We invite your participation in the activities of the Department of World Languages and Literatures at Western Michigan University, whether as attendees of department-sponsored events, creators of the events themselves (presentations by alumni and other friends of the department), visitors to campus or financial donors.
Donate online using a credit card to fund department projects and activities:
- Language studies
- The Rodger Swan Memorial Fund for Japanese Studies
- The Kristen Rushlow Living Latin Award Fund
- Transference (poetry journal)
We are working to fund seven $3,000 grants, one for each of our language areas, and five $2,000 scholarships for participants in our Summer Translation Program.
Student emergency fund
This fund provides immediate help to worthy students who find themselves unable to cover the cost of books and other academic materials.
Academic and community activities
The department supports a variety of activities:
- The Summer Translation Program is a four-week intensive program on the practice, theory and business of translation.
- The annual Kalamazoo World Languages Film Festival, a six-day competitive event dedicated to the presentation of original creative cinema from Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish-speaking cultures around the world, with the movie subtitles in English. The films compete for the Gold Kazoo prize.
- The department hosts conferences, including a conference on Arabic linguistics co-sponsored by WMU and the American University of Cairo and the Symposium on Gender Studies Across Languages and Disciplines.
- Our speaker series invites experts in our fields of language, linguistics, translation, teaching, literature and culture to talk with students, faculty and members of the community.
- During foreign language days, area high school students are invited to visit our department.
- We support the Southwest Michigan Roundtable on French and Francophone Studies for high school and university teachers in the region.
This position rotates among the disciplines and languages in the department. Perhaps the greatest need of our department is to have a larger number of full-time teachers, in order to make our programs more stable and assure their continued excellence. Because the popularity of individual languages can change within a single decade, a rotating professorship would enable us to respond to changing student interests and needs in the area of languages and connected disciplines.
Faculty Research Travel Fund
Our faculty members need to attend conferences in order to remain well informed for their students, to pursue research and stay current in the languages and cultures that are our specialties. These conferences are often held out of state or abroad.