World Languages & Literatures


Boston University’s  Department of World Languages & Literatures (formerly MLCL) is an intellectually vibrant and collegial community of scholars engaged in teaching and research about literature, film, and media culture in more than a dozen languages.

Students in WLL gain a deep understanding of cultural difference and acquire analytical and writing skills that allow them to flourish in today’s global world, whatever career path they choose. 

Language study is at the foundation of all of our scholarship in WLL. The Department offers cutting-edge, communication-based instruction in Arabic, Chinese, German, Hebrew, Hindi-Urdu, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Russian, and Turkish. We are also among the only programs in the country to offer instruction in classical Chinese, Japanese, Persian, and Sanskrit.  

To get a sense of what WLL has to offer, we recommend that students begin by taking XL100: Explorations in World Literature: Leaving Home. The course is co-taught in Fall 2017 by Professor Peter Schwartz, Associate Professor of German & Comparative Literature, and Sunil Sharma, Professor of Persian & Indian Literatures, with guest lectures by WLL faculty working in many other languages and literatures.