Languages, Cultures, and Literatures

Monica Cyrino, Chair
Ortega Hall 229B
MSC03 2080
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131–0001
(505) 277–4771

Programs: Arabic, Chinese, Classical Studies, Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, East Asian Studies, French, German, Greek (Ancient), Italian, Japanese, Languages, Latin, Russian.

Affiliated Programs: American Sign Language, Navajo (Diné) or other Native American languages (Linguistics); Swahili (Africana Studies).

Pamela Cheek, Ph.D., Stanford University–French and Comparative Literature
Monica S. Cyrino, Ph.D., Yale University–Classics
Pim Higginson, Ph.D., University of California (Berkeley)–French
Rajeshwari Vallury, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh–French

Associate Professors
Susanne Baackmann, Ph.D., University of California (Berkeley)–German
Stephen Bishop, Ph.D., University of Michigan–French
Lorna Brau, Ph.D., New York University–Japanese
Lorenzo F. Garcia Jr., Ph.D., University of California (Los Angeles)–Classics
Tania Ivanova-Sullivan, Ph.D., Ohio State University–Russian
Carmen Nocentelli, Ph.D., Stanford University–Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies
Katrin Schroeter, Ph.D., Brown University–German 
Emma Trentman, Ph.D., Michigan State University–Arabic
Osman Umurhan, Ph.D., New York University–Classics

Principal Lecturer
Marina Peters-Newell, Ph.D., University of Washington–French, Lower-Division Coordinator

Senior Lecturers
Machiko Bomberger, M.A., Columbia University–Japanese 
Luke Gorton, Ph.D., Ohio State University–Classics
Heather Sweetser, M.A., Ohio State University–Arabic
Jason Wilby, Ph.D., University of California (Irvine)–German
Peng Yu, M.A., George Mason University–Chinese

Rachele Duke, Ph.D., University of California (Los Angeles)–Italian
Irina Vasilyeva Meier, Ph.D., University of South Carolina–Russian

Faculty Emeriti
Bruno Hannemann, Ph.D., University of California (Berkeley)–German
Robert Jespersen, Ph.D., Stanford University–German
Natasha Kolchevska, Ph.D., University of California (Berkeley)–Russian
Byron Lindsey, Ph.D., Cornell University–Russian
Peter K. Pabisch, Ph.D., University of Illinois (Urbana–Champaign)–German
Walter Putnam, Ph.D., University of Paris III, France–French and Comparative Literature
Diana Robin, Ph.D., University of Iowa–Classics
Claude M. Senninger, Ph.D., University of Paris–French
Warren S. Smith, Ph.D., Yale University–Classics

Undergraduate Programs


The Department of Languages, Cultures, and Literatures offers undergraduate degrees in the following fields of study:

  • B.A. in Classical Studies
  • B.A. in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies
  • B.A. in East Asian Studies
  • B.A. in French
  • B.A. in German
  • B.A. in Languages
  • B.A. in Russian


Minors are also available in the following:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • Classical Studies
  • Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Japanese
  • Languages
  • Latin
  • Russian

Undergraduate Advisors

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Dr. Jason Wilby–
Arabic: Dr. Emma Trentman– 
Chinese: Mr. Peng Yu–
Classical Studies: Dr. Osman Umurhan–
Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies: Dr. Rajeshwari Vallury–
East Asian Studies: Dr. Lorna Brau– 
French: Dr. Pim Higginson–
German: Dr. Susanne Baackmann–
Greek: Dr. Lorenzo F. Garcia Jr.–
Japanese: Dr. Lorna Brau– 
Languages: Dr. Jason Wilby–
Latin: Dr. Osman Umurhan–
Russian: Dr. Irina Meier– 


First year-level courses are reserved for students who have not previously studied the language in which they plan to enroll. Students who have had previous exposure to a language and plan to continue the study of the same language must consult the appropriate advisor for purposes of placement (or, in the case of German and French, take a placement test). 

How to Challenge a Course for Credit

Students may obtain credit for a lower–division language course by completing a course at a higher level with a grade of "A" or "B." For example, one could challenge FREN 1110 and 1120 on the basis of obtaining a grade of "B" in FREN 2110. Upon completing this requirement, the student must first go to the College of Arts and Sciences Advisement Center and fill out a Course Challenge form. The student may then pay for the lower–division credit hours at the regular UNM tuition rate. A student may also challenge the UNM General Education Second Language requirement with the requisite AP scores. 

Credit Conflicts

Content on specific courses overlaps enough to necessitate restricting credit of both courses toward a student’s degree. These courses are not considered equivalent and the completion of the second course in a pair will not affect a student’s earned hours on the transcript. Students should consult their advisor if they feel the incorrect course is applied for credit on their degree audit. 

Students will be allowed to apply only one of the following courses in each pair for credit towards a degree:

  • CHIN 1110 -or- CHIN 1130
  • CHIN 1120 -or- CHIN 1140
  • FREN 1110 -or- FREN 1150
  • FREN 1120 -or- FREN 1150
  • FREN 2110 -or- FREN 2140
  • FREN 2120 -or- FREN 2140

Graduate Programs


The Department of Languages, Cultures, and Literatures offers graduate degrees in the following fields of study:

  • M.A. in Comparative Literatures and Cultural Studies
  • M.A. in French
  • M.A. in German Studies
  • Ph.D. in French Studies

All graduate programs are administered by a Graduate Committee composed of three members of the departmental graduate faculty, the Director of Graduate Studies and the Chairperson of Languages, Cultures, and Literatures. Except for the internal regulations and requirements outlined below, all degree programs are subject to the terms of The University of New Mexico Catalog in effect at the time a student is admitted into a specific program.

Graduate Advisors

Director of Graduate Studies: Dr. Lorenzo F. Garcia Jr.–
Classics: Dr. Lorenzo F. Garcia Jr.–
Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies: Dr. Rajeshwari Vallury–
German Studies: Dr. Katrin Schroeter–
French and French Studies: Dr. Pim Higginson–

Application and Admission

For information about admission to the departmental graduate programs, contact the Director of Graduate Studies or visit the Department of Languages, Cultures, and Literatures Web site.

The strongest applicants will have a record of study in the languages and literatures associated with their target field and will be able to demonstrate skills in critical thinking and clear writing. The Department's small graduate seminars create an environment for focused group learning and for individual achievement; students must be able to work supportively with their peers and effectively on their own. The Department welcomes letters of intent and letters of recommendation that specifically address the applicant's record, skills and aptitude for literary and cultural study.


The Department awards a limited number of assistantships, either as a Teaching Assistant or as a Graduate Assistant. Contact the Director of Graduate Studies for more information.

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Office of the Registrar

MSC11 6325
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Phone: (505) 277-8900
Fax: (505) 277-6809