About Modern Languages

Build linguistic and cultural awareness to experience the world differently as you study Spanish, French, Italian or German. You'll develop skills in communication, analysis, interpretation and critical inquiry. By studying language, literature, civilization and film, you will begin your own journey through the myriad cultures of the planet.

You will take trips to sites of cultural interest in Manhattan, and can volunteer at El Centro del Inmigrante on Staten Island.  We have lots of study abroad opportunities in Costa Rica, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Spain, France, Italy, Austria, and winter classes in Madrid, Buenos Aires, Cartagena, Paris and Montreal.

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French Beyond France

Broadens the study of French to other areas of the world in which French is spoken: North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, Quebec and Indochina. Students will learn about the history of the imperial project that resulted in the preponderance of French in the world, then study areas of "la Francophonie," including works of art, literature and film.

Topics in Hispanic Cinema

Presents issues of culture and history from the Spanish-speaking world through close analysis and discussion of films of major directors. Topics will cover such themes as the Spanish Civil War, visions of rural and urban life, artistic production, poverty and its consequences, fantasy in film, and gender representations on screen.

Italian Civilization

Examines the history of Italian culture and civilization through a survey of visual arts, music and literature. Students will first study the historical background that serves as a context for contemporary Italian culture, before moving on to current events in Italy.

Beyond the Classroom


  • Burgner Public Relations
  • The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
  • B'nai B'rith International
  • Peace Corps
  • United Nations

Research Topics

  • "Argentine Politics and Censorship: Contributions of Writers and Dramatists in Latin America”
  • “Study of French in North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, Quebec and Indochina”
  • “Gender, Class, Religion, and Politics in Italian Cinema”

Anna Huddle ’15

“Art history and French studies major Anna Huddle '15 talks about her internship at Christie's New York.”

Michael Alas ’04

“To say I learned 'to think outside the box' at Wagner is an understatement. I went on to study abroad for three semesters in Spain, where I learned to cook paella, took classes at local universities, and even toured with an orchestra! The lessons I learned continue to resonate in my life as I prepare to become a physician and a responsible global citizen.”

Hugh Gilmore ’12

“Wagner language faculty encouraged me to enrich my studies abroad for an entire academic year. I spent one semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina and another in Lyon, France studying art history in the local languages with local students. An international education is so valuable in today’s global economy.”

Morgan Grubbs ’14

“Being bilingual has opened many doors for me and taught me so much about myself and the world. I'm now aware of a huge part of the world's population and am able to hear and understand stories of struggle and triumph in a way that I couldn't before.”