Literature and Languages Department to Become Two Separate Entities

Literature and Languages Department to Become Two Separate Entities

After years of being housed together, the Literature and Languages Department will become two separate departments, effective this fall.

Languages will become its own division under the name the Global Learning and Languages Department.

“Having languages with the English Department is complicated,” said Robin Cadwallader, chair of the Literature and Languages Department. “Even though English is a language, they’re very different disciplines.”

Cadwallader believes the separation of the two programs will provide opportunities for growth.

“Languages needed more room to grow,” said Cadwallader. “By separating, languages can grow and maybe new languages can come in.”

The split will also affect the literature niche of the department.

“Literature does cover quite a number of the courses that we have, but we also offer a lot of writing courses,” said Associate Professor of English Brennan Thomas.

“Because a lot of universities have an English Department – and that’s typically what we are called – I think [the change] is going to make it easy for students to identify our department.”

This change comes with the objective of developing more classes that encourage writing and critical reading skills.

“Going back to being English and reassuming the name, we’ll be able to focus more on writing and critical theory and the things we do that go beyond ‘oh, it’s just a literature department,’’’ said Cadwallader.

The new Global Learning and Languages Department will be headed by a Bettina Muehlenbeck, who is new to the University.

“The departments are very happy with the change and we are looking forward to building a strong English major,” said Cadwallader.

“We wish the Global Learning and Languages Department good luck as they move forward.”