A group of RGSLL students sitting on a stone wall in Cuba overlooking the ocean


The GW Department of Romance, German and Slavic Languages and Literatures (RGSLL) offers dozens of undergraduate courses each semester, with the majority of classes taught in the target language. The department also hosts events for the university community that include symposia and language instruction seminars, as well as lectures from visiting scholars and poets.

RGSLL faculty have published books on a broad range of topics, such as a study on book production and female authorship in 16th-century France; an encyclopedia of Russian film; textbooks for teaching in French, Russian and Spanish; and much more. Our faculty have also received numerous awards for their research and teaching, including the International Dublin Literary Award and GW’s Honey W. Nashman Award for Faculty Engagement. And our alumni have used their language and literature skills for professional advancement in the fields of government, education, business, diplomacy, law, and the nonprofit world.


Connect With Our Community




Read Our Newsletter graphic

Sent exclusively to alumni, the RGSLL Department newsletter features alumni and program updates, as well as event information. If you are one of our alumni, update your contact information with the GW Office of Alumni Relations to start receiving this and other exclusive benefits.

Latest Issues: 20222021, 20202019, 2018

Read Our News Digest

The RGSLL Department sends a bi-weekly newsletter with upcoming events, faculty news and ways to get involved.



Latest Issues: January

Past Issues: 2021-2022


About Our Courses



The basic RGSLL language courses employ innovative pedagogical approaches to language learning. Once the student has completed the basic language sequence (either at GW or through previous language studies validated by a placement exam or by AP credit), a range of courses are available for advanced language study, including topics in pronunciation, business and commercial vocabulary and journalistic style. Czech, Polish and Ukrainian courses have been offered at the basic and intermediate level when there is sufficient demand.


Literature, Culture and Film

The department offers a wide variety of courses in literature, culture and film. Introductory courses in French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish literature are regularly offered, as well as other courses dedicated to specific periods, authors or special topics.

Culture courses introduce students to the historical and social settings in which the literature of a given culture or country developed.


Happening in RGSLL

Lynn Westwater, professor of Italian and director of the Italian Language and Literature Program.

Pandemic Lit: Can Classics Teach COVID Lessons?

For her Pandemics in Italian Literature class, Lynn Westwater scoured classic novels and centuries-old chronicles about disease outbreaks for stories that reflect today’s struggles.

Professor Ariadna Pichs in a studio sitting in a chair under lights while a videographer films

Guiding Faculty to Online Teaching Success

In 2019, before COVID-19 forced most instruction online, Spanish professor Ariadna Pichs decided to offer her highly in-demand course virtually. She collaborated with GW Libraries and Academic Innovation to transform a traditional course into an effective and engaging online course.
Abdourahman Waberi

Voices of Genocide Echo from Rwanda

Professor Abdourahman Waberi — acclaimed author, poet and RGSLL assistant professor of French — traveled to Rwanda to speak to both the survivors of the nation’s genocide and its perpetrators. Two decades and several novels later, Waberi has developed his GW classroom into a forum for discussions relating to philosophy and the global view through literature.