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Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures Records

Identifier: U035


Collection contains records of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Denver. Includes documents, clippings, memos, correspondence, publications, and financial papers. The records retained are mainly departmental syllabi and event posters.


  • 1960-2010


Biographical / Historical

The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures (FLL) was established under Chairman Konrad Schaum in 1971 when the Modern Languages department and the Classics department merged. At the time, the department offered courses in French, Spanish, German, Latin, and Greek. Courses discussed not just language, but also culture and tradition. In 1972, the National Defense Education Act funded a Summer Intensive Language Program in East European Studies, which introduced students to courses in Russian, Polish, and Czech language and culture. The student interest in Russian language learning increased significantly, and the following year the department established a major in Russian.

In 1974, Dr. Schaum resigned as department chair, succeeded by Dr. David L. Anderson. In the six years that Anderson served as chair, the department fluctuated on several new programs: Chinese, Hebrew, and Italian. Each of these language offerings was introduced, discontinued, and reintroduced with at least one course offering between 1975 and 1981. This instability in course offering appears to be caused mainly by frequent changes in staff and low funding.

Due to these issues, Dr. Anderson stepped down as department chair in 1981 in order to pursue solutions through fundraising and recruitment. Dr. Victor Castellani was selected to serve as “Acting Chair” in Anderson’s absence. During Castellani’s tenure as department chair, there were few changes to the department, and in particular no organizational changes. In 1985, Dr. Siegelind Lug took over as the department chair.

From the documents available, it is clear that Dr. Lug continued as department chair through 1986. Between 1986 and 1994, there are no documents in the University of Denver collection that indicate organizational changes in the department. In 1994, Provost William Zaranka changed the name of the department to Department of Languages and Literatures. At the time, major programs were offered in French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish, with additional minors offered in Hebrew, Japanese, and Latin. Occasional courses were offered in Chinese. The memo regarding the name change from Dr. Zaranka is the only organizational record in the collections related to the Department of Languages and Literatures.


1.5 Linear Feet (3 containers)


Collection level information left out of Re:Discovery and Millennium - added for inventory purpose.


Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428