advantages in an increasingly shrinking world.

Why Study Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at Butler?

Small classes are led by internationally recognized and published faculty members hailing from such countries as Austria, Argentina, Belgium, China, Colombia, El Salvador, France, Italy, Mexico, Spain, and the United States. Our faculty members’ wide variety of linguistic and cultural expertise enriches the curriculum and keeps students connected to the global communities they represent. Also, modern languages students consistently complete in-depth research with faculty and present at conferences both at Butler and around the country. Students who study with us find they are well-supported by the resources we have available in our Modern Language Center (Jordan Hall, Room 391), where they receive free tutoring, watch foreign language films, and work on group projects using our state-of-the-art media and computer stations.

Modern languages students choose from a wide variety of well-established study-abroad options, including a three-week, faculty-led summer program in Costa Rica, or Quebec; a semester-long, faculty-led program in Spain; faculty-supervised summer trips to and internships in China; and more than 100 other programs offered by Butler’s Center for Global Education, IFSA-Butler (Institute for Study Abroad), the International Student Exchange Program, and The Alliance for Global Education. Students can receive language credit for courses abroad with approval from the department chair.

Students can take advantage of the Indianapolis community by completing a service learning course and/or approved independent study that connects them with local language communities-in which they use their language skills to communicate with native speakers-as well as by completing internships with governmental entities, educational institutions, nonprofits, and businesses.

Modern languages studies can lead to Core Curriculum course fulfillments and exemptions:

  • If a student completes at least 9 approved hours abroad, he or she is exempted from one of the two required Global and Historical Studies courses.
  • If a student completes at least three eligible modern languages courses, he or she is exempted from the Texts and Ideas course requirement.
  • Students can fulfill the Indianapolis Community Requirement by completing an eligible course or approved independent study.

Given the interdisciplinarity of our programs, students often find creative and productive ways to combine our majors and minors-and combine them with other degrees-preparing them well for service, employment, and graduate studies beyond Butler.

Modern Languages Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to do the following, in the target language:

  • Orally communicate with a degree of fluency and spontaneity in the target language to function in a variety of situations and for multiple purposes.
  • Communicate effectively and in writing in the target language to connect with other disciplines on a range of academic and professional subjects and situations.
  • Analyze and interpret a cultural product in the target language to develop insight into the nature of language and culture through multifaceted learning experiences inside and outside the classroom.
  • Demonstrate intercultural competence and an appreciation of diverse perspectives when using the target language to participate in multilingual communities at home and to interact with global communities.

Degree Programs

  • Majors in Chinese French, German, Multilingual, and Spanish (BA)
  • Minors in Chinese, French, German, and Spanish




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